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[SiPix] StyleCam Blink

specifications* Small size - 0.6 x 2 x 2 inches
* Weight 1.4 ounces
* 0.3 Megapixel digital camera captures images up to 640 x 480 pixels
* 8 MB memory can save up to 400 photos (100 HiRes)
* Digital camera, video conferencing camera, streaming video camera, and USB video camera all in one
* Connects with PCs; includes Windows-compatible software
* Powered by 1 AAA battery
One of the first inexpensive units, the SiPix StyleCam Blink is a digital camera that is very compact, only 2 inches square) and simple to use. With easy point'n'click operation, several operating modes (including two resolutions and continuous shoot), and some bundled software, the StyleCam Blink set some new standards for budgeted digital imaging.

A compact digital camera, the StyleCam Blink offers resolutions of 320x240 and 640x480, for up to 400 images in its built-in 8 MB memory. Installation of the StyleCam Blink is very simple and straightforward;
1. install the drivers
2. reboot
3. plug the camera into a USB port.

All of the features of the camera are accessible via a single button and a small LCD window on the back which displays the mode, options available, and the number of pictures taken. The StyleCam Blink takes still images as well as being able to stitch together a series of up to 100 images to make a short "video clip". One can also use this camera as a simple webcam.

Our criticisms are twofold. The first is the lag of the shutter when you push the button. There's a slight delay of about half a second; it is most annoying trying to take a picture of a moving object. The second criticism is that the clarity and colors aren't always what they should be. But hey, for an inexpensive camera to grab some quick and fun shots to play with, it gets the job done. The images produced are acceptable when all things are considered. Now, if you're using the camera as a webcam, these will likely not make any real difference to you.

The manufacturers were definitely thinking about their target audience when they chose the software they put with the camera. There are six titles including ArcSoft's PhotoImpression and PhotoFantasy 2000. They're all fairly simple, easy and fun to use. You can transfer the images to your computer via PhotoImpression or any other TWAIN capable package and then edit them how ever you want. If you are wanting to have some fun with friends and family, you can even use PhotoFantasy 2000 to place Joe's head on Bowser's body. It is all much too easy to do while being loads of fun.

No awards will be given to this camera for the quality of its images, but for the price, you really don't expect it to win any, either. The images are, however, better quality than its competitors. The ability to store up to 400 images on the 8 MB memory is a real bonus though they're only 320x240 resolution. You get 100 when shooting in 640x480 mode. All in all, the StyleCam Blink is a pretty decent little camera. With its low cost and the bundled software, it will keep the young'uns of all ages amused for several hours.