Epson PhotoPC 550 review
I rated the construction average because although this camera has held up for 2½ years of almost continuous, go anywhere, let anyone use it duty, it does have a flimsy battery cover. It was often taken when a Nikon 900 I had would get left behind while the Epson 550 was stuffed in the pocket. (The Nikon, despite gentle treatment, died anyway.
I initially rated features as "Poor," but then thought about the voice annotation, pocketability, and great battery life. Wish it had flash and a zoom. Can't really say I miss a power-hungry LCD.
Image quality was pretty good in its day, but I will readily admit that new cameras do better. I have seen a few new cameras that are worse, though when they are operated at 640x480. Saturation is usually very good--almost too much. White balance varies--two pictures taken within a few seconds of each other that should be the same may not have the same balance. Low light is great for its vintage, and indoor hand-held turn out better than one would expect.
Ease of use--super simple.
Value--got it late 1998 for $200, then bought an 8MB SmartMedia for about $25.
Yes, I am searching for an upgrade to the Epson 550. But after having such a sweet little pocket camera, I bet I will give up something (like a 10X stabilized zoom, CD-RW or Microdrive, and a LITTLE bit of image quality) in order to have a camera that is so easy to always have at hand in the pocket.
Twice the SmartMedia card was not recognized as being in the camera. The first time I took it out and reseated it, and it worked. The second time I had to do it several times before the camera recognized it. If it happens again I will try a gentle squirt of contact cleaner on the card--not into the camera!
Battery cover broke on both this one and my dad's. My wife located replacement covers for $15 each in Kingsburg, CA.-- I can't remember the name of the store. Got the name of the store by calling Epson.