Product Type: Kodak digital cameras
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Kodak Easyshare C143
Member Name: zoe_page_1
Kodak Easyshare C143
Date: 30/03/11, updated on 30/03/11 (113 review reads)
Advantages: Great price, robust, good quality pics
Disadvantages: Easyshare bit little more than a gimmick
Forget features like multiple exposure, shutter speed and imaging sensors. The thing that most attracted me to this camera was the fact it came in red. Let me explain: I have spent years with standard silver cameras. In group situations when everyone wants a photo taken on their camera, it can be vaguely confusing working out whose camera is whose afterwards, when they're all on the table together. But if I had a red camera, I thought, that would be a thing of the past. Of course I also looked at the description of the camera, but really once I'd seen the colour, I was already 90% sold. There are many cameras in the Kodak Easyshare range, and mine is the C143 model.
I bought this camera in January 2011 from Amazon, using Dooyoo vouchers. It cost about £50 - more than I tend to spend on cameras but then I tend to buy cheap ones that don't last. I decided this would be an investment so I could afford a little more (and I know it's still super cheap compared to some models). Like laptops, I was impressed by how much the quality had increased and the cost had reduced since I last bought a camera.
The camera is ready to use straight from the box which was a bonus - I hate buying things and waiting eagerly for them to be delivered, only to find I have to spend ages formatting them or going through set up etc. The camera takes 2 AA batteries, and these are supplied. Also in the box is a wrist strap, a USB cable (very important - see later) and an instruction guide - two, in fact, a detailed one and a quick start. The camera is standard sized meaning it will go in any average camera case. They don't supply one (not even one of those thin little fabric covers) but I got a great one, also from Amazon, for under a fiver (search 'Lupo camera bag' on here to see it).
Having used many cameras before, both my own and other people's, I had no difficulties figuring this one out, at least for the basic features. The buttons are labelled with the standard symbols (weird squiggly lightning bolt for Flash etc) although the fact that some are on the top and some are on the back was new for me. Something I appreciated from the get go was the fact that the on/off button was not also the picture taking button as it can be on some cameras. In fact, they're not even next to each other, so you can't accidentally switch it off at a crucial moment or so on. On this model they have combined the picture taking button with the zoom - you pull the little blob to one side to zoom in or out, and press down to take which is much better from my point of view.
==== Faster Than Fairies, Faster Than Witches ====
The camera is very quick, both in switching on and in responding to your requests. Many a time I've missed a shot because my camera has been off while I've been driving past something, or a bird or animal has been crossing my path, but with this camera it takes longer to get it out of the case than actually switch it on, and it goes from off to photo ready in a mere 3 seconds. It takes a split second longer than you might expect for a photo that has been taken to appear on the screen for review, but this only seems the case really because everything else is so quick.
I am not a photographer: I am someone who likes to take photos. I take them of everything from landscapes to monuments to food to friends and I have no desire to set up the shots carefully or fiddle around with settings. I simply want to point and shoot, and for that this camera is excellent. The focus is automatic and quick, and it picks up colours beautifully. With 12 megapixels and blur reduction, the clarity is great, and though the zoom is only x3 (pretty much the minimum these days) it has never proved anything less than sufficient for me.
==== Grand Designs ====
The camera is well designed, both easy to hold and easy to use, even before you become familiar with the position of the various controls. The back of the camera display is amazingly clear and a virtually identical representation of what the photo will look like when you upload it. It's a big screen, too, taking up almost all the back of the camera unlike on my previous one where it was only about half the size it could have been. The icons also show clearly on the screen, so you can tell whether the flash is on or off, whether the self timer is on or off and so on.
==== It Just Keeps Going And Going ====
The battery life on this camera is outstanding. I resent paying lots of money for batteries that only last for a dozen shots, but this has been used almost daily for more than 2 months with the original batteries and the battery indicator hasn't even dropped one bar yet. However, mentioning the batteries has reminded me of the one thing that really bugs me about this model. The SD card slots in next to the batteries, and since I tend to use my SD reader rather than the cord to move my photos to my computer, this means I have to open the sliding cover every few days. While it's quite easy to open it up, and remove the card or batteries as needed, it is much trickier to shut it again. It appears to be spring mounted, and never slides as smoothly as it should, so I always worry I've got the angle wrong and am going to break it. While the camera could handle the odd dent or scratch, if this cover broke it would literally be the end of the world as there would be nothing left holding the batteries in place. Simply put, it doesn't feel as robust as it should, or as well designed as the rest of the nice, sturdy camera.
The reason I tend to use the SD reader on my laptop rather than plug in the camera is two-fold. One, it is quicker to do so as you're only waiting for the laptop to detect the card, not for the camera to react as well. Two, I have to locate the right cable. Previously I had one USB cable that fit my camera and my MP3 player, and my phone as well, which was super handy. They were all the standard size, so it worked. The port on the camera is, however, not normal sized, so you have to use the specific, supplied cable. Which, as you can imagine, in a drawer strewn with cables and chargers, takes some finding.
==== More Features Than Blockbuster ====
The camera has a lot of features which I am only beginning to explore, because they don't interest me all that much. These include the burst feature - lots of photos in quick succession - and the option to change to black and white or sepia, though the one exception, i.e the one I am interested in, is the self-timer (since I travel alone, but need proof I've been places!) This has two options, for 2 second and 10 second, and is easy to use, meaning I've not had to resort to those up-nose, at arm's-length shots yet that so many people on here favour for their profile pics...
It has a video feature that produces films as good as any phone. It's easy to switch between photos and filming, but since it takes up more memory I tend to film only the really vital stuff and just snap away at anything else. What counts as vital? Well, at a cheese and wine on Sunday, 4 of the 5 camera present thought it vital to film the host's dog as he performed his tricks in an attempt to earn some cracker crumbs.
==== Safety First ====
Once in Mexico I let a friend use my camera to view the photos on their SD card as their camera's screen had cracked. A few minutes in and an anguished wail came my way, as he managed to delete ALL his photos (from 6 months into a round the world trip) with the incorrect press of a button. With this in mind I am always cautious about deleting photos, fearing I might select 'all' when I mean 'one' but this camera has built in safeties with a double check AND an undo-delete feature which I've not come across on cheaper models. As an extra bonus it has the option to protect photos, which gives you an additional prompt before deletion of protected work.
==== Function Over Fashion? ====
Though I tend to leave my camera in general mode, I appreciate that others may have more time / patience to fiddle around with more appropriate settings. This camera has 12 options, which seemed pretty much the same as on my last camera (a completely different model). They include auto, sport, portrait, snow and fireworks but they're just a little niche for me. The standard 'Smart Capture' does the work for me, and I've never looked at a picture and thought it would have been better with a specific setting.
==== Easier Than Katie Price? (Over)sharing More Than, erm, Katie Price? ====
For normal use you don't need any specific software to upload the photos to your computer. However if you want to Easyshare you need to install the relevant enabler. The Easyshare feature intrigued me but I didn't learn much about it before I purchased the camera. I had decided in my mind it must have some sort of snazzy wifi built in, and I was looking forward to trying it out. That's not quite the case, and I've found the Easyshare aspect of the camera to be more of a gimmick than anything. The way it works is, once you've formatted it, it will upload photos automatically to your place of choice as long as said place is one of the following: Facebook, flickr, YouTube, Kodak Gallery or your email and as long as you plug your camera in to a computer with an active internet connection. During the set up phase it asks for your log in details, passwords etc, and stores these, so that when you want to share you can just plug the camera into the computer and press the Share button. Personally I don't find it takes long to upload photos manually on Facebook etc, so I don't tend to use this feature as it only does half the work: it will upload them but if you want to tag them, caption them, or put them in a relevant photo album, you have to go in and do that yourself. If you could upload straight from the camera I might be more interested, but since you have to be next to your computer anyway I don't really see the advantage.
==== Been There, Done That, Got The Date Stamp To Prove It ====
I personally don't like date and time stamped photo (should I ever need to provide a proof of life ransom photo, and no newspaper is handy, I may change my mind) so I am glad that, although you can include these on your photos, the default setting does not include them. You can also tag photos but again, this seems a little odd, as if I want people to see my pics I upload them to Facebook, I don't pass my camera round to show them photos of themselves... I also find the optional slide show gratingly slow so I prefer to scroll through the photos manually. For showing people photos on the LCD screen, I was quite taken with the rotate feature - I always rotate when I upload (because sideways photos look naff, don't they?) but being able to do it on the camera itself isn't half fancy. You can also crop photos - basically all the 'edit' features from a computer, right there on your camera.
==== Finally....2 Thumbs Up====
This camera achieves the double whammy of being simple and easy to use, but producing great photos too, even for inexperienced photographers. I have been extremely impressed by this camera. As a Kodak model, and not the cheapest on the market, I expected it to be fairly good, but in my opinion it's great, and short of dropping it in a swimming pool, I expect it to last me a nice long time. For the average amateur photographer I would highly recommend this model.
Summary: A top quality budget camera
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