Concord Eye-Q 5345z
Concord Camera Corp.
The 5345Z is a cute little 5 megapixel camera that packs a lot of features into an ultra-compact body, and for the very affordable price of $379.99. Very reminiscent of the Canon SD 110 Digital Elph, this camera is just about as small as they come, yet with a substantial feel that belies it's small size.
While some cameras are difficult to use left-handed, I was quite happy with the way the camera felt in my hands. I had no problem shooting with either hand, making my climbing partner happy when I was simultaneously belaying and shooting. As usual with this genera of camera, it comes with a small wrist lanyard that attaches to a fixed point on the camera. The attachment point, while seemingly quite secure, had a hole that was too small for any Perlon cord I could find locally, making me very uncomfortable when using the (review unit) camera on the cliff. If you were using the 5345Z in that situation you would want to find a more secure way of tethering the unit to yourself.
I was impressed with the time it took from power-on to picture-snap - a very fast 2 seconds. With the LCD display turned off the time between releasing the shutter and capturing the image was in the 1/10th second range, very respectable for a camera in this class. Unfortunately the recycle time (the camera’s computer processing time between photos) was a bit on the slow side - 3 to 4 seconds sans flash. As it doesn't have a continuous-capture mode, this makes it frustrating when trying to capture sequences of action shots. That said, it is generally quite responsive in most situations.
The 5345Z features a 1.6" LCD display. A bit on the small side, it was somewhat difficult to see outdoors in bright sunlight. Tho I was able to navigate the menus OK, I did notice a very sight greenish cast to the display. Indoors or in low-light situations it performed admirably. It would help however if the display brightness was adjustable.
Requiring only 2 AA batteries for power, I was expecting very limited battery life, however I was pleasantly surprised at it's low power consumption. I shot over 150 images on a single charge using NiMH batteries. I strongly suggest using this quality battery for all digital cameras.
The 5345Z lens has a 3x optical zoom over a 39-117mm range. The zoom functioned well and was reasonably quiet. The lens, which had no name on it, produced crisp results. The camera features a 5-point autofocus system that worked well in all lighting conditions. The exposure system produced well saturated images that, coupled with its 5 megapixel CCD, will reproduce well at resolutions up to 11x17. It supports five image sizes up to 2,560-by-1,920, and three levels of JPEG compression.
I didn't have the opportunity to test the 5345Z in cold weather, so I have no idea how it will function in a typical New England winter. Using the best quality batteries available (2400mah NiMH) and keeping it at least moderately warm, it should be OK. That said, all my cameras had problems in the -30 temps we experienced last winter.
The camera bundle includes MGISoft's PhotoSuite SE and VideoSuite SE image and video editing packages. While adequate, I prefer the Adobe Elements bundle that comes with many cameras for small editing tasks. Still, for many tasks it will do the job. It also has a wrist strap, USB cable, small carrying camera case, 2 NiMH batteries, charger and a well written manual.
This is a nice little camera that's very easy to use, produces nice quality images, and is offered at a very good price. It has no included memory card, small LCD viewfinder and the recycle time is rather pitiful. Still, it's an excellent value and hits it's target market square in the middle.
2560x1920 to 640x480 image size (pixels)
1/8 - 1/2000 second shutter speed
ISO 50, 100, 200, 400
3x optical zoom lens
1.6" color LCD
320x240 video mode (no sound)
10MB built in memory, SD/MMC memory card slot