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Epson PhotoPC L-410 review: Epson PhotoPC L-410

MSRP: $449.99
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The Good Compact and lightweight; better-than-average movie mode; burst shooting is faster than the norm.

The Bad Images look somewhat flat; autofocus often gives up in very low light; long startup time.

The Bottom Line This compact Epson should meet the needs of many bargain-hunting snapshooters.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 7
  • Image quality 7

Review Sections

Intro

Epson's PhotoPC L-410 is aimed squarely at the casual snapshot photographer who wants a compact, inexpensive digicam. Although its images aren't as punchy as many snapshooters might like, the camera's 3X zoom lens, 4-megapixel resolution, and above-average burst and movie modes make it a good value. The Epson PhotoPC L-410 is your basic rectangular, silver box, but Epson rounded off its corners and generally gave it a clean look. It's very portable, weighing only 6.8 ounces with battery and media installed, and small enough to fit easily in a shirt pocket. The camera's shiny, plastic body feels adequately constructed, and we found it comfortable to hold and use.

A mode dial, a four-way controller, and just a few other controls are scattered around the top and back of the PhotoPC L-410, and we have no complaints about their placement. The menus, too, are minimal--occupying only one page in recording mode--and they're easy to understand and quick to operate.

For casual snapshooting, the Epson PhotoPC L-410's feature set is perfectly adequate. Exposure options and controls include programmed autoexposure mode, two scene modes (landscape and portrait), and exposure compensation to plus or minus 2EV. You can also set the sensitivity of the sensor to ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, or Auto. White-balance options include automatic and five presets, but there's no manual setting.

The L-410's lens is a standard-issue, 3X zoom that covers the range from 34mm to 102mm (35mm-camera equivalent). The widest aperture at wide-angle is f/2.8, while, at telephoto, it's f/4.9. In other words, this camera isn't ideal for taking close-ups in low light or capturing a big group of people in a room.

For still photos, the camera captures JPEGs only, and it saves them to its internal 16MB of memory or an optional SD/MMC card. You can choose from three resolution settings and two JPEG compression levels.

This Epson's surprisingly good movie mode can capture 30fps video with sound at 640x480 resolution. The length of your clips is limited only by your storage card's capacity.

As you might expect, the PhotoPC L-410 can print photos directly to selected Epson printers via an included USB cable, and it even has a set of built-in frame styles that you can add to any pictures that you print directly from the camera.

Performance is not the Epson PhotoPC L-410's strong suit, but it's adequate for a snapshot camera. Start-up time is a somewhat annoying 6.7 seconds, and shot-to-shot time is about 2.2 seconds or 5.6 seconds with flash. We measured the shutter delay including autofocus time at 0.8 second in good light and just slightly longer in dim light at 0.9 second.

Epson expended extra effort on the PhotoPC L-410's burst shooting mode, which can fire off 3fps without pausing, until your storage card is full. That's impressive, although we're pretty sure that a quicker start-up time and shorter shot-to-shot intervals would have been more useful to most buyers of this camera.

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