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D-Link DSC-350 Digital Camera Review
D-Link DSC-350 Digital Camera Review - PCSTATS
Until fairly recently, digital cameras were often dismissed as mere tech toys that only a few people (such as real estate /insurance agents) would use. This was no surprise, as a $10 disposable camera offered substantially better quality than a digital camera costing over 100 times as much.
 85% Rating:   
Filed under: Digital Cameras Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: D-Link Jan 27 2000   D. Deveaux  
Home > Reviews > Digital Cameras > D-Link DSC-350


D-Link is known for their extremely efficient installation routines, and the DSC-350 proved to be no exception to this rule. Simply install the software, connect the camera to a USB port, and that's it. Drivers are available for Windows 98/Me and Windows 2000 (the only Windows based operating systems that support USB).

One word of caution regarding installation however, is that the camera requires 500mA of power to connect with a USB equipped computer. If you are plugging the unit directly into a USB port on your motherboard, there won't be a problem. If, on the other hand, an external USB hub is being used, ensure the hub is a powered one (ie, connected to an AC outlet). Granted, this isn't a fault of the D-Link camera itself, as virtually any digital camera/webcam will have this same limitation.

Ahh, the holy grail of digital cameras; image quality. The following is a set of pictures taken both indoors and outdoors at the highest resolution (1024x768 interpolated), then scaled down to 320x240 (a typical resolution for web-based images).

The first two pictures were taken indoors. Now, whether it is a flaw with my particular camera, or a side effect of having no flash, pictures produced in this setting are essentially non-useable. In terms of the actual lighting used, it was a standard light fixture with 2 60w bulbs providing fairly good brightness. In order to obtain even adequate indoor pics, I'd strongly recommend having an outside light source such as the midday sun shining through a window at your subject, or something similar.

Luckily, the camera redeems itself when used outdoors. As the second two pictures illustrate, outdoor shots are quite suitable for web graphics. While some overexposure can be noted, it doesn't take much away from the subject being photographed (in this case, the two vehicles). In this regard, output is much more similar to that of a standard VGA-class digital camera.

In terms of webcam performance, the DSC-350 was slightly more adept at producing adequate, though not heavily detailed, images. While quality was better than the indoor digital still pictures, colors were often still too dark and showed signs of poor exposure. Even still, for personal video conferencing, quality is adequate, if not top notch. One aspect I wasn't too impressed with however was the digital video capability. While the specs call for 20fps @ 160x120, the highest I could detect was maybe 10-15 frames per second. No matter what resolution I used, video appeared more like a slide show then true full-motion video. The performance in video mode was so disappointing, I question why D-Link chose to include this capability at all.

When D-Link first announced this camera, it seemed like an excellent product. Boasting up to "1024x768 resolution" and an amazing 8MB of internal memory, it seemed to have just the right features to propel it to the top in its class. Sadly, with unacceptable indoor picture quality indoors (under average lighting), misleading claims (1024x768 is the interpolated resolution), and a video mode that produces slide shows, it's hard to recommend this camera to those needing an indoor-use unit. For those who plan to use the camera outdoors to take pictures destined for the web however, the camera does a reasonable job.

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Contents of Article: D-Link DSC-350
 Pg 1.  D-Link DSC-350 Digital Camera Review
 Pg 2.  — Installation

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