Toshiba PDR-3320 Review
By Movable Type Admin
The PDR-3320 is the 2002 update of the Toshiba PDR-M25. The PDR-3320 is a small and compact 3.20-megapixel camera with a 3x optical zoom lens, all for about $299. As you'd expect from a camera at this price point it isn't loaded with advanced exposure options, it is basically an automated point-n-shoot type of camera. It does have a Manual mode that allows the user to alter the white balance and the exposure compensation. In any still image mode it also lets you select the ISO sensitivity as well as the flash mode and even a Black and White mode. There's a limited long exposure Bulb mode with settings for one or two seconds as well as a slow-sync flash mode so you can experiment with some night exposures.
The overall image quality is good but not what I'd call great. Outdoors it had a reoccurring problem with exposure, it tends to under-expose the foreground in scenes with a lot of sky. On the Sample Photos page you will notice I posted two shots of the playground, one with normal exposure(#pdr_0017) the other(#pdr_0019) with two thirds of a stop more exposure locked in with the exposure compensation control. This seemed to greatly improve all outdoor photography.
The images indoors with the flash seemed to be very consistent and focus was not an issue at all as it was in the preceding model (the PDR-M25). The color LCD works well indoors but it's hard to see outdoors in the bright light. The reflective surface and the improved brightness of the display was still hard to use, even when shielded with my hand. Again, indoors it was very satisfactory.
For a suggested retail price of $299 the PDR-3320 is a fair value for an "entry level" digital camera especially for 3.2 megapixels. Don't get caught up in the confusion of specifications, if you want to make an occasional enlargement but principally want 4x6" prints or to Email images, then look more at the results than megapixels - that is why we spend so much time shooting images for the Sample Photo page of every review. So, download a couple images from the sample photos page of your favorite cameras and compare them full size or better yet print them or have your local camera store print them. Then you can make a choice based on what you are looking for - quality images.
There are a number of two megapixel cameras in the $300 range, two of them that I would recommend over the PDR-3320 are the Nikon Coolpix 2500 (presently(11/02) with a rebate offer) and the Canon A40. Both also offer a motion video recording mode that the PDR-3320 lacks. In its defense however, the PDR-3320 does have video out and that is missing in many other cameras.
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Sample Photos Page
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