Samsung Digimax 35 MP3

The last bastion of film is picture quality. However, the extra features, the good colour and compression hardware of the Digimax 35 MPS cannot quite overcome the low resolution.

This device is based on a good idea: integrating the functions of a Webcam, and MP3 player, and a stand-alone digital camera. Unfortunately, it falls short of its aspirations because its frame rate is too slow for a good Webcam, its memory is too small for an MP3 player, and its resolution isn't quite enough for a digital camera. On the brighter side, it does work, and as the technology improves, future models should address these shortcomings.

The camera data is handled by e-maxManager, as are MP3 up-loads. Downloading the MP3s from the camera would permit piracy, but deleting them should be possible without resorting to the little buttons. Actually, the instruction page directs users to mp3.com and warns about the legality of some MP3s . . . and the way the camera beeps when taking shots is presumably intended to prevent the user stealing people's souls.

Even as an MP3 player, the Digimax has limitations. It isn't loud enough, it chews batteries and the headphone socket is smaller than the standard 3.5mm. It's easy to drop and impractical to put in a pocket. The casing is plastic, with transparent blue bevels that can break off and make you feel suitably regretful if you drop it. It will probably still work, though!

While the idea of leaving the house with music and coming home with pictures is great, the CMOS sensor at 640x480 really isn't good enough for serious use. Together with its other shortcomings, the Digimax isn't ready for prime time yet, but future versions may hold promise.

Samsung Digimax 35 MP3

Price: $499

Phone: 1300 369 600

URL: www.samsung.com.au

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