Kyocera is another one of those
companies that you don't think of when you start naming
digital camera manufacturers. But the huge Japanese
conglomerate is trying to change that through marketing
and new developments like the RTUNE engine used on
their latest cameras. One of those cameras is the Finecam
M410R ($399), Kyocera's entry into the red-hot
ultra zoom category. While it may look like just another
ultra zoom camera, the M410R's claim to fame is it's
ability to shoot continuously at 3.3 frames/second
until the memory card is full. Wow!
How does the M410R compare against
the competition? Find out now in our review!
What's in the Box?
The Finecam M410R has a below average
bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:
- The 4.0 effective Megapixel Finecam
M410R digital camera
- Four AA alkaline batteries
- Conversion lens adapter
- Shoulder strap
- Lens cap w/retaining strap
- USB cable
- A/V cable
- Adobe Photoshop Albums and Kyocera
- Numerous manuals, both printed
and on CD
There is no memory card included with
the Finecam M410R. Usually when that happens it's because
the camera has some memory built-in, but that's not
the case here. So you're going to have to buy a Secure
Digital (SD) card right away, and I'd say 128MB is
a good starting point. If you plan on taking full advantage
of the RTUNE engine, you'll need a "high speed" SD
card, which generally cost a bit more than regular
cards. While the M410R can use MultiMedia (MMC) cards,
they aren't the best choice.
You'll also want to buy some rechargeable
batteries and a fast charger, since Kyocera includes
four alkaline batteries with the camera, which will
quickly find their way into your trash can (or should
I say, recycling bin). I recommend buying two sets
of NiMH batteries (2100 mAh or greater), which are
better for both the environment and your pocketbook.
Using the new CIPA battery life standard, Kyocera says
you can get just 100 shots using alkaline batteries,
which is pretty bad (compared to a whopping 500 shots
on the Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z10 and a more modest
240 shots with the Nikon Coolpix 4800). No word on
how any shots you'll get using rechargeables on the
M410R but it will probably be at least twice as many.
I do appreciate that the camera uses
AA batteries instead of the expensive lithium-ion batteries
used be so many other cameras these days.
You'll find a big lens cap and retaining
strap in the box which you can use to protect that
10X zoom lens.
And speaking of lenses, Kyocera also
includes a lens adapter ring in the box with the M410R.
This lets you use 52 mm filters and, in theory at least,
conversion lenses. I can't seem to find any info on
any conversion lenses sold by Kyocera, though third-party
models may work.
I had a really hard time locating
any accessories for the M410R (including conversion
lenses). About the only thing I can find is an AC adapter,
and I don't even know what model it is (you'd think
Kyocera would tell you this in the manual or online,
but they don't).
Kyocera includes Adobe Photoshop Albums
2.0 (Starter Edition) with the camera. This is an excellent
product, similar to Apple's iPhoto, which you can use
to organize and share your photos. The catch is that
it's for Windows PCs only. , although Mac users can
still use iPhoto.
The M410R manual situation is a real
mess. In the box you'll find a "quick start" manual,
a "simple instruction" manual, and a "supplementary
version", all of which are printed. The quick
start and simple instruction manuals refer to a Finecam
M400R, which never shipped here in the States, while
the supplementary version is two pages describing the
differences between that model and the M410R that's
in the box. The full manual, also referring to the
old M400R, is on CD-ROM. Once you find the right manual,
you'll find the content to be decent but not spectacular.
Look and Feel
The Finecam M410R is an attractive,
well-built camera. It has a metal frame mixed in with
plastic for good measure. There's a nice large grip
for your right hand, and the lens adapter ring (assuming
you're using it) gives your left something to hold
on to. The important controls are well-placed and "feel
right" when you use them.
Let's take a look at the dimensions
of the M410R and how they compare with the other ultra
(W x H x D, excluding protrusions)
PowerShot S1 IS
x 3.1 x 2.6 in.
x 3.2 x 3.1 in.
x 3.2 x 3.2 in.
x 3.4 x 3.4 in.
Minolta DiMAGE Z3
x 3.1 x 3.3 in.
Minolta DiMAGE Z10
x 3.2 x 3.7 in.
x 2.9 x 3.4 in.
x 2.6 x 2.1 in.
C-765 Ultra Zoom
x 2.4 x 2.7 in.
C-770 Ultra Zoom
x 2.7 x 3.3 in.
x 3.4 x 4.2 in.
As you can see, the M410R is right
in the middle of the pack in terms of size and weight.
It's not a compact camera, so don't expect to be putting
it in your pocket.
Enough numbers -- let's start our
tour of this camera now!
