Digital Camera Home > Digital Camera Reviews > Epson Digital Cameras > Epson PhotoPC 3100Z

Epson PhotoPC 3100Z

Epson updates their excellent 3 megapixel digicam with a new user interface, and support for PRINT Image Matching!

<<Design :(Previous) | (Next): Optics>>

Page 4:Viewfinder

Review First Posted: 7/10/2001

The 3100Z features both a real image optical viewfinder and an LCD monitor for composing images. The Mode dial on top of the camera determines which viewfinder you use by offering two single-image capture modes: One for framing with the viewfinder (indicated by a red camera with a tiny red square inside) and one for working with the LCD monitor (a red camera with a large red square inside).

The optical viewfinder has a diopter adjustment dial on the left side, enabling eyeglass wearers to adjust the focus. Two LEDs on the right side of the viewfinder report the camera's status. The bottom green light flashes when setting focus and exposure, and glows a steady green when complete. A set of central focus crosshairs inside the viewfinder help you line up your shots. In our testing, we found the optical viewfinder to be a little tight, showing 84 percent framing accuracy at both wide and telephoto settings.

The 1.8-inch color LCD monitor on the back panel can also be used as a viewfinder, and offers a rather unique menu display. A Menu On / Off button in the lower right corner of the back panel controls the on-screen menu display. The menu is unique in that it doesn't have separate screens to scroll through to make changes. Instead, a list of options appear along the bottom and right margins of the screen, lining up with corresponding buttons outside the monitor. So if you want to change your White Balance setting, you simply press the button next to the W / B menu option until you get to the desired selection. Although it took a little getting used to (and, we must admit, a good study of the manual), in the end we really appreciated this simplified, timesaving system. Our only complaint with the information display is that it doesn't report the battery power until the batteries are too low to operate the camera (neither does the small status display panel on top), so you don't really have any idea how much battery time you have left until it's too late.

The menu selections work the same way in Playback mode. There's an option for Multi playback that cycles between two index displays of four or nine thumbnail images and single image review, plus a 3x playback zoom for closer inspection of single images, controlled with the Optical Zoom buttons. Delete All, Scroll (Arrows), Delete, Lock, and Menu Change buttons are also displayed on-screen with Image Quality and Frame number.

We found the LCD monitor to be very accurate in framing, showing approximately 98 percent of the frame at both wide angle and telephoto focal lengths. We generally like to see LCD monitors as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, so the 3100Z came through with flying colors.

Reader Comments! --> Visit our discussion forum for the Epson PhotoPC 3100Z!

<<Design | Optics>>

Follow Imaging Resource: