"A first in many ways for digital cameras"4.0 starson by www.buy-n-shoot.com
Pros: Wi-Fi, 3 Inch LCD Screen, Stylus, User-Friendly
Cons: 4MP, slighly over sharpens...
Summary: Finally after hearing so much about this camera we got our hands on one (pardon the pun!) to put it to the test.
On opening the boxes and removing the camera for the first time I was surprised at the weight and size of the camera. After reading and viewing online news releases, having it your hands is a totally different story.
The camera is a little larger than I thought it would be, but at the end of the day it has a 230,000 pixel 3-inch (7.6cm) touch screen LCD which flips out left 180 degrees and can rotate again over the top 180 degrees. The screen can also stay flush against the camera’s back to take photos or flip over to have the LCD closed away safely against the body of the camera when not in use. Clever design.
The EasyShare One also comes complete with a built in, but detachable ‘stylus’ for making menu selections as you would on a ‘Blackberry’ unit. This is very handy little tool and will be very much appreciated by those already using a palm pilot for day-to-day notes. The stylus is just an option to standard menu navigating but a very easy one once you get the hang of it.
The back of the camera has just a handful of the general navigation options such as tele-zoom button, a share button, menu and delete.
There are a ½ dozen buttons on the back of the camera to the right of the LCD for the main functions but it’s not until you pull out the stylus that you get deeper into the camera’s main controls – and might I add move through them pretty quickly and effortlessly with Kodak’s well thought out and simple navigation menu options.
The stylus is quite novel and one which I expect other manufacturers to follow suit. It is a logical step considering the way technology is lending itself from one new device to another – and I don’t necessarily mean just cameras. New innovations on a mobile phones can quite often be found built into a camera, or palm pilot, or even mp3 player 12 months after its announcement, and all vice versa. Who knows, may be this time next year Kodak may produce the ‘EasyShare Two’ where you flip out the screen and chat to some one… built in mobile capabilities. This is only a guess so don’t get excited – unless Kodak does read this and use the idea! Although hey, I have a Samsung mobile phone which does just that already…
Anyway, there is more to talk about. Kodak’s design process seems to be one of just simplifying processes; a stylus for quick menu browsing, ability to send images from almost anywhere in the world (via 20,000+ hot spots around the globe), print pictures straight from the camera to a Kodak printer in the same room (without plugs or wires) and plenty of ‘auto’ shooting options – so you can spend more time with composition and less time with changing settings to suit a scene.
If you’re looking for a viewfinder on this camera there isn’t one, because at the end of the day there’s no room left with a 3 inch LCD screen.
Start-up on the camera was a surprise at around 7-8 seconds which is a fair way behind most other cameras on the market vying for an almost instantaneous start-up. However once it’s started it is very efficient and recycles the flash quickly between shots, which is probably more important. This may also explain why Kodak have included a second battery with the kit, as fast recycling of the flash and 3 inch screen combined would be expected to draw a lot of power.
The images captured on the 4MP sensor are sharp through the 3x Schneider Kreuznach optical zoom lens and produce good even skin tones in portraits. There was pretty much no camera shutter lag, but plenty of flexibility with the zoom offering a useful range of 36-108mm (35mm equivalent). To also make life easy, there are up to 16 scene modes which pretty much cover every happy snappers photographic situation.
The camera offers also a range of ISO settings from 80 to just 400. The colour reproduction in general was quite natural with a good response under fluorescent, ambient and regular day light. There is a 4:3 option for capturing images in the tradition 4x6 inch size and a hefty 256MB internal memory which easily outstrips its competition – and likely to be copied quickly by new releases with other companies.
This camera also has a movie mode with just one size selection 640x480 pixel, 24fps MPEG-4. I think it’s pointless offering different sized modes – just offering the largest every time is how it should be. And if I hear anyone complain about the video option on their camera not cutting it, then I say go buy a video camera! and use the right tool for the right job. My belief, until compact cameras reach a hi-res standard for video, the movie option is just for capturing quick memories – and the Easyshare One does just that function, easily.
The software included with the camera is quite good and use a little over 60MB of space for installation. For those looking for an easy introduction to the world of digital cameras and computers, the EasyShare software is very user-friendly and trouble-free way of automatically uploading images and clearing them from the camera’s memory. And if you’re a little internet savvy you can easily upload and share your images online at kodakgallery.com
Its also worth mentioning that the Kodak Easyshare software works twice as quick as Windows XP Picture & Fax Viewer, which many people use for general browsing of digital images, with the Easyshare software also being free for download from the Kodak website even if you don’t have a Kodak digital camera.
Finally, like the all EasyShare cameras from Kodak, this EasyShare One too comes with a camera cradle so the camera can sit on a Kodak printer (alternative to wireless) and print directly without the use of a computer.