Entertainment > Docs >
Review: PhotoMAX FUN! FLASH 640 Digital Camera
For this review, I originally
planned to take crappy pictures on purpose, and then joke about
them. I found out that I did not need to try very hard to get a
crappy picture. Come to think of it, Shutter Button = Crappy
Picture. Every photo on this page is exactly as it was taken, with
no image editing or enhancements (besides resizing).
I plan to hock some of my
belongings on eBay,
to get rid of the things I don't use. Now, if you've ever been to
eBay, you'll know that most auctions are represented by a digital
photo or two, so you can see what you're buying. So, I needed a
digital camera if I was to do this properly - But which one? There
are so many to choose from. The decision, in my case, was easy -
It has to be cheap (I've got a
Gibson Les Paul guitar on backorder. I will be making payments
on it until I die. Then Musician's
Friend will get its payments from my corpse).
It has to have something other
than a USB interface (I don't have USB, and I don't feel like
installing it right now).
I saw this camera at Circuit City's
website for $39.00. Cheap? Yes. Serial Port? Bingo. I drove out to
buy it the next day. No problem there. Found it, bought it.
Ok, here's where the review starts.
After struggling for about ten minutes, I finally got the camera
out of its packaging. It looks like a shiny silver plastic, um...
camera. It's got a flash, four buttons on top (Power, Flash, Self
Timer, and Shutter), and an LED meter on the back. No zoom. It
uses four AAA batteries. Simple yet effective.
Don't call me an idiot, but putting
in the batteries was a little complicated. You have to alternate
the positive and negative, being sure to line them up with the
lid. Ok, I'm an idiot. Shut up.
Now, this thing has a dual serial
and USB cable, so if you don't have USB, you're not screwed. There's
an added bonus: If you sniff the cable, you can get high! That's
value! I plugged it in and installed the driver with no
problems. Now I'm ready to take some pictures!
MY FIRST PICTURES
The first couple of pictures I took
were a random shots of my living room. I turned the camera around
and took a couple of quick pictures of myself for good measure. I
excitedly ran back to the computer, plugged the camera in, and
prepared to be impressed. The pictures that came out were poorly
lit and blurry. I looked at the picture of myself...
A picture of me! (After eating mushrooms from
...And then another.
I frighten small children.
"AUGH! I'm not that
ugly, am I?", I asked my hideous mirror image. While taking
the photo, I tried in vain to get my entire humongous, elongated
head into the picture. It could not be done. It takes too much
effort to turn the camera sideways. Just give up, that's
what I always say.
Give up on a decent indoor photo. This thing is
too sensitive to lighting. If the picture's too dark, you use the
flash. Then, after using the flash, the picture is blindingly
bright. And if you're a nervous, shaking, frustrated wreck, you
get pictures like this:
How am I going to sell anything on eBay if
nobody can tell what it is?
In case you're wondering, that's
the mighty Decepticon gestalt, Devastator - or, it could be a
tree, or a rock, or a tasty scoop of ice cream - I can't tell by
looking at it. Conclusion: the camera pretty much sucks at indoor
pictures. We can't blame the camera entirely - you must
realize that I cannot hold a camera still to save my life. I quit
smoking about six years ago, and I still haven't stopped shaking.
After all of my complaining about
the low quality of the indoor pictures (some of which was my
fault, but as far as my looks are concerned, I blame my parents),
I noticed that the 640 does take acceptable outdoor photos.
I walked out my door, and took a quick shot...
My dope ride (and if you look to your right,
somebody's old couch).
...Then I walked out back and took another
Nothing wrong with either pic, so basically, you
just have to be outside, at approximately 2:15 PM Eastern time on
a sunny day with the sun behind you, during October, to get a
decent shot. No problem there!
This thing eats batteries like
popcorn (Assuming cameras can eat popcorn). If you use the flash
more than three times, it's time to change 'em. It's got a timer,
where if it's not in use for 45 seconds, it turns itself on
standby and beeps. I think this thing wastes more energy beeping
than anything else. Every 45 seconds you have to turn the camera
back on. It's kind of annoying.
The 640 is basically the digital version of one
of those disposable cameras you get at Eckerd for like, five
bucks. Here's what it all comes down to:
should you buy this camera?
If you want to take photos for eBay - I don't
If you want a camera just to send quick
photos through email - Maybe. But not for photos which require
a lot of detail, such as nudity.
If you want a camera that saves you from
buying a disposable camera, developing the film, and then
scanning each separate photo into your computer - YES.
I know I've been pretty hard on the Fun! Flash
640 during the review, but you can't beat it for the price and
convenience (I done set it up on mah first try!). This is THE
lowest priced digital camera there is, pretty much, so I shouldn't
complain too much. Of course, if you're a real photograph freak,
I'd hold out for a better, more expensive model. In the case of
digital cameras, you get what you pay for.
My rating: 2 M.C. Hammers out of 5.