Beginner digital camera

Continuing the trend for ultra-light, ultra-portable and downright sexy media devices, Panasonic presents the SV-AS10. Part of the D-Snap range, the SV-AS10 is a digital still camera but has features like audio/video recording and media playback squeezed into its slim chassis. It’s equipped with a 2.1Mp image sensor, giving you 1600x1200 pixel stills — though you can reduce this in order to fit more on the miserly 8MB Secure Digital card. Unexpected features such as burst mode, white balance, exposure compensation and ISO settings are also provided, though probably not enough to satisfy control freaks.

To be blunt, the SV-AS10’s optics are poor. The fixed-focus 4.5mm f4 lens requires bright conditions if you’re to avoid using the flash. The minimum range is 50cm (10cm in macro) and the lens head swivels through 270º for those awkward angles. This is without the flash, though, as it’s fixed on the camera body. If you want to capture video, the MJPEG recording function gives you a QVGA clip. Audio is courtesy of the mono microphone, so the D-Snap can function as a voice memo recorder. It’s also a digital audio player, supporting WMA, MP3 and AAC files, and comes with a wired remote and earbud headphones. Access to the D-Snap’s many functions and settings is via a rather peculiar touch-sensitive paddle beneath the 1.5in LCD.

Panasonic D-Snap SV-AS10 Price: $1099
Vendor: Panasonic
Phone: (02) 9986 7400

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Laurence Grayson

PC World
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