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Built-in Flash

FlashIs surprisingly good, especially at close range and with skintones where most digicam flash's perform least well, the flash is also equally powerful enough to light even distant objects. Red-eye reduction also worked pretty well with a pre-flash used to reduce pupil size before the main flash and capture.

Flash coverage (click for larger image) This shot of a blank wall in a dark room was taken from a distance of about 2m (6.5 ft) and shows that flash cover is *fairly* good, although you can see it leading off towards the edges of the frame.
Flash skintone example (click for larger image) An example of the good close range flash performance, anti Red-eye (although the subject wasn't looking directly at the camera) and excellent skintone rendition (and overall colour balance).

Burst mode

Burst mode on the DC265 allows you to take a burst of shots between 0.1fps and 3fps. However, the manual warns "In Burst mode, medium and standard resolutions can appear less sharp than in still picture mode", and I had to agree. One other niggle is that the LCD is turned off during burst mode which means you HAVE to use the viewfinder if you're trying to track something.

Time-lapse mode

Time-lapse is one of those features which sounds really useful but you often wonder when you'll use it (and when your batteries would last long enough), I used it to produce this animation of day turning to night here in Singapore (it happens real quick on the equator, this whole sequence was 1 frame per minute between 6:58pm and 7:26pm (28 frames).

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) marketing "ploy" to sell cameras which don't have an optical zoom. The DC265 does indeed have optical zoom, and has a range of digital zooms which can be used on top of the standard 3x optical zoom up to 2x digital zoom. They are however simply cropping (selecting the mid part of the image) and blowing-up, the only advantage in doing digital zoom inside the camera is (a) if you don't have any photo software to magnify (and interpolate) the image or (b) to digitally zoom without zooming the JPEG artifacts.

(click for full-size image) 3x zoom, no digital zoom.
(click for full-size image)

3x zoom, plus 2x digital zoom.

(Looks ok in the thumbnail, but click on it to see the full-size image).

Same area of the no digital zoom picture blown up using Photoshop's Bicubic interpolation (resampling), some slight edge sharpening artifacts but it's clear and sharper than the portion below.
Same area of the digitally zoomed picture cropped to be the same size as the above image, as you can see at least the DC265 actually interpolates the pixels (unlike the CP950) but it's still not as sharp as the blown up portion above.
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