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Being a photo hobbyist, camera is in my top list of things to carry along during holidays and even business travels both local and abroad. It is an expensive hobby, but it is a worthwhile endeavour.
Using my old Olympus automatic camera, it is very very expensive to develop a film in the UK (eventhough there is a free film for every processing). It always costs me more than 5 pounds for every film (36 exposures), aside from the recopying of the good ones! Having that, I decided to purchase a new brand digital camera last Dec 2005 as a birthday gift to myself. Prior to my purchase, I always tell my friends (who are also in my photo club) that I dont really like digital unit - for the reason that you forgot or ignore the techniques of having a good pictures. Since you can take shots as many as you want (as long you have a big memory space in your XD card), you take for granted the basic steps in taking photographs. But my personal perception did change for having one - IR-500 Olympus which i bought from Currys worth 129 pounds. It was an excellent buy!
The specs are as follows:
4.0 megapixel CCD; 30x total seamless zoom (2.8x optical + 11x digital zoom); 40mm-112mm (35mm equivalent); New flip style 2.5" Semi-Transmissive TFT color LCD; New docking station for charging the battery and connect to the optional 4"x6"; An album and calendar function easy management of images and view precious moments right from your camera; 19 selectable shooting modes in various shooting situations;TV quality VGA QuickTime Movie mode with audio;TruePic TURBO Image Processor increases speed of camera functions including a faster camera start-up time and less shutter delay along with helping provide higher image quality.
The camera is also able to directly connect to any PictBridge-enabled printer so prints can be made quickly and conveniently with no computer necessary. xD-Picture CardTM compatible (16MB card included). xD-Picture Cards are available in capacities up to 512MB; USB Auto-Connect means simple connectivity with virtually any solution/computer with a USB port without the need for any software installation , and with a Li-Ion rechargeable battery.
In addition, the IR-500 Olympus camera has its own software where you could transfer your photos to your personal computers. Aside from that, you can even manipulate and enhance your pictures from colored prints to black and white/monochrome or sepia! You can also make your own personal postcards and calendars bearing your photographs. It has big screen, macro features (similar to tele-photo where you could have a closer shot of your subject). The screen can be moved 360 degrees and you can even take your own pictures while holding it!It has a built-in timer and alarm as well! Overall, this gadget is compact, easy to use and very handy!
Being an Olympus camera user, you can be part of the photo club based in the UK. The membership is affordable and being a member, you can take advantage of buying Olympus products at discounted prices. As part of the deal for being a member club, you receive copies of quarterly magazine where you could submit your photos for possible publication.
So, if you are planning to upgrade your old automatic camera, I strongly recommend this model. I tried to search it in the stores (Dixons, Jessops, and Currys, PCWorld, Tesco), this is out of stock! Well, you can easily search it thru ebay or amazon websites!
For my readers, some of the photos taken using this camera are located at my personal photo website:
or at my personal blog homepage...
Great photos are assured with the IR-500 digital camera. It boasts four million pixels, a 2.8x optical zoom and offers a choice of 17 scene programs. Its large, 6.4 cm, 360° swivel sunshine LCD monitor provides a clear view even under strong light. Thanks to the docking station that also functions as a camera stand, you may entertain friends and family with the results. With several special effects such as fade and mosaic, your slideshows can be personalized. The calendar function facilitates the search for specific images and an integrated clock not only keeps track of time but also doubles as an alarm. Operation is aided by a multilingual menu (more languages can be downloaded from Olympus' website).