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Toshiba PDR-M81

Toshiba steps into the 4-megapixel arena with a value-priced, full-featured model.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 08/24/2001

4.2-megapixel CCD for files as large as 2,400 x 1,600 pixels
Sharp, Canon-built 2.8x ( 35-98mm equivalent) lens.
Sophisticated exposure mode, plus six preprogrammed scene modes for excellent creative control.
Fast USB port for computer connection

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Manufacturer's Overview
A true leader in the digital imaging industry, Toshiba America introduced its first digital still camera in 1996. The PDR-2 revolutionized consumer digital photography by offering the first PC Card interface, a low-power CMOS chip for image capture, and an interface specifically designed for use with Toshiba's popular laptop computers. The company is also known for inventing the SmartMedia flash memory card, one of the most popular in-camera storage formats in the digicam industry, and the FlashPath card adapter, which enables users to read SmartMedia cards directly from a computer's 3.5-inch floppy drive.

Since 1996, Toshiba has introduced a full line of digital cameras, all priced for the beginning and advanced photo enthusiast ($400 to $1,000). Its current crop (July 2001) includes eight models, which range from the entry level 2.1-megapixel PDR-M21, to the 3.3-megapixel PDR-M65 (introduced in January), to the latest 4.2-megapixel model, the PDR-M81. The new M81 models offers a broad range of auto and manual exposure features, making it suitable for all levels of users, from novice to advanced amateurs.

High Points

  • 4.2-megapixel CCD delivering image resolutions as large as 2,400 x 1,600 pixels.
  • Real-image optical viewfinder and 1.5-inch color LCD monitor.
  • 2.8x, Canon 7.25-20.3mm lens (equivalent to a 35-98mm lens on a 35mm camera).
  • 2.2x digital zoom.
  • Apertures from f/2.9 to f/8.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1,000 to 15 seconds.
  • Full Automatic, Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Manual, and six Scene exposure modes.
  • Adjustable White Balance with six modes.
  • Spot and Multi metering systems.
  • Sensitivity equivalent to ISO 100, 200, or 400.
  • Built-in flash with four user-selectable modes.
  • Two- and 10-second Self-Timer modes.
  • Movie mode with sound.
  • Autoexposure Bracketing, Multi-Shot, and Burst photography modes.
  • Images saved in JPEG format to SmartMedia cards (8MB card included).
  • USB cable and interface software for quick connection to a computer.
  • A/V cable for viewing images on a television set.
  • Power from four AA batteries (set of four alkaline batteries included).
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.

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