- Review Price: £73.00
Over the past couple of years digital cameras have become ‘must have’ items mainly due to them becoming more affordable and easier to use. Most mid to high end mobiles phones feature an integrated digital camera now, but the quality of these is poor.
Logitech is well known for its web cameras and has produced a few low end digital cameras in the past that also doubled up as web cameras. The Pocket Digital 130 is the second generation of Pocket Digital cameras from Logitech and the first one to feature an integrated flash. The standard picture resolution is 1,280 x 1,024 which equates to 1.3 megapixels. The camera can also take low resolution images at 640 x 480 but there are no other settings. The integrated, non expandable 16MB of memory is capable of storing just over 40 images in high resolution mode and over 130 in low resolution.
The build quality of the Pocket Digital 130 is first rate as the camera body is made of stainless steel. This makes for an impressive overall feel for such a small camera as this. The camera slides open to reveal the lens and the flash and the sturdy camera body helps protecting the lens and the flash. The slide mechanism is very smooth and there shouldn’t be any problems with it over time.
One problem that you might encounter during the life span of this camera is the integrated lithium-ion battery. The battery is not user changeable, which could cause a problem after a year or two. The other problem that you might experience is that the camera can only be charged over USB. This means that if the battery runs out while you’re away from a computer, there’s no way of recharging it. However, as the camera needs a PC for the pictures to be downloaded, this would be a rare occurrence.
On the positive side the battery life is quite good and according to Logitech it should last for “hundreds of pictures” which means that you should be able to fill the memory at least twice before having to recharge it. This review unit didn’t run out of battery power, so there are no complaints here. It takes between two and three hours to recharge the battery over USB once it’s depleted and my personal tip would be to use a powered USB hub, as you don’t need to have your PC switched on while the camera is charging.
The controls of the Pocket Digital 130 are very basic with only three buttons and a small LCD info-display around the back. The first button allows you to set the image quality and delete unwanted snaps. The second button is for enabling or disabling the snap shot sound as well as for enabling the timer. The third and final button activates or deactivates the flash. The buttons look somewhat out of place as they are made of soft white rubber, which doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the camera. The LCD display shows how many pictures you have left and if the flash and timer are on or not.
There is no way to review pictures on the camera, but this is a low cost pocket solution.
At the bottom of the unit you’ll find a mini USB port as well as a reset button in case the camera locks up. I didn’t experience any lock ups however and didn’t need to use the reset button. On the top of the camera you’ll find the shutter release button for taking pictures and apart from this there are no other buttons on the chassis. This makes the Pocket Digital 130 dead easy to use as it works like any other point and shoot camera.
The idea behind the Pocket Digital 130 is that you should have it with you all the time, fitting in your pocket without weighing you down. At a mere 104g you can hardly accuse the Pocket Digital 130 of being heavy, although it still weighs more than many modern mobile phones. But its slim dimensions of 58 x 88 x 19mm (HxWxD) make it very pocket friendly.
What you get in the box is the camera itself, as well as a USB to mini USB cable, a CD with software for both PC and Mac (OS X required) and a user guide.
The Pocket Digital 130 features a two year warranty which shows that Logitech has faith in its products.
So how easy is it to use and are the pictures any good? Well, it works like any other point and shoot camera and it takes about two minutes to learn everything you need to know. It also means that anyone can use it as there are no knobs or dials to fiddle around with. Picture quality is acceptable, but not great. It takes very good quality outdoor shots, and makes a decent job of well lit indoor subjects. The problem occurs as soon as it gets a bit dark, even if you use the flash the pictures tend to be poor. The flash also has a very limited range which means which makes composition in low light environments tricky.
But what makes this camera really easy to use is the supplied software. Once installed you can set it up so that it does everything for you. It will download the pictures from the camera onto your PC and put them in the Logitech photo album software and then delete all the picture from the camera memory. This makes it easy to use for all members of a family as you don’t need to know how to navigate a fiddly application. The photo album software then allows you to browse the pictures and even dates them automatically. It does also feature some basic photo editing tools.
Personally I wasn’t too fond of the Pocket Digital 130, but it does what it says on the box. However, my wife who isn’t a computer savvy person, nor one that cares much about learning how to use technical things, found it easy to use and was very happy with it. What you have to take in to consideration is what you’re going to use a digital camera for. If you’re looking for something to take quick snaps with anytime and anyplace, the Pocket Digital 130 will serve you well. However, if you’re concerned with quality and features, it’s worth digging a bit deeper and looking elsewhere.
The Pocket Digital 130 is great as a second camera that’s in your pocket all the time, but don’t expect amazing results from it. It’s easy to use and won’t break the bank. If convenience is more important than features and image quality give it a look.
Score in detail
Image Quality 6