Kodak Easyshare One Review
The EasyShare-One is one of the most unique digicams we have seen thus far from Kodak (11.2005.) This is not your typical point-n-shoot model, more like a "PDA/Digital Camera". The camera side of the model offers users a 4-megapixel imager, 3x optical zoom lens, swiveling 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD as well as various user friendly exposure modes (Auto, Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Close-up, Night portrait, Night landscape, Snow, Beach, Text, Fireworks, Flower, Museum/Polite, Self-portrait, Party, Children, and Backlight.) While the "PDA" side includes email and Wi-Fi for connecting to wireless networks and printers.
The first thing you'll notice when you pick up this camera is the massive 3.0-inch swiveling touchscreen LCD. This is an awesome display that works great in almost any lighting condition. When using it in lower lighting, it "gains up" well to help aid in framing your subject. Outdoors it also works well with very few angles that reflect the sun. Its touchscreen system is very accurate and allowed for simple menu navigation. The ES-One includes a handy stylus that slips right into its body. This is very useful when sending emails or anytime you need to select one of the smaller icons. I had no problems using this system, even with my large fingers, and found it to be very "cool." Unlike the Sony N1, you also have various controls spread out over the small space that is left on the back of the camera. Overall I found them to be comfortably placed. It's nice being able to use the 4-way controller when the LCD gets full of fingerprints. The ES-One is not "pocket size" small, but can be slipped into a small handbag. Its body is mostly metal, ensuring it will survive most users lifestyles.
Its Wi-Fi capabilities are awesome. I was very surprised, expecting it to be somewhat slow, that it finds and connects to wireless devices quickly and easily. Even the most novice user should have few problems making prints or sending emails. When using it with the EasyShare Printer Dock Plus, I was able to amaze my friends by showing them an image on the LCD and then making a print on the EasyShare printer dock on the other side of the room. Even though the "cool" factor of wireless printing is a 10, we wonder if it is all that useful for the non-geeks out there.
While the ES-One is a slow starter at about 8 - 10 seconds from power up to first image captured, it's right up there with just about any 4-megapixel consumer model on actual shooting performance. Shutter lag, the delay between depressing the shutter and capturing the image, measured 1/10 of a second when pre-focused and about 4/10 of a second including autofocus. The shot to shot delay averaged 1.8 seconds with or without the flash. The Burst mode captures up to six pictures in rapid-fire succession. Switching from record to playback takes just over a second and scrolling though images saved on the memory card is almost instantaneous. Our tests were done using a Delkin eFilm 1GB SD card, Auto mode, flash off, and all other settings at default (unless otherwise noted.) Times may vary depending on lighting conditions, camera settings, media, etc.
Image quality was what you would expect from Kodak, being very good for a 4-megapixel model. Our outdoor samples were sharp, well exposed and showed good overall color balance. Its exposure system did well in almost any lighting situation and also does an excellent job with sky and cloud detail. White balance was very accurate when using its Auto setting, but if you must, you can also select one of four manual presets. Noise was not much of an issue, with typical amounts present in high/low contrast areas as well as average traces of chromatic aberrations (purple fringing around bright objects.) Its 3x optical zoom lens offers a 35mm equivalent range of 36mm -108mm, adequate for most shooting situations. The wide angle extreme will allow you to capture pleasing landscapes while its telephoto magnification is great for close up individual portraits. You can see what I mean by taking a look at our portraits on the Samples page. I saw noticeable barrel distortion at wide angle, but almost no pincushioning at telephoto.
I was also pleased with the indoor performance. While its small flash can only cover about 10.5 feet, I found it worked quite well for most indoor shots, just don't expect to illuminate Grandpa this holiday season from across a large living room. Overall our indoor portraits were sharp and displayed very accurate skin tones. I noticed average amounts of red-eye, even with the Red-eye pre-flash option enabled - this is a common issue with compact models where the flash is located so close to the lens. Movies are recorded at 640x480 (24fps) with audio. The length of a clip is limited to 80 minutes or the amount of available space on the memory card.
Power comes from a small 3.7v 1050 mAh Li-ion battery pack. According to Kodak, you can capture approx 120-180 shots on a single charge. This is pretty accurate as we were able to capture all of our sample images (about 105 shots) and conclude some of our other tests before the battery was exhausted. Kodak includes an extra battery pack and we suggest you keep it charged and ready at all times. Battery life is visibly affected if the Wi-Fi feