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New Cute Digital Toy!

By • Jan 19th, 2010 • Category: Toys

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Cashing in on the toy camera craze, there seems to be more small/tiny cameras appearing in the scene. So far … I think the Digital Harinezumi has done pretty well compared to the rest. The pretty new kids on the block are some very small sized cameras with a boring name … “FDC01”. They come in either blue or red (looks more like pink to me) … and like the VistaQuest cameras … they are supposed to be ‘keychain cameras’. I was told that it is called the ‘SQ28m’ in Japan.

Specifications

CMOS Sensor 1/2.7 inch (effective pixel 1.92MP)
Built-in 64MB memory
Supports MicroSD up to 2GB
Photos in JPEG format (1280 x 1200 pixels)
Videos in AVI format (320 x 240 pixels, 8fps)
Lens f3.1, 39.5mm
Focus distance : Macro 15cm – 50cm, Infinity 1m to infinity)
Exposure & ISO : Auto
Battery : Full charge allows approx 250 photos
Dimension : 53mm(W) x 23mm(H) x 19mm(D)
Weight : 21g

Courtesy of one of my sponsors … 8storeytreey/ThirtySix, I managed to lay my dirty paws on a blue unit for a ‘first look’ and some test shots.

You’ll notice that there is no viewfinder in this camera. Not even those flip up ‘viewfinders’ to help you compose your shots. Not a problem at all because these are supposed to be toy cameras anyway … and not being able to look through any viewfinder will mean more unexpected (fun!) results.

The camera operates on built-in battery and you charge it by using an USB cable (included in package). Plug it into any computer and you are ready to copy out our images as well as charging the battery. It is not stated in the user manual about how long it takes to do a full charge but I notice that it takes about an 1 to 1.5 hours to do so. Funny that the manual does warn about overcharging but doesn’t specify the approximate charging time. Do they expect us all to sit in front of the computer and camera … waiting for the charging to end? Duh! Charging is complete then you see the characters ‘SS’ (or is it ’55’) appearing.

No LCD at the back like the Harinezumi … but a little LCD with 2 digits to indicate the number of shots, mode etc. (Refer to manual at the end of this entry for more info). Rotating between the different modes in both photo and video is pretty simple … but you probably have to remember which number is for which mode (eg. 1 for monochrome, 3 for vivid). Ain’t too hard to remember I guess (unless you’ve had too much beer!). The digits are pretty big and clear … good for old fuzzy eyeballs like mine.

Oh … in the little hole there is a reset button.

The focus selection switch. Push it to the macro mode (flower icon) and the focus will be from 15cm – 50cm. Slide it to the infinity mode and focus goes from 1m to infinity.

The bigger button on top is the shutter button. If you are wondering … no … it doesn’t go ‘click’ or ‘beep’ when you press it. The camera only makes a very soft ‘beep’ sound when the photo is taken. (Read more about shutter lag at the Click! Huh? Eh! WTF! section below)

You will find the memory card slot on one of the sides. It accepts MicroSD up to a maximum of 2GB. You will also notice the keychain is attached to this end of the camera. If you hate to have it dangling around doing nothing … you can choose to remove it by removing that little screw where the keychain is attached. Don’t forget to replace the screw after removing the keychain!

My version with the keychain removed. Oh btw … removing the MicroSD card is a piece of cake … unlike the Digital Harinezumi which requires you to try pull it out with fingernails/twizzers or make it ‘jump’ out flying (hoping the card doesn’t fly into your mouth). I love how easy it is to insert/remove the card.

Small? How small?

It is about the size of two lighters (no … not Zippo ones!) stacked but to make it easier for you to see how small this camera actually is … I took a few photos of it beside a roll of 35mm film.

So how does it compare to the other small ‘toy’ digital cameras? Here are few side-by-side photos of it beside a few cameras I have. Sorry I do not have the Vistaquest cameras, so no comparison shots here.

