Toshiba PDR-M71 Review
Click to take a QuickTime tour of the PDR-M71
The PDR-M71 has a 3.2-megapixel imager with 2048 x 1536 resolution and the same advanced feature set as competitive digital cameras retailing for hundreds of dollars more. It's an ideal first digital camera or upgrade for users at all levels. Surprisingly lightweight (8.5 oz) and compact, the sporty PDR-M71 is a breeze to take along anywhere, whether it's a business trip, a ball game or a family picnic. Its fashionable all-black exterior makes a striking impression, while the ergonomic design fits easily in the palm of the user's hand.
The affordable PDR-M71 employs a Canon all-glass 2.8x optical zoom (35-98mm in 35mm) lens with macro, built-in five mode flash system with red-eye reduction; AVI movie/audio recording; SmartMedia storage; a full range of shooting modes and options; USB connectivity; and enhanced signal processing technology for fast, continuous shooting and quick operation.
The PDR-M71 is intuitively easy to understand. Its control dial and zoom are set so that they can be manipulated with either a thumb or index finger. Each function of the camera is clearly indicated on the control dial with an icon. In fully automatic mode the PDR-M71 focuses and adjusts its settings for perfect pictures every time. For the advanced shooter seeking greater flexibility, the camera has manual controls including Program AE, Full Manual (shutter and aperture), Shutter Priority AE, Aperture Priority AE, ISO sensitivity (100/200/400), flash (auto, red-eye, forced, slow sync, force off), white balance, and exposure compensation. Unique to "affordable" digital cameras, the PDR-M71 also has a histogram function that enables photographers to check the distribution of brightness levels on the LCD once a picture is taken.
In addition to the automatic and manual settings, photographers choose the resolution (2048x1536, 1024x768, 640x480) and the JPEG format compression (fine, normal, basic). In addition to taking outstanding still images, the camera has an AVI movie mode that lets users film up to three minutes of video at 160 x 120 resolution (15 fps), or 60 seconds at 320 x 240 (15 fps). Sound can be recorded during the filming by using the camera's built-in microphone. When the video is finished it can be viewed on a computer monitor, a television (NTSC/PAL), or on the camera's 1.5-inch polysilicon color LCD.
Accessories included are: an 8MB SmartMedia card, a USB cable for fast downloading of images, serial cable, wrist strap, protective lens cap, a soft carrying case, and a CD-ROM containing a USB driver and Sierra Imaging's popular ImageExpert® software for managing, editing and accessing images. The camera is Windows® (98/2000/NT) and Macintosh® (OS 9+) compatible. Four AA-sized batteries power it.
Toshiba PDR-M71 and the palm-sized Nikon Coolpix 885 for comparison.
Toshiba PDR-M71 Specifications
|CCD Sensor||1/1.8 inch 3.37 million pixels (total)|
3.0 million pixels effective
|Image Resolutions||2048 x 1536 (FULL)|
1024 x 768 (HALF)
640 x 480 (SMALL)
|Lens||Canon® F2.9-F4.8, 7 elements in 5 groups, f=7.25 to 20.3mm (equivalent to 35-98mm on a 35mm camera), all glass lens Zoom 2.8X Optical, 2.2X Digital|
|Auto-Focus||TTL contrast detection|
|Auto-Focus Range||Normal mode: 31 in. to infinity|
Macro mode: 4 in. to infinity (wide)
10 in. to infinity (tele).
|File Format||JPEG (EXIF 2.1), DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) and DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compliant|
|Image Quality||Fine, Normal or Basic|
|Burst Shot||1.25 Frame Per Second|
|Exposure Control||Program AE, Full Manual (shutter & aperture), Shutter-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Exposure Comp ( +/-2.0 at 0.5 EV)|
|White Balance||Auto, Outdoor, Cloudy, Incandescent, Flourescent I and 2|
|Sensitivity||Equivalent to ISO 100/200/400|
|Shutter||Mechanical shutter 1/2 to 1/1000 sec|
Maximum of 15 seconds for extended exposures
|Aperture||F2.9 to F8 automatic or manual selection|
|Recording Modes||Single, MULTI (16 continuous), Bulb Mode|
|Movie Mode||AVI Video Recording with Audio|
160 x 120, Max 3 minutes @ 15fps
320 x 240, Max of 60 secs. @ 15fps
Fine, Normal or Basic quality possible
|Built-in Flash||Adjusting range 2.6 ft to 9.8 ft Wideangle, ISO 2x|
(Auto, Red-Eye, Forced, Slow Sync, OFF)
|Video Interface||Provides NTSC and PAL video output signal|
|LCD Monitor||1.5" color LCD monitor. Polysilicon TFT|
117,600 pixels (490 x 240 resolution)
|Storage Media||Supports SmartMedia 3v 2MB to 128MB, ships with 8MB|
|Optical Viewfinder||Real-image optical viewfinder|
|Status Display||User selectable controls and LCD status display|
|Self Timer||10 or 2 seconds|
|Data Communication Interface||USB|
|Power||Includes four AA Alkaline batteries. Accepts four AA sized batteries (alkaline, lithium, Ni-Cd and NiMH). Optional AC adapter, rechargeable batteries and charger.|
|Software on CD-ROM||Sierra Imaging Image Expert, USB Storage Driver|
|Camera Dimensions and Weight||Dimensions (W x H x D)|
107mm x 71mm x 47mm
4.2" x 2.8" x 1.8"
Weight without batteries: 8.5 oz.
|System Requirements||Windows: 98/Me/2000. Macintosh: System 9 or higher|
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