Written on: 11/03/2008 by moderntech (1 review written)
Very inexpensive when purchased used. Small easy to use, pretty fair support for such an inexpensive digital camera. I was surprised how well it can work as a Web cam when you supply enough illumination.
Not good in low light situations or shooting directly into bright light.
I purchased one on eBay for less than $10 US (with shipping) and was surprised how much I enjoyed the little thing. Its resolution is the basic VGA (640 X 480 resolution) which comes out to 0.35 mega pixel, but if you have a photo editor (there are many excellent free editors,) you can easily resize the photos to 960 X 720 resolution or a tad more. The manufacturer claims that you can resize these images to 1024 X 768 (with their software) and you can but it had better be a great shot and even then may display jagged edges and murky details.
They use the common USB Mini 5 Pin Cable easily available and inexpensive on eBay. Mustek Support has the drivers for it at http://www.mustek.com.tw/Support/ just type in GSmart Mini (make sure you download both the complete Logo and TWAIN driver files. (TWAIN means Toolkit Without An Interesting Name by the way.) They are the Asian Pacific region drivers but have worked fine on all of the systems we have tried them on.
To use these as Web cams you need a third party Web Publishing utility also available for free on the Internet. You will save yourself a bunch of headaches if you use them in a well lit area and drop the frame rate down, if you are going on-line for extended periods.
The chipset is a Sunplus SPCA500A CMOS set by the way. You can replace the battery by opening the case with a size 0+ and a size 2.0- screwdriver after carefully removing the sticker on the bottom. A good Website showing this procedure is http://sandbox.cz/~covex/hw/gsmart/. However you ' ll probably find replacement Rechargeable Lithium Ion Polymer Batteries more than just purchasing another camera.
It has 8Mb of memory built in, which is supposed to be enough for approximately 200 pictures in Lo resolution (320 X 240) or 50 in High (640 X 480) resolution. The little thing will take 10 second (320 X 240 resolution) Videos (stored as AVI files) or a 5 second (640 X 480 resolution) Video. The Video ' s quality is not spectacular.
I have enjoyed carrying this little camera and use it when the situation arises where I normally would have only wished I had a camera available. I carry it on my keychain and cover it with half of a small flexible nylon glass case that populated the back of a drawer for years. (Best to secure it by the case instead of the plastic eyelet, as it is much easier to replace or repair the case than the camera.)
If you shoot directly into a bright light or directly into the sun the CMOS sensor will leave the image with a grid like splash effect, not that big of a problem if you can just position your self out of a straight on shot.
You can easily rotate the lens from the Macro Setting (the universal Flower Icon on the front of the camera,) to the 8 feet to Infinity setting (the universal Two Adults icon also on the front of the camera. Just make sure not to block out your light source for the best image.
Best 9 bucks I ever spent.
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