Cute ain’t it? If you think the Harinezumi is small … this is even smaller! I could even put it inside my mouth! No … I’m not gonna try doing that!

A ‘family portrait’!

Cute … but how does it perform?

Before the test shots (I didn’t really look at the specs), I thought it produces normal ratio photos but I was pretty surprised to find that the photos are almost of square format (1280 x 1200 px).

Let’s take a look at the different modes. Note that all the images below are not edited except for resizing to fit my layout.

Normal mode

The ‘Normal’ mode is nothing to shout about. Colors are pretty ermmm … normal … although sometimes appear a little less saturated (works with some scenes).

Black & white mode


Lunch time in the office … with the FDC01

Apart from the Vivid mode (you’ll read about it later on) … probably the other mode I’ll be using most often is the black & white mode (P1). It is very easy to switch to this mode since it is the one just next to the normal mode. Just press the mode button once and you are set to go. The FDN01 beats the Harinezumi in this one. Harinezumi needs lots of button pressing just to get into the darn black & white mode!

Noise mode (???!!!)

The most useless (and horrible) mode is the ‘Noise’ mode. I was expecting super grainy photos but it seems to be some bizzarre effect that makes photos look so ultra horrible. Well that is my personal opinion. I know of some people who love such weird effects.


Vivid mode

Probably my favourite mode on the camera. Colors look saturated but not until they turn ugly. Someone told me it is a little bit like setting the saturation in Photoshop to +10. I ain’t good at Photoshop, so I can’t comment on that. If only we could set the default mode on the camera … mine will be permanent in the vivid mode. However for the price … I guess it is a little too much to ask for. Otherwise some clowns will start to wish that the camera supports RAW mode instead of JPEG.

A comparison between the (yawn!) normal mode & the vivid mode. Pretty cool ain’t it?

Video!!!

I’ve yet to shoot any video with this little camera. Stay tuned and I might be able to churn out some sample videos this weekend. You can choose to shoot the video in Normal, Black & White, Noise (!!!) or Vivid mode too.

Click! Huh? Eh? WTF!

The one thing I find irritating about this camera is the shutter lag. Press the shutter button and it takes between 2 to 3 seconds (??!!!) to actually capture the image. This means you have to point the camera at the subject and try hold it there for the 2 to 3 seconds before the photo is taken. My first set of test shots ended up with many photos of my feet or the road … or even my tummy! Why? I kept forgetting about the shutter lag and the camera fired when the camera was no longer pointing at the subject. Hahaha! Well … it ain’t that all bad anyway because sometimes you do end up with some surprises. After a day of random firing … I’m now a bit more aware about the lag and it is not really a problem to me anymore.

I was photographing a yellow car but I forgot about the shutter lag. You can still see a little bit of the yellow car in the photo though.

Let the lag work for you!

I somehow started liking the shutter lag after about half a day! Why? I started using it as a self timer when shooting in low light. Press the shutter button … leave it on some flat surface and wait for the beep … and the photo is done! Also … it is good for self portraits. Hahaha! Good news for those who love to cam whore! I have a test self portrait in the black & white mode section above but being camera shy … only the top of my face can be seen. 😛

Here’s a scan of the user manual. The English is a little (or a lot?) confusing but I guess you can decipher it without much problem.

For those interested, a slightly larger image of the manual can be found [here].

Conclusion

Please bear in mind that this is not a proper review (like those you find elsewhere on the internet), but just an entry about my findings and my thoughs about this camera. Despite the fact that it is a sponsored copy, I won’t be saying just all the good things (if any) about it. Hahaha! So read what you see here with a pinch bowl of salt and decide if this is the camera for you.

Guess I’ll not even bother to mention how small and cute the camera is, since you can see from the images above. What I didn’t mention is that the camera has a very nice matt, non-shiny exterior and feels great in the hand. It somehow feels a little non-slip compared to the shiny slippery plastic used on the Harinezumi.

