About eighteen months ago, I received an email titled "Congratulations - You are a winner !". I immediately thought that it was junk mail, but when I checked it, it was a from a website on which I regulary enter prize draws. When it said I had won a digital camera, I assumed it would be one of those budget 1.3million pixel ones, with a retail price of around £20 - £30.
When the package arrived, I was very pleasantly suprised...
The package -
The box that the camera comes in measures 8.5 x 6.5 x 4.0 inches. Upon opening, you are presented with a tidy looking contents, that consist of...
1 - The camera (see below for more spec on this).
2 - A camera case.
3 - A Mini-Tripod.
4 - 2 x AA Batteries.
5 - A USB Cable to connect camera to PC / Mac.
6 - A Video Cable to connect camera to TV.
7 - A Camera wrist strap.
8 - 2 x Instruction Manuals (in 14 languages).
9 - A CD Rom containing software and drivers (see below).
The Camera -
The first thing you will notice about the camera is how small it is ! It measures just 56 x 93 x 39 mm ! Immediately upon inspection, you will see the 4cm TFT Screen on the reverse.
After inserting the batteries and switching the camera on (by sliding the lens protecter to one side), the camera jumps into action. A series of beeps later, you have a full colour display on the screen.
The camera has 5 settings on the reverse -
* SET - To adjust the camera settings, such as resoulution and to format the memory.
* MOVIE - The camera can take short video films at 15 Frames Per Second.
* PLAYBACK - To display photos taken, and also to erase any that you do not want.
* CAMERA - To take photographs.
* PC - To use the camera as a webcam, and to use the memory card as a storage facillity.
The camera has a 6.6 Megapixel resolution, which is the maximum at the time of writing this. This directly affects the quality of the photographs - the higher the resolution, the better the quality !
There is also the flash function. The built in flash has three options - flash off, automatic flash and flash with red-eye reduction.
Finally there is a cursor pad, which is used in the features above, but also to use the digital zoom facillity. The camera has a 10 step, 4x digital zoom, which is clear and easy to use.
The camera has a built in 16MB Ram, which can hold up to 80 pictures (depending on quality and resolution), and this can be expanded up to 512MB !
A macro function is also provided for taking close up photographs, from around 12cm away from the subject.
To display the photographs taken, the camera can be linked to a TV (PAL or NSTC) via the supplied video cable, displayed on the camera itself or connected to a PC or Mac through the USB port. The latter is also used to print out or save the pictures on your computer.
Battery life is always a matter for debate on technological items. The camera takes 2 x AA Batteries (supplied). I have been using the camera for about a month now (on and off), and I am still on the original batteries. The camera has a automatic power off feature to preserve battery life.
The Software -
The supplied CD-ROM contains the following software...
* Trust camera drivers - the files that your computer needs to use the camera, although my Windows XP recognised it anyway !
* Photo Upload software - When you register your camera, you get free webspace to upload and display your pictures. This program makes the process easy.
* Arcsoft Photobase - This is a management program that allows you to store, manage and present your photographs in different albums.
* Arcsoft PhotoImpression 3.0 - PhotoImpression is photograph editing software, from which you can edit and alter your photographs. It has many useful features such as red-eye reduction.
* Arcsoft VideoImpression 1.6 - A basic and easy to use video editing program. Simply load and arrange your video clips.
* Arcsoft Funhouse 1.0 - A fun piece of software with which you can manipulate different pictures. For example, with the templates supplied you can "cut the head" off a loved one, and paste it onto a dragon !!!
The Documentation -
There are two instruction manuals in the box, but in reality you only need a small part of one of them (unless you want to read the same instructions in 14 different languages !).
The instructions are clear and easy to follow, and cover everything from inserting the batteries to running the software. There are also several troubleshooting guides that cover every possible problem you may encounter.
A copy of the manual is also provided on the CDROM.
System Requirements -
For both the camera and software, the following system setup is required...
Intel Pentium 266 MMX (or PowerMac G3 or later)
32 MB of system memory (for Macintosh: 64MB)
110 MB free harddisk space
Windows 98SE, ME, 2000, or XP (or Mac OS 9.0 and above)
Overall Opinion -
As I said, I have only been using the camera for a few weeks, but I am very impressed with it. The picture quality is amazing, and all the features of the camera are pratical and work well.
I have just three complaints, that are more just niggles... If you use the camera indoors, the TFT screen does not display many images if the room is too dark - so it's a case of point in the direction, click and hope for the best ! This would be solved by the inclusion of a viewfinder, which is my second critisim - there isn't one. It would be nice to have one, and the option to use the TFT screen. It could extend the battery life if you used a viewfinder more.
Finally, the auto-power-off , whilst a useful feature, can sometime cut in too soon - then you have to wait whilst the camera restarts.
These complaints are just niggly little things, and should not detract you from seriously considering this camera if you are looking around for one. The features on this camera would warrant a price tag of at least double what you can buy it for !!!
I have included some pictures that I have taken with the camera so you can see the quality...
Price / Suppliers -
You can get these cameras for as little as £90 - £120 from websites such as "lowestonweb.com" or ebay.
Contact Points -
Check out the Trust website at www.Trust.com for their full range of supplies.
This review was originally written back in Feb 2004. I have had a lot of use from the camera since then, and I can still highly recommend it. I recently took some photographs in Spain of my nephew jumping into a swimming pool. The quality of these was so good, you could see individual splashes of water as they left the pool !
The initial niggles still can prove a problem, in particular the lack of image on the screen when taking shots in darkened conditions. However, for the cost of this camera, it is still well worth buying.
