The Epson L-500V has been created, says Epson, to appeal to those snappers not enamoured of digital cameras with small LCDs. And the result is a stylish compact camera that has the ‘world’s highest resolution’ colour screen at 256 pixels per inch.
The camera is easy to operate (start up is extremely fast too) offering an all-auto point and shoot mode but few manual controls even in the manual mode! Manual simply actually offers extra control options such as resolution, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity adjustment. These are accessed using a menu system controlled via a small joystick control on the camera back.
The flash, scene mode selection - you get portrait, landscape, night view and night portrait mode to choose between - and dual 2-second and 10-second self timer settings are also selected using the joystick control and a rocker style zoom control zooms the lens through its 3x zoom, 34-102mm (35mm equivalent) range.
If the camera has an Achilles heel, it's that lack of true manual options but its strength lies firmly in the large 2.5-inch high-resolution colour screen. Colour and resolution are great, it’s an extremely clear screen using Epson’s Photo Five technology and helpfully, as a result, all the on screen indications are large and easy to read; there’s plenty of room for them to breathe.
Images are stored on SecureDigital (SD) memory cards, which slot in alongside the rechargeable battery, under a flap on the side of the camera. Image quality, meanwhile, is good but slightly soft, colour a little muted and noise is well controlled in most shots. However, at higher ISO settings (you get 100, 200 and 400 ISO with an Auto mode included in the bargain) noise becomes more apparent.
The Epson L-500V is great easy to use compact model that boasts enough resolution and image quality for prints up to A4 and over. The large screen is not unique on such digital cameras, but the high-resolution Photo Fine technology is a standout feature and helps make the camera joy to use. Basic control options take some of the gloss off, but anyone looking for a neat point-and-shoot digital camera would do far worse than having a closer look at this little beauty.