The FlyCam-CF from LifeView is a camera attachment built for PocketPC and PocketPC 2002 devices with a CompactFlash Type 1 slot.
The appeal of a camera and a handheld computer or other mobile device working together is obvious, whether it’s the average user taking advantage of the better screen to preview pictures, the field rep snapping a quick photo and attaching a note to it for reference, or the gadget-lover slinking around like James Bond hoping to catch a co-worker sleeping on the job. Mobile devices hold an increasing amount of our information in text, audio, and images, and it’s only to be expected that people will want to add to them. As such, there’s an increasing market for integrated cameras and camera attachments for phones and handhelds.
The FlyCam-CF comes with a simplistic user manual, warranty card, and a CD containing drivers and the software bundle. The included software provides capacity for still image and video capture with sound, video email, and organizing your photos. While the software bundle offered plenty of functionality, the camera itself failed to perform. Image quality was very low–at maximum quality, with all the settings tweaked, colors were distorted and static was prevalent. Even when carefully focused and provided enough light, images were blurry and lacked definition. The FlyCam’s quality is low even compared to images from similarly designed webcam and integrated cam devices. With the FlyCam inserted, frequent soft-resets were neccessary to return the camera or PocketPC to normal function. Then, on the third day I had it, the FlyCam failed to function at all. None of it’s drivers nor the PocketPC itself would recognize it. A message to technical support was summarily ignored.
With the continually increasing quality and decreasing size of high quality digital cameras, particularly in perspective with the coming release of the Sony NZ-90 with it’s 2 megapixel integrated camera, I cannot see any justification in paying such a high premium for a camera that is already obsolete especially with such poor quality in hardware and software. If you want a camera with your handheld, get a higher quality attachment, or better yet wait for the next generation 1+ megapixel camera attachments–you’ll be glad you did.
*This product was tested with the Dell Axim
Per many requests, we have added pictures from the camera that we omitted by mistake.
An image of a local newspaper. I took this image from a distance of ~2.5 feet, VERY carefully focused, under 200 watts of lighting. The focus is uneven, leaving some areas crisp and others blurred, and the FC failed to ‘see’ the color of the surface the paper rested on.
A snapshot of my pet ducks. A medium level of light causes the camera to lose contrast and leads to color distortion.