Che-ez! Foxz2 Review

Ed Steele May 4, 2004 16

Basically it’s a really cute, piece of junk camera that only costs $99!
UPDATED: Now with even more sample image goodness inside!

What’s in the Box?
-Che-ez! Foxz2 2 Mega Pixel Camera
-SD Dummy Card
-USB 2.0 Cable
-Black Carrying Sleeve
-Carry Strap
-CD, Manual, Warranty Card
What’s Good About It?
-It’s really small and thin.
-It’s really, REALLY small and thin. Like, “Waffer-thin.” And small. Just look at the SD dummy card next to it.
-The LCD screen display is nice & bright.
-Charges the internal battery via the USB port.
-Holding it makes you look cool.
What’s Bad About It?
A lot of things. The images are saved on the SD card in .RAW format. The manual explains that this is a compressed format, so you can fit more pictures on the camera or SD card. That means you have to convert each picture (can’t use a memory card reader to get your photos) by connecting the camera to your PC. “Ok, I’m not happy about that, but let’s continue” I thought. So I installed the XP drivers (no reboot, good) and plugged in the camera. About two years later XP showed me all the thumbnails of my sample photos. “There’s two years of my life gone” I thought. Seriously, just to see the thumbnails takes a really long time. USB 2.0? Not quite – but I discovered later why the photos took so long to convert and copy. So I selected all my photos to transfer, and transferred them. 15 minutes later all my photos were saved to a folder on my desktop as bitmaps. Yes, that’s right, and this time I am not joking: 15 minutes & BMP format. That means yet ANOTHER conversion to JPG to make the 5.6MB bitmap files (yes, you heard me, I said 5.6MB per photo) useable. At 5.6MB a photo, no wonder it took so long to copy them from the camera.
So, hello photos! Eww. These are some sample shots, taken at 1600×1200 which is the native 2MP mode with no interpolation. Not pretty: (shift-click to open the photos in new windows, I’m lazy today:)
Che-ez! Foxz2 Sample Photos
UPDATED: New sample pics!
Other than converting the photos from BMP to JPG, I’ve not made any adjustments to the sample pictures I shot. They’re blurry about the edges and in general, the lighting is funky in some shots, the colors and contrast are off, the flash is too harsh and blinds your subjects, but doesn’t actually illuminate anything far away.
If you can’t tell, I’m annoyed I wasted my time on this camera. I’ve been watching Che-ez! camera for a long time. I even emailed and faxed their offices in 2001 to try to convince them to sell me the Che-ez! Cracker. They wouldn’t, so I’ve anxiously been waiting to get my hands on one of their cameras.
If this camera was $30 I’d be happy. I paid $99, and I’m not happy. It’s going back to the store today. Call it the Che-ez! Foxz2, or the Cheez Foxz 2, or the Cheez Whizzy Foxzy Brown – this camera just doesn’t cut it. Or it does cut it, depending on your tolerance for puns. Behold, the Lameness of Cheese. Whatever. I wanted to like this tinycam, and I’m cranky that it is substandard even compared to my low expectations. (I happily used a Game Boy Camera for two years as my primary camera, ok?). In all fairness I’ll say in closing that the Che-ez! Foxz2 looks really, REALLY cool and thin when you hold it in your hand. If how a camera looks is the most important quality to you when choosing a digital camera, then this is the camera for you.

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  1. Gizmodo May 4, 2004 at 11:02 pm -

    First Che-ez! Foxz2 Review, and a True Story

    There are times when cheap, off-brand gadgets can be hidden treasures; there are times when those treasures hatch beetles that kill and eat your pet lizard (this may be, admittedly, rare). Guess which one the Che-ez! Foxz2 2-megapixel camera is? Gadget…

  2. Jason Mac May 5, 2004 at 3:17 am -

    I think you are being overly critical of the camera. The pictures are not bad for what you paid, and consider: this is one of the only, perhap the only, sub-$100 camera to have a decent lcd screen and flash!

  3. lunacy8m May 5, 2004 at 4:06 am -

    I’m not being overly critical. There are plenty of sub $100 cameras that are FAR better than this one. Take the Aiptek PocketcamX that I picked up after I returned the Foxz2, for example. Picture quality superior to the Foxz2, and many features the Foxz does not have: Webcam mode, AVI with sound, etc. It will be all be in my next review. πŸ˜‰
    I’ve owned many cheap “cheap” tinycams, and for the features and quality, the Foxz2 should only be $40. Tops. Heck, my Aiptek DVII and my StyleCam Blink have more functionality and take better pictures than the Foxz2, and they cost the same or less when I purchased them brand new. The Foxz2 is the “stereotypical” runway model of tinycams – so pretty to look at, but not much upstairs or inside for the cost.

  4. Michael Khaw May 5, 2004 at 4:19 am -

    I’ll add another negative review as a Mac user. You CAN’T use this camera without a desktop/laptop. The only way to charge its battery is via USB. On OS X, your only choice for downloading is by using iPhoto (not that iPhoto is bad, but that you have no other choice).
    The LCD viewfinder is too dark indoors. The optical viewfinder has serious parallax error. The flash makes everything look too blue. Random artifacts (blank white bands, regions of multicolor hash) get recorded on the internal memory WHICH YOU HAVE NO WARNING OF until you’ve transferred the photos to your computer. Images near the claimed 4.9′ minimum focal length limit are fuzzy, which suggests it’s actually more than 4.9′.
    I returned the camera within 48 hours.

