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Toshiba PDR-M700

Review posted 7/15/03

Click to take a QuickTime tour of the Toshiba PDR-M700
Click to take a QuickTime tour of the PDR-M700

Toshiba Imaging Systems introduced two new M Series digital cameras at the Digital Experience! 2003 Show in June. These two cameras feature Canon 10X optical zoom lenses, ultra-bright 2.5-inch color LCDs, blazing high-speed continuous shooting, and a long-running AVI video mode with audio.

The 2.0 megapixel PDR-M500 and the 3.2 megapixel PDR-M700 are designed to meet the needs of advanced amateur shutterbugs seeking a variety of high-quality photographic and multimedia requirements. Stylish, compact, and feature-rich, the two new cameras are identical in appearance, apart from the color of their housings. The PDR-M500 sports a high-tech silver hue, while the PDR-M700 has a classic champagne tint. The body design mirrors the traditional look and feel of a 35mm SLR camera while showcasing the impressive digital technology.

    10X OPTICAL ZOOM LENS: The Canon 10X optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 37-370mm lens on a 35 mm camera. This up-close feel is greatly enhanced by a 4X digital telephoto mode that, when used in conjunction with the optical zoom, produces a 40X zooming capability without compromising image clarity from any distance.

    CONTINUOUS SHOOTING: For action sequences, the PDR-M700 has a continuous shooting mode that captures up to 4 high-resolution images per second for up to 6 frames. In addition, the photographer can capture one shot per second for up to 14 seconds. Unlike other cameras in its class that are troubled by slow shutter response time, M Series cameras achieve optimal speed with their vastly-improved TTL method auto-focus featuring a more sensitive contrast detection system.

    2.5 INCH LCD SCREEN: M Series cameras give shutterbugs the really big picture thanks to a 2.5 inch low-temperature poly silicon LCD. The 118K-pixel screen is 60% larger than the LCDs found on most other digital cameras and automatically adjusts to ambient lighting conditions.

    MANUAL CONTROLS: In addition to its point-and-shoot automatic features, M Series cameras offer a full array of manual controls including: ISO sensitivity, exposure control method (Program AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Shutter-Priority AE, Manual), exposure compensation (2.0 EV in 1/3 increments), aperture (F2.8 - F8), shutter speeds, white balance, Macro mode, flash settings (auto, red eye, forced, suppressed, off and slow sync) and control of image saturation, contrast and sharpness.

    VARIABLE RECORDING MODES: Ideal exposure in standard shooting situations is assured with the M Series' six programmed recording modes: portrait, macro, landscape, night mode, sepia, and black and white.

    MULTIMEDIA: Adding to the camera's appeal is an extended play movie mode with audio that records uninterrupted based on the capacity of the SD card, rather than pause each 15 seconds as is the case with lesser-quality cameras. The cameras are equipped with a terminal so that you can connect an external microphone for higher audio quality.

    ADAPTER RING: Toshiba includes an adapter ring with the PDR-M500 and PDR-M700 cameras. This 52mm ring allows conversion lens and filters to fit onto the camera lens barrel to enhance its versatility.

    SD MEMORY CARDS: PDR-M500 and PDR-M700 cameras ship with a 16MB SD card capable of holding up to 268 JPEG images and support SD cards up to 512MB. Exceptionally compact, SD cards do not need a power source to store information and permit fast downloads of images. Individual storage folders can be created inside the SD card to better organize pictures.

PDR-M700 Features:

  • 3.2-megapixel effective CCD image sensor
  • Image sizes: 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 1024x768, 640x480
  • Canon 10X (37-370mm) all-glass F2.8 zoom lens
  • Lens adapter for 52mm filters is included
  • Eye level electronic viewfinder
  • 2.5" color LCD, polysilicon TFT monitor
  • Small, compact and lightweight
  • Built in flash (auto, red-eye, forced, slow-sync and off)
  • AVI movie 320x240, 15fps with audio, length limited only by memory
  • AE Program, Shutter speed and Aperture priority and Manual
  • Six programmed modes: portrait, macro, landscape, night mode, sepia, and b&w
  • High Speed Continuous mode, 4 frames per second up to 6 frames
  • Mechanical shutter 1/2 to 1/2000 sec (up to 16 secs in Manual)
  • ISO sensitivity of Auto 200, Auto 400, 70, 100, 200 or 400
  • White balance: Auto, Outdoor, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent 1 and 2, and two manual Presets
  • User-adjustable color, contrast and sharpness
  • Audio-Video output with user-selectable NTSC or PAL format
  • Secure Digital (SD) card storage, 16MB included, compatible up to 512MB
  • Wireless infrared remote control
  • USB 1.1 port for Windows and Macintosh
  • Powered by four AA or two CR-V3 type batteries

