by K. Samwell on July 10, 2007 in Digital Cameras
Expensive cameras are not for everyone, but everyone does want a camera with ample qualities to get the job done. DXG realizes this and as a result, they have released their 506V digital camera. To call it a digital camera is an understatement though, as it can act as a web cam, MP3 player and even a voice recorder.
Presto Video Works is the packaged video editor. I toyed with this briefly using other videos I have, not the ones taken with the camera as they either did not download off the camera properly or were corrupted in the transfer.
This software requires relatively quick installation and the usual caveats and agreements, however it does require that you restart your computer to effectively finish the install.
Mr Photo is the packaged picture editor, and it’s more than a little fun to toy with. I’m an avid Photoshop user so I normally steer clear of little apps like this, but it was surprisingly intuitive to use, had some fun functions and seem to suit the camera’s target audience as well.
Again, quick installation and setup, and you know me, never read the help file or the instructions so I dove in and played a bit. You can view all your image files in one folder as thumbnails of almost any size, using the slider to the upper right.
Then I found the toys!
Besides the usual trim, resize, rebalance colour and all that, there were some great alterations that could be placed on the pictures such as borders, effects and shaping.
But my all time favourite was the image mash up, or as they called it PhotoComposer. You take two images and combine them together. I put one of the Easter Island heads into the picture of the lone flooded tree, he’s just poking his head in, saying hi.
See the results…
I was surprised at the simplicity of execution in what is normally a quite involved task. Had I done this exact task in Photoshop, it would have probably taken me longer.
Both forced themselves (and some other things) into my startup HLKM/Run registry key however thankfully I have Mike Lin’s Startup Control Panel to get rid of those quickly.
Ok, this camera was slammed in reviews by other people who think it’s supposed to do the same job as a top of the line all in one camera. If you pay $2k for a camera it’s going to perform better than paying $100 for a camera, and you shouldn’t expect any more from the less expensive one. Stop whining and take this camera for what it is, a fun summer toy.
Give this camera to your kids when they go to camp.
Take this camera on a weekend holiday.
Take this camera to parties.
Take this camera to the beach.
Use this as a webcam that can also be used on the go as a voice recorder/reminder.
Fill this camera with pictures and send it to a friend.
Keep it in your car in case of an accident, you can get digital pics right away.
Keep it at work for those impromptu moments.
Think of this as the first camera you won’t cry over if you lose. It’s only $100 people, the 4GB flash drive I put in it cost almost as much. Of course if you drop it, it’s going to break and guess what, so is your $2,000 camera.
DXG has made a camera that isn’t some serious piece of hardware to be babied and coddled, it’s a fun little bonus to have with you. You’re not going to record your wedding photos on this, and it may not capture that pic of the Loch Ness monster at dusk, but your outdoor, fun in the sun pictures and movies turn out great. Use it for that and quit complaining it won’t take perfect pictures in the dark.
Cameraphiles aren’t going to buy this device nor should they, but an 8 year old is going to absolutely LOVE it, and that right there is worth it. I recommend this camera be purchased for the audience it was intended; youth. It will be everything they need and more, without emptying your wallet.
I give this camera montage a 7/10, with the only detractors being a little awkward to hold in your right hand, some shutter stutter, and issues with downloading the videos. Oh and that missing tripod mount threw me for a curve. But all those were easily overcome by the rather amazing photos, the surprising abilities of the webcam function, the added voice recorder feature and the ease of use. It does so much for so little, and in a nice package. Personally, reviewers don’t always get to keep the items they review, and this is the one item I wish I had been allowed to keep past the review deadline.
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