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Why I Picked this Camera
I received this camera as a graduation gift, and I was able to select the model. My goal was to stay below $300. I was looking for something with at least 10 Mega Pixels, lots of optical zoom, and HD video capacity. This turned out to be the most inexpensive camera to fit the bill. I ordered it for $267 and received it on 5/31/08.
Taking Pictures with this Camera
Before we can take pictures, we must turn the camera on. Being one to take pictures at the spur of a moment, I was hoping to find a camera that booted up quickly. Unfortunately, it has turned out to be a little slow for me, sometimes taking a good 5 seconds before it is ready. Also, sometimes you have to push the on button twice before it will turn on.
This camera can take pictures at 3 different ratios: 4:3, 3:2, or 16:9. There are 9 picture sizes, ranging from 2.4 to 10.0 Mega Pixels. I usually use the 7.5 MP option, which is a 16:9 ratio.
Taking a picture is simple, as it should be, just press the shutter button down. For most occasions, using the Smart Capture mode is sufficient, as the camera auto-focuses and adjusts in this mode. However, there are times when you need more flexibility, and in four other modes (Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual) you can adjust several settings, including manual focus, the f-stop number (how much light the camera takes in), exposure time (ranging from 1/1000 to 16 seconds), and ISO speed (64-3200). There are several other options on there too but I don't use them usually.
The burst mode is nice but is limited to 3 pictures in succession. The camera also has a 2 second and 10 second self-timer, which has been very useful.
Most of my pictures turn out clear, as long as they are taken with the proper amount of light. It does have an image stabilizer, which is probably helpful, but I'm no pro so I don't know how good it is.
Taking Video With this Camera
There are 3 levels of video quality, 320x240, 640x480, and HD, which is 1280x720. For general use, I recommend the medium quality 640x480. The HD videos are great, but they take up a great deal of space; it could easily be about 1 GB every 10 minutes. The maximum length video you can record at medium quality is nearly an hour, if you have enough memory available. The zoom works during video, but it is quite slow and makes noise that is recorded in the video.
* A nice 2.5" screen plus a viewfinder.
* 12x zoom
* Takes 2 AA batteries, I use NiMH rechargeable batteries, if you don't you'll be buying batteries all the time.
* Uses an SD card, up to 8 GB.
* Small internal memory around 21 MB
* Has USB 2.0 to connect to computer
Things I don't like about his Camera
* Battery Life. It is incredibly short, especially if you leave the batteries in the camera for several days. With a fresh set you can get 45-75 minutes out of a single charge, or about 200- 400 pictures. Frequently I go to use the camera after it has set around a week or so only to find the batteries dead.
* Slowness. I find this camera a little slow, especially since most of the pictures I take are of moving objects, which means I need quick response. Overall it is very slow at processing long exposure pictures, but it is reasonable for regular pictures.
* Crashes. periodically this camera will hang up and will have to be reset, which is a nuisance.
Other things you need to buy:
* SD memory. With HD video or 10 Megapixel pictures, you need lots of space. I personally have chosen 8 GB, the camera's maximum capacity.
* Power adapter. This is sold separately but is very useful considering how fast the batteries drain.
* Rechargeable Batteries!
Easy Share software:
You can download this software from Kodak's website- you will need it to transfer pictures from the camera's internal memory. Though it has some unique editing tools for both pictures and video, I prefer Microsoft's Office Picture Manager for general picture editing, because I think it is easier to use.
I give this camera a grade of roughly 70%. It would probably not satisfy the professional photographers, but for us amateurs I think it is sufficient- as long as you use rechargeable batteries.
Review is also posted on Ciao.com with the same username.