capsule review

Kyocera M410R

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Kyocera Finecam M410R High-end Digital Camera

Kyocera M410R
Photograph: Rick Rizner

The Kyocera M410R is a high-end point-and-shoot camera masquerading as an advanced model. It has the large lens barrel, square body, and big right-hand grip typically found on high-end cameras, but it also has the reduced controls typical of a point-and-shoot. Its two best features are a 10X optical zoom lens and a continuous-shooting mode that lets you rapidly capture a sequence of images for as long as you have room on the camera's SD Card. The combination is great for all of those soccer moms and dads who live for capturing that perfect kick.

With its black body and clean design, the $449 M410R is a good-looking camera. Well-labeled buttons and easy-to-navigate menus (plus a limited number of creative controls) make it simple to use for most point-and-click photography. One exception is the camera's white-balance calibration, which is not under the white-balance menu but in a separate menu of extended settings instead. Though the camera's 1.5-inch LCD is small, the menus are easy to see, even in bright outdoor sunlight.

The M410R works efficiently for the most part. Its autofocus is accurate and fairly quick--rarely did it swim in and out trying to set the focus--and its optical zoom is quiet and smooth. We would have preferred that Kyocera, rather than using the typical back panel-mounted rocker switch, put the zoom control on the camera's longish lens barrel; we've seen such a design on a few similarly shaped (albeit more expensive) models, and it gives fine control over the zoom setting.

In addition to white-balance calibration, Kyocera includes rudimentary aperture- and shutter-priority modes (not uncommon in point-and-shoot cameras these days), but to switch between them you must go deep into the menus. There's also automatic exposure bracketing, though you might miss it if you don't look carefully or work through the camera's documentation; it's at the bottom of the list for continuous shooting options and marked with the standard icon that represents exposure value control.

Concessions to price and simplicity in this model include a lack of manual focus and missing extras such as a remote shutter trigger; you also get only four scene modes, as well as a pop-up flash that does not open automatically when needed. And although the camera will take movies at 30 frames per second, you can't change the zoom setting while you're recording.

Nice extras bundled with the M410R include a filter adapter ring and a two-way lens cap that fits directly on the lens or clips to the end of the filter adapter ring. That means you can add a filter and not have to buy a separate lens cap.

Using its default automatic settings, the M410R earned mediocre scores in our image-quality tests. Its image sharpness was at about par for a 4-megapixel model, but the M410R garnered low scores for exposure accuracy. Both our flash and our still-life test shots were underexposed. The outdoor image had better exposure, but we noticed significant speckling in the blue sky and an overall magenta tinge. We were most disappointed with its result on our flash test: In addition to being underexposed, this shot was exceptionally grainy.

If you're finicky about image quality, you have better choices than the M410R. But it's adept at capturing action, and at $449 it's a bargain for a camera with 10X zoom.

Kyocera M410R

4.1 megapixels, 2272 by 1704 maximum resolution, 37mm to 370mm focal range (35mm equivalent), f2.8 to f8.9 aperture range, shutter speeds from 8 seconds to 1/2000 second, electronic and LCD viewfinders, USB 2.0 and video connections, SD Card slot (media not included), four AA batteries, 15.3 ounces with batteries; Adobe Photoshop Album software. One-year parts and labor warranty; 11-hour weekday, 10-hour Saturday toll-free support.

Tracey Capen

This story, "Kyocera M410R" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Kyocera Finecam M410R High-end Digital Camera

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