Sunday, October 10, 2004

Mustek DV5000 review

I've used my Mustek DV5000 multi-function digital camera for a while now and I must say I'm really liking it. Not loving it, but it's really neatykeen.

The size: It's truly pocket sized and fits in the palm of your hand. About the size of a pack of cigarettes, only thicker.
Its versatility: It's a video camera, a still camera, a voice recorder and an MP3 player.
The simplicity: I was up and running without reading the manual in a matter of seconds after inserting the batteries. There are nine buttons out of which seven or eight really matter and you'll mostly be using at most four of them. The icons onscreen are intuitive but may take some quick leafing through the manual to make sure what they really mean.
Night Shot and flash: For poor light, you can turn on Night Shot which enhances the picture (both in video and still mode). The flash seems powerful but doesn't reach far. Good for a small to medium room perhaps.

Simplicity: There are no advanced functions, for example locking the light or white balance or manually selecting shutter speed. It's all continually adapting.
Screen: The screen only folds straight out, it's not tiltable, that's a feature on the followup DV5500, but this DV5000 is good enough (and better/more functions than the DV4000). The screen is also so small you can't really tell from the preview if it's blurry or not.
Artefacts: There are artefacts sometimes (white, green or red pixels that shouldn't be there) when shooting objects with much detail or when using the digital zoom.
Settings: The settings don't seem to stay until the next session. Each time I have to deselect Info to not get the date stamped onto the picture in still mode. Or Night Shot.

But hey, it's very good value for money. An Instamatic or Super-8 or Walkman all-in-one for the ... (wait for it) ... digital age! Good enough for "amateur" use, versatile and small enough for the "I wish I had a camera with me" moments.

Mustek DV5000 digital camera

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