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Entry Level Digital Camera For Newbies?

Reviewing: Polaroid Pdc5080  |  Rating:
countryboy71 By countryboy71 on
Badge: Author | Level: 2 | Cameras Expertise:

We purchased the PDC5080 last year, and initially I was pleased with the product. However, after realizing it was not an “out of the box ready” digital camera, I was a bit disappointed. Let me explain.

The display is fine, although a bit small, but considering the price of the camera I was okay with it. The internal memory storage is a bit skimpy at 16MB, but it has a slot for the usual SanDisk or similar media card. I put in 256MB and have never needed anything more. The resolution ranges from 640x480 to 2592x1944, or just over 5 mega pixels. This has proven to be fine for me, and I have no idea what anyone would need a bigger picture for anyway.

The difficulty comes in adjusting the other multiple settings of the camera, such as quality level, exposure, white balance, and ISO. These are not things I was familiar with initially, coming from a simple 35mm “insert film here and take your picture” camera. Adjusting these settings is a very fine balancing act, especially if you are having to use the flash. Too much exposure or too long of an ISO and your pictures are all washed out. Too little, and they’re too dark - even with the flash.

In addition the PDC5080 boasts a 4X digital zoom, which sounds all good to the newbie. Nowhere does it tell you that what you really want for quality zooming capabilities is optical zoom. Digital zoom leaves everything to be desired. What I discovered after talking to other digital camera owners is that the mid to high end price range cameras have all of these functions into a simple selection settings where the one setting changes all of the needed components to make the shot viable.

In the end and for the price tag, I guess this isn’t too bad of a camera to get started with. However, one thing I have learned is still true in the world of digital cameras: you get what you pay for.