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Internal Flash

The internal flash on the MX-2700 is fairly small but performs well, in M-REC mode you can adjust the flash output by -0.6EV, -0.3EV, +0.3EV or +0.6EV, this makes for a flexible and controllable flash system. Without compensation the flash performed well, with it you've got the flexibility to choose just HOW your flash shot turns out, if only all internal flash units worked this well.


(the slight differences flash compensation makes)

Taken from a distance of about 10 feet, the MX-2700's flash isn't that powerful and you can see drop-off at the outer edges. Skin tone test fairly close, good results here the MX-2700 gave good neutral skin tones with no pasty colours or wash-out. A good camera for snapping people up close.
Close macro flash shot with a -0.6EV flash adjustment, perfectly lit (slightly underexposed but that was my choice - better than over). Not the most flattering shot I've ever taken but it shows that the red-eye reduction works well (0.5s before main flash pre-flash).

Overall the MX-2700 flash is a good performer, not long-range powerful but you wouldn't expect that on such a small camera, howeve it's a well measured neutrally coloured flash which doesn't over expose, the addition of flash EV compensation is welcome.

Digital Zoom

Readers of my reviews will know I'm not a huge fan of digital zoom as it's often a badly implemented and seldom used (by owners). The MX-2700 doesn't have optical zoom, but does have two digital zoom settings which can be used. These zoom levels are 1.2x and 2.5x. They are however simply cropping (selecting the mid part of the image), oddly the MX-2700 doesn't attempt to "blow up" the cropped images to the previously selected resolution (ie. 1800 x 1200) but rather just stores the image as the "crop", you end up with either a 1280 x 1024 or 640 x 480 image. Which also gives you three different aspect ratios... odd.

These five shots were taken from the same position of the same subject (a map) at no digital zoom, 1.2x and 2.5x (you can click on any thumbnail on this strip to view the original full-size image).

  

No digital zoom
(1800 x 1200)
1.2x digital zoom
(1280 x 1024)
2.5x digital zoom
(640 x 480)

The "digital zoom" is measured by the height of the cropped image (1024 x 1.2 ~= 1200), what the digital zoom on the MX-2700 effectively gives you is:

No digital zoom: 1800 x 1200, 35mm lens (3:2 aspect ratio)
1.2x digital zoom: 1280 x 1024, 42mm lens (5:4 aspect ratio)
2.5x digital zoom: 640 x 480, 87mm lens (4:3 aspect ratio)

So what's the advantage of digital zoom? If you're not worried about the loss in resolution then image sizes are smaller for "zoomed" images.

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