Top of camera controls

Top controls (click for larger image)
Top of the camera are the SCROLL and SELECT buttons which are used to scroll through various camera settings (press SCROLL) and alter that setting (press SELECT), each of these settings are as described in the Top status LCD section above. Also on the top is the self-timer button, power button (press to power on, requires a 2+ second hold to power off). Above this is the shutter release button which has a fairly nice feel for half-press and full-press.

Rear of camera controls

Rear controls (click for larger image)

The DISPLAY and MENU buttons are used to control the LCD screen, pressing DISPLAY enables the live preview image (not on at power-up by default), MENU is used to enter and exit Menu mode. The three silver buttons located below the LCD associate themselves with options indicated by labels displayed on the LCD screen. The RECORD button is used to record voice annotations associated with photographs.

Directly below the LCD is the main mode dial which controls the primary camera mode, CAPTURE, REVIEW, CONNECT or INFO. In the center of the dial is the cursor pad used to navigate the menu system.

CAPTURE mode controls, display & menus

In capture mode we can control flash, exposure compensation, single/continuous shooting, image quality and self-timer mode all from external controls. To make other changes such as resolution, white balance, long exposures, focus modes (including manual focus) you have to go into the on-screen menu. I timed how long it would take to switch from Auto white balance to fluorescent white balance, it took 7 seconds� Which is kind of a long time, in my review of the DC265 I quibbled about the lack of controls on the body of the camera, forcing users to go into the menu system to make simple camera setting changes� No improvement with the DC290.

In live preview mode (press DISPLAY) you get a live view of the scene which is perfectly ok in good light but grainy / covered in horizontal lines in low light. No other information is overlayed here and DC265 owners may note that the remaining internal DRAM status bar has disappeared.

The status line on the top indicates either Ready, Not Enough Light, Out of Range, Processing Pictures or Battery Low. Along the bottom of the LCD are softkey options Still (switch between Still, Burst and Time-lapse modes), Overlay (turn menu and status text overlays on and off) and Status (show current camera settings such as Picture Type, Quality, Resolution and File Type).

Briefly after taking the shot a review image ("QuickView") is displayed, this is an opportunity to check the shot and delete the image if it's not wanted.

Entering the menu system in capture mode displays the Digita menu system (example left) which is logically sectioned, each section represented by an icon, within each section are various sub-menus.

Each sub-menu option can be scrolled through and settings are stored or canceled using the softkeys below the LCD (example of a sub-menu left).
If there is any text entry to be made (such as creating an album) it is performed by scrolling through an alphabet and picking each letter one at a time.

Entering MENU mode displays the following menus:

Resolutions: Ultra (interpolated) = 2240 x 1500, High = 1792 x 1200, Medium = 1440 x 960, Standard = 720 x 480

Section Sub-Menu Sub-Menu Options

 Picture Type

Flash (Off, Auto, Fill, Red-Eye)
Quality (Uncmp, Good, Better, Best)
Resolution (Standard, Medium, High, Ultra)

Burst Quality (Uncmp, Good, Better, Best)
Resolution (Standard, Medium, High, Ultra)
Burst Rate (0.1fps, 0.2fps, 0.5fps, 1fps, 2fps, 3fps) - 3fps only at Standard Resolution
Time-lapse Flash (Off, Auto, Fill, Red-Eye)
Quality (Uncmp, Good, Better, Best)
Resolution (Standard, Medium, High, Ultra)
Interval (1 min to 24 hrs)
No. of pictures (2 to 1000)

New Album... Create new album (text entry)

 White Balance

Date and Time... Type (None, Date, Time, Both)
Left Offset (%)
Top Offset (%)
Transparency (Off, On)
Text Color (Color picker)
Background (Color picker)
Text Watermark... Text (On/edit, Off)
Left, Top, Transparency, Color as above
Logo... Logo (On/choose, Off)
Left, Top as above

Exposure Modes

Programmed AE  
Long Time Exposure... Exposure Time (0.5sec - 16sec in 0.5sec increments)
Exposure Lock Takes one image to lock exposure
External Flash... Aperture (F3, F4, F5.6, F8, F11, F16)

 Advanced Focus
Multi-Spot Auto Focus
(three spot focus algorithm)
Single-Spot Auto Focus
(single-spot focus algorithm center of frame)
Manual Focus... Focus Distance (50cm, 70cm, 1m, 2m, 3m, 5m, 10m, 20m, Infinity) (also represented as feet)

Capture Preferences QuickView (Off, 0.5s, 1s - 30s in 1s increments)
Auto Rotate (On, Off)
System Sounds (On, Off)
Sleep Timeout (1min - 5 mins in 0.5min inc)
Remote Shutter (On, Off)
Date and Time... Set date and time and display format
Camera Name... Set the camera name (text entry)