Review Minox Digital Classic Camera M3 Replica

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#1
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Maker/Provider: Minox

Product: DCC (Leica) M3 replica 5MP version

Price: ~£200 inc P&P (From Warehoue Express in under 24 hours from click to doorbell via ParcelForce)

Overall Rating: ?/10 (Not used it enough to give a qualified rating)

Overall Summary: Tiny (? 1/3rd) replica of a Leica M3. 5MP sensor, saving either to internal memory or an SD card (SDHC supported)
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Detailed Review
Haven't really used it enough to give a very detailed review, anyway, it's as much of a toy (to me) as it is intended to be a "proper" camera. It seems to take reasonable pictures although not yet printed any to see how large it'll go - A5 would be enough, A4 a bonus. **UPDATE** 6x4 print looks great, as does the A4.

In Use
It's TINY! I've got large hands but can still press all the buttons individually. It's got a proper optical viewfinder which seems to line up well (at suitable distances) with what the lens sees. There is a focus ring to adjust the minimum focus distance between 2m and 0,5m but actual focus seems to be of the small aperture, small sensor, huge DoF fixed type. Seems to do the job though - the garage name at the bottom of the reg plate in the car pic is readable at full size and on the A4 print.

For the Pixel Peepers, this is a 100% crop from the centre - no sharpening or other PP, just cropped.


Build Quality
Seems fine. The doors (battery/card and USB) hinge smoothly and clip shut securely and all the buttons click so you know they've been pressed fully. The moving parts feel OK, even though they don't do anything apart from move. The strap points seem very sturdy, even though the thing's unlikely to put much strain on them! I don't have a real M3 to compare it against but it does look like a tiny rangefinder.


Strengths
It's so cute!!! Comes in a pretty sturdy wooden box
inside a cardboard one with manual, converter, USB lead etc. It (the camera) measures 8cm wide (lug to lug), 4.3cm deep and 5cm tall. As I said above, Image Quality seems decent enough and it's dead simple to use - a real point and press. Exposure looks reasonable (the car pic is just resized and sharpened a little) as do the colours; there is some shadow detail in the dark but the light here today isn't ideal (there's more shadow detail in the prints).

Weaknesses
Apart from some exposure compensation, there's no real control over any parameters - not even scene modes to force it towards high/low shutter speeds or wide/narrow apertures.
Price. It's not a cheap P&P camera, probably aimed more at collectors than people who actually plan to use it to take pictures BUT it seems to take 1/2 decent pics despite that.
The battery seems to be a dedicated one, specifically for the camera. Not tried to find a spare yet, anyway, it charges through the USB socket and I have a mains (UK and European) to USB converter and a 12V to USB one so recharging shouldn't be a problem - it's not as though it'll be an only camera where being charged is 100% vital.
 
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smooth

Threebrows
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Matt
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#2
Thanks Nod - added to the directory. I can see myself grabbing one of these - sexy as!
 
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#3
Which version did you get, I've always had a notion for one, but the older ones seemed a bit under-specced for the money, even if they are just "toys"....
 
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Nod

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#4
Sorry, Flash! It's the latest 5MP version, with provision for an SD card. IIRC, the older ones used non-rechargeable CR123A batteries rather than a LiIon one as well. I was tempted a few years ago by the Rolleiflex version but IIRC it was only a tiny sensor (in terms of MP) so I waited.

BTW, that can't be Yv in your avatar - do that to her and you wouldn't be able to see her eyes... BTW, Yv - I've moved and changed my name by deed poll!


ETA The thing is also available through Amazon's marketplace but I don't know anything about any of the sellers so preferred to deal with a reputable and known company. The Amazon MP link is below
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/B000LRIU54/ref=dp_olp_new?ie=UTF8&condition=new
 
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Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
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Hugh
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#5
I think the Amazon one is the slightly older version, 5.0 there's a 5.1 out now though I don't know the difference. Bit of a cheat in the specs too (even on the Minox site), it says 5M pixel when it's really only 3.2 optical.
 
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Nod

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#6
Can only use the specs given in the manual for the sensor - 2,592px x 1,944 px which gives a grand total of... 5038848 - somewhere between 5 and 5.1 MP.
 

Steep

Nutcrack Rapids
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Hugh
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#7
That's the 5.1?, the 5.0 has a resolution of 3.2mp (2048 x 1536 pixels) and interpolates upwards to 5mp
 
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Nod

Nod

Krispy and Kremey
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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#8
Well, the receipt, box and manual all say 5.0, as does the little red sticker on the front of the camera.
 
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