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A LITTLE NOSTALGIA FOR A BIG PRICE
on 18 April 2011
I bought this out of a sense of nostalgia for the superb 1950s Leicas, and cheap Russian copies, and with respect for Minox' reputation as a manufacturer of high quality miniature cameras. In my opinion, however, this is only a partially functioning miniature model, or a toy - not a fully operational digital camera.
The sensitivity to light is very low. It is like having a 25 ASA Kodachrome film in your camera when you should have something rated at 400ASA. This means it will only produce good images in bright lighting conditions.
The viewing screen is very dim and difficult to see in bright light. In that case you have to resort to the supplied optical viewfinder, which of course gives parallax problems at close range.
The battery when fully charged only lasted for about seventy shots before giving a warning of low charge. I do not know how many more shots I could have taken before it expired, but you do have to do this via a computer with a USB connection, unless you have a spare battery and charger.
The diagram in the user's manual, which is intended to illustrate how to insert an optional SD card, was not clear to me. Having inserted the SD card in what I thought was the correct manner it became stuck and would not register. I had to remove it using a combination of needle-nosed pliers and a jeweler's screwdriver, which put me in fear of damaging the interior of the camera. However, I did manage to extract it an after I had inserted it the correct way round, I discovered that I was in possession of a tiny camera which would take over 4,800 pictures!
If you are prepared to accept this for what it is - an elaborate toy - and take on board that you will probably have to tweak your results in iPhoto or similar photo processing program, then good luck, this will give you some fun. But you could spend the same amount and get a more than adequate digital camera. Certainly modern mobile phones now take better pictures. Personally I wish that I had spent the additional £160 and bought the gold version, which my wife could wear as jewelry and not expect to take photos with it.
I have written a separate review of the flashlight accessory.