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32

A Kids Toy Camera a Mother Can Love

Pros Takes 100 pictures
Cons Really bad directions
Recommended it? No
The Bottom Line:  This camera is best for those who want something to fool around with????
Before I waste your time let me make it clear this camera is really little more than a toy. If you want better pictures on a limited budget stick with a film camera. If this is for a child or just for fun it is sort of just that..something to goof around with.

That child of mine, the one who shot the rocket threw his bedroom ceiling, wanted a digital camera. Once we established that he was not going to:
A. Publish any photos of his sisters on the internet
B. Mail any photos of his sisters via the internet
C. Was not going to use said camera to launch another rocket threw his bedroom ceiling.
I agreed that we could consider this, after all mom has one. After shopping around we determined that the Vivitar Vivicam 10 would be a good starter camera based one a single criteria: COST! Any other digital camera, with flash card upgrades etc. was going to cost at least two hundred dollars and his tattered little shoe box only had about eight dollars in it. I was skeptical that this 45.99 camera would even be capable of taking a picture but hey, we bought it at Walmart so we could always return it and tell them it was trash.

The Vivicam is a very small camera that fits in the palm of your hand, which makes it perfect for kids, they can promptly lose it in one of the pockets of their cargo pants. It is very light weight topping the scales at 7 ounces without the 2 AA batteries.
We unpacked the camera and began to read the directions which are useless, and I mean really useless. The camera has 4 buttons, Power, mode, select and the shutter button. There is a slide switch on the side of the camera which allows you to change from macro to distance. The directions never walk you through taking a picture. They sort of skip from one function to another and never quite tell you how to do something so simple as set the camera to take a flash picture inside a dark room!! After fooling around with the camera for about an hour we figured out how to work it. (if you want to know how just send me 19.95 cash!!)

The camera can take macro pictures from about 36 inches or it can take infinite pictures (of course the further away you go from your subject the smaller it will look with the fixed lens). It has settings to take pictures outdoors (sunny or cloudy) or indoors (bright or dark). There is a flash, a self timer, and a continuous capture mode. A very nice feature about this camera is that it goes off after 60 seconds of not using it. Or maybe that is not so nice if you are waiting to take a specific shot.

The Vivicam can take either 640 x 480 pixel pictures or 320 x 240 pixel pictures or 160 x 120 pixel pictures. I know you probably are asking "so what does that mean to ME?" a 160 x 120 pixel picture would be about the size of a postage stamp or something. If you tried to blow it up it would start to look like a really bad piece of modern art. A 640 x 480 pixel picture will give you a decent 3 x4 photo but really nothing that much larger. Again this is good and bad. Bad because your photo can never really become anything bigger and good because those printing supplies cost a bundle.

After we figured out how to work the camera we had to load the software to the computer to download the images from the camera. Again the directions were bad. I ended up just downloading the twain driver and then using Microsoft Digital Image software to download the pictures (which is saved as JPEG files).

All said and done the camera really took some decent pictures PROVIDED the child held their hand steady. I would really have to wonder if a child under 10 (or an adult that has had more than two drinks) could hold this camera steady enough to take any kind of picture. A film camera is much more forgiving than a digital camera but you can not really download those pictures and mail them out within minutes, now can you?

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