Disclaimer - I originally wrote and published this review on Ciao, under the same username. I have updated it and transferred it to dooyoo.
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I bought this digital camera from Ebay about 6 months ago for only £85!(+£8 p&p) You may think this is pretty expensive but when you consider what i got for my money I'm sure you will agree I got a bargain!
This is my second digital camera, the first one i had was a Polaroid PDC3035, but the photo's i took with that weren't very clear, and the flash tended to work when it felt like it.
So in June of this year i decided to get a new one, and being a bit short of cash i had limited myself to £100 to spend. So off i went to my favourite online store.....EBAY! I browsed through hundreds of cameras, a lot of them out of my price range and a lot very cheap (so cheap i questioned there ability) And finally settled upon the Trust 950 Powerc@m zoom.
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This comes in a box 8.5" x 6.5" with a depth of 4" mainly charcoal grey in colour with a black and red band across the top with the logo TRUST and 950 POWERC@M ZOOM. Just below that it says in white writing on grey background..."CAPTURE LIFE'S BEST MOMENTS"
On the left side of the top of the box it gives you some of the cameras specifics:-
- Compact digital camera with 3.1Megapixel sensor and 6.6 Megapixel camera resolution.
- 4cm colour TFT LCD display for live viewfinder, zoom preview, review pictures and menu functions.
- 10 step, 4 x digital zoom and built-in automatic flash light.
- 16MB memory built-in and expandable by optional SD/MMC memory card. (up to 80 photos - 1280 x 960 or 78 seconds of video footage)
- Video output to review pictures on TV.
on the bottom of the box it gives a detailed list of technical specifications too in 3 languages (English, French and German)
***Minimum System Requirements***
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- Intel Pentium 266 MMX (or PowerMac G3 or later)
- USB Port,
- 32MB of system memory.( 64mb if using Mackintosh)
- 110MB of free hard disk space
- Internet connection.
- CD-ROM Drive
- WIndows 98SE, ME, 2000, or XP
(or Mac OS 9.0 or above)
***What you Get***
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- 950 powerc@m zoom digital camera.
- USB cable.
- Video cable.
- 2 X Duracell Ultra Batteries.
- Protective black carry case.
- Hand strap.
- Mini Tripod stand (comes in handy for usig webcam)
- CD-ROM with drivers, software and user's manual.
- Multi language user's manual.
- Quick installation guide.
I also got a 256MB memory card (included in price) which allows me to take countless photos (not quite sure how many as i have over 200 photos on camera at the moment at 1280 x 960 setting and still able to take more. I can also take longer movie clips which is great if you have kids.
Also included in the £85 i paid for this was a battery charger with 4 re-chargeable ni-mh batteries....saves an absolute fortune as this camera eats normal batteries like sweeties!
You also get included in the pack, A FREE homepage to share photos with friends, including easy to use software to place photos on homepage, This is a password protected site... www.trustphotosite.com
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Ok so this may not be the best camera in the world but at the price is paid for it, I reckon it's pretty much great value for money and an ideal first camera,
- It's easy to install - simply put CD-ROM into your disc drive and it runs you through the installation process.
- It's easy to use once installed too, Theres a sliding shutter at front which turns the camera on and then you turn the knob on the back to determine which use you would like
1st on dial is PC mass storage or pc camera,
2nd is take a picture,
3rd is view the pictures,
4th is record a clip,
and 5th is Image settings - in this mode you can set screen resolution, the quality of photos, white balance and exposure value,
press the arrow keys to the right and you get System settings where you can change the language, date/time, tv standard and frequency.
Press arrow key again and you can choose to format cam or use default settings.
There is a button on back of cam with a squiggly arrow, this is the flash button, You can set the flash to Auto flash, auto flash with red eye reduction, and no flash.
There is also a button with DISP beside it, pressing this brings up all the display of the specifics you have chosen, pressing again turns them all off again, pressing again puts camera in standby mode, pressing once more brings it back to default mode.
I have only just today (20/10/05) discovered that this camera DOES in fact have a 10 second timer on it, Found this whilst playing about with buttons....
To get the timer mode on - Whilst in picture taking mode click the menu button (the button in the centre of the four direction arrows, press the right arrow key until you get the little clock with the line through centre, press the up key to remove the line and hey presto you've got a 10 second timer on your camera! (Now i can get in all the photos hehe....i'm such a poser!)
Also whilst still in picture taking mode you can press the menu button click on the pic resolution (1280 x 960 or 2976 x 2232 or 2048 x 1536 or 1600 x 1200) press the up arrow to determine which you want to use! I mostly always use 1260 x 960....mainly because i really don't know the difference between them (any techies willing to explain feel free!)
***My views on camera***
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I use this camera a lot and only problem i have found is that there is no sound which can be very annoying when using the video camera part of the cam,
This camera is easy enough for my 7 yr old son to use, and even my almost 5 yr old can take photos with this....one little tip though is to keep the camera positioned whilst taking a photo because if you move the camera whilst the flash is going it doesn't give best photo, You really need to hold it in position for a second after the flash has gone.
Another downside is the speed of the camera, If you are outside or using camera in good lighting then theres no problem you can snap away happily, but if you need to use the flash then it can take a good few seconds before it is ready to go again....I have missed good photos a few times because of this.
I have given this camera 4**** because it is good value for money, takes good photos, and is a small camera and not heavy so fits in my bag easily.
I have taken 1* away only because it has no sound and for the speed of taking pics.
I will happily pass this camera on for my children to use when i buy a more suitable camera with sound and timer.
Thanks for reading, I hope this has been of some help to you!
visit www.trust.com for more information.