Most helpful positive review
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
A great camera and so much more too.....................
on December 30, 2006
This is a great great unit. I say unit because it is so much more than a camera. But make no mistake, this is also a great camera. This is my second digital camera and suits my needs perfectly. I was looking for a compact camera with true optical zoom to take on my bike rides. The addition of an MP3 player, personal media player (to play DVDs) , voice recorder and text viewer were nice pluses. Let me first talk about the many camera features since this was the most important to me.
All the controls are logical and easy to use once you get past the initial learning curve. Point and shoot...no problem...turn the dial to the clearly marked green AUTO, press the shutter half way to focus and all the way to shoot....nice picture...rich in colors, clear, focused ...perfect. Need to zoom...press up on the zoom...it automatically stops before the digital zoom. The zoom setting shows on the screen with a slider. Need more zoom...push up again for another 5x digital zoom. I've found the digital zoom to work quite well...nice pictures...not too much noise. Focus is a breeze, there is a nice box in the middle of the screen which turns green and beeps when the camera is in focus. The camera turns on quickly and is ready for another shot shortly after the first....much faster than my other digital camera (HP-R717).
So...you want more control...use the scene mode. Turn the dial to scene and press the OK button ...lots of scene types to choose from (sunset, portrait, landscape...etc. no panorama though). Oh and when you turn the dial, the wheel shows on screen clearly showing you which mode you are in....you don't need to look at the writing on the dial....nice...particularly if you need reading glasses like I do.
Want to get really fancy, try the program mode. In this mode you can try the many "effects" programmed into the camera. These include...composite (select from 4 different types of composite pictures...I like this effect a lot), photo frame (a fanciful set of boarders that can frame your picture ...nice fun), color pallet (change the picture to black and white, sepia, red hue, blue hue, green hue or negative), highlight (sharpen the focus and blur the rest of pre-selected portions of the picture). Or perhaps you want to adjust the exposure...hit the +/- button and change at will. You can also change the RGB balance, ISO from 80 to 1000 or the white balance.
In all camera modes you can select macro or super macro mode. These modes open a whole new world of photography for you, allowing you to get in very close to your subject. Want to take pictures of ants...no problem.
Turn the dial to anti shake mode and take two pictures...one with flash and one without. Both pictures are displayed simultaneously along with a zoomed in view and you can select which one you want to keep. Alternately, you can just take the photo without the flash and see only one picture.
Once your picture is taken it is simple to add a voice comment. You can also zoom in on the picture, crop it and even remove red eye if there is any. The red eye removal works very well most of the time and frankly I haven't seen that this camera generates much to begin with.
So now you've got lots of pictures and want to see a slide show. You can select the interval (1sec, 3sec, 5 sec, 10 sec), transitions and play or repeat play....you can't select the starting photo...all are shown. You can even add music of your choice to the show...turn the dial to MP3 first and a push of the button or two and you are there. Unfortunately the camera doesn't rotate pictures for you automatically and though you can manually rotate them, they don't stay rotated. Not a big issue though.
The flash is a marvel in that it can light up large areas...very powerful. I recently took many outdoor Christmas light pictures and was very pleased with the results. One thing I did notice is occasionally the presence of small white spheres in the picture as a result of the flash hitting dust particles in the air. I actually like the effect of this. It doesn't happen all the time so if you don't like it, you can just retake the picture.
Want to take a movie, turn the magic dial to movie press the shutter once to start and once to stop. You can zoom in and out with ease and it doesn't corrupt the sound. I've only tried the low resolution movie mode but there are also higher resolution modes to choose from. The movies are not bad and the sound pick up is very sensitive.
Uploading pictures is easy. Just plug in the USB cable (which also charges your camera....nice), press the shutter and connection is established. The included computer image manipulation software has many bells and whistles and serves me well. You will be very happy with the quality of the pictures. I've no doubt that other cameras take equally good pictures, but I doubt other cameras have all the features of this one.
OK, now that we've established that this is a capable full featured digital camera lets talk about all the other features.
I've got a 2 gig card loaded with my favorite music. The MP3 mode lets me listen to music either on headphones or through the built in stereo speakers. I have to admit I was skeptical about the speakers before I heard them. I was very pleasantly surprised to find how good and loud they sound. Many different sound stages are included so you can adjust the sound texture to your liking. You can select between random play or repeat play or single play or ...etc. You can organize your music into different folders but it won't traverse folders while in play. This means random play only works within a folder. Of course with enough memory you can combine all your music into one folder as well as keeping it in separate folders, then you can random play from the combined folder for a broad selection of random play.
So there you are riding along on your bike, listening to your favorite music and you feel the urge to snap a quick picture....just push the shutter and snap it without missing a beat. You won't have all the features and options available for taking the picture but big deal. If you want it all just turn the dial to the picture mode of your choice and snap away....turn it back to MP3 and start listening to the same music selection...very easy. Pausing and skipping music are also easy, requiring only one button push.
You're stuck in an airport or car and need entertainment....turn the dial to PMP and watch your favorite DVD movie. This requires a bit of preparation in that you first need to convert your DVD to and AVI file format (there are many software packages on the internet that do this). Then convert the AVI to a format the NV3 can play using the included Digimax converter. A full DVD shrinks to about 200meg or so...way cool. I've got several stored on my 2 gig card.
So there you have it, a truly versatile camera/entertainment center. You will find new ways and opportunities to use this unit's many features. I love it and so will you.