“ Toshiba PDR-M71 - Digital camera - 3.2 Mpix - optical zoom: 2.8 x - supported memory: SM - dark grey „
Toshiba makes digital cameras???
Yeah I thought the same thing as I perused Ebay one day looking for a "cheap" used back up camera. The way my mind works though is that I dont' really want CHEAPly made things. I want EXPENSIVEly made things, at a cheap price. =) So,yeah i'm a bit of a spend thrift. Yet the money I usually end up saying myself allows me to go visit my family back in the states or take little backpacking trips around Europe, so i'm not ashamed.
I bought this Toshiba PDR-M71 Camera right before I moved to the UK on of course, Ebay, as mentioned above. After all was said and done, I spent $30.00 (around 20 Pounds) on this. When I had originally "googled" it, I had noticed that online retailers had listed it for well over $300.00!!! (240 Pounds). So, basically, I saved myself around $270 (225 pounds)!!! God, I freaking LOVE Ebay.....
Alright, I know this is a review ON the camera ITSELF, not a pat on my back that I got it for so insanely cheap, so lets commence with a slightly garbled, sorta-kinda-but-not-really , techno speak.
The Toshiba PDR-M71 - Part 1
" The Body"
As you can see by the picture provided, this isn't exactly a gorgeous looking camera. As a matter of fact, it gives me a bit of a 1993 vibe and doesn't even look "digital". I guess someone forgot to tell the design engineers at Toshiba "Um guys, were in the 21st century now, try and make it look a little cooler".
The only excuse I have for the not-so-awesome design is , well...they make TV's and DVD players ok? Camera's really weren't their forte.
2.5 Stars (The .5 star is for them at least making an effort to go old skool in design, even though they failed in making it the cool old skool)
The Toshiba PDR-M71 - Part 2
" The Lens"
I didn't really go greatly into the above "Body" portion because frankly, there isn't a lot to go into. It's black, it's bulky, its boring. The LENS on the other hand, is anything BUT.
I'm not a lens afficianado, not even close. Actually, when I got this camera I remember asking my dad;
" Ok so what the heck does a uhhmm.. 2.8X 32-98mm F2.9 Lens mean? Is that good?" My dad replies with a few eye squints and blinks then says;
"Yeah that's good. The F2.9 means bla bla bla and more bla bla bla"
He pretty much explained to me WHY all those numbers and letters were good, but over the years i've developed a super secret power. The power of blocking out all of my dad's technobabble explainations and making it SEEM like i'm really listening to him. It fools him everytime....until he asks me weeks later if I remember what he explained and I quickly change the subject to "Man, you gotta love that G.W. is out of power now don't you? Geez that guy was a menance to society".....
Sorry that was a mini tangent there.....back to the Lens
Apparently though, that Lens is very kick arse. According to one website they say it's "A Cannon all flash lens with Macro bla bla bla, and red eye reduction" and give it a 4 star lens rating. So, while it's not a 5 'er, I guess in the world of Lenses, a 4 star is still pretty decent, N'est Pas?
4 Stars (Umm yeah I copied that, but again, I don't know lenses sooo I'll take the professionals word for it)
The Toshiba PDR-M71- Part 3
"What the heck is a Megapixel?"
I still don't know what a megapixel is. It's been explained to me know about 5 to 87 times, and I still am clueless. I have heard that the bigger the better, then i've heard that's not altogether true so i'll let you decide.
This camera is a 3.2 Megapixel CCD (again, um CCD?, sorry I don't talk Digital Camera) . With this 3.2-megapixel imager, it has a 2048 x 1536 resolution. When I was comparing this to other cameras at the time of shopping, there were lots of others in the 300, 400 and up dollar range that had the same resolution so i'm guessing that's a good thing.
In reality I do know, that a lot of other new cameras have higher megapixels. Then again, I have also come to know, that with a very good lens, the megapixel amount is negligable. That is, unless your taking lots of pictures where objects are "moving" , then the megapixel does come into play. ( That is one of the few things I remember my dad telling me)
The Toshiba PDR-M71 - Part 4
" Zoom, Zoom, Zoom"
Ok this will be much shorter than all these other parts. For all I know about megapixels, I know even LESS about digital and optical zooms.
This camera has a 6X digital zoom. My friend just bought a sony with a 10x digital zoom , but...that was an SLR Digital camera and also cost him around 500 pounds. My old digital camera that was a fuji fine pix, was only a 3x digital zoom. I guess what i'm saying is 6 seems somewhat middle to slightly better than most.
This camera then has a 3x Optical zoom. ( What's that even MEAN!??)
???? 2/3/4 stars???
I can't really personal rate this with my above blurble on zooms.
The Toshiba PDR-M71 - Part 5- The final Part Because I'm So Not Good with Reviewing Cameras
" Speak my language"
I'm done with being even remotely technical here. I don't do "specs". If you want to know about this cameras specs, google it. If you want to know about how I PERSONALLY feel about the camera, then read on....
I really really "like" it.
That's two really's so it's better than one "really" like. I honestly can't say I "love" it though. For several reasons, those being.....
