Pentax EI-100 review
At first, I thought it was EL-100, not EI-100... Well, that's beside the topic here.
The Pentax EI-100 is a superb camera for its money. I don't remember the exact price but I believe it to be very cheap. Since I am just a beginner in photography, I chose this camera. SLRs with manual controls might be better when I improve my skills, but at the moment, the EI-100 seemed to be a good choice.
After the initial testing to get a feel for it, I used up the four included AA-sized batteries, and immediately got another quad of Duracell AAs. I put them in, turned it on, and voila! Fresh again. But, I noticed about ten minutes later - the battery was almost down to being completely depleted. Was it the batteries' fault? Or the camera's? To test it, I bought a lot of batteries and plugged them all in. It's the camera's fault - all of my batteries got eaten up within fifteen minutes of usage. Because of that, the EI-100 has been sitting in my closet for some months, until I sent it to a Pentax authorized service center. They sent it back after two weeks or so, saying "no problem with the camera." I was infuriated. But what could I do? Having no choice, I went to the local Carrefour and bought four GP 1300 mAh rechargable batteries. They worked beautifully. I spent a whole day taking photos with it, and the battery lasted that long. Of course, I recharged them at night.
Okay, enough with the batteries. One thing the EI-100 lacks is high resolution for good image quality, but it's a low-end camera, so that is to be expected. But, for a low-end DC, it has a very good image quality. Oh, another thing that the EI-100 sadly lacks is night shot capabilities. Unless the whole area that you are going to shoot is brightened up by lights, all you are going to see are patches of black and some spots of yellow (or other color) light.
Overall, I believe that the EI-100 is a very well made camera. The construction is solid - don't be fooled by its cheap-looking plastic body. It will withstand normal usage. It's easy to use, and has nice features to go along with it. The 2X digital zoom doesn't hurt, but the image quality goes downhill with it. Also, the zoom is stepped, meaning that you go from normal zoom to 2X zoom with nothing in between. You just jump.
Kudos to Pentax for making a nice and affordable camera.
The only problem that I've encountered is the battery problem - the EI-100 eats batteries rather quickly. My sugggestion: get rechargables.
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