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Olympus Brio D-150

Olympus squeezes a 3x zoom lens into its slim, pocketable 1.3 megapixel "Brio" design.

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Page 3:Design

Review First Posted: 7/11/2001

Measuring a mere 4.4 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches (112 x 62 x 35mm), and weighing only 6.5 ounces (185 grams) without the battery or SmartMedia card, the Olympus Brio Zoom D-150 joins the fixed-focus D-100 as the two smallest digicams released to date (June 2001) in the Olympus Camedia line. The attractive black casing is made of a rugged molded plastic, with gold tone accents that give it a touch of class. Although the D-150 is small enough to slip into any pocket or purse, a braided nylon wrist strap provides a little added security.

The front of the D-150 is smooth and simple, with a sliding clamshell lens cover that powers on the camera when opened, exposing the lens, built-in flash, self-timer lamp, and optical viewfinder window. When opened, the lens cover slides over the SmartMedia compartment door, preventing you from removing the card until you shut down the camera.

The right side of the camera houses the SmartMedia slot compartment and the wrist strap attachment rod (which is part of the SmartMedia door hinge). The compartment door opens from the camera's front by sliding your thumb into a recessed latch and pulling back on the plastic door. When closed, the SmartMedia door snaps firmly into place. There is no eject button for the SmartMedia card, you simply pull the card out with your fingers. A diagram on the inside of the slot door shows how to load the card (gold electrodes going in first, facing the back of the camera).

On the opposite side of the camera is the connector jack compartment, covered by a soft, rubber-like flap. When opened, the flap remains attached to the camera by a flexible rubber tab, which is easily bent back and out of the way to make room for attaching the cables. Inside the compartment are the USB, Video Out, and DC In jacks.

A goldtone Shutter button and small gray Zoom lever are the only two controls on the camera's top panel, positioned on the far right side.

The few external camera controls are all located on the camera's back panel, along with the optical viewfinder eyepiece and 1.5-inch LCD monitor. Control buttons include the Menu / OK, Display, and Arrow rocker pad (which also controls the Flash and Macro modes). Two LED lamps next to the optical viewfinder eyepiece report the camera's status. The top one blinks orange when the flash is charging and glows steadily when the flash is charged. The green LED lamp on the bottom glows steadily when focus and exposure are set, and flashes when the autofocus system is having trouble. (If both lights flash together, the batteries are low.)

A plastic, threaded tripod mount is located on the right side of the D-150's bottom panel, adjacent to the battery compartment door. They are much too close to allow quick battery changes while the camera is mounted on a tripod, a feature to which we pay close attention when recording our studio test shots, but that's probably a non-issue for the average consumer. More pertinent for most folks is that the tripod socket is plastic: We much prefer to see metal, for durability. The battery compartment door slides forward before opening outward, exposing the battery slot, which accommodates either a CR-V3 lithium battery pack or two AA batteries.

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