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Top of camera controls

Top of the camera is the main mode dial, it switches between the various shooting / playback modes for the camera, in the center of this dial is single push power on/off button, luckily the dial is located far enough away from the shutter release not to suffer the same fate as Olympus's C2000Z which was plagued by mistaken power offs (when people were actually hunting for the shutter release button). Beside the mode dial are quality, flash and self-timer buttons. All described in more detail below:

Mode
 
Description

Multiple Exposures

Sub-modes:
• Video Clip (up to 25 second video clips)
• Continuous shooting (up to 2 fps in VGA, 1 fps in normal)
• Time Lapse (interval between 10 seconds to 24 hours)

Photography mode with LCD on

For taking single frame shots using the LCD to frame the scene, and recording audio annotations (up to 10 seconds per frame)
Photography mode with LCD off (viewfinder only)

In this mode you rely on the top LCD for status information and must use the viewfinder to frame the scene.
Playback images, movies & audio clips

Enter playback mode, immediately displays the last image taken.
External connect mode

For connection to external computer / printer by USB or Serial.
Camera setup mode

For general camera setup and settings specific to different camera modes.

Button
 
Action

Change Image Quality/Resolution

Pressing this button scrolls through each of the four possible image quality settings: (reflected on the main LCD and top status LCD)

Two stars (Default) - Fine, 2048 x 1536 ~ 420 KB
   (or 2048 x 768 for panoramas)
Three stars - Super-Fine, 2048 x 1536 ~ 750 KB
   (or 2048 x 768 for panoramas)
Three stars + H - HyPict Interpolated, 2544 x 1904 ~ 1 MB
   (or 2544 x 952 for panoramas, or 2048 x 1536 TIFF)
One star - Standard, 640 x 480 ~ 90 KB
    (or 640 x 240 for panoramas)

Change Flash Mode

Toggles the through each of the five flash modes:

Automatic - camera decides when to use flash based on light levels
Redeye reduction - camera fires a strobe of pre-flashes to reduce the redeye effect before taking the actual shot (introduces a 2 second delay to shooting)
Forced Flash - flash always fires, useful for fill-in situations
Flash Off - Disable flash (my favorite mode ;)
Slow Synchro - Slow shutter speed flash shot (either Trailing or Leading flash)

Toggle Self Timer

Switches self timer on or off

A good set of sensible basic controls, having them here next to the status LCD means that you can make basic settings changes without having to have the LCD monitor on (if that's how you prefer to work). The only other button / setting I'd like to have seen here is macro mode (although that's easily accessible with the LCD monitor switched on).


Rear of camera controls

On the rear of the camera, surrounding the LCD are seven multifunction buttons. Each button takes on a different role based on the current camera and menu mode. The MENU On/Off button allows you to remove the menu text from the LCD for shooting with a clear monitor. Although quite "ATM style" this layout actually becomes quite intuitive and makes changing camera settings and modes really rather easy.

The only other control on the back of the camera is the zoom lever which sits under your thumb when gripping the camera, although it looks like two buttons it's actually a single lever which rolls quite easily (and fairly accurately changes the focal length).

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