Epson L-500V

At $350, the Epson L-500V is almost twice the price of the Epson PhotoPC L-410 ( January 2005,   ). Surprisingly, we liked the less expensive camera’s pictures better. So, what do you get for two hundred bucks more besides another megapixel?

The most obvious differences are the L-500V’s spacious 2.5-inch LCD (but at the expense of an optical viewfinder) and rechargeable battery. The oversized, sharp LCD makes it exceptionally easy to read and navigate menus, but the thumbstick is awkward (it’s easy to make a selection when you mean to navigate, and it only moves one selection at a time). Like the L-410, the L-500V is a bit bulky for a pocket camera.

You won’t find a glut of scene modes in the L-500V, just the typical Normal, Landscape, Portrait, Night View, and Night Portrait modes. Manual mode is limited to exposure compensation (which you set via a menu), white balance (there’s no custom white balance), and ISO (sensitivity is from a low 50 to 200 ISO in automatic mode, and from 100 to 400 in manual mode). You can focus to 1.97 inches in macro mode. A fast continuous mode lets you take up to three pictures per second until your memory card is full, but you’ll need an optional high-speed memory card.

The movie mode’s resolution is as high as 640-by-480 pixels at 30fps, and you can capture continuously until your memory card is full, but the quality is mediocre, with grainy video and weak audio. You can record audio annotations as long as 30 seconds.

We rated color and detail Good. Yellows and reds were just slightly off. Minor oversharpening gave hard edges a faint white halo, but there was little noise and fringing.

Jury Tests

Color Quality—Accuracy Good
Clarity—Detail Good
Clarity—Artifacts, Noise Very Good

Scale = Excellent, Very Good, Good, Flawed, Unacceptable

Specifications

Resolution 5.0 megapixels
Zoom/focal length 3.0x Optical (34mm to 102mm)
Maximum aperture f2.8-f4.9
Size (WxHxD) 3.62 inches x 2.48 inches x 1.26 inches
Weight 5.82 ounces

Macworld’s Buying Advice

The L-500V takes good pictures, but most casual shutterbugs will prefer the PhotoPC L-410 ’s better, though lower-resolution, pictures at a lower price.

Epson L-500V

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