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    Samsung DigiMax 800K

    My first impression of this camera is that it's really cheap. Extremely lightweight, and no LCD screen. Only 2MB of SmartMedia memory too. The specs are pretty good though.
    • Fixed-focus lens lets you choose between close-ups (as close as 8 1/2 inches) or wide-angle shots with just the flick of a switch.
    • 2-MB removable SmartMedia memory card can store as many as 15 standard-quality images.
    • CCD processor delivers fine-quality images with resolution as high 800k pixels (or 1024 x 768). *This is not a software trick guys! This is actual resolution!
    • Optical viewfinder saves battery power and lets you get the best shot.
    • RS-232 serial cable quickly transmits images from the camera to your computer.
    • Built-in timer lets you get in your own pictures.
    • Built-in flash has 2 settings (auto and fill-in flash).
    It comes with a strap, a pouch, and two panasonic alkaline AA batteries which was a nice touch. I did a few test pics to try it out, none were worth posting (seems that close-ups with the flash on don't come out well). My wife Jeannie wanted to go out to the park today, so I decided now was a good time to test it out, see how it'd hold up to regular everyday use (most guys don't buy digital cameras to take close-up pics of their hardware at night anyways). So, completely disregarding the manual and any necessary adjustments that should be made, we head out with a fresh set of Renewal batteries (rechargeable alkaline, so I can tell how regular batteries will hold up, without breaking the bank).

    First stop, Subway, not much to report there (each got a footlong sub with a drink and two cookies). Then we head on out to the park. After we finish eating, we decide to give the ducks some food (and get some good photo ops).

    Here's the first duck my wife fed. I thought I had her in the pic, I guess not. And to prove that I did no touch-ups whatsoever, you can plainly see my thumb in this pic (DOH!).

    Here's the second pic I took, much better. After you're done staring at that beautiful lady on the right (she's taken, that's my wife), take a look at the rest of the picture. I'm sure most of you are thinking "Well, that's ok, but it's nowhere close to my 'real' camera." And that's true, this is not meant to replace your 35mm camera, or even your >$400 digital camera. Remember though that this is a <$200 camera (mine was $130 shipped), which puts many $200-$400 cameras to shame (not naming any names here *cough* Mavica *cough*).

    This third one here was a mistake. My wife couldn't figure it out, so I just showed her how to push the button, listen for the beep, and wait till it stopped saying "busy." But I'm not going to leave anything out here, that wouldn't be fair.

    You can tell the blurriness in the fourth pic, especially in myself and the grass. And no it's not really that bright.....I just need to get out in the sun more often.

    I have no idea what happened on this picture, it's way WAY too dark. I assume my wife hit the button too quick, you're supposed to press it halfway, pause (to let it sense how much light there is), then press the rest of the way. This may have had nothing to do with it.....nevertheless it wasn't a good pic, and an LCD screen to preview them would have come in handy here.

    My wife liked these ducks, so I snapped a quick pic of them. Great quality, I was pleasantly surprised.

    Another picture, another thumb. It wasn't that blurry, maybe the others were my wife's shaky hands? Oh, and she's going to school to be a flight nurse, I'm sure those shaky hands won't get in the way (j/k).

    My wife loves this duck (or is it a goose?). You can see that objects at a distance are quite blurry, but up close aren't all that bad.

    Here's a much better picture of myself. I knew it was going to turn out dark, so I'm not going to complain.

    This picture I was going to use the flash on so I could see my wife, but the camera would beep and turn itself off when I turned the flash mode to "auto." The batteries were pretty much dead at this point. She did come out a little better than me, I assume it's because I always push the button halfway, then the rest of the way to snap pictures (something I picked up from my trusty ol' 35mm).

    What are my initial impressions? Well, this thing EATS batteries, I mean I put two brand new AA batteries in there, and on the 10th pic I can't use the flash? I admit, if I used a lower resolution they'd last longer, but who wants a 1024x768 camera to take pics at 640x480 all the time? And with no LCD (that's another gripe too), this thing should last forever! And the 2MB SmartMedia card isn't much, but it is upgradeable. On the plus side, it's dirt cheap, takes respectable pictures, and is extremely lightweight.

    I know that ten pictures, all outdoors, aren't enough to persuade many people one way or the other to get this camera. If you are going to take a ton of pictures outdoors, and want a good cheap camera, I think this would be a good choice. Just stock up on those Renewals, you're definitely going to need them :) More to come later....

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