When you buy a digital camera, or any product for that matter, you expect it to accurately and truthfully tell you the product details on the box. But that’s not the case with the Agfaphoto Realishot DC8200. This camera is sold as an 18 megapixel camera with an 8x optical zoom lens, yet the truth is something else…
There aren’t many new compact digital cameras available anymore, so when you’re buying one, you want to get the best compact camera available. At the lower end of the market, there is even less choice, particularly if you want a branded model.
Previously you could buy a new Sony Cyber-shot W800 long after it was released, but not anymore. So if you’re looking for a brand new compact camera, the options include Kodak PixPro models, like the FZ45, which even takes AA batteries, and very little else, unless you want to spend a lot more money.
One budget option is the AgfaPhoto Realishot DC8200, which is a “branded” camera. However, it’s worth noting that the original Agfaphoto company simply licence the name to other companies. Agfaphoto make this abundantly clear on the back of the box.
Is it really 18 megapixels?
Back to the DC8200, it’s branded as an 18MP / 18 Megapixels camera. It’s also branded as having an “Optical 8x Zoom” which appears to be deliberately confusing, as most cameras will put the word optical in front of zoom. Other cameras will say “4x optical zoom” for example.
However, when I have tested the AgfaPhoto Realishot FC8200, I’ve been spectacularly unimpressed with the images. They are quite frankly, AWFUL. They barely look like 12MP images, let alone 18MP images.
So I purchased a second-hand DC8200, and took it apart. Inside I found the camera ribbon connecting the sensor to the main board was labelled: “CDOZ3-OV8820-MIPI(OO)”
The OV8820 part being important here, as this is an 8MP sensor, the OmniVision OV8820 8MP 1/3.2inch BSI CMOS sensor to be more specific. You can read the specifications of the sensor on OmniVision’s website (pdf).
So the Agfaphoto DC8200 is actually an 8MP camera, being sold as an 18MP camera. There is clearly upscaling, or interpolation going on to increase the image size. This isn’t a new thing, in fact, early digital cameras (from cheaper brands) often did this, but would normally always make it clear that it was interpolated, being mindful to let people know the actual, real resolution of the sensor.
If the resolution isn’t reported accurately, then what about the optical zoom?
Further investigation into the images taken with the DC8200 show some interesting information in the EXIF information, with the focal length reported as “0mm”, meaning we can’t see what the lens is doing from this.
However, the 35mm focal length is shown as “43180” – 43-180mm – which, if this is accurate, would mean that the lens is most likely a 4.2x optical zoom lens. Any further zoom, would therefore be digital zoom. And, looking at the photos from the camera, this would make sense, as images taken with zoom look even worse.
The Agfaphoto Realishot DC8200 offers a number of interesting clues on the back of the box, including “8x optical zoom”, and Factory Model: CDOE3. Once you search for this, you’ll find the OEM/ODM manufacturers, Holide, which list the camera as “8x optical zoom camera…” and “8.0 Mega Pixels”.
So, what does this all mean? Quite simply, don’t buy the Agfaphoto Realishot DC8200, and perhaps be careful when looking at other cameras from unbranded manufacturers. Agfaphoto also sell a DC5500, which gives “24MP”, but also only gives 720p video.
Other things to note about the Agfaphoto Realishot DC8200, is that the lens isn’t very wide, at 43mm equivalent, it’s nowhere near as wide as other compact cameras. The “FullHD” video is also recorded at an aspect ratio of 4:3, so you get 1440×1080 resolution videos.
Praktica sell a very similar looking model, the Praktica Luxmedia BX-D18, but it’s worth noting that when you click through to the specifications, you can see that it has an 8MP sensor, with 18MP interpolation. This still doesn’t mean it’s going to be a better camera, but at least you can find the specifications for the sensor.
What’s in a name anyway?
Agfaphoto, as a name, is used under licence, and the DC8200 camera is actually “manufactured for and distributed by GT Company”. Kodak, similarly, is a brand name used under licence from Eastman Kodak Company, and Kodak Pixpro cameras are produced by JK Imaging Ltd. You can view the full range of Agfaphoto digital cameras on the Agfaphoto-GTC website.
This isn’t the first time companies have released cameras designed to trick or confuse buyers, with the Vivitar Vivicam 8225 offering a “2x optical zoom” that was simply digital zoom, and a zoom mechanism that moved a front plastic element, as reported by DigiCamReview, now available via the Wayback Archive.
Other cameras that have incorrectly claimed to have higher megapixels than actually provided, includes the Polaroid iZone iE877, an “18 megapixel camera” with an “8x zoom” that actually contained a 5MP Sensor, and questionable optical zoom. (Source)
Agfaphoto Realishot DC8200 Sample Photos:
Perhaps if you’re looking for a compact camera, one of the best options could be to buy a second-hand compact camera instead?
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- Do megapixels matter anymore?