I purchased a new digital camera. It was an impulse buy in the sense that I hadn’t planned to purchase a digital camera that day, but I did plan to buy one soon. Last May I decided to take my primary digital camera at that time, a Kodak EasyShare CX4230 (2 MP), and modify it to capture infrared. I achieved my goal but in the process the camera was damaged slightly and doesn’t focus as well as it used to. Since it allows infrared to pass to the sensor it no longer produces “normal” photos. I needed a camera for regular use and found the E10 at Walmart for about $160, the same price that I paid for the Kodak a few years ago.
Photo quality is good, though 6 MP shots when zoomed into 100% display artifacts that indicate the photos were taken with a digital camera. Rescaling the photos to a smaller seems to reduce these characteristics. It only has 10 MB of storage built-in (which equals about three 6 PM photos), but it supports Secure Digital cards (I usually use the camera with a 1 GB SD card).
One feature I didn’t realize it had until I brought it home is the ability to act as a Web camera. Oddly enough, it requires special Windows only drivers to work as a Web cam. This feature also requires that it be enabled in the camera’s configuration menu and once enabled the camera can only be connected to a PC to act as a Web cam. In order to download images directly from the camera the Web cam function must be disabled. This is not a major inconvenience for me as I can use my iSight or mini-DV camera as Web cams, both of which deliver much better quality.
So far, I’ve found the Pentax Optio E10 digital camera to be a good purchase if one is looking for an inexpensive, low-end digital camera for every-day use.