Epson PhotoPC 3100Z

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The Epson PhotoPC 3100Z was introduced in 2001 as an advanced 3 megapixel digital viewfinder zoom camera with a handsome body design almost like a bridge camera. It has a fast zoom lens, a zoom viewfinder with diopter correction, and a hot shoe to attach a common electronic flashgun. Despite of the latter feature it has also a built-in electronic flash. The thumb-wheel around its power switch is the mode dial. Six operation modes are selectable: Setup mode, printer connection mode, images review mode, viewfinder mode, color screen mode, and image series mode. 7 settings control buttons are below and beside the 1.8" TFT color screen. They also serve for menu navigation. On the camera top is a conventional LCD display which shows the main settings. Beside that display are three buttons for setting flash mode, self-timer, and image quality. Image pixel-size choices are 640×480 (VGA), 1600×1200, 2048×1536 and 2544×1904 (HyPict). Storage format can be switched from JPEG HyPict to TIFF 2048×1536.

In the setup mode the photographer can choose between manual mode, program aided mode an fully automatic mode. In the manual mode the upper right menu button allows easy switch from fully automatic exposure to aperture priority mode or shutter priority mode. In the program aided mode the lower left menu button serves as program switch to choose automatic program, sports program, horizontal or vertical program.

The image series mode allows to shoot an image series, video clips, or a group of images for combination as panorama image. The panorama images are stitched together by the PC software Panorama Stitcher Light EP which is delivered with the camera.

The camera has a quite large compact camera CCD image sensor (1/1.8") and a fast 3×zoom lens with electric zoom drive. The lens is an Epson Digital Camera Lens f=7-21mm 1:2.0-2.5, focal length ranging from almost wide-angle to best portrait.

The camera needs 4 AA batteries and an old slow CompactFlash card as memory device.

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