The M410R has an F2.8-3.1, 10X optical
zoom lens. The focal length of the lens is 5.7 - 57
mm, which is equivalent to 37 - 370 mm. By using the
included adapter ring you can attach 52 mm filters
(and possibly conversion lenses) to the camera. If
I'm not mistaken, this is the same lens that is found
on the Fuji FinePix S5000/S5100.
Directly above the lens is the pop-up
flash, which has a good working range of 0.6 - 4.4
m at wide-angle and 0.9 - 4.0 m at telephoto. Kyocera
lists the recharge time at 6 seconds. You cannot attach
a conversion lens to the M410R.
Other items on the front of the camera
include the microphone, flash sensor (I assume), and
self-timer lamp. There is no AF-assist lamp on the
The M410R has a relatively small 1.5" LCD
display. Kyocera didn't skimp on the screen resolution,
as the LCD has 118,000 pixels. This LCD is what Kyocera
calls "DayFine", meaning that it's still
viewable outdoors. In low light the screen brightens
automatically, so you can still see your subject. The
refresh rate is very nice as well, making movement
To the upper-left of the LCD is the
electronic viewfinder, which is like small LCD that
you use as if it was a regular optical viewfinder.
The EVF is one of the standout features on the M410R,
with 300,000 pixels and a great refresh rate. The nice
thing about an EVF is that it shows the same thing
as the main LCD (and 100% of the frame), with the downsides
being increased battery consumption and the fact that
it still doesn't compare to a real optical viewfinder.
As with the LCD, the electronic viewfinder "gains
up" automatically in low light conditions.
Just to the right of the EVF is the
release for the pop-up flash. Below that are buttons
for toggling the EVF and LCD (you can't use both at
the same time) and for adjusting the exposure compensation
(the usual -2EV to +2EV in 1/3EV increments).
The next item over is the zoom controller,
which moves the lens from wide-angle to telephoto in
about 2.8 seconds. I counted 10 steps throughout the
To the right of the LCD are two buttons
plus the four-way controller. The buttons are for menu
and display (which toggles what's shown on the LCD
and EVF), while the four-way controller is used for
menus, adjusting manual settings, as well as for:
- Up - Flash (Auto, auto w/redeye
reduction, flash off, flash on)
- Down - Focus (Normal, macro, landscape)
Pressing the center button on the
four-way controller is a quick way into playback mode.
Up on top of the M410R you'll find
the power and shutter release buttons, as well as the
mode dial. The items on the mode dial include:
- Movie mode - more on this later
- Ext. mode - I assume this means "extended
mode"; full menu options are available here;
you can shoot in single or continuous mode
- Scene - you choose the scenario
and the camera uses the proper settings; choose
- Sports action
- Night view
- Night portrait
- Auto / Continuous shooting - most
menu items are locked up
- Auto / Single-shot - most menu
items locked up
- Playback mode - more on this later
The hallmark feature on the M410R
is undoubtedly its ability to shoot continuously at
3.3 frames/second until the memory card is full. If
you want the camera to focus before each shot, the
frame rate drops, but is still an amazing 2 frames/second.
While shooting the LCD stays with you (without blacking
out), allowing you to track a moving subject.
The catch is that you must be using
a "high speed" SD card in order to get those
speeds and unlimited recording. If the camera is shooting
slower than the advertised frame rate, or if it stops
shooting suddenly, odds are that your SD card is too
The camera does offer some manual
shooting modes (aperture and shutter priority to be
exact), but they're buried in the menu. More on that
On this side of the camera you'll
find the speaker as well as three I/O ports, which
are kept behind a plastic door. The I/O ports include:
- DC-in (for optional AC adapter)
- A/V out
The M410R supports the USB 2.0 High
Speed standard for fast photo transfer to your Mac
On the other side of the camera is
the memory card slot, which is protected a plastic
door of average quality. The M410R can use both SD
and MMC memory cards, though you'll want to use the
former due to its superior performance and capacity.
We finish our tour with a look at
the bottom of the camera. Down here you'll find a plastic
(I think) tripod mount as well as the battery compartment.
The battery compartment, which holds four AAs, is protected
by a fairly sturdy plastic door (with a lock).
Using the Kyocera Finecam
The M410R starts up quickly, taking
about 1.9 seconds to extend the lens and "warm
up" before you can start taking pictures.
There's a live histogram!
Focus speeds were good in normal lighting,
with a 0.5 second wait in most cases. At the telephoto
end, or if the subject is hard to focus on, it can
take more like a second. Low light focusing wasn't
terribly good, but it wasn't horrible either. The camera
could certainly use an AF-assist lamp, though.
Shutter lag was low, even at slower
shutter speeds where it often occurs.
Shot-to-shot speed is excellent, with
a delay of a little over a second before you can take
another shot, assuming the post-shot review feature
is turned off.
