Though my wife believes my laptop is permanently tethered to my body, there are times when I don’t want to tote around my computer. Such a time is when I’m out shooting in the field. But since I still want to back up my digital files before I get home the Epson P-5000 Multimedia Storage Viewer provides a good way to both secure and share my images. Sporting a bright and sharp four-inch display, the P-5000 (80 GB) and its lower-capacity sibling, the P-3000 (40 GB), offer a better way to review images in the field, as compared to the camera’s smaller LCD. This was especially beneficial when I was producing macro images. Though my D-SLR allows me to zoom in to the image on its LCD, my eyes aren’t what they used to be. The P-5000, with its excellent brightness and contrast, provided me a much better way to ensure I was getting sharp and well-exposed images. The latter was confirmed with the aid of a histogram and a highlight warning during playback.
Though it’s not the smallest device of its type at 15.1 ounces, it’s a lot smaller and lighter than my laptop. Easily stowable in my camera bag, it reduced the load in my photographic backpack.
It supports both RAW and JPEG files, and I was pleased to see that the system didn’t bog down while downloading files from my CompactFlash or SD cards. It quickly produced thumbnails for both JPEG and RAW files. It’s good to note that as new cameras are released and new types of RAW files are introduced, firmware upgrades will become available to ensure compatibility.
The menu screen and controls made navigating through the various features of the P-5000 easy and intuitive. Even before reading the manual, I was able to smoothly negotiate many of its features.
The device’s slideshow feature is an excellent way to share photos without having to export the images to a computer. Because the viewer supports a variety of audio formats, including MP3 and AAC, I could download and store some of my favorite music.
In addition to creating a slideshow of all the images from a day’s shoot, I also could select images from different shoots and place them in a new folder. Using this folder and a couple of my favorite tunes, I created a dynamic slideshow that displayed beautifully on my TV set.
Though not inexpensive at $699, the capacity of the drive, the stunning screen and the convenience it offers photographers in the field make the P-5000 a worthwhile addition to a serious photographer’s camera bag.
Contact: Epson, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Specs Of Note
LCD: 4-inch Photo Fine Ultra LCD TFT, 640 x 480 pixels
Hard Drive: 80 GB hard drive (73.8 GB Fat32 available for storage)
Interface: USB 2.0 High Speed
Photo Format: JPEG, RAW (from select D-SLRs)
Audio Format: MP3, AAC and WMA
Video Format: DivX, MPEG 1/2, MPEG 4 (AP), WMV9, H.264 and Motion JPEG
Size: 3.5x5.9x1.3 inches
Weight: 15.1 ounces
Estimated Street Price: $699
1 Sharp four-inch color LCD with 640 x 480 resolution
2 Support for both sRGB and Adobe RGB color space
3 Rechargeable lithium-ion battery provides three hours of continuous use (in slideshow or video modes)
4 Offers 250% faster download times than previous models