Four Seasons Test: Olympus D-200L Digital Camera

When Olympus’ D-200L digital camera arrived at our offices, I was a bit skeptical.  After all, as an avid photographer, I had forsworn ‘digital’ photography in favor of the film-and-paper variety.  But the D-200L looked like a real camera, so I tried it.  What I found changed my mind about the future (and present) of digital photography.

No, the current crop of digital cameras won’t replace photography as we know it.  But it’s a tremendous step forward.  Sometimes, digital cameras are less appropriate than using film.  For example, if you want to make a lot of prints at your local 60-minute photoshop, don’t use your digital camera (yet).  I did learn when the use of such cameras is appropriate, such as when you have to transmit the image telephonically, or are planning on using the images on the Web or in desktop publishing.

The first feature of the Olympus D-200L that captivated me was the color LCD screen, which could display one or nine images at a time.  Instantly.  And you could delete images that didn’t come out ‘right’ just as instantaneously.  The D-200L allowed me to shoot in both high-resolution and standard formats.  The standard mode was quite sufficient for, say, reproduction on the Web, and the camera would store 80 standard resolution photos.

The image quality was impressive; the camera has a sharp, wide angle, macro lens (by Olympus, of course).  It also features red-eye reduction and fill flash.  Once you take the photograph, then the fun begins.  Using the included Adobe PhotoDeluxe software, you can make greeting cards, layouts, and newsletters.  And you can create a vast array of special effects, combining and retouching images at will.

But most importantly, the Olympus D-200L feels like a camera when you hold it in your hand.  And as any photographer will tell you, that’s the true test.

Jonathan B. Spira is the CEO and Chief Analyst at Basex.  This article originally appeared in the Basex Online Journal of Industry and Commerce (BOJIC).

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