Top of Camera Controls

Top of Camera controls (click for larger image)

Top of the controls are arranged around the status LCD, on the right hand side is the POWER button, press once to power-up, hold for more than two seconds to power-down. Forward of this is the shutter release which is a traditional two position; half-press to pre-focus and fully press to take. Tap the self-timer button to put the camera in self-timer mode.

SCROLL allows you to move through the various options available on the top status LCD and toggle through their various values by pressing SELECT, these options are:

Flash mode Off, Auto, Fill, Red-eye
Exposure compensation +/-2.0EV in 0.5 EV steps
Picture mode Still, Burst, Time-lapse
Picture quality Good, Better, Best

Rear of Camera controls

Rear of Camera controls (click for larger image)

Top right you can see the Wide / Tele ZOOM rocker. I actually quite liked this design and feel, it was fairly free to move but felt solidly enough built to last, one niggle may be that it's not proportional to the amount the camera zooms, it may have been nice to have slower zooming on a slight movement of the rocker and more on a full movement. It would also be worth pointing out how NOISY the zoom (and lens extension on power-up) is on the DC265, this is probably one of the noisiest digital cameras I've used.

Bottom right is the four-way controller which is used to navigate images in playback and menus in the menu system. Around the edge of the controller is the mode dial which allows you to choose between CAPTURE (take photographs), REVIEW (playback / delete), CONNECT (PC/Mac connect mode) and INFO (software version etc.) modes.

Above this is the LCD with its three "softkeys" which perform different functions depending on the on-screen menu (sort of ATM style).

On the left are found the DISPLAY (in Capture mode turn the LCD on/off, in Review mode change from full screen to thumbnail view), MENU (enter/exit menu system) and RECORD (in Capture mode hold down to record a voice annotation).

One other control you can't see on the above image is the volume control for voice annotation playback which is on the rounded edge of the speaker on the left hand side.

I found the layout of the rear controls fairly intuitive and easy to get used to. However the menu system is slightly overloaded, there are plenty of features inside there which I would like to have seen on the top status display or accessible through external buttons such as White Balance, Focus and Metering modes, Long exposure and Manual Focus. It's also worth noting that there is no Aperture or Shutter priority modes on the DC265 (unless you use a third-party Digita script). This does mean that the DC265 loses out on manual controls and features either because it doesn't have them or they're just too cumbersome to use in the field.

Perhaps having some programmable buttons on the top of the camera which could be preset (attached to a script) by the user through the operating system.