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Friday 14 January 2011

Agfa Photo DC-1030b

When I'm out Squirrel surveying I don't often want to carry the DSLR with me, partly because of the extra baggage and for fear of damaging it.

The problem is that there's nearly always something I want to make a visual record of, and the other week was no exception. I came across stoat tracks in the snow and couldn't record them.

Thus the decision to find a cheap compact that I could carry in a pocket without worrying about it, which would be always handy. After a quick search on eBay I found the one shown above for £25.00 plus postage and thought, well I wanted cheap.

In its favour it's small, light and 10MP but I have to admit at that price I didn't expect much. Then, on reading further, I found it could shoot video with sound and be used as an audio memo as well. At that point I have to say I expected even less quality, but after tests I was fairly surprised of what it was capable.

In good light it performs fairly well but its dynamic range is limited and in low light full size images look more like oil paintings; but hey, it means I'll never miss keeping a visual record again and using the built in flash for close up stuff, the results are reasonable.

Pine Marten tracks on a snow and ice encrusted log where it crossed a stream.

Taken in near darkness using the built in flash.

Taken in low light after sunset.

Even at this repro' size you can see the pixels are going a bit chunky.

I've tried the video and much the same applies.

Overall I'm fairly pleased with it for the money and it's certainly handy.

Below is a sample video with audio. Because of the position of the microphone it's difficult to avoid some noise and I find the zoom a bit fast but overall it's not bad and as I said before, it depends on what your looking to do with it.

Kali the Collie from Ron Bury on Vimeo

The image below shows the back of the camera and it's controls.
I was asked about turning the flash on/off and the finger points to the button which, when pressed will give five options. These are indicated in the top left hand corner of the screen next to the auto icon.

The option shown in this picture is for no flash. Auto flash would be indicated by the zigzag arrow with the letter A next to it.

Repeatedly pressing the button will take you through the other four options.

Meant to do this earlier. Here's the ebay store address where I found this camera: Tonys Cameras
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This web site is about the wildlife, particularly the mammals, of the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve area in the north west Highlands of Scotland, UK; and the equipment I use to search for them, which is chiefly trail cameras.

I provide a technical support and parts service for the Ltl Acorn range of cameras and the income from this provides for the upkeep of this site and the purchase of cameras for my own surveying.

I hope you find the site useful and informative; and please contact me if you have any questions that I haven't already covered.