“ Offering a maximum resolution of 320 x 240 | internal memory to store 18 pictures | PhotoMAX SE Image Maker software „
So you wanna buy a digital camera? Well Mr. Trotters got just the one for you in his suitcase hasn't he Rodney? Uncle albert carried one of these round the world in the navy and he's still using it today. All he needs now is one of my brilliant 286 computers to download the images onto. Seriously, though, these cameras belong in the Del Boy category as they're exactly the type of cheap stuff he'd sell. From the moment you pick one up its obvious that its not gonna last long. One step upon it and crack! 'Not me camera!' It really is that flimsy, and the battery compartment is so tight some of the slightly larger 9 volt batteries need removing with a screwdriver or thin knife. Beware you don't break off the battery cover. People have commented it looks like and feels more suited to a toy than a digital camera, but you must remember that these are old models, and as such were decent spec cameras 4 years ago. Two years ago they were only 30 notes in Dixons, when entry level digicams cost £60.00 for a 0.3 megapixel camera. These are only 0.1 Mp and produce images of 320x240 pixels. As theres no flash then indoor shots are out. Anything indoors will come out blurred or too dark, and if its indoors in tungsten lighting then forget it. However for its cost it takes acceptable shots, with veryy few coming out blurred unless the subject moves. In fact, if you're using it whilst youre moving, in a car for example, the shots come out great. Ive not had any other digital camera able to do that. Memory's limited to about 32-33 shots. The manual states 28 dependant on colours in the image, but in practice 33 was achieved. If you're using a camera you expect it to work, and well, after a couple of months the shutter stopped working. Luckilly the only feature of this camera was a seperate self timer button that didn't require the main shutter pressing. The delay was 10 seconds but it felt more like 30
. As I just mentioned, the camera is devoid of any features bar the self timer, apart from an auto power off you can't switch off. Having to use the timer for every shot meant many photo oportunities went by unrecorded. You can't even delete pics on camera. The Lcd display simply counts the number of pics you have took, not remaining, and funnily sometimes displayed either 'lo' or 'll' after taking a picture. There was no explanation of these in the manual which was confusing. The photo's it took outdoors were perfectly exposed and after a little sharpening with photo impact looked great for a 320x240 image size. However this means they only print small. Trying to double the image size in photo impact looked awful, only once did the results look near the original. However the driver worked flawlessly and even gave each photo its own number once downloaded onto the hard drive, following on from the last numbered image on the hard drive. So if you filled it with 30 images, the next time you downloaded pics they'd start at number 31, unlike todays modern cameras which create removeable hard drives whereby downloading gives you a message asking would you like to overwrite. On the plus side this means you don't have to download to a temporary dirctory and rename all your images before moving them to your main directory, but the downside is that if you're too lazy like me then you won't remember which number what pic you saved your Aunty Maureen's cat Tiddles as. Another downside is that images are saved as BMP files (probably because Jpegs would have been unuseable with the lost detail) and ahgain if you're too lazy to re-save them as Jpegs your hard drive will bloat up, as an 800x600 pixel jpeg image will top out at no more than 200 kb in size, whereas these babies average around 320 kb each. Download times are not too ba for serial transfer, but as there's no usb todays users will find it s
low. The drver software is an integrated browser and worked faultlessly. You need the driver to delete as I mentioned earlier as you can't delete on cam. Really, this is the easiest Ddigicam you'll ever use, but its an old model, so its really only suited to those with older win 95 pc's. I've not seen one around for a while, though the Polaroid us website still lists it. If you've no usb then take a trip to Max Spielmann's and pick up a Jam cam 3.0 with both serial and usb connectors and leads (great if you upgrade computers later and you get a proper full usb lead you can use with printers or scanners), flash and a n easy to use menu which takes up to 640 x 48 pixels, for only £30.00. As a footnote, Polaroid digital cameras in the U Karen't made for or distributed by by Polaroid, but by a World Wide Licenses, the company who makes Cool I cam. So the Polaroid 320 is a total beginners camera. Treat it as that and you'll be happy, I think. Expect more and you'll be dissapointed. And yes, once yiou've (and very soon I may add as you'll get the bug for digital cos you'll never develop again, but will want something beter)the kids will have a new toy to play with.