The PDR-M700 begins shipping in July 2003 with an MSRP of $449 and includes a 16MB SD card, wireless remote control, a soft case, a neck strap, a protective lens cap, an instruction manual, ACDSee software on CD, a USB cable, an Audio-Video cable (PAL/NTSC), and four alkaline AA batteries. The camera is compatible with Windows (98/2000/ME/XP) and Apple Macintosh (OS 9.0, OS 10.1.3-10.1.5, 10.2) operating systems.

Physical Views

Toshiba PDR-M700

Toshiba PDR-M700

Toshiba PDR-M700 Toshiba PDR-M700

Toshiba PDR-M700

Toshiba PDR-M700

Toshiba PDR-M700

The 10X zoom/3.2 Megapixel duo: PDR-M700 and Olympus C-740UZ.

Toshiba PDR-M700

Toshiba PDR-M700 and standard CD disc for size comparison.

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Toshiba PDR-M700 Specifications

CCD Sensor 1/2.7 inch 3.2 million pixels (effective)
Image Resolutions 2048 x 1536
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
Lens Canon F2.8-3.1, f=5.7 to 57mm
(equivalent to 37-370mm on a 35mm camera)
Zoom 10X Optical, 4X Digital
Lens adapter included for 52mm filters and lenses
Auto-Focus TTL contrast detection
Auto-Focus Range Normal mode: 1.6 feet to infinity (Wide), 3.9 feet to infinity (Tele)
Macro mode: 3.94 in. to infinity (Wide), 11.8 in. to infinity (Tele)
File Format JPEG (EXIF 2.1), DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) and DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compliant
High Speed Continuous 4 Frames Per Second up to 6 frames
Exposure Control Program AE, Full Manual (shutter & aperture), Shutter-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Exposure Comp ( +/-2.0 at 0.5 EV), AE Bracketing
Exposure Metering Center-weighted or Spot
White Balance Auto, Outdoor, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent 1 and 2, Preset 1 and 2
Sensitivity Equivalent to ISO 70/100/200/400
Shutter Mechanical shutter 1/2 to 1/2000 sec
Maximum of 16 seconds for extended exposures
Aperture F2.8 to F8 automatic or manual selection
Recording Modes 1-Shot, High Speed Continuous, Continuous, AE Bracketing
Movie Mode AVI Video Recording with Audio
320 x 240 @ 15fps, length limited by available memory
Fine, Normal or Basic quality possible
Built-in Flash Adjusting range 1.6 to 14.4 feet
(Auto, Red-Eye, Slow-synch, Forced, OFF)
Video Interface Provides NTSC and PAL video output signal
Microphone Built-in plus connector for external Mic
LCD Monitor 2.5" color LCD monitor. Polysilicon TFT
118,000 pixels, automatically adjusts to ambient lighting
Storage Media Secure Digital 8MB to 512MB, ships with 16MB
Eye level Viewfinder Electronic Real-image type zoom viewfinder with dioptric adjustment
Self Timer 10 or 2 seconds
Tripod Mount Built-In
Data Interface USB 1.1
Power Accepts four AA sized batteries (alkaline, lithium or NiMH) or two CR-V3 lithium. Optional AC adapter.
Software on CD-ROM ACD Systems Imaging Software Suite, USB Storage Driver
Camera Dimensions and Weight Dimensions (W x H x D)
4.3" x 2.7" x 2.6"
Weight without batteries: 10.5 oz.
System Requirements Windows (98/2000/ME/XP) and Apple Macintosh (OS 9.0, OS 10.1.3-10.1.5, 10.2) operating systems

Specifications as represented by the manufacturer

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