What does Jamie Harrison think of the cute iPhoto?

iphotoPRICE: £359/£429

*TYPE: Multimedia Viewer

*CAPACITY: 40/60GB

*LCD: 2inch

*FILEFORMAT: AAC,MP3,WAV,AIFF, Apple Lossless, JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG

*CONNECTION: USB 2.0, Firewire,A/V out

*POWER: Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery, AC adapter, Dock inc.

*DIMENSIONS:104x61x19mm

*WEIGHT: 181g

Unless you?ve been living in Outer Mongolia for the last five years, it?s unlikely you won?t have heard of the iPod. The MP3 player from Apple has transformed the way many of us listen to music. Apple is now trying to do the same thing with our photography with the launch of the iPod Photo. Two models are available, with either a 40GB and 60GB hard drive, which are remarkably capacious considering the size of the unit, about the size of a deck of cards. Both continue the iconic minimalist style of the latest fourth generation iPod, with the addition of a 2in colour backlit LCD screen for viewing your photos.

I am emotionally attached to my own iPod, so I was keen to see if the new model could transform my photographic method. It still uses iTunes for downloading, but a Mac user is reliant on iPhoto to resize images. PC users have support form Adobe Photoshop Elements. Full-size images can be downloaded but use more space. At full capacity the unit can store up to 25,000 4MP photos.

Downloaded images can be seen as thumbnails or full screen, and the navigation and scrolling actions are easy and remarkably quick. The screen is crisp and bright, but small, so images can be shown through a TV via a supplied A/V cable.

This is really a consumer pocket viewer rather than a useful photographic tool. Images have to be downloaded via a computer, with no support for media cards, RAW, TIFF or direct camera transfer.

VERDICT

Great for carrying photos around to show your mates, but no good for location shooting. Nice sound though!

SCORES:

PROS: Small, stylish, easy to use, good sound

CONS: Reliant on PC/Mac image downloading, small screen, JPEG only

Features 16
Ease of use 19
Performance 17
Design 17
Value 15

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