A disposable camera for the 21st century...sort of.

A disposable camera for the 21st century...sort of.

Summary: Well, it's certainly not disposable in the most literal of senses, but the $50 spent for the 3-megapixel Phillips PT44434 Retro-Inspired Ultra Slim Digital camera is about the best bang-for-buck deal I've ever seen."Retro" terminology aside -- there's nothing retro about the lithe 0.

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TOPICS: Hardware
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Phillips PT44434 Digital CameraWell, it's certainly not disposable in the most literal of senses, but the $50 spent for the 3-megapixel Phillips PT44434 Retro-Inspired Ultra Slim Digital camera is about the best bang-for-buck deal I've ever seen.

"Retro" terminology aside -- there's nothing retro about the lithe 0.5-inch profile that the Phillips carves -- the 4x digital zoom and built-in flash make the camera truly great in a squeeze. Camera aficionados thumb their noses at such meek stats, but I'll tell you -- it wasn't all that long ago that three megapixels was consumer king. For this price, though, it's tempting to tuck one away anywhere, from the car glovebox to the back pocket. You could probably afford to give all the neighborhood kids one, and you'll never hear the crank-crank of a true disposable ever again.

To put it in perspective: for the price of a Canon EOS-1D Mark III, you could have 86 -- that's right, 86 -- of these little wonders. It might not have a whole lot under the hood -- especially when compared to the camera on the average cell phone these days -- but it's hard to go wrong for 50 greenbacks. I smell a new nickname already: "Grant's gift."

Topic: Hardware

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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9 comments
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  • I'm not sure it's a GREAT deal..consider

    It is remarkable for $50 for such a slim camera. I lik eit. However, $79 for Norcent DCS-860 (Buy.com) offered 3X optical, 7Mpixel , anti shake and video.

    Granted it's nearly $30 more but within a price range that falls in the "cheap" range. I really do like the thinness and may just buy one.
    Nice find.
    Prognosticator
  • $50 gamble

    The megapixel figure of merit is one of those things that is vastly overrated. Manufacturers know that most people don't bother really evaluating things, so given a 5 vs 6 MP camera, the 6 has to be better, right? well, wrong.

    A 3MP camera should be fine for a lot of situations. the 4X digital zoom is a waste of firmware space, anyone knowing how to crop an image in any of the available image editing software can accomplish the same thing.

    The real figure of merit is how well does the thing take pictures in non-optimal lighting? how fast is it, and how much power does it chew up along the way?

    My recommendation is to buy whatever camera interests you, shot with it as much as possible right away, and return it if it doesn't satisfy your expectations.
    CaptOska
    • Digizoom

      The digital zoom is also a waste of quality -- you lose information without gaining anything at all.

      It should be disabled in every single camera which offers it.
      fde101
      • Digital Zoom

        I agree. It is useful ONLY as an adveising gimic for the ignorant.
        DaveFeign
        • Re:Digizoom

          I agree, I've disabled the digital zoom on every camera that I've owned, and even some that I didn't. Friends ask me to setup their cameras to make them take better pictures, cuz they assume I know all since I was a graphic design major...Anywho, I dont eve use the digital zoom on my phone..3MP is bad enough quality to begin with never mind degrading that quality by using digital zoom!
          NamelessFor Now
  • RE: A disposable camera for the 21st century...sort of.

    I checked some reviews (several sites had the exact same reviews, nothing new even on the web now). They mainly sighted poor picture quality and poor battery life. This thin, $50 camera with a rechargable battery has appeal, but I'll stick with an old Kodak: AA batteries, optical view finder (they took the optical out of the new cheaper models). They were easy to use and took pretty decent photos.
    Realvdude
  • Too small -- throw it back!

    I don't like these tiny cameras.

    I can't hold them and produce non-blurry pictures.

    These don't have enough size or weight to counter my shaky hands.


    Furthermore, if it's this small, the image sensor will never be able to get a reasonably good picture. I like quality too.

    And yes, the physical size (not necc. resolution) of the image sensor makes a *BIG* difference in the quality of the images you get from a digital camera, much like you can expect to get better quality from a large-format view camera (4x5 inch film -- or larger) than from a 35mm film camera...
    fde101
  • RE: A disposable camera for the 21st century...sort of.

    We, have one of these cameras. The batteries won't last more that two flashes, the picture quality in low light stinks, it can't be mounted on a tripod. BUT outside in good light, it does take nice pictures.
    co-eddy
  • RE: A disposable camera for the 21st century...sort of.

    What was the image quality no mention in article,a lot to do with the the lens quality,if it does not give good images no camera is worth a dime?
    morrig