There is no easy way to delete a photo
immediately after it is taken.
Now, here's a look at the resolution
and quality choices on the M410R:
||# images on 128MB card
Remember, the M410R doesn't include
a memory card, so you'll want to get one when you buy
The camera doesn't support the RAW
or TIFF image formats.
The camera saves images with a name
of KIF_####.JPG, where #### = 0001-9999. The camera
will maintain the file numbering, even as you erase
and switch memory cards.
There are two menus on the M410R:
an easy-to-access overlay-style menu and a more traditional
menu system beneath it. Most of the menu items are
locked up, unless you're shooting in Ext. mode.
First, here's what's in the overlay-style
- Self-timer (Off, 2 or 10 sec)
- Pixels (See chart)
- Quality (See chart)
- Drive mode
- Continuous shooting - shoot
continuously at 3.3 frames/second until memory
card is full
- Continuous AF shooting -
shoot continuously but focus between every
shot; lowers the frame rate considerably
- AE bracketing - takes three
shots in a row, each with a different exposure
(+0.3EV, 0EV, -0.3EV); good for ensuring proper
- White balance (Auto, daylight,
incandescent, cloudy, fluorescent, preset) - the
preset option lets you use a white or gray card for
perfect color in any light
- Manual settings - see next list
Okay, now let's look at the manual
- Color mode (Color, black & white,
- Chroma [saturation] (-1 to +1)
- Sharpness (-1 to +3)
- Contrast (-1 to +1)
- WB preset - set up the custom white
- Focusing (Wide AF, spot AF)
- Long exposure (Off, 2, 4, 8 sec)
- Here's one way to do long exposures
- ISO (Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800)
- it's not often you see ISO 800 on a camera like
- Metering (Evaluation, center, spot
- AE mode
- Program AE - point-and-shoot
(with full menu access)
- Aperture priority mode -
you choose the aperture and the camera picks
the appropriate shutter speed; range is F2.8
- F8.9 and is dependent on the focal length
- Shutter priority mode - you
choose the shutter speed and the camera picks
the right aperture; shutter speed range is
1 - 1/2000 sec
I have to knock Kyocera here for their
limited shutter priority mode and outright lack of
a full manual mode. They give you access to shutter
speeds of 2, 4, and 8 seconds with the Long Exposure
feature, but they don't let you go any slower than
1 second while in shutter priority mode. What if you
want to use a 3 second exposure instead of the 2 or
4 sec options offered by the Long Exposure item? You're
out of luck.
There's also a setup menu, which
is accessible via the
mode dial. The items here include:
- AF mode (Single AF, continuous
AF) - the latter will keep focusing, even without
pressing the shutter release button; reduces focus
lag but puts extra strain on the batteries
- Brightness control (-2 to +2) -
- Digital zoom (on/off)
- Power save (Off, 1, 3, 6 mins)
- Mode lock (on/off) - stores camera
settings while it is turned off
- Beep (Off, 1-3)
- Shutter volume (Off, 1-3)
- Select LCD (EVF, LCD) - choose
which is active when you turn on the camera
- Startup screen - use the default,
your own picture, or turn it off
- Rec review (Off, 2, 4 secs) - post-shot
- Language (Japanese, English, French,
German, Spanish, Chinese)
- Video out (NTSC, PAL)
- File number reset
- Mode reset
Well I've had it with menus so let's
move on to more interesting things now -- photo quality!
The M410R did a decent job with our
macro test subject, though some of the colors seem
a bit off. Mickey looks a bit pale here, and his hat
isn't that purple in reality. The image is quite smooth,
though not terribly detailed.
The focus range in macro mode isn't
spectacular: it's 10 cm at wide-angle and 90 cm at
Believe it or not, there's no long
exposure noise reduction system on the M410R. View
the full size image and you'll notice hot pixels everywhere.
That's too bad, since the camera took in plenty of
light and the image is well-exposed. Taking a long
exposure is frustrating due to the limited shutter
speed choices (1, 2, 4, or 8 seconds), but it can be
done. There's no purple fringing to speak of here.
Using that same shot, let's have a
look at the effect of the ISO sensitivity on noise
All things considered, the amount
of noise at ISO 800 isn't too horrible.
There was moderate redeye in our flash
test, which surprised me a bit considering that the
flash and lens aren't that close together. Expect to
spend some time removing this in software.
The distortion test shows moderate
barrel distortion at wide-angle, and slight hints of
vignetting (dark corners). This vignetting did crop
up in my real world photos as well, typically in the
Overall I wasn't terribly thrilled
with the M410R's photo quality and for two reasons.
