Please excuse the quality of these frame captures, the iPalm does not output anything but the picture itself so we had to photograph the live LCD screen to get these.
Menu options available in Manual record mode, page 1: Exposure compensation
(-1.5 to +1.5EV in 0.5-increments),
self-timer (10 sec), focus (auto, macro, portrait, landscape), white balance (auto, sunny,
incandescent, manual preset)
Page 2 options are metering (automatic, spot), night scene (slow shutter), interval
(time lapse) mode, LCD brightness adjust.
Page 3 options are beep sounds (on, off) and time/date set.
Typical Play mode screen, battery condition indicated by graphical icon,
date and time, image quality and folder and filename.
Zoomed playback mode - move the selection rectangle to desired position and then
press the shutter button to magnify the screen.
Here's the playback screen after it has been magnified, press the shutter button
again to return to normal playback mode.
To quickly find and display an image you use the thumbnail index mode.
Menu options in Play mode, page 1: Slideshow (start, stop), DPOF (embed printing
information), delete all or format, LCD brightness adjust.
Page 2 options are beep sounds (on, off) and date/time set.
Steve's ConclusionThis is Panasonic's second 3-megapixel digicam and a whole lot smaller than the PV-DC5000 SuperDisk camera that we last reviewed. The new iPalm uses a lot less compression in its images but they're still more compressed than other 3-megapixel cameras. The average image size for the SuperFine quality pictures is about 950KB and there's even an uncompressed TIFF mode that creates 9MB size images. The TIFF mode is incredibly slow and requires a little more than three minutes to process an image and only one of them will fit on the included 16MB MultiMediaCard. I really couldn't tell any major difference quality-wise between the JPEG and TIFF images, even when printed.
The iPalm is very easy to use, in Auto mode it is basically a point and shoot. For those who want a little more control there is the Manual mode which offers exposure compensation, focus options and white balance control but little else. The camera runs on four AA type batteries and comes with alkalines -- which don't last long -- get some high power NiMH batteries and a good charger. The software, at least for the PC, works well. You just plug in the USB cable and press one button on the back of the camera. It auto-starts the Windows software and automatically downloads all of your images, it worked without a hitch for me. There is no Macintosh software supplied with the camera although Panasonic promises it soon. Until then it seems that this is a PC/Windows-only camera.
The iPalm's image quality is not on par with the other 3-megapixel cameras like the Olympus C-3030 Zoom, the Nikon Coolpix 990 or the Canon PowerShot G1. The pictures lack overall saturation and depth and often the metering is fooled by "bright sky" areas causing the foreground to be underexposed. The PV-DC3000 is priced at $899 so I would honestly have to say one of the other 3-megapixel cameras would be a better buy. I am also no fan of cameras that use "new and different" flash memory cards, we have enough choices already. So far the MMC cards are more popular in MP3 players but they used in a few digital camcorders with still image capture capability.
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