Priceless little gem

2nd January 2004 at 00:00
The Mustek DV3000 is a digital still camera and video camcorder rolled into one that comfortably fits into a coat pocket. It measures in at a titchy 86mm x 40mm x 68mm, weighs just 110g (without its two AA batteries) and has a price to match (pound;99). It comes with a 32Mb multimedia card, which will allow you about five minutes of video footage. However, memory can be expanded by 512Mb, which will give you the ability to film a huge two hours of footage.

The biggest surprise with the DV3000 is the quality of the pictures. With a hardware resolution of 3.1 megapixels, it can take still photos at up to 1600 x 1200 resolution and video footage at up to 320 x 240 resolution. To preview your still shots and watch your moving images, the DV3000 has a full-colour 1.5-inch TFT screen on a very handy fold-away panel.

Outdoor pictures were vibrant and of a surprisingly sharp quality.

Admittedly if it was a grey day or night time, quality was not as good, but I still managed to get some reasonable shots of Bologna in the pouring rain. Indoor photos were not quite as good, especially in poor light, but I still got some good shots which, for this price and the size of the camera, were nothing short of miraculous.

Add to that the fact that I was able to set up the camera as a webcam within minutes (all the cameras controls are easy to get a handle on) and the supplied USB cable plugs into your computer making it a doddle to transfer your images and movies to the PC.

Other features include a 2x digital zoom (unusual in cameras of this type and price), self-timer and AV (audio and video) connection so that you can plug your camera straight into your TV.

No doubt about it, the Mustek DV3000 is a little gem and outstanding value for money.

Mustek DV3000 Price: pound;99 (pound;94 online) Tel: 08709 200200 www.rm.com

Features: digital video; digital still; webcam; USB data storage; 3.1 mega pixel hardware resolution; 1.5 inch TFT colour screen; 32Mb MMC card, audiovideo out for TV, supports SD and MMC cards Fitness for purpose ***** Ease of use ***** Design ***** Quality **** Value for money *****

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