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I purchased this camera a couple of years ago as it was part of a very good offer and the price had been substantially reduced. I was looking for something affordable which would still take a good quality picture, so 12 megapixels seemed great for the price. At first glance the camera is very stylish, lighweight and incredibly easy to use with a large display screen which makes it so much easier to photograph exactly what you want. I initially thought there were too many features for what I would use the camera for, and so i initially stuck to using the automatic photograph setting which would alter itself according to the distance of the object/ person being photographed and used this in conjunction with the zoom function (which is very impressive for such a small camera).
The automatic setting provided me with some great photographs, however I later decided to play around with the various settings and discovered that they were much easier to use than I had expected, and also that they enhanced the photos that I took dramatically. I first tried the panoramic photo setting whilst trying to get a good shot of a beach on holiday. This setting allows you to take 3 photos in succession (from right to left, or left to right depending on your preference) and is very easy to use as long as you have a point of reference which you can use as the end of one photograph and the start of the next. The camera then 'stitches' the 3 photos together to create a panoramic shot. I was very impressed with the photos that resulted from using this setting and my only problem was that it was quite difficult to photograph a continuous beach scene as there were not many points of reference I could find to mark the edges of the individual photographs.
The other settings that I used were not as impressive but still useful - the blur reduction setting is good if, like me, you don't have the steadiest hand when taking photos. The face recognition setting and action photo setting were a little disappointing for me - perhaps I was not using them correctly but I found that action photos always tended to blur and I felt the face recognition did not really add anything to the camera. The timer function came in very useful when trying to set up a couple of photos although it isn't particularly easy to work out when the photograph is about to be taken! Although the flash can be set to automatic, red eye reduction, on or off, I rarely changed the setting from automatic as this seemed to be the best way to take spontaneous photos without worrying about light levels. I did find that even in good light the photograph tended to blur if the flash was switched off.
One of the features I was not expecting to be so useful was the video function. Initially I thought this would be a little added bonus to occasionally use, however the quality is exceptional and I found myself using this to video family events and beautiful nature scenes. Even when uploaded onto a computer, the image quality is very impressive. The playback feature on the camera itself is also very useful, with options to delete or lock photos, zoom in or out and to tag certain photos as a particular event such as 'holiday'. This then means you can later look through the holiday photos alone.
The m381 doesn't compromise on battery life either - it works on a rechargeable battery which I found would last for around 2-3 days on a holiday with plenty of picture taking. This is definitely a camera that is well worth the money, whether you want to set it to automatic and point and shoot, or to take advantage of it's features. I would happily have continued to use this camera for years to come but unfortunately it was dropped and broken and so i have moved on to a newer kodak model.
Now we all know that Kodak is big but not the BIGGEST camera name on the market, however this nifty little 12 megapixel camer can hold its own battles.
With amazing scenes and quick capture time for £65 (Which is what I got it for from Argos) its not a bad price.
The camera works better in the daytime especially on a nice summers day but equally works as well in the night.
Very compact and easy to carry around, even strong enough to drop a few times without the camera smashing to smithereens.
For the past 6 months that I have had this little camera it has been the world to me. I am able to take proffesional looking pictures and upload them so simply onto any computer/laptop.
The charger is pretty cool as well. With 3 different components:
1) for 3 pin sockets
2) For 2 pin sockets abroad
3) The lead is also the USB cable (WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT)
The lead acting as the USB cable also comes in handy for other appliances like mobile phones if you ever lose your other lead.
I would seriously recommend this camera to any avid photographer wanting something easy to use day to day.
The camera was a great deal as I managed to pick it up for 50 quid at Boots clearance store in Becton (East London). The RRP is £99.95. I have been using the camera for 3 months.
It has many great features, but it is a bit senitive to movemment and you can end up with blurred pictures if you are not careful. The camera has many features that I have not used as i just wanted a click and go camera. This camera has a setting for this also, so I was happy. There is also a video camera function that works very well with the 12 megapixel quality. The other function that I have found great is the panaromic function that produces one picture by 'stiching' three pictures into one, so it gives great landscape shots and gives you a real feel of beautiful views that can sometimes be lost with regular shots. The camera is a bit fiddly as the buttons are a bit small, but for this price it's great and no complaint. The optical zoom is fantastic. And the screen size of 3.5 inch is great.
I had to buy accesories like a 8 GB SD Card and a carrying case from ebay which both cost another £15 altogether.