Top of camera controls

The top of the 812 is very straightforward. At the front we have the shutter release button (which has a half-way focus point) surrounded by the record mode dial, this allows you to select between movie, self-timer and auto record modes. Directly below this is the rubber power on/off button. One press on, one press off. No 'hold' is required to power the camera on or off. By default the LCD monitor is not on at power-up, you must press the display button.

Record Mode

Movie mode

Switches the camera to movie record mode, in this mode you can record 320 x 240, 20 fps MPEG movie clips with audio for a maximum of 60 seconds. White balance and zoom are locked during recording. It takes approximately 35 seconds to write a full 60 second clip to the SD card.
Self-timer record mode

Identical to auto record mode (below) except that the exposure will be delayed by a 10 second self-timer. During the self-timer the red lamp beside the viewfinder will blink and a 10 to 1 countdown will be displayed on the LCD monitor.
Auto record mode

The 812's primary exposure mode, it's fully automatic. No control of white balance or exposure compensation (settings which should really be available in any level of digital camera).

Rear of camera controls

The back of the 812 is fairly straightforward, all buttons are made from a rubber material except for the blue OK button which appears to be plastic. Note that flash and focus settings are not only displayed on the LCD monitor but are repeated by LED's directly above the control buttons. I had two problems with this setup. The first is that the LED's themselves are located quite near to the viewfinder and can be distracting, secondly that they are very bright, that in itself is a distraction.


Flash Mode

Toggles through the flash modes (LED lights above selected mode):

 • Auto Flash (no LED)
 • Flash Cancel
 • Flash with red-eye reduction
 • Flash On
Focus mode

Select focus mode mode:

 • Normal focus (no LED)
 • Macro focus
Zoom wide angle

Zooms the camera's lens towards the wide angle focal length of 37 mm (35 mm equiv.). A full zoom from tele to wide takes 1.5 seconds. The 812 has 7 zoom positions from tele to wide (inclusive).
Zoom telephoto

Zooms the camera's lens towards the telephoto focal length, maximum optical zoom of 111 mm (35 mm equiv.). A full zoom from wide to tele takes 1.5 seconds. If you press this button after full telephoto the camera enters digital zoom mode, the 812 doesn't magnify the live view image, instead it indicates the digital zoom with a red frame indicator. The 812 has 7 zoom positions from wide to tele (inclusive).

Display mode

Selects a display mode for the LCD monitor (default is off):

 • LCD on
 • LCD off

Image Mark

Image Mark displays a menu which allows you to mark images for printing (one or two copies) or for e-mail. If not already in play mode pressing this button displays the last image taken.

 • Print 1 copy
 • Print 2 copies
 • E-mail

Enters / leaves camera menu.
4-way controller

In image review mode the left and right arrows are used to browse through images. The 812 has a unique 'smooth scroll' between each image. Otherwise this controller is used primarily to navigate menu options.
OK Image Review (Play mode)

Pressing the OK button in record mode displays and instant review of the last shot taken. Use the left and right arrows to browse, press OK again or half-press the shutter release to return to shooting mode.