  5. lunacy8m May 5, 2004 at 4:50 am -

    I forgot to mention in the review that the shutter button had to be pressed dead center for it to take a picture. Pressing it too far on the right edge of the button (and it’s a bigger button than it needs to be, allowing for “side pressin”) would cause the button to “click” without actually snapping a picture.
    I’m going to have nightmares about this. I just know it.

  6. Francois May 5, 2004 at 1:30 pm -

    Thanks for the review.
    May i suggest you in the tiny cams category :
    – The sony dsc-u10 (discontinued product), only 1.3 mp resolution but it has a really good picture quality and excellent macro mode. It’s around 120҂¬ in belgium shops so i’m sure you can easily find it in US for less than 100$. Size is pretty small although not as small as
    – The Mustek GSmart Mini 3. I bought mine (and sold it later for my Coolpix 3100) for around 75$. Micro size (smaller than a matchbox °_°), internal battery (usb-powered only :p) 3mp (2mp interpolated) no lcd preview but picture quality is outstanding for this size / price. What’s wrong ? No flash, you can’t move while taking a shot otherwise it’s straight to the bin and you can’t add memory. But for this size and price, i was more than amazed.
    Both suggested cameras have a far better image quality than the crappy cheez reviewed.
    I’m glad to read that you manage to return it back and bought something better.
    Thanks for the useful review anyway πŸ™‚
    (and sorry for the mistakes πŸ™

  7. lunacy8m May 5, 2004 at 2:34 pm -

    Thank you, Francois, for the suggestions! πŸ™‚

  8. macguy May 5, 2004 at 2:34 pm -

    Michael Khaw, Mac OS X has an app called Image Capture that can download pics and movies from most cameras. You can set it up so iPhoto is ignored when a camera is attached and Image Cap launches instead.
    Oh, and those sample pics look awful.

  9. TheZodiac May 5, 2004 at 4:25 pm -

    Oh man.. this is the funniest review I have ever read in a long time. LMMFAO! (that extra “M” is for mother, after all mothers day is comeing up) πŸ™‚ I personally just did the dakota digital camera back, and it works about as good if not better and it only cost me $21 πŸ™‚ I so want a crappy camera for under $100 that will do allot of stuff though, maybe ill look into the aiptek piece of crap camera. Hey, thanks for the review…… histerical! πŸ™‚

  10. Shane Conder's Whateveritis of Nothing May 5, 2004 at 4:32 pm -

    Cheap 2MP camera review

    First Che-ez! Foxz2 Review, and a True Story I agree with Gizmodo on this. The quality sucks. But why? Well, looking at all of the pictures in the actual review, we see that the entire right side of the images…

  11. Sean May 10, 2004 at 2:19 pm -

    Hey Lunacy,
    Great review. I was all set to buy one of the Cheez cameras (there’s an even smaller one at Target) but the file conversion process alone is enough to keep me away. Please give us your review on the Aiptek PocketCamX. I have seen several positive reviews on Aiptek products, but I have yet to see anyone review this particular camera. I’ll probably buy it pending your review. Keep up the excellent work–your website is awesome.

  12. lunacy8m May 10, 2004 at 7:18 pm -

    Thank you for the positive feedback on the review! I’ll be reviewing the Aiptek PocketcamX next, and it will be a much different kind of review. (If you were to go buy a Pocketcam X now, I doubt you would be disappointed.)
    I’ll try to get the Aiptek review up this week.

  13. medic613 May 15, 2004 at 8:08 am -

    I Just purchased this Camera from Target and took some pics
    Flash is Great.. like an airplane strobe will go way beyond the 3 meter mark
    pics came out nice and it took about 10 seconds for each pic to load and convert on my 2.2Ghz desktop
    camera is super tiny ( similar to the new $500 sony) and seems durable
    battery seems to hold a nice charge and i just purchased a USB car adapter so i can charge it while i am out
    replacable batteries and JPEG images would be nicer but for 99 bucks this does everything my $200 HP photosmart does with pics
    movie mode and webcam mode would be nice
    To finalize i would highly recomend this as a go-anywhere reliable camera that just might surprise you.
    PS. I am an EMS worker and it fits well in my uniform shirt pocket. Might get some cool pics out on the streets of NYC.
    Be Safe

  14. lunacy8m May 15, 2004 at 4:59 pm -

    The system I used when I reviewed this camera was a Dell Dimension 4600 with a P4 2.66GHz processor and 512MB of RAM running Windows XP Pro SP1. The USB ports on my system are USB 2.0 compliant. 10 seconds per picture sounds completely unrealistic compared to my experience with the camera. Glad you’re happy with your slice of Cheez – I’m MUCH happier with my Aiptek PocketcamX. (Yes, the review is coming, I promise!)

  15. Jhun Caintic December 20, 2007 at 2:19 pm -

    I lost my CD driver for my camera…..Che-ez!foxz2 2.0MP slim digital camera..we can use to my computer. can you send me a driver for my camera. send to my email address…thank you very much

  16. Suzanz July 16, 2009 at 10:36 am -

    I lost my CD driver for my che-ez foxz camera too… Can you send me a driver for my camera. send to my email address…really thank you very much