Every Little Helps- Technika SH-340T Review

Before some of you get excited this little digital is not made by Lindoff. It was sold by UK supermarket Tesco in the 2000’s as one of several cheap digital devices sold under the Technika brand. But how does the SH-340T, a basic 3.1MP stack up in 2024

For non British readers, Tesco is the UK’s largest supermarket commanding around 27% of the UK market share with top dog status that has shifted very little over the last few decades. It sells quite a range of non food items notably these days clothing and kitchenware. A decade back you could also pick up a wide range especially electronics although that has dwindled due to online competition so theses days its pretty much days it’s pretty much couple of discount TV, a few printers and a kitchen gadgets.

Technika MP3 player
Tesco’s range of technika products are simple devices like headphones BT speakers and this MP3 player. Image by John Hartnup and is used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED

The company have sold a range of budget electricals under the Technika brand and there are one or 2 cameras. The SH-340T is quite widely available second hand.

Sign test shot on SH-340T
Technika SH340T. f/2.8 1/2000 ISO 100. This seems to be as fast the camera can go. Dumfries Feb 2024

Technika SH-340T Looks

Rear of Technika SH340T
Rear of the SH340T with camera turned on. AAA for scale

Well pretty much like any budget digital of it era. Off centre lens with body finished in silver (a red and a black versions were also available. It’s all Plastic but there are a couple of nice chrome highlights. The top plate has a power button and shutter button. The rear has a 1.5″ TFT with typical joypad layout. The base of the camera has access to put in the 2xAAA batteries need to power and a SD card slot). One side has a covered USB Mini A slot and a switch to move from macro to normal shooting.

View of the toplate, base and side of the Technika SH340T
Top plate (t-l) is simple. on the base the card slot is covered when empty but not full. On one side you’ll find the macro switch and the USB connector point

It’s all cheap stuff but not awful. A poor design feature is the SD slot. this has a hinged cover that swings in when a SD card is inserted but then doesn’t close as the SD card prevents it. This runs the risk of dust entry.

Under the hood

3.1 MP CMOS sensor matched with a 8.5mm 1:2.8 lens. I’m guessing giving the angle of view is just wider than 50mm full frame that we have a 1/2 to 1/2.5″ sensor. According to the SH-340T manual the camera can interpolate up to 5MP but on camera I was offered up to 12MP. Worth noting the manual I could download although clearly shows the same camera and options but shows a different menus set up.

There is no detail about exposure system or metering (it obviously does). I think given the switch for macro (11-18cm). Standard shots are good from 0.5m to infinity according to manual. The focal length is stable but there is digital zoom (x4 in manual x8 on camera(

AWB is enabled by default but you can force 4 fixed white balance modes. The saturation, sharpness and image quality can all be varied (all shots unless specified were on normal and fine settings at 3MP)

Video mode up to VGA 8-10fps and sound recording are available.

There is flash built in but no specs

Testshot of Suspension bridge on the SH-340T
It need light to get the best results on the SH-340T. f/2.8 1/500 100ISo . Feb 2024 Dumfries

-Test spec

The camera has a fixed aperture of f/2.8. Most of the time it operates at 100ISO except in low light when it drops to 200 ISO. It bottoms out at 1/4 sec for slowest shutter (lo light shots are under exposed). I got it to 1/2000 as fastest shutter. This makes sense as it would cover just over EV15

In use

Relatively easy to turn onbut does have lag to boot up. There’s lag in taking shots as well meaning it is easy to produce teared images

failed image taken on the SH340T
It is prone to getting warped images like this if you move while shooting

The SH-340T’s TFT screen is dark (this may be age and my version) and is almost impossible to see on a bright day. There are no menu controls to brighten.

Rear of the Technika SH340T
The camera and screen are actually on. Not that you know it and whilst this was good light it wasn’t noon on a summer’s day.

The camera offers some shooting modes. Hitting the dedicated mode button shuffles through camera, video and sound recorder but if you go into menu there are present modes for landscapes, portrait, night scenes etc. The manual does not detail these

Flash setting offers off, auto and on. The camera takes about 5secs to pre-charge the flash when engaged even in auto.

The SH-340T does not force you to set a date and time when you re-insert batteries which means unless you do manually all your shots are taken in 2007.

SH-340T Results

There’s good and bad news.

In straight forward daylight the images are well exposed and reasonably sharp. I say reasonable but the camera actually deploys a little too much sharpening. It’s pretty typical for many a budget camera of this age however and I guess you can turn the setting down.

Suspension bridge test shot. Technika SH-340T
f/2.8 1/1000 100ISo. Feb 2024 Dumfries

The camera really struggles with backlit scenes however. And dynamic range isn’t spectacular. It blows up bright lights too

Underexposed test shot on the Technika SH-340T
thsi would have benefitted from longer exposure. f/2.8 1/2000 ISO 100. Dumfries Feb 2024

There is a bit of barrel radial distortion but not awful for a cheap digicam of the era. Centrally it is pretty sharp close and okay on long shots

Window frame for radial distortion test shot SH-340T
The Conservatory is not falling down I can assure you. f/28 1/125 ISO 100

It has a slight uneven fall off as the shot below shows. On the right although a little softer you still can see the Loreburne shopping centre sign clearly but the Dominos on left is mush

Lifebelt holder test shot SH-340T
f/2.8 1/125 IS0 100 Dumfries 2024
Close up of sides of above shot
Close up snippets (200×200) of the left and right of the above image

Now you could blame the fact it’s further away but you’ll see the same on other images

But I guess if you were taking outdoor shots in uncomplicated lighting using it for a blog with small 600×400 images it works okay. Biit over sharpened but useable

It really struggles in lo light so assessing AWB is hard. There is atypical bluish cast in some shots . And night shooting is just no although cor bless it tries.

Night Test Shot on SH-340T
Attempted night shot of bridge . f/2.8 1/4 200 ISO. Dumfries Feb 2024

The SH-340T’s Flash isn’t powerful and oddly the camera doesn’t sync to it very fast – I wonder if it’s a rear curtain like effect.

Flash Shot SH-340T
Flash shots are what they are. The flash has no red eye feature and not that powerful

The macro setting is so narrow you’d need a ruler to get it working properly. The video mode auto adjusts exposure and has sound but there is an whine which is odd as there is no AF or other motors

Final Thoughts on the SH-340T

So shooting outdoors with good uncomplicated light this does pretty much what most cheap cams of it era does. As a plus it uses standard SD cards and has for it’s time a usable video in good light although you’ll probably need to redub the sound. Beyond that there are better choices. The screen isn’t good in light making it limited even in good conditions. In fairness that might just be the one I got. and when light levels drop it can’t cope.

You can do better but I guess if you want a lo-fi daylight shooter this can do.


iON Cool-iCam S1000
iON Cool-iCam S1000 with a SD(HC) card for comparison

The Ion Cool-iCAM S1000 is more modern, waterproofed 8MP version of this. Its exposure control is better but not without problems. The Olympus Camedia C-120 (aka D-380) is a nearer match for the time at 2MP with fixed focus lens. It manages better overall but uses smart media format cards which are an unstable POS in 2020’s and not made anymore

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