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on April 11, 2001
The emphasis here is that the MC3 is a toy - it's a lot of fun to play with, but it's not the sort of tool to use if you're planning on doing any serious publishing (online or on paper) or video work.
That said, this camera is fine for taking lots of fair quality VGA-resolution photos for e-mailing or sticking on your webpage (for what it's worth, the photo quality is notably better than other bottom-of-the-line dedicated digital cameras). The quality of the videos is at least comparable (if not slightly better) than the first generation Sony Cybershot cameras, although the MC3 doesn't limit the length of the video clips to 15 seconds like the Sony (a definite plus). The MP3 player component seems to handle various CBR-encoded MP3 files (I've tried 64, 128, 160, and 192Kbps with success), although it doesn't seem to support WMA. Finally, the USB cable allows for surprisingly fast file transfer, slightly slower than a dedicated card reader.
For $200 (which is how much this camera costs if you supply your own CF card), the MC3 is a fine gadget. If you want a good digital camera, video camera, or digital music player, you'll probably have to resort to getting three separate devices.
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on May 7, 2001
I was shoppping around for an mp3 player when i stumbled on this item. It was pretty much a no-brainer. For pretty much the same price as a higher-end mp3 player, you also get a video recorder and a camera.
It's real easy to set up on the computer and to transfer files. just put in the cd rom and install the mc3 software. once you plug in the usb connector (which comes with it), your computer should automatically read the mc3 player. to transfer files, load up windows explorer and copy and paste files into the mc3 drive (it will have its own letter, like the c drive, itll probably be labeled the E or F drive)
The mc3 actually plays mp3 files, unlike the sony players that require you to convert mp3 files into sony's own format. and the sound quality is pretty good. The camera and video recorder are cool, but its pretty hard to see what youre recording if you're indoors. but once you transfer the file to the computer, it looks better.
Another good thing is the size of the player. it's smaller than i thought it would be.
this product would be perfect if it came with a lithium ion battery. but i guess just spend the extra money and buy rechargeables, especially if you're going to be recording videos a lot.
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on May 9, 2001
Incredible ease of immediate use. Thrilling results with little effort. All members of the family were able to use it. Exceptional sound and video quality. Since the size is small it is unobtrusive, and even the most obstinate members of the family act more natural in the videos. Instant gratification with the videos and music. Is becoming a habit!! Unfortunately the price of additional memory cards is quite high to allow for the continual use that the family wants. Easily transposed onto computers.
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on September 22, 2001
I bought this little gem after the price dropped about $70. It is really easy to use and is great with the 128 megabyte card. I can shoot about 8 minutes of video or store over two hours of mp3s. The mp3s sound great and you can select shuffle or repeat. Also the powersave features really make it last pretty long. However shooting movies or transfering files require the batteries to be pretty full. As a result, once you are at a certain point with your batteries (just less than half) you can't opperate these features but the others will still work. Also it requires three AAA batteries which is kind of an odd amount. I suggest buying NIMH rechargeables, that way you can recharge them even if they are not dead yet so you can return to shooting video or transferring files. Even better is to buy a card reader, they are about $30. The video is 20 fps (best quality) and it looks pretty ok on a small window on your computer screen. The software works fine once you get the hang of it unless you have Window ME. The onboard microphone is good if your subject is within about three feet. Outside of that they need to talk loud.
I took this little baby out mountain biking and shot a small video on it. IT is a lot of fun.
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on January 16, 2002
I bought the MC3 because I wasn't quite ready to buy a real digital camcorder, and because I currently work overseas and didn't want to worry about power conversion, etc. Overall, I can't complain. As an MP3 player, it's solid. 64MB is a good amount of memory and the earphones are better than most (maybe it's just mine, but the wire for the left earphone is MUCH shorter than the one for the right. strange.).
As a camera, yes, the lack of a flash can be annoying, but if you want quality still-photos, you should NOT be considering this product. Even expensive camcorders take lousy photos. Outdoor, particularly long-range cityscapes/naturescapes, shoot pretty well. Anything up close, especially in low light, will come out blurry.
