Uniden UDC-7M

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Uniden UDC-7M
  • Uniden UDC-7M
  • Uniden UDC-7M
  • Uniden UDC-7M
  • Expert Rating

    1.50 / 5

Pros

  • Relatively low price

Cons

  • High levels of fringing, Noisy shots, Poor colour balance, Some under sharpening

Bottom Line

The UDC-7M performed poorly in almost all of our tests, producing noisy, soft shots that had noticeable haloing. We'd recommend you steer clear of this unit if you're after a compact camera.

Would you buy this?

A new entrant into the compact camera market, Uniden aren't nearly as experienced as companies like Canon and Olympus, and it really shows in their first 7 megapixel unit, the UDC-7M.

Testing revealed issues in pretty much every department, including high levels of fringing and chromatic aberration, colour representation problems and extremely prominent image noise. Coupled with a rather plain design and basic menu system, this makes for a rather unappealing compact camera.

It was evident from the moment we opened our outdoors shots that this camera has some severe problems. The fringing found was some of the worst we've ever seen, occurring not just in areas of high contrast or bright backlighting, but across the entire shot. It appears mostly as blue and red haloing, and severely detracts from the quality of the pictures.

Thus it was no surprise when the camera scored .159% in Imatest's chromatic aberration test. This is quite a poor result for a camera in this category, and mirrors what we saw in our test shots. The score of 1432 for sharpness is quite a bit better, and is about what we'd expect from a mid-range 7 megapixel unit. However Imatest also revealed excessive levels of under sharpening, giving it a score of 27% in this area, which is particularly high. This also came across in our test shots, particularly our outdoor shots, where everything had a distinctly soft look to it, which somewhat counteracted the fairly solid sharpness score.

The colour results were not much better. Imatest awarded the UDC-7M with a 10.6 rating in its colour check test. Most compacts score around 7 in this category, with very few falling above 10. There were errors evident in most parts of the spectrum, with reds, blues greens and yellows all exhibiting some noticeable inaccuracy.

While colour performance was a little below average, the noise results were far worse. With an Imatest score of .96% for noise at ISO 100, the UDC-7M really suffered in this regard. Very few cameras score over .7%, with most achieving results around .5%. Our shots at this sensitivity exhibited noticeable fine noise that caused speckling and blurring around edges. However, where the UDC-7M really suffered was when we ramped up the ISO settings. At ISO 400 it scored a rather large 2.65%, the sort of result we normally see from a mediocre camera at ISO 800 or ISO 1600, while at its highest setting of ISO 800, it received a mammoth 6.52%. We have never had a camera score close to this high, even at ISO 1600 or greater, and our shots at this level were completely unusable.

The interface system is quite basic, offering all the features grouped together in a single menu, rather than split up like most cameras have these days. It is fairly simple to operate, and offers most of the things you'd expect, including white balance presets, several focus modes and exposure compensation. There are also 14 scene modes, a two frame per second burst mode and standard 640x480 video shooting. Take note, the burst mode is not immediately obvious as Uniden has hidden it in a separate menu, accessed via the video camera button, rather than representing it with the standard burst mode icon. This makes it quite difficult to find the first time around.

In our speed tests the UDC-7M performed reasonably, but was still a little slower than normal. With a .12 second shutter lag and 3.1 second start-up time it isn't the speediest camera around, but its 1.9 second shot-to-shot time is a little more impressive.

The design is fairly plain, with a generic matte silver colour scheme and a boxy form factor. Despite being constructed mostly of plastic it feels rather sturdy, and should be able to take a few knocks without any issues. The controls are similarly minimalist; a directional pad and menu button do the majority of the work. New users should have no trouble operating the unit.

One area we were slightly more impressed with was the battery life. Uniden quote it at approximately 300 shots, running off the included lithium ion battery, and we found this to be quite close to the mark. This is a solid performance by the UDC-7M, and is on par with more expensive models in this category.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?