Probably one of the easiest cameras to identify, the unique square "futuristic" design often makes the camera appear to be bigger (in photographs) than it really is. In my hand it fits very well (being the same height as my palm) and the handgrip is just about the right depth for comfortable carriage. Add to that the addition of a hand strap (Nikon, where's yours?) and the DC265 is a comfortably sized and easy to carry camera. Weight balance is good, the batteries and CF card are in the hand grip which balances the weight well with the lens on the left, because of this CF cards and batteries can be changed whilst the camera is still on a tripod, however the tripod mount is not in line with the axis of the lens (optimal for panoramas) but is instead offset right of center of the body.
also note the carefully moulded thumb grip on the left
hand bottom corner, this hints as to how to hold the camera
for maximum stability and its corresponding rubber finger
grip on the front left - shown here.
To get a better idea of the size of the camera I did a quick comparison (lens extended) with the Nikon Coolpix 950 and Canon Powershot Pro 70:
As you can clearly see the DC265 is slightly smaller width-wise than the 950 and Pro70 (which are about the same width), it's worth noting however that the DC265 is slightly taller than both other cameras. Weight wise the DC265 is just slightly heavier (very hard to tell) than the Coolpix 950.
Rear LCD Display
LCD on the DC265 is bright and clear when viewing images,
the use of the Digita operating system displays information
over the image. When you're taking a shot it doesn't provide
you with any more information than the status of the space
free on the CF card and internal DRAM (shown as bars along
the top of the LCD).
There are a few niggles with the LCD:
It's fixed, that means unlike many other digital cameras you can't tip or rotate it which means taking photographs low down or at odd angles becomes fairly difficult.
- In high contrast situations such as taking an indoor shot next to a window their is fairly noticeable streaks eminating from the bright objects straight across the preview image.
- Image preview is slow, jerky and covered in coloured artifacts. When you move the camera around you can see that the update is around 3-4fps however until the image "settles down" there are odd cyan and magenta streaks left behind from the movement (example below). The preview image is also quite grainy and turns almost completely RED in low light situations.
These problems certainly don't make the LCD unusable, far from it, but they can become annoying at times and do make taking action shots very difficult. I did have one other problem which occured after switching from review to capture mode, the LCD became a jumble of pure noise.. The camera was operating correctly apart from that. A power-cycle fixed this problem and it did only occur once (battery power problem?).
Top "Status" LCD
The top status LCD displays the following information: flash mode (auto / red-eye / fill / off), exposure compensation (+/-2.0EV) / external flash aperture mode, picture type (still / burst / time-lapse), quality (best / better / good), battery status, IrDA status, pictures remaining and self-timer indicator.
The select and scroll controls directly next to the display are used to scroll through each option on the display and change the setting without having to go into the rear LCD menu system (details of controls later).