Friday, October 1, 2004

Point and shoot digitals on the road

Battery

The Lithium-ion battery is rechargeable and removable, so you can carry spares. However, I must say that while I'm not exactly a fashion model machine-gun shooter, the battery never ran out on me, and I've gone for days without charging it. The charging cradle will charge the battery while still in the camera, plus there is a slot to charge a spare battery at the same time.

Cost

Of course, you're wondering how much this incredible little picture box set me back. Well, you're in for a surprise because I walked out the door with it, and a nice leather carrying case, for about $279, even though the suggested retail price is $339.

I suppose one might do even better on the Internet given time and patience. I'd call this an amazing value for the quality of the product and the depth of its features.

Storage

The camera comes with a generous 10 MB of onboard memory. It's also equipped with a slot for an SD card, a feature that sold me right away, because I don't believe in the proliferation of storage card formats and try to limit mine to just SD and CF.

Conveniently, my Tablet PC also comes with built-in SD and CF slots, and it's my PDA's mothership while traveling. While the camera comes with a USB cable, I find it much more convenient to slip out the SD card and slide it into the port on the mothership. Using a 512 MB SD card, I never ran out of space on the storage card during my entire 14,000-mile trip.

RATING: 5 STARS

For the average guy, this fit-in-an-Altoids-can pocket camera, has plenty of hunk for its size, and takes pictures like the big boys. At least my publisher didn't know the difference, and he could blow my shots to the size of a billboard if he wanted to.

Denouement

I enjoyed using the Veo, and the Pentax, and found them both worthy of your consideration. The Veo is compact, easy to use, and convenient, as it just plugs into a PDA and it's ready to go. It works just fine for taking pictures to share with friends and family or to publish on the Web, but it suffers for not having a flash and from the 1.3 MP low resolution.

If you need something with greater resolution and a plethora of rather sophisticated features, don't want to be bogged down with a ball and chain, and don't want to spend a bundle, the Pentax 4Si is a perfect solution.

I suppose you could really call the Pentax S4i camera a Pocket PC because it's a Pocket Personal Camera. Therefore, you could say that I tried out two cameras on my summer travels, one was for a Pocket PC, and the other was a Pocket PC.