Most helpful positive review
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Great value, compact, good-looking
on October 22, 2002
The first camera had a faulty lens -- distant objects were unacceptably blurred and focus was not even across the frame. Also the body was coming apart at the point where the wrist strap is attached. Focus on the replacement was much better, however that camera stopped working within hours.
Luckily the third unit provided by the store has worked perfectly for a month now and I am very happy with it.
Colour is always excellent and image quality is as good as you will find on a relatively inexpensive VGA resolution camera. There is none of the unpleasant artificial sharpening that I've seen on other 640x480 models.
Low-light performance is also a pleasant surprise (for a CMOS-based camera) with good results in bright indoor lighting. The built-in flash also works well under these conditions -- just filling in the shadows enough. Shadows start to 'block up' when light-levels are lower, but even these shots have a certain gritty charm.
The camera stores up to about 60 VGA images on the internal memory. The different settings for sunny, cloudy, indoor bright and indoor dark seem to have no effect on the resulting images whatsoever.
If you don't use the flash much, the batteries appear to last for ever. I've taken around 500 images so far (maybe 25 flash shots) and the two AA batteries that came with the camera are still going strong.
There is a macro facility that focuses at about 12 inches from the subject and the switch can also be placed in an 'onofficial' midway position to focus better at around 24 inches. Which is good for taking shots of yourself with the camera at arms length. However, when used as a streaming webcam it seems to slow down a p200 way too much.
The camera is too noisey. It bleeps when you take a shot and when selecting options, it bleeps each time you click past a different setting. On self-timer it bleeps a countdown which increases in speed -- about twenty bleeps by the time it actually takes the picture. This is quite funny but an embarrassment in some situations and makes the camera unusable in many public places.
The auto-shut off is a bit too fast. The problem is that this also resets all the settings. Which is annoying if you are preparing to take a self-timer shot or waiting for something to happen.
The tripod socket is a welcome extra. The camera has stylish good looks and is extremely compact. Transfer of images to PC is simple and fast using a USB cable.
Pictures look excellent if reduced down to about 400 pixels or under and sharpened slightly -- for use on a web page for example. This is the ideal snapshot camera for any web designer.
Despite its few minor faults you can't argue with the tremendous value for money and the overall quality from this camera. The build quality and reliability has been an issue for me, so if you get a unit that doesn't seem 'right' take it back to the shop and ask them to swap it...