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Kyocera Finecam L3V review: Kyocera Finecam L3V

This camera has neither accessories nor (just as you'd expect in this class) a hotshoe, but the built-in flash's six settings are more than adequate for snapshooting.

This camera's most notable performance aspect is its LCD's outdoor viewability. Kyocera's DayFine technology provides a clear preview in bright sunlight. However, the screen is unexceptional indoors and not as good as some competitors in dim conditions. Lighting aside, large type and pictographs make the menus easy to read.

Otherwise, the L3v's performance is pretty average. The lens zooms relatively responsively and smoothly but a little noisily. Start-up is acceptable at about 4.5 seconds. Shot-to-shot time ranges between about 3 and 6 seconds, depending on whether you use the flash. Although there's no continuous-shooting mode, you can take nonflash photos while the camera writes previously snapped images to the card. We were able to fill the included SD media with nine high-res pictures separated by only 2 to 3 seconds, including less than 1 second for the autofocus.

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With the LCD on, some flash use, and an average amount of playback, the bundled CRV3 provides ample power for more than 100 shots and a minute or so of video. You can also use rechargeable AAs, a more affordable alternative.
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The optical viewfinder is small and shows only about 80 percent of the actual image, but it's still quite usable.

Focusing isn't always that swift in lower light. Although switching from spot to wide-area autofocus helps and there is a limited manual option, an assist lamp would be welcome. The built-in flash doesn't extend much beyond eight feet, but its coverage is reasonably even.

For a camera in this class, the L3v produces acceptable but below-average images. They were generally properly exposed under a variety of lighting conditions, and colors were fairly accurate. Automatic white balance worked well, and we rarely needed the custom function.

Photos came out less than tack sharp at normal focal lengths. The finer details disappeared, highlights were often clipped, and deep shadows tended to block up. Macro mode delivered the best shots in our tests, showing more detail, crisper edges, and less clipping in the highlights.

We saw occasional color fringing and haloing, but they weren't major problems except along extremely high-contrast edges. Image noise was relatively low at ISO 80, increased at ISO 160, and jumped noticeably at ISO 320.

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