I’d wish it takes some user replaceable batteries like maybe LR44 instead of having a built-in one. Not sure if there is any way the internal battery can be replaced (DIY) but for now … I’ll try not to think too much about how long it will last. However, compared to the Harinezumi which takes (pretty expensive) CR2 batteries and sucks them faster than I can gulp down icy cold beer … the price of the FDC01 somehow can make up for the loss of no having a user replaceable battery. I’ll maybe try open up the camera to take a look at the internals but that’s after I’ve had more fun shooting with it (just in case I kill it in the process).

The shutter lag I mentioned above is one of the disappointing factor. Well I’ve got a bit used to it by now, and since these cams are not really meant for fast action shooting … we might just as well try live with it.

I keep reminding myself not to compare it with the Harinezumi since the price is less than half the price of a Harinezumi. I did this many times during my test shots! Hahaha! I was told that the performance of this cam is closer to the VistaQuest (which I’ve not tried) rather than Harinezumi. Okay … fair enough.

Hopefully I’ll find some time this weekend to take more shots with this camera. It shouldn’t be too difficult because it is in my pocket almost all the time since I got it. 😀

If you like cute (and super pocketable) cameras and think that the Harinezumi is too expensive … I’m sure you’ll love this camera! It certainly makes great presents for your friends and relatives and I was thinking it might even be cool as a door gifts or those corporate gifts. Just imagine you attend an event and everyone is given one of these cute cam as door gift. Cool ain’t it? 😀

It is available locally at 8storeytree.com and ThirtySix (at Sunshine Plaza) at the price of only S$83.

89 Comments »

  1. @David : Hmm. I ain’t too sure but on average, I find the lag around 3 seconds. Haven’t really try it in low light, so my info might not be correct. I’ll go charge it tomorrow at work and give it a go when I get home tomorrow night (if I remember).

  2. Ya,thats the problem.. I dont want to wait so long. =.=”
    p/s: this cam lag more than 3s?! 3 is almost the limit! wow~ speechless.. does the lag depends on environment? LOL

  3. Ok, I just make the test with a chronometer.
    It’s from the moment I clic to the moment the photo is take.
    1st picture: 7,2 s
    2de: 7
    3th: wait…waittttt…..10s 😀
    I don’t joke :p

  4. @David : Hmm. So the lag is longer in low light eh? Hmm. Not sure what the logic is behind the lag but since it doesn’t AF, it shouldn’t take that long. Hope the newer version solves this problem.

  5. It’s perhaps my cam who’s slow. The light must be a factor, because, I have done some really quick shot.

  6. @David : Worry not. I’ve just tried mine (indoors at night with not much lighting) and it does take like 6 to 7 seconds before it fires.

  7. Even for a ToyCam, it’s slow.

  8. @David : We’ll just have to bear with it or treat it as a self timer. Muwahaha. That’s until some new version comes along and hopefully is faster.

  9. […] FUZZYEYEBALLS wrote about the “Fun Nature FDC01″, a new toy digital camera. While other camera manufacturers have been beating each other to market with higher megapixel sensors and features, the FDC01 stands apart. It’s a 1.9 megapixel camera with 64 MB on-board memory,  SD expansion slot, rechargeable battery, 8 fps “movie” mode, and 3 photo effects. What it doesn’t have is a viewfinder, flash or display! […]

  10. Hello,

    2 more pics :p

    http://i47.tinypic.com/2i91g3.jpg
    http://i46.tinypic.com/300gp47.jpg

    Have fun

  11. @David : Those look pretty neat!

  12. With a little help from my Jelly friend 😀

  13. @David : Your jelly friend is doing well. 🙂

  14. […] & White Special Noise mode: Vivid Mode: more photos / review of the camera pls visit : New Cute Digital Toy! | FUZZYEYEBALLS : Some of my best friends are lousy plastic cameras Thanks ndroo ! Still wanna wait ? Call me @ 012-6390020 Package included : RM250 free 1Gb card + […]

  15. which one is more better, FDC01 or AFGA 505-D?

