Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Keychain Cameras

By Christina VanGinkel

Browsing, I came across an innovative little camera that was just so cute (You heard me right!), that though I have no need for one, I am compelled to buy one. Sized to fit on a keychain, the small formed digital camera can be carried with you wherever you go. You will give it little or no thought, until you need to snap a picture or two. Browsing further, I actually found three different cameras, two very tiny, keychain sized, and one about the size of a business card. Selling for between $14.95 and $25.99, their cost was as cheap as they were small, and with Overstock known for its low shipping charges, sometimes even offering $1.00 shipping specials, the price of these cameras stay a bargain if purchased there.

The one that was comparatively sized to a business card, an SDAT Link-depot MDC-13S 1.3MP Digital Camera, the most expensive of the three, not only functions as a digital still camera, it can also take video, and be used as a web cam. With a maximum resolution of 1.3MP, you may not be able to take pictures that can be later blown up for framing; you can take pictures that are perfect for emailing or printing up to a 4 x 6 inch print. With a universal USB interface, plugging in the camera to work with your computer should be simple. Add in that it has 16MB of built in memory, an integrated viewfinder, built-in rechargeable battery, auto shut-off after 30 seconds, and all the software needed to use it with your computer included, $25.99 is a bargain that is hard to beat.

If you want an even more inexpensive small-form camera, then maybe the Innovage Mini Digital Camera, with a sale price of $14.95, is the one for you. Advertised as a Keychain digital camera, it has many of the same features as the SDAT Link-depot MDC-13S 1.3MP Digital Camera. It is a three function camera, capable of taking still, video, and to be used as a web cam. It plugs right into your computer via an included USB cable, and has 16MB of built in memory, and all needed software. A small carrying case is also included for no additional charge.

The second one advertised as a Keychain camera, a Bell Howell Keychain Digital Camera, comes complete with attached keychain, and a price of $24.95. It records up to 10 seconds of digital video, doubles as a web cam, and has a self-timer. The included software, Arcsoft Digital Imaging software, is known to be easy to set up, and the camera will hook up easily to most any computer with the included USB cable. A protective carrying case is also included, as is the needed battery, an AAA.

While none of these cameras is capable of taking award-winning photographs due to their small resolution, I can see where they would be a fun gift to give or receive. With all the uses for photos on websites and email, any of these would make ideal first cameras, or as a secondary one just for the fun of it!

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