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Agfa ePhoto CL34

Digital camera

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Review The popularity of digital cameras appears to know no bounds at the moment, with many PC owners trading in their film cameras for digital models. The latest film-free snapper vying for your custom is Agfa's ePhoto CL34, a 1.3Mp (megapixel) unit with a top resolution of 1280x960 pixels. What's more, it can capture short bursts of video and double up as a Webcam.

Agfa ePhoto CL34Taken as a basic digital camera, the CL34 presents very little to complain about. It takes reasonable pictures at all resolutions, including the lowest 512x384 mode, has a built-in flash, self-timer and macro modes, as well as offering the option to frame images in either the 1.8in LCD screen or a traditional viewfinder.

The trouble is, Agfa pitches the CL34 as being more than just a 'basic' model, going so far to describe it as "superb quality" - something that's certainly not true of the build. The twist-off cover concealing the camera's USB connector socket is appallingly designed; removing it with the turn of a two-pence coin we managed to mangle the slot with next to no force applied. Moreover, as it comes away, it dangles limply from a thread of plastic - ripe for snapping. The CL34 has a CompactFlash slot, but its 2MB internal memory seems mean, and it can store only four images at the camera’s top resolution. Agfa also reckons that the CL34 can be used for out-and-about (low-resolution) video capture, but without a meaty - not to mention costly - CompactFlash card inserted, there would be little point.

The supplied software - Photowise 3.0 - is simple enough to operate, and it automatically downloads thumbnails from the camera upon attachment. VideoImpression, another extra, isn't as easy to use and acts as a basic video-capture program.

While the Agfa is not a bad camera, there are so many better options that we’d be hesitant in recommending the ePhoto CL34. ®

Info

Price: £169
Contact: 020 8231 4903
Website: www.agfa.co.uk

Specs

1.3Mp CCD (1280x960 max resolution)
2MB internal memory
1.8in colour LCD viewfinder
2x digital zoom

This review is taken from the August 2001 issue. All details correct at time of publication.

Copyright © 2001, IDG. All rights reserved.

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