For one, colors often (but not always) seemed dull
and drab, especially brownish colors which looked pale.
Pretty much every photo in the gallery shows
you what I'm talking about. I tried turning up the
chroma but that barely helped. Secondly, photos have
a soft, fuzzy look to them reminiscent of video captures
(see this photo for an example).
Details that should be sharp such as roof tiles, grass,
and leaves are just a muddy mess. One thing that Kyocera
does have a handle on is purple fringing -- there really
isn't any to speak of.
Don't just take my word for all this,
though. Have a look the the photo
gallery and see if the M410R's photo quality meets
The Finecam M410R has an excellent
movie mode. You can record movies at 640 x 480 (30
frames/second) with sound until the memory card is
full. That doesn't take too long on a 256MB SD card
-- under two minutes. You can cut the frame rate in
half to 15 fps to double recording time. You can also
record at 320 x 240 at either 15 or 30 frames/second.
Do note that a high speed memory card is needed for
the high quality movie mode.
As is usually the case, you cannot
use the zoom lens during filming.
Movies are saved in AVI format using
the M-JPEG codec.
Here's a sample movie for you, recorded
at the highest quality setting. Be warned that it's
a very large download!
to play movie (22.1 MB, 640 x 480, 30 fps, AVI
Can't play it? Download QuickTime.
The M410R has a pretty standard playback
mode. Basic playback options include slide shows, DPOF
print marking, image protection, thumbnail mode, voice
captions, and zoom and scroll. The camera is also PictBridge-enabled
for direct printing to a compatible photo printer.
The zoom and scroll feature (my term)
allows you to zoom in as much as 8X (in 2X increments)
into your photo, and then scroll around. This feature
is very well implemented on the M410R.
Other options include the ability
to resize and rotate your photos. I also like the ability
to delete a group of photos, instead of just one or
all of them.
By default the camera tells you absolutely
nothing about your photos, but by pressing the Display
button you can get the two screens you see above.
Moving between photos is instantaneous.
This is one fast camera.
How Does it Compare?
The Kyocera Finecam M410R is an ultra
zoom camera whose biggest claim to fame is its stunning
continuous shooting performance, and it lives up to
the hype. If the image quality was better then I'd
be more enthusiastic about this camera, but unfortunately
it was not. Photos were fuzzy and soft and colors were
dull in many of my real world test photos. In addition,
there was mild vignetting in nearly every picture I
took. In addition, there was no noise reduction for
long exposures, and redeye was above average. One thing
that wasn't a problem was purple fringing.
Performance-wise, though, the camera
is great in almost all respects. It starts up quickly,
focuses quickly, and has no shutter lag. Low light
focusing wasn't great, though. The area in which the
camera really shines is in burst mode, where it can
take photos at 3.3 frames/second until the memory card
is full (assuming you're using a high speed SD card).
Another nice feature on the camera is its movie mode,
which can record at 640 x 480 / 30 frames per second.
The M410R has quite a few manual controls, although
the shutter speed options are limited. A few other
nice features about the camera are the LCD and EVF
(good refresh rate, high resolution, usable in low
A few other issues I have with the
camera are in the bundle department. You get throwaway
batteries, no memory card, no Mac software, and a pile
of manuals covering an older model with the main manual
If you really need the continuous
shooting abilities of the Finecam M410R then I'd take
a look at it. If that's not important, you'll find
better ultra zoom cameras elsewhere.
What I liked:
- Stunning continuous shooting performance;
snappy performance in general
- Very good manual controls (but
see negatives below)
- Excellent movie mode
- High quality (but small) LCD; nice
EVF as well
- LCD/EVF still usable in low light
- ISO goes to 800
- USB 2.0 High Speed support
- Histograms in record and playback
What I didn't care for:
- Dull colors in photos; images look
fuzzy and soft; vignetting in most of my test photos
- No long exposure noise reduction
- Limited slow shutter speed options
- Low light focusing wasn't great;
no AF-assist lamp
- Below average battery life
- Poor bundle
- Camera manual situation is a real
Some other ultra zooms worth looking
at include the Canon
PowerShot S1 (image stabilization), Fuji
FinePix S5100, HP
Photosmart 945, Kodak
EasyShare DX7590, Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 (image
stab.) and Z10, Nikon
Coolpix 4800, Olympus C-765 and C-770 Ultra
Zoom, and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 and DMC-FZ15 (both
of which have image stab.)
As always, I recommend a trip to your
local camera store to try out the Finecam M410R and
its competitors before you buy!
Want to see how the photo quality
turned on? Check out our photo
Want a second opinion?
Read a different opinion over at Steve's
Feedback & Discussion
If you have a question about this
review, please send them to Jeff.
Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me
asking for a personal recommendation.
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