Product Type: Kodak digital cameras
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Kodak misses the mark
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123
Member Name: Huomenna
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123
Date: 19/12/11, updated on 19/12/11 (73 review reads)
Advantages: will appeal to children, easy to use, cheap
Disadvantages: limited use, cheap and tacky looking, only digital zoom
The kodak easyshare sport C123 is the cheapest underwater camera that we stock at the shop I work in and the low price is the only reason we sell it (people keep asking for a cheap underwater camera and the next cheapest we do is a Panasonic at over 2 times the price).
This particular camera is 12mp, with a 3x digital zoom, 2.4" LCD screen and is powered by AA batteries. Colour wise you'll have to go with something bright and garish - as far as I'm aware they don't do a black or silver, but they do have yellow, orange and I think green.
The camera itself is made of plastic and feels incredibly cheap and tacky to hold - infact it reminds me of a fisher price camera I had as a child in that respect. The finish is gloss which becomes very slippery if your hands are wet, however they have provided a rubber grip on the front to solve this issue. On the base of the camera is a hinge which gives access to the battery and memory card compartment, and underneath is a rubber cap which is presumably one of the watertight aspects of the camera - 2 single use AA batteries are provided, but the SD card is something you'll need to buy seperately. If you so use the internal memory and then place an SD card in the camera, it will ask if you want to transfer the photos - I thought this was a good feature as many times customers have come into the shop with whatever camera, saying they've taken photos on the internal memory and don't know how to get them off.
When you first turn the camera on you are prompted to set the date and time which is simply done, and the menu allows you to place a date stamp on the photo if required. You also need to select a language from which there are 23 available, so a nice wide range of choices for those who aren't native english speakers. Unlike other underwater cameras this one does not prompt the user to check underwater precautions, so you need to remember to do this yourself before you drop it in some H20.
The 2.4" screen is fairly small by today's standards, but it does take up a large amount of the rear surface space of the camera and is perfectly sufficient to see what you're taking photos of, so not an issue for me.
The camera does have a zoom function, but it is a 3x digital only - this seems very backward among the cameras of today (infact this is the same zoom spec as my first ever digital had, which was also a kodak bought for the same sort of price in 2004!) As digital zoom is artifically bringing in the image, this does degrade results and isn't really worth bothering with, plus the zoom action is very staggered so I've severly unimpressed with this aspect of the camera.
The rear of the camera tends to use depictions rather than words to denote the functions of the buttons, so if you are unfamiliar with kodak cameras, it may take you a while to get used to what buttons perform which role - for example the button with a picture that looks like a list, is the menu.
As you'd expect for a camera of this type and price, there are no manual overrides with regard to shutter and aperture, however you can still set your ISO and white balance if required. Personally I wouldn't bother as the camera is pretty good at picking the appropriate settings for itself, however it's nice to know they are there if you need them. You can also adjust colour settings so you can take B&W or sepia photos if the mood takes you.
When it comes down to picture quality there are a couple of issues - the flash bar is located directly above the lens which leads to a harsh and very unforgiving flash (if there are any slightly refective objects in the photo, the light will bounce back off them and it's not a good look). If you therefore decide to turn the flash off, you will struggle to get blur free photos indoors or in low light conditions as there is no form of anti shake mode.
The video function allows you to record movie in VGA resolution (640x480 pixels) which again is low by today's standards, especially when full HD movie on cameras is becomming common. If you don't plan on doing any or much filming then they may not be an issue, but if it is something you are likely to use then you may well find yourself disappointed with the quality, especially if you try and watch it on your nice big widescreen TV!
The provided accessories are kept to a bare minimum - 2 AA batteries, a wrist strap, USB cable and a few bits of paper. You will need to buy a memory card and it may be a good idea to get a case, as although the camera is the underwater variety, it is not shock proof like many others of its kind.
Price wise this camera can be purchased for about £50-60 and at this price you can't expect too much from it, if you do then you're deluding yourself! If you want a bright, fun looking camera for a young child, or want something to use on the beach/in the water for a holiday in the sun then this could prove a good option on a shoe string budget. For any other purpose though I'd say look elsewhere - if you want to use a camera underwater fairly regularly you'll be better off saving a bit more money and buying something miles better like a panasonic FT10, and if you want to take decent pictures out of the water spend £20 or so more and I can guarantee the quality of the camera and the photos will be twice as good.
Personally I think Kodak have lost their way since the heyday of the box brownie - my first ever digital was a kodak and it was poor back then, my mum's had a couple of kodak digitals that were better but nothing impressive, you can just get so much more now from other brands that I don't see much point in buying from them, except under the misguided assumption that the brand name means it's going to be a quality product. Unfortunately I can't express the enthusiasm for this camera that some of the other reviewers have.
Summary: Good for kids and beach snaps, but personally I'd spend a bit extra to get a much better camera
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