PenCam 3 review
lbarnes at san.rr.com
Mon Mar 25 08:57:03 PST 2002
My father-in-law gave me a pencam for my birthday. _Excellent_ geek present!
Thought the list might like a thumbnail review from one who has one.
For those who haven't heard of it, the pencam is a low-end digital camera that
is about the size and shape of a pez dispenser on steroids. It has a pocket
clip, so it can join all one's colored pens in the old pocket protector.
It's powered by 2 AAA batteries, and they seem to last forever. It can store 80
color snapshots of modest size (approx 330 X 290). There is no flash, no focus,
no preview. A simple read out holds the nuber of pix left. It needs a USB port
and comes with its own specialized cable. Supposedly it can also double as a
computer cam for those of us into CUCMe ("now I'm slowly removing my left
It only comes with Win SW, and frankly, it failed to install on my laptop's Win
95 no matter what I tried. Not to worry, Linux supports the stuffing out of
this bad boy. I reinstalled my laptop (my only USB port) with RH 7.2 (I've
wanted to do that for a *long time*), added the rpms for usblib and gphoto2,
and I was able to download the camera with no other adjustments.
The photos are not great. They're uniformly fuzzy, as if slightly out of focus,
and small. Also, you need good outdoor light, and back lighting will kill the
area of interest (like most cameras).
That said, it's a gas to carry this around and to be able to snap whatever I
want. It's definitel a shoot-em-all-and-sort-em-out-later device.
If you have serious camera needs, save your money (I believe they run about
$65, but mine was a gift) for a real digital camera with a flash and some lens
control. But if all you are looking for is some head shots and having some fun,
this is not a bad way to get started in digital cameras.
Lan Barnes lbarnes at san.rr.com
Icon Consulting, Inc 858-273-6677
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