1.) SD CARD Capibilities:
The biggest SD card it will take is a 512 mb.....yup you heard me....a 512 mb. And THAT was only with me upgrading the firmware on this. In reality before I upgraded the software, it would only take a 256 mb card at the biggest. This is because this camera was apparently made in 2003. Now while that was only 6 yrs ago, 6 yrs ago is a long time SD card history.
I guess the "upside" of using a 512 MB card is that you can buy about a 100 of them online on Ebay for about one pound. So, yes I have dozens of these 512 Cards floating around that I always take with me when I bring this camera on my backpacking trips.
2.) It's a fatty fadkins:
I see all my friends sleek little almost credit card thin digital cameras and I get all pouty. This definately needs to deflate a little because if your wearing something with tighter pockets, this will not fit.
On the other hand, it's surprizingly light for it's size. It weighs less even than my mini-digital-camcorder that I did a review here on DooYoo.
3.) It needs four AA Batteries:
What the....how the....what effing needs FOUR BATTERIES!!!! This isn't 1993 Toshiba! Get with the program!
Ok i'm done with that.....I have gotten around this though, by buying about 20 rechargeable batteries and my small plug in battery charger so in reality, I guess it's not a HUGE deal.
4.) It's a little difficult to navigate the control panel:
Again....can I say 1993? The control panel is not only semi-confusing, but greatly outdated acting. After several to 50 times of me going " This stupid camera!" I finally figured the art of the control panel and have no problems at all with it now. Even though, now my friends say "This stupid camera!" whenever they take pictures for me with it.....
Alright, there's my small diatribe on the cons of this camera. I always try and do the con's first because I love ending things on a happy note. Without futher ado, we'll move onto the "Pro's"
1.) It really does take GREAT pictures:
I found this out the first time I uploaded pictures from it onto my computer. I knew they were "probably" going to be decent at least, since the camera screen is very clear and bright. What I didn't know was that they would be very ABOVE average decent.
My one friend who actually is a professional photographer in New York City, said to me in an email once I sent him some pictures, "Hey what camera did you use on these? They're really good pictures. Did you finally break down and buy a digital SLR?"
When I replied back to him and told him what I had he said back;
"Huh? Never heard of the Toshiba PDR-M71. Well whatever, they're still really good".
2.) It takes a lickin and keeps on tickin:
I can't tell you how many times i've dropped, banged, scratched, and submerged in water....this Camera. I knew it was bound to happen because I had gotten it with a primary purpose. To take pictures when I was backpacking for several weeks in Scotland and not be upset if I broke it. That's why I looked online for a $30.00 or less Camera. I didn't mind blowing 30 down the toilet.
Yet, after treating this like a torture victim, it still works exactly the same the day I recieved it in the mail. To me....thats pretty darn impressive.
3.) You can get this for cheap online:
Even if you can't find this on Ebay.co.uk, you can find one on Ebay.com and just pay a little extra for shipping. With what experience i've had so far with this camera, i'd be more than willing to buy another one in the 30 Pound range.
My overall Personal Rating:
Yup, that's 4 stars
I would have given it 3, except the abuse it has taken just pushed it barely over the edge to a 4 star. I think if I would have paid 50 or more for this, I wouldn't be so eager to 4 star it either. The amount of money though it costs on 2nd hand auction sites, is so inexpensive you can't miss. It still boggles my mind though, that this was a $400.00 camera back in 2003.....
Toshiba is bringing the powerful imaging capabilities of a 3.2-megapixel CCD, upgradeable firmware, integrated optical and digital zoom with movie mode and sound to consumer digital photography with the introduction of the PDR-M71. The camera's automatic settings take the guesswork out of digital photography and allow new users to experience the fun and satisfaction of being a digital photographer just minutes after taking the camera out of the box. Plus, the camera's manual features - including full exposure control and white balance - aid discriminating photographers in achieving their own personal vision. The PDR-M71 actually allows you to control and set the white balance by individual image, so you can control the color clarity and true-to-life reproduction in challenging lighting situations. The ability to control the settings in the camera, including white balance and fully manual focus, is absolutely essential to print artists who recognize that the camera must be able to adapt to the environment. Automatic modes provide easier operation for casual photography.
The PDR-M71 captures images of such natural color and clarity that they mirror the appearance of those taken with non-digital cameras. Printing at 300 dpi yields eye-catching photographs suitable for framing or family photo books. Business people will find that they can easily incorporate the images into top-notch looking brochures, reports and presentations. Plus, the PDR-M71 is perfect for producing Internet-ready photography or video for web pages and e-mail attachments. With its ability to capture high-resolution images, this powerhouse is simply the best camera for photographers making the transition from analog to digital imaging, as well as for current digital camera users looking to upgrade to the next level. The PDR-M71 makes a powerful statement with its professional black color scheme. It's so small that it is easy to take with you anywhere you go for fun or business. Capture special moments with family and friends... spruce up a web page... or use the video as an e-mail attachment. The possibilities are truly endless.