In dim light, moving objects will be blurry, because the camera’s using a long shutter speed. Here’s the PenCam Ultra’s view of the indoor low light test scene. You can also remove the batteries after taking pictures without losing your data. It won’t hear a person talking in a normal voice unless they’re only a few inches away from it, but it seems to be really good at picking up extraneous noise. For the above shot, I set the CL’s exposure so that the meadow in the background is on the edge of being overexposed and the sky certainly is , but there’s good detail in the rocks in the foreground.

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Inside, it’s nothing if not tight-packed.

Aiptek PenCam VR

Alternatives If you’re looking for a really cheap digital camera, but you’d like a few more normal digicam features – like a flash, and perhaps expandable storage, and better than by resolution – then get yo’self over to eBay and start fossicking. Those two things may be pictures in either resolution, or they may be video clips. Emphasis on the oughtthere – see the image tests below The viewfinder oddities don’t affect the pictures the camera takes, of course.

Photograph a moving vehicle at night and you actually don’t have much choice about taking a picture penncam this, unless you manage to track the vehicle rather well; the exposure’s not going to be short.

The DualPix has a proper threaded tripod socket on the bottom of it, too. In the middle, Hercules’ DualPixwhich doesn’t have the unusual styling of Aiptek’s products, but claims by “XGA” resolution and superior image quality.


It’s bigger than the PenCams but still hardly bulky, its user interface beats the Aipteks, it’s got a simple image download feature, its by mode is good for something, and it works at night.

I don’t know what the rest of the memory, if it exists, is doing.

Driver Aiptek PenCam VGA N/A (free) – Download latest version in English on phpnuke

Aiptek Pencam Vr Manager N It’s missing the VR 2’s audio features, of course, and also lacks the delete-last-picture option, which is a bit of a pain.

Same old story – focus lousy, distortion nasty. I was interested to see what the Ultra’s little battery looked like, so I cracked the camera’s case. Transferring the full memory contents only took about one minute and 13 seconds when I tried it, so it’s not a big pain. Since the DualPix works in any lighting conditions, I felt obliged to do some night shooting with it. You can see them quite clearly if you click the thumbnails for the full-resolution images.

That’s an unrealistically high light level for night time indoor shots, but it’s low for a sunlit room during the day. And here’s the VC 2’s typically lousy look at it.

There’s a click-in detent at the most clockwise point in the lens’ rotation; that’s where you’re meant to leave it when akptek using the DualPix in carry-around camera mode, and it gives you the usual mid-range-to-infinity fixed-focus sort of setting.

So this note-taker has lots of storage, but that just lets you store a lot of hard-to-understand garbled notes. PenCam Manager shares one highly irritating feature with the software for a variety of other tiny-cams.

You have to use the “PenCam Manager” software to get images out of the camera memory.

Here’s the test scene, as viewed by my Olympus CL reviewed here. Which is good, because the DualPix’s default-to-XGA pehcam means you’re likely to take a few by pictures even when you don’t mean to, and there’s no way to delete just the last picture you took if you use XGA mode by mistake. On the left, Aiptek ‘s PenCam Voice Recorder 2, whose packaging screams about its “five in one” capabilities.


Direct Download Success Stats: Pdncam dim light, moving objects will be blurry, because the camera’s using a long shutter speed. Which clears its memory, so you’d better have moved any pictures or audio you want to keep first.

Driver Aiptek PenCam Trio N/A

The DualPix beats them both, though. The little Dodge Viper still looks a bit as if it belongs to the proprietor of Hair By Nigel, but it’s less pink than it was, and the picture’s really not too bad.

But PenCam Manager is still no better than the software for lots of other very cheap digicams. It’s a TWAIN driver, which you normally invoke from another program in order to get image data transferred into that other program.

Driver Aiptek PenCam Trio N/A (free) – Download latest version in English on phpnuke

Why is this so? Instead of the high-pitched beep that means “photo taken” you get a low-pitched one that means “nope! Auptek resultant pictures will probably be astoundingly awful, but they may also, arguably, be better than nothing.