(Not sure which digital camera to get? Check out our comparison guide.)
These days, a man's worth is measured not by the size of his wallet, or his motor, but by the magnitude of his CMOS. It's all well and good flexing a one or two megapixel shooter, but anyone looking to elevate his status in life from mere "good bloke" to "uber-chap" should be quite prepared to sell his mother/wife/girlfriend for extra output from his binary-crunching snapper.
It's a good thing, then, that Mustek, purveyor of fine men's digital accessories and accoutrements since 1988, is well aware of the correlation between social status and CMOS resolution and has addressed the problem with its latest digital effort.
The gSmart Mini3 conjures up a 2.1-megapixel CMOS, which, via some arch software meddling, produces images of up to 3.1-megapixel resolution. All the gain, then, without the credit-card trouncing pain of lashing out on a Â‘true' 3-megapixel affair and all in a tiny package that's unlikely to make you any less flight of foot should the need arise for you to depart the scene in a haste.
Another purchase incentive, as if one were needed, is the rechargeable battery that's topped up via the USB cable when the camera is connected to your PC. Unlike other cameras in this price range that unceremoniously abandons all your photos when the battery runs out, the Mustek features an Â‘auto power off' function that turns the camera off when the battery is low, leaving just enough power to store your pictures while you dash to a nearby PC. The Mini3's 16MB of onboard memory allows up to 180 640x480 images to be stored at any one time and the neat Macro/Normal lens option means you can get "up close and persona" with your subject.
That's not to mention the webcam mode and 120-second video clip function that allows you to make modest, yet strangely fulfilling films while you're out on the town, or the software bundle that includes the PhotoExpress editing software.
All this makes the Mini3 the perfect camera for the man who simply refuses to compromise. Except when he really has to. Like when Weird Science is on one channel and Star Wars is on the other. Although the powers that be would never allow two quality items of programming onto our screens at the same time. It's more likely to be Time Team on one side and Ground Force on the other...
||2.0 megapixel CMOS sensor (16m colours)
||16MB built-in SDRAM
||- Digital Video Recording (no sound)
- Still Photos
- PC Webcam
||- 640 x 480 (VGA)
- 1600 x 1200 (UXGA)
- 3048 x 1536 (QXGA, software interpolated)
||- 180 images (at 640 x 480)
||1/15 ~ 1/4000 second
|Video Frame Rate
||15-20 fps (VGA)
||Fixed (Macro/Normal); f = 9.8mm
||Two settings: 40cm ~ 65cm (Macro) and 70cm ~ infinity (Normal)
||Lithium ion polymer battery and charger sealed inside camera unit
||4.7cm (H) x 6.9cm (W) x 1.1cm (D)