  16. @mochalisa : Better? Hmm. Tough one. Everything about these 2 cams are so different. Even the price is about double. If you are looking for something that is ‘closer’ to the feel/thrill of shooting analogue, I’d say the FDC01 is better. You don’t get to see what you shoot and can only see the results when you get back home and copy out the files (just like when we get our rolls from the lab). Plus points about the Agfa is the use of AAA batteries where you can just hop in any convenient store when your battery juice runs out.

  17. […] Info source and more at: Fun Nature’s FDC01 is a mini wonder. ~ Crave FUN NATURE FDC01, A New “Digital Holga”? ~ poindexter, WHO? New Cute Digital Toy! ~ Fuzzyeyeballs […]

  18. hi ndroo..
    i realise my cammy runs out of battery after a day (or a few i not sure) even if i didnt turn it on at all after charging.. is it normal?? it eats the battery even when it is not in use??

  19. @qianyii : Yes. The battery drains out pretty fast even when not in use. I usually charge it right before I use it.

  20. oh that’s bad.. alright thanks! =))

  21. I really, really want one of these but I cannot find one *anywhere* in the UK 🙁

  22. Hi,

    I have this problem le.
    Sometimes when i press the shutter, there is a ‘beep’ sound but the number did not increase.
    only after awhile then it can take photo again.
    any idea why?

    also, when there’s no battery means it cant be powered up is it?

    thanks!

  23. @Emma : When there is a will … there is a way. 😀 Managed to get in touch with the HK guys?

    @bigfatcow : After the short while … did the cam take a photo? There is (quite a big) lag on this cam. It takes several seconds before the photo is captured. After the photo captured … only will the number increase. Oh and yes … when the battery is flat … it just won’t power up.

  24. may i ask,

    how does this fair up with the nico digi?

    does the nico digi have the same lagging prob as the FDC01?

    thanks.

  25. @zaini : Sorry I’ve not tried the Nico Digi before. It does look a lot like a Vistaquest eh? I heard from someone that the Vistaquest does have a lag too.

  26. @zaini : I found this info that says that there is a lag in the Nico Digi too. http://www.aprilcherrie.com/index.php/2009/08/21/photos-and-video-taken-with-nicodigi/

  27. many thanks for the links ndroo.really love them easy little cam on the go.but the lag?myb shud js try n get use to it.wonder which of the 3 shud i choose.

  28. @zaini : Yeah I guess it takes some getting used to (the lag). For me … it somehow drives me crazy. LOL

  29. hello, i interested in LOMO FDC01, how much include postage to Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

  30. @chigusa_notso : Ermm … I do not run a camera shop (although it is strange that many thought I do. LOL). You should try writing to those nice guys at ThirtySix (http://www.thirtysix.com.sg) and check with them instead. Have fun!

  31. oups…..sry….n tq for the info given…..^^

  32. @chigusa_notso : No worries. 🙂 Hope you get your ‘toy’ soon.

  33. I am interested to the lomo camera, may i know do you still have stock and is available now???

  34. i forgot to ask how much is the camera?

  35. hey chris… u should read ndroo comment no 80.
    anyway this is what he says: –

    Ermm … I do not run a camera shop (although it is strange that many thought I do. LOL). You should try writing to those nice guys at ThirtySix (http://www.thirtysix.com.sg) and check with them instead. Have fun!

  36. sorry, i think will go to Mid Valley and check, thank you very much~

  37. @noreen : Thanks for helping me reply Chris. I was away in Malaysia and thus unable to reply his question.

    @Chris : Hope they do have it at Mid Valley.

  38. yupe~ they do have 4 colours in Mid Valley Action City, price is RM209.80~ thank you for this post~

  39. @Chris : Oh cool! Congrats on your new toy. Have fun!

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