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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

  SpyPen Xion Digital Mission Ca
Alright, admit it! Everyone at one time or another, for one reason or another, has wanted a small camera that can easily be hidden and convenient to be able to take those quick and sometimes candid shots. Ok, maybe it was just me, but I always wanted one since the days I would see them in comic book ads ... well, let's just say, a few years ago. Ok, so now I finally have my chance ........

The Xion Digital Mission Cam from SpyPen is one of four different styles of small portable cams in their arsenal of compact digital cameras.

My first impression after taking it out of the box was that it seemed awfully lightwieght, being constructed of plastic. Advantage or disadvantage? I guess that depends on your personal activities. But when you think "Spy" you think "Danger". I personally would have thought that it would be a bit heavier built.

The very next thing I noticed once getting the batteries installed was the fact that the light indicating that the camera was on, was located in the front of the camera. Almost a dead give away to unsuspecting subjects that they may be in the process of being photographed. Perhaps we will see future models with the light in the back?

Ok, now for the real test .... can it take pictures? And the answer is 'Yes'. I tested the camera in several different lighting enviroments to see how it would compensate for the darkness. Amazingly enough, the quality was just as good in the dark or shade as it was in the bright sunlight. As for the quality of picture, you certainly aren't getting good quality photos that you can print out (even on High Res Mode), but the general quality for onscreen viewing was quite good.

We talked to a computer retailer here locally who had brought the cams in for resale, and it was reported that out of the six units brought in, five were sold the very first day. The camera can be purchased here locally at A-R Computers in Williams Lake for you local readers.

The camera does also come with a whole host of video and image editing software as well.

There are really only a couple things I would have liked to see built in to this camera to make it complete. Move the power indicater light to the back, and perhaps a swivel viewfinder for more accurate candid shots.

Overall, if it is simply having some digital fun you are after, this camera is a can't miss purchase. The price is very affordable and it really is a neat little camera! Oh, you we will need a computer with a USB Port to download the images off the camera. I am not sure if it is a bug or my computer, but I was also not able to install the camera software on a Win 2000 Pro operating system. It worked fine on ME and 98.

SpyPen does have another interesting and similiar camera that you may want to look into as well. It's the Memo Model. It is quite similiar but includes a flash and voice recording capability. I hope to be able to have the chance to check that one out for you sometime soon as well.

Review ID Number: 446
  Product Details
Review Date: 2001-05-11
Reviewer: Brad Lawryk
Rating: 9 out of 10
  Product Photo
  Photos / Screenshots
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