Konica e-mini M review
I have mutiple digital cameras, and bought this one as a gift for my teenage son. He wasn't all that interested in photography, but wanted something to snap a few quick pics of friends etc. Because of this, I got him the Konica e-mini M so he could listen to all his downloaded music too. I purchased this for under $60.00 on Ebay and for the price I think it was a great value!
Having just a few months ago bought my other daughter a Polaroid 640 Plus digital camera, I have a good 640 x 480 digital camera to compare to, so this is what I can tell you:
The Konica E-Mini is easy to use, is small, compact. I thought the MP3's I loaded on to it sounded great! While the camera has no LCD screen to preview pics, the camera comes with a TV cable so you can check or view your pictures on the television. This works great too.
Built in memory (2 mb) isn't enough....you're best to get a 64 mg compact flash card (at least) so you have room for lost of music and photos. The Konica E-Mini does not have Windows XP drivers available for it. You can get around this by using a compactflash card and a card reader (which in my opinion is much easier than hooking up the camera every time you want to transfer pictures). But if you wish to use the webcam feature of this little unit, you can't be using XP as the software won't load.
Picture quality is good for a camera of this resolution. Personally, my kids have no problem with this resolution of a camera...in fact they prefer it as the pics are the perfect size for email, and if you're not a real photo buff, the pics print out quite nice I think in snapshot size.....its not as bad as everyone would have you think with these low-res cameras! Better to go low-res digital than have no digital at all!
My only concerns about this camera (which at this price I can live with) are in the problems section.
About the ONLY INSURMOUNTABLE problem I feel this camera has is that you cannot FORCE the flash to go off. Granted this is one step up from the Kodam MC3 which has no flash at all, but a "fill flash" would have helped this camera considerably as you have to watch to make sure you have decent light available. The camera decides when the flash will go off (or you can turn it off completely for closeups etc). Sometimes I wish it would go off but it reads it as enough light. As long as you practice with this camera a bit tho, so you understand its limitations, and how to improve your shots you'll do great...
The white balance is a bit off, but this is pretty easily correctible in photo editing programs if you want to.
I always test and load all my kids cameras extensively before giving it to them so I have no birthday hassles with loading software, figuring things out etc. The Konica E-MINI was very intuitive...not a lot to figure out....very easy operation. Not a battery hog as there's no LCD display. I ALWAYS recommend NIMH rechargeables tho, but they're not what I would call a "necessity" for this camera.
My final verdict on this camera is that I'm very happy with it for a combination unit, especially at this price. Much better than the Kodak MC3. If you want a low priced camera alone tho, with no MP3 capability, I would suggest the Polaroid 640 Plus, which is selling on ebay for as low as $75.00 right now. Make sure you get the "Plus" tho as this comes with an adapter etc (it takes 4 AA batteries, and with the LCD is a bit of a camera hog, so you definately need the NIMH rechageables). The 640 Plus has the capability to force the flash, and because of that, my daughter has no problems taking great pics in all sorts of light. The reason I didn't get it for my son is that he wanted something smaller just to have for the occasional pic. The Konica E-MINI M is a fun littl unit...despite the fact I have much better digital cameras I just couldn't keep my hands off the darn lil' thing......it was just so much fun! This camera also sells under the names Pretec DC-530. Vivitar also makes the same model. I believe Premier or Premium is now also selling it with upgraded software to run with Windows XP but I'm not sure I'd spend the extra money just so I could use it as a webcam....you'be be better buying a card reader and paying the cheaper price