Olympus D-100 Review

Steve's Digicams

Olympus Camedia D-100

Record & Playback Features

The D-100 does not put much information on the LCD screen because it is not intended to be a full information type of viewfinder, being only 1.5 inches in size there isn't a whole lot of room for info there.

Olympus Camedia D-100

The lens is a fixed focal length but there is a variable 1-2X digital zoom option. As with all digital zooms it simply enlarges the center portion of the frame to fill the entire frame and this generally produces a less-detailed and somewhat fuzzy image.

Olympus Camedia D-100

During playback you can get the image quality, file date and time and the image and folder number. There is no other exposure information available on the screen.

Olympus Camedia D-100

You can display and index of smaller thumbnail images to quickly browse the stored pictures. This can be four or nine images, because of the small size of the LCD it is best to display only four at a time.

Olympus Camedia D-100

During playback you can zoom-in one step to 2X to examine your stored image more closely for focus, color or composition.

Olympus Camedia D-100

Page one of the Play menu lets you delete images, protect images, delete ALL images or format the card, or begin a slide show.

Olympus Camedia D-100

Page two lets you embed DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) information for DPOF-enabled printers like the Olympus P-series with the built in card readers.

Olympus Camedia D-100

Page three has options for setting the time and date or adjusting the brightness of the color LCD display.

Steve's Conclusion

The Camedia Brio D-100 is a small (pocket-sized) digital camera that offers a combination of good image quality with point-n-shoot ease of use. It doesn't record movie clips and there's no advanced camera modes, this is simply a snapshooter's camera. It's priced within reach of most people's budget and has a robust shot to shot speed (~2.5 secs) when compared to other 1.3 megapixel cameras. It's ready to shoot about 3 seconds after you slide open the lens cover. It lacks a zoom lens but it does have a digital zoom feature to extend the range of its wide angle, fixed focal length lens.

Small cameras also mean small LCD displays, the D-100 has a better than average 1.5-inch color display. The refresh rate when used as a viewfinder is very close to real time, there is no smearing or herky-jerky motion when panning. It is bright and the colors are true but I wouldn't say it's any easier to use in the bright sun than most other LCD displays. The optical viewfinder is the best choice for most picture-taking tasks other than macro. It saves your battery power and allows the camera to be put up to your eye which is the way most of us are used to holding a camera. The optical viewfinder shows about 94% of the captured image but offers no viewfinder information other than a set of cross hair marks.

The D-100 is powered by two AA size batteries or one of the Olympus CR-3V lithium one-use batteries. I used the camera with a pair of 1600mAH NiMH type batteries and was quite impressed with the runtime as long as the color LCD was not turned on too often. You could easily fill a 64MB size memory card with an all-day visit to your favorite tourist hangout using just a single set of batteries. In SHQ mode the average picture size is about 820KB, HQ about 265KB and SQ 640x480 (VGA) images are about 80KB.

Overall the image quality is quite good for a 1280 x 960 camera with a non-zoom lens. Outdoors the wide angle lens will "see" a lot of bright sky so it tends to underexpose foreground objects. And it can often go the other way with the foreground objects being right but the sky getting overexposed, this is common when using only matrix metering. The color rendition is true and I was satisfied with the saturation on 95% of the pictures, even macro-flash pictures were handled properly.

As to be expected with a wide angle lens this is certain amount of barrel distortion which becomes more pronounced with closeup objects. The most annoying thing to me was the lack of a sequential numbering option for the filenames that it creates. This means that if you swap memory cards you can end up with duplicate filenames if pictures are taken on the same day. The camera names images using the date as a template (Pmddnnnn.JPG) - i.e. P4090006.JPG is the sixth picture taken on April 9. If you're like me you probably keep all the pictures taken at a particular place or event in one directory so duplicate filenames are a real pain. I use the PicMeta Software's PIE program to rename files to avoid this when necessary.

If you want a no frills, no fuss digicam that is capable of making 4x6" or 5x7" prints and fits in your pocket then the D-100 may be just what you are looking for.

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