Olympus D-230 Review

Steve's Digicams

Olympus Camedia Brio D-230

Record & Playback Features

The D-370 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.

The lens is a fixed focal length but there is a 1.6X, 2X, 2.5X 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 Brio D-230

During playback you can enable the display of image quality and size, exposure compensation, file date and time and the image and folder number. This info is only displayed for several seconds after selecting the image.

Olympus Camedia Brio D-230

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 Brio D-230

During playback you can zoom-in up to 3X and pan around to examine your stored image more closely for focus, color or composition.

Olympus Camedia Brio D-230

Page one of the Play menu lets you delete images, protect images, begin a slideshow, set DPOF printing info or enable the playback of image data.

Olympus Camedia Brio D-230

Page two lets you change the color image to B&W or Sepia, resize or rotate the image.

Olympus Camedia Brio D-230

Page three has options for formatting the SM card, set the index thumbnail display for 4 or 9 images per page, turn the beep sound on or off, adjust the LCD brightness and set the time and date.

Steve's Conclusion

The Camedia Brio D-230 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 have any advanced exposure modes but it does have some image effects (combine 2 pictures into one, change color to B&W or Sepia) and capture QuickTime movie clips. 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 2 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-230 has a good 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 85% of the captured image but offers no viewfinder information other than a set of cross hair marks.

The D-230 is powered by two AA size batteries or one of the CR-3V lithium one-use batteries. I used the camera with a set 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 128MB size memory card with an all-day visit to your favorite tourist hangout using just a single set of batteries.

Overall the image quality is good for a 1600 x 1200 resolution 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 good amount of barrel distortion which becomes more pronounced with closeup objects. If you want a good, no fuss "point-n-shoot" digicam that is capable of making 4x6" or 5x7" prints and fits in your pocket -- the D-230 may be just what you are looking for.

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