I bought a camera from Dixons for Â£20 the other day, just because I thought it might be fun to have a cheap and nasty camera that I could keep in my jacket and never again would I have to think ‘damn, wish I had my camera with me’.
Its about the same size as a credit card (width and height) and about half a centimetre thick. i.e. pretty damn small. My first thought was ‘cool, just what I wanted’.
The software that is supplied is very rudimetary, and unfortunately is custom software and not just your usual ‘appear as hard drive’ type device which is ashame.
The camera takes 640×480 and 320×240 sized pictures, at two different quality settings (much like jpeg quality settings I guess.) It holds 26 photos at 640×480 at the highest quality – all of the photos on this page are taken at that setting. At the lowest setting it will hold over 100 photos I believe.
The first couple of times I used it I kept losing photos. I’m fairly sure the reason for this is because I hadn’t fully charged the camera (charges while plugged into the computer via USB). After I fully charged the camera I haven’t had any problems.
It is fairly demanding of light – and often refuses to take photos if there isn’t enough light. Cloudy days appear as very dark images and there’s not much you can do to retrieve any detail. The look of the pictures has a very grainy feel to it, which seems to give the pictures a definate ‘look’ – which if you’re ok with is fine. We’re not going to get brilliant pictures out of Â£20 after all.
It is also quite sensitive about movement. Holding the camera still is very important. I’m guessing its shutter speed is not too fast, and hence pictures can blur quite a bit – again the more light the better for this as well. It also seems to blank out sky, or areas where there are a lot of light in some photos.
For Â£20 I think its quite good, once you’ve charged it up and remember to stay very still and only take photos of things in the light. Initially I wasn’t very happy – but after taking more photos I think I’m quite enjoying the experience.