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Polaroid PhotoMAX PDC 1100 3 Megapixels and Smaller
Submitted by mhill a Beginner
Date Reviewed: November 11, 2001
Strengths: Price. Accessories. Easy to understand format. Lightning fast speeed when you download photos to the computer.(I believe that is when I am using the usb connection)
Weaknesses: The Photomax software does not appear to work with windows nt. (If someone nows how I can use this camera with nt please email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org)The photo quality settings automatically cut themselves in half when you use the zoom. Because of this the zoom is no benefit to me.
I wanted a digital camera but had a low budget. Bought this at ubid for $145 delivered. Wish I would have spent a little more to get one with a real zoom & better photo quality. All things considered, I probably stole this camera.
Price Paid: $145.00
Purchased At: ubid
Similar Products Used: None
Submitted by Richard Straub a Intermediate from Plamdale, California
Date Reviewed: December 8, 2000
Strengths: -Three words... price, price, price
-Ease of use
-Well designed with simple but effective controls
-Comes with everything you need included the A/C adapter
-Takes great pictures!
Weaknesses: -Everyone seems to say battery life here, but I think it is very adequate as long as you use the a/c adapter when downloading pictures.
-I wish that the zoom was a little easier to use.
I had a Polaroid PDC-640 and I loved it! It had it's limitations, but for what I wanted to do and the price compared to similar cameras at the time, I was in heaven. When I decided on purchasing a new camera, I of course looked to Polaroid first. I found the PDC-1100 for less than I had paid for the 640 a year ago (I got it for $200). I couldn't wait to order it but I wanted to read some reviews first. Unfortunately, I couldn't find very many. I found plenty on other cameras in the price range, some of which were glowing, but I liked the features, price and my past experience with Polaroid. I went ahead and ordered it and let me tell you... I am so glad that I did. This camera is EXTREMELY easy to use. The controls are simple but thorough. It comes with everything you need to get started in digital photograpy and other things that come in handy when you've got some experience under your belt. The software is GREAT for beginers and even adequate for more experienced users. You may want to invest in Photoshop if you're taking pictures for professional reasons though. The price cannot be beat for a camera with these features. Throw in the fact that if you take a little time, the picture quality is excellent and you have one heck of a digital camera! Unless you are taking professional pictures for commercial reasons, I would sincerely recommend this camera to everyone!
Check out the picture I took with this camera below. This was the first picture I took when I got the camera out of the box. It was at high resolution in black and white mode. I was just testing the camera, so this image is representative of what an absolute beginner can do.
Similar Products Used: Sony Mavica
Umax Photorun (horrible)
I've tried out countless others
Submitted by Bruce Adams a Intermediate from Acworth, NH, US
Date Reviewed: August 1, 2000
Strengths: Everything was included in the box, nothing extra to buy except for replacement batteries. It produces good images using the 'point and shoot' default settings. Low resolution gives good images but manually setting up the camera and some trial and error will give some outstanding results which is surprising for the camera's price. It has one knurled wheel on the back that is used for all setting changes and the LCD screen menu is easy to read and understand.
The battery life impressed me and still does. It came with 4 Duracell Ultra 'AA' batteries which lasted through over 100 pictures taken with and without the flash, used for over 45 minutes of Video Out to my TV, and used during image transfer to the PC. The camera shut down once due to low battery power but after sitting overnight, it took 50 more pictures outside and the batteries are now running in a flashlight. With NIMH rechargables, the camera's been running over a week now and the battery meter still shows half full. I don't use the LCD screen that much which might make a difference in battery life.
It's compact and will fit in a shirt pocket and takes extra standard Compact Flash Cards up to 96 MB. It uses fast USB image transfer, and also has serial transfer for pc's without USB support. It has a two stage shutter release and image processing in the camera is around 3 seconds between shots.
Weaknesses: The lens and viewfinder are on the far left side of the camera and there's little room for a handhold so you have to grasp it on the top and bottom with your left hand and make sure your fingers don't get in the picture.
The cable connections are on the right side and with the door open and the cables inserted, it's a handful and hard to hold the camera but
The green 'ready' and red
'wait' LED lights are next to the viewfinder lens, right in your eye and are very bright when lit up. You'll see spots after snapping a picture until you get used to it and know when to shut your eye.
The power, usb, serial and video cables get in the way when the in the camera and being heavy with ferrite coils near their ends, I have a concern about damage to the camera's cable sockets after extensive use.
It comes with no lens cover and the lens housing doesn't stick out far enough to fit one. I fixed that with a little piece of self stick Velcro on the camera and on a 35mm film canister lid. Not air and dust tight but scratchproof.
Indoor photos were a little on the dark side and needed slight lightening and fine tuning in an image editing program but still good as shot.
Although the Video Out function worked good for reviewing images on a TV and putting images on a VCR tape, it’s not true ‘live’ video and if the camera is moved too fast, the image blurrs and won’t keep up with the scene. Using it as a web-cam produces images and motion equal to most web-cams.
Changing camera settings requires opening and scrolling through the menu for each change, it won't allow changing a setting and scrolling to the next one.
It's slow at first until you get used to the way it operates.
I took a chance and ordered my Polaroid PDC-1100 despite not finding any reviews or sample images online for it. I'll start by saying something about CDW in Chicago who I purchased it from. The first camera didn't work but I got a replacement two days after sending it back and they paid all charges both ways. I'm in NH so the turn around was the fastest I've ever experienced.
The camera was $299 and came with a $50 rebate from Polaroid. It came with everything such as batteries, usb/serial/video cables, a well written manual, a 4 meg CF card, camera soft case, and even the AC adapter.
It's just under one megapixel, (995,328) has four resolutions, two of 1152x864 in Super & High, 1024/Medium and 640x480/Low. The flash settings are Auto-Flash, Off, Red Eye and Always On. The focusing settings are Auto Focus (2' to infinity), Macro (8" to 3'), 1m, 2m, 5m and 00 which is 16 feet and further out. It has a 10 second self timer, Color/B&W modes, 2x digital zoom, time and date stamp, and +4 to -4 exposure settings. It has a 1.8" LCD screen that can be brightened up for viewing in bright light which works.
The LCD image review has 1 at a time or thumbnails viewing, image lock, zoom, scroll, can display an index of images, date taken, resolution and flash setting of each image and delete one or all and format the CF card. It has many more features and settings which can be checked out in the owners manual that can be downloaded in PDF format from Polaroid.
It comes with Polaroid's PhotoMax software, a basic photo editing/album program, the twain drivers for uploading/downloading images and a help program that could be better written. The program went in without problems and works but you can use another image editing program after installing just the twain drivers which is one option during installation.
I installed the batteries, turned the camera on, pointed it at the sky and snapped the shutter. Then I went into my dark garage and snapped again. I thought that would be a good test, full brightness and full darkness. I hooked up the usb cable and the ac adapter and sent the pics to my computer. Both images were as good as my 35mm takes and after sharpening the image once and upping the brightness just a tad, they looked as good as any I've seen from camera's costing much more.
The camera can be controlled through software and has a ‘continuous update’ setting so it can be used as a web-cam. It can be used for recording video to a VCR if you move slowly.
Having already tried a Mustek MDC800 with dismal results, I was a little leary of trying another digital camera. But after using the Polaroid for two weeks now and getting used to it's settings and functions, I wouldn't hesitate to get another and would recommend it for a 'first' digital camera that will do almost everything right out of the box.
Similar Products Used: Mustek MDC800 digital camera
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