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Rolling back the megapixels

Wal-Mart has a number of interesting quasi-retro tech products for sale this holiday season. In addition to being one of the few brick-and-mortar outlets for the (hard-to-find as of now) RCA EZDVD1 Memory Maker DVD burner that docks with the Small Wonder camcorder, the retail behemoth is offering a 1/2″ thin 3MP digital camera for $50 from Philips, which sat out the digital camera growth years in the U.S., but which has offered a novelty keychain offering available in drug stores and such. (Update: I’ve received confirmation that the EZDVD1 won’t be available at Wal-Mart but will be available at Amazon in a few weeks.)

It would be interesting to see if this creates up-rezzed version of those cameraphone-quality pictures or is more akin to my first 3 MP Canon PowerShot, which took some great pictures in its day. The lack of any optical zoom isn’t promising, although I will guess that it does better than the DXG models we tend to see in this price range.

Three megapixels seems excessive for Web usage (but, hey, the digital camera market is all about excessive megapixels these days). This could be OK for snapshots, or it could be a candidate for either a second camera or a child who has outgrown toy cameras. Kudos to the ambitious copywriters invoking Hollywood icon glamor by noting that the camera would “look at home in the hands of Fred Astair or Audrey Hepburn.” Their estates must be proud.