I've been pleasantly surprised by the video features of the MC3. There are two settings: high and low resolution. The high setting can capture very clear video, but results in HUGE files. Low-resolution picture quality is ok, but the files are still pretty big - not a very good trade-off. E-mailing videos of either size to friends (a big reason I wanted the MC3) can be a hassle.
There is sort of a contradiction when shooting video. Outdoor shots can come out great, but even a small amount of glare can make it hard to see exactly what you're shooting. Conversely, when indoors, the viewfinder might display a clear image, but the final video will usually appear much darker.
Software is included to add titles, effects, etc. to your video, but the program is awful. Adding even the most basic title screen, etc. can triple the file size. Functionality is minimal and online support (from the software manufacturer, not Kodak) is a joke. I haven't tried the program for still-photos.
The MC3 seems pretty durable, too. I dropped it on a concrete sidewalk from a height of about four feet with no problems, although the batteries did pop out.
Bottom-line: this is something you can have fun with, as long as you don't take it too seriously.
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on April 22, 2001
This is a really cool gadget, a must have for other gadget lovers. I travel a lot, and it has reserved a permanent place in my travel kit. The MP3 player is great for the plane, and the camera and camcorder are great for when I land.
Keeping that in mind, if you have a specific need for a digital camera, camcorder, or MP3 player, it does not do a fantastic job at any of these. The camera doesn't have great resolution, and it takes a long time for the lightmeter to adjust for genuine "snapshot" use. The lack of backlighting on the LCD screen preserves batteries, but often make picture taking difficult even where there is enough exposure light. The MP3 player does not have all the bells and whistles that dedicated MP3 players have.
That said, I still love this device.
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on November 21, 2001
be realistic and you won't be disappointed - this is a toy, nothing more. takes decent video, plays decent mp3, haven't used the digital still camera feature yet.
two drawbacks:
- if lighting is less than perfect (almost anywhere indoors...) the video is very dark
- transferring music to the mc3 is a tedious process involving real jukebox - why can't I just drag & drop?
but good fun if you don't expect the world.
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on September 18, 2001
I definitely enjoy this little toy for all of its features, though I bought it primarily for its mp3 options. As an mp3, the sound quality and ease of tranfer is great. If you buy the accessory case (which I highly recommend) it really increases its ease of use.
My one major beef is the FALSE ADVERTISING [...] about its memory capacity. It will only format up to 96 mb. Not really a problem unless you waste alot of time trying to figure out why the 128mb won't work (like I did).
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on January 4, 2003
I just got this for Christmas and it is soooo cool! Here are my pros and cons for it:
It has an MP3 Player, it lets you make videos, and it lets you take pictures
It has a little screen on the back to show what your taping/taking
If you don't like the MP3's you have, download a different one off the internet and onto your MC3
It is cool!
The video/picture is dark if you're not near a light
The batteries die quickly(so I would get rechargable ones)
The memory gets full quickly(but you can get a memory card with more room)
Well, I hope this review helped you!
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on January 3, 2002
I purchased the mc3 as a Christmas present for my 12 year old daughter. It didn't take her long to get the hang of taking pictures or video and she had a lot of fun doing so. Downloading them to our PC (uses Windows XP) was pretty easy. But I do have a few complaints so far. The first is that the mc3 is now shutting itself off even though it says the batteries are OK. A change of batteries may remedy this. The biggest complaint is that we cannot download mp3 files to the mc3. The users guide is really poor with regard to this. And the fact that it is on CD makes it hard to flip back & forth. Kodak's website says to look at the users guide (big help!) The guide says to use Real Jukebox(included) to download but Real Jukebox doesn't offer the mc3 as a storage device. Very frustrating!! Somebody more familiar with mp3's may know what to do but the mc3 is supposed to be a toy, not a job. My last complaint makes me wonder how much thought went into the design and did Kodak even try it out. You cannot close the flash card door - it causes the card to pop out of the connector!! 9/25/02 Just found out from a friend that you need to push the lever up to get it out of the way so you can close the door. He found out by accident. How hard would it have been for Kodak to let me know? BTW, anyone else notice how badly AMC has gone downhill lately?
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