Polaroid PDC2350 Review

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Polaroid PDC2350



Steve's Conclusion

The Polaroid PhotoMax PDC 2350 is almost identical to it's three-megapixel big brother 3-megapixel PDC 3350, they're physically identical and share the same features. It's a good camera for those just starting out in digital photography or those who want an easy to use Point-n-Shoot. Its two-megapixel images will let you make up to 5 x 7 inch photo-quality prints on today's inkjet printers and it won't cost you an arm and a leg to own it. The Auto mode makes it an easy to use Point-n-Shoot, anyone can pick it up and start taking pictures without reading a manual or knowing much about photography. When you want to take more control you switch it into Manual mode - it's really another automatic mode but allows you set the ISO speed, white balance, EV compensation or select a slow shutter speed for low light shots.

The PDC 2350 is a no thrills camera but it is a steady performer. It takes about six seconds to be ready to take the first shot after pressing the power button. The shot to shot time is about five seconds without the flash and about eight seconds when using the flash. There is no sequential exposure mode. The movie mode works surprisingly well for an "economy" camera and is better than some of the more expensive cameras that we've reviewed. It records motion at 15fps without sound and the only limit on the length of these movies is the amount of available memory space.

The zoom lens appears to be a good quality set of optics. It exhibits only the slightest amount of barrel distortion in wide angle and has a reasonably fast F2.6 maximum aperture. I didn't see any pin cushioning problems at full telephoto and it exhibits an average amount of chromatic aberration (purple fringing of highlights). The motorized zoom mechanism is smooth and fairly quiet and has many inbetween step points. The auto focus system is fairly quick in average to bright lighting conditions and works surprisingly well in lower light conditions given that it lacks any kind of AF-assist lamp. It was able to lock the focus in some lighting conditions that I've seen much more expensive cameras fail in.

The camera can be powered by a pair of AA batteries or a one-use CR-V3 type lithium battery. You can use alkalines but if you use the color LCD much I'd highly recommend the use of rechargeable NiMH batteries. These batteries provide 3 to 5 times the power of alkalines and are reusable up to 500 times so they save you money and free up some space in your local landfill. And speaking of the color LCD, this camera has got a nice 1.5" screen with an excellent refresh rate and color rendition. Even in lower light levels the screen refresh rate is quick enough to eliminate the herky-jerky motion seen on other cameras. And another feature that's left off many economy-priced cameras is Video Out which allows you to show your pictures on a TV set by plugging in the supplied cable. The video format is user selectable for the NTSC or European PAL timing in the Setup menu.

Image quality is always the bottom line of any digital camera and this is best illustrated by what you'll find on our sample photos page. The PDC2350 creates sharp and colorful images, maybe a little over-saturated but that seems to be the way that most non- professional users like their pictures. Overall I think it does a good job in a wide variety of lighting conditions and handled the extremes of our white sand beaches at noon time without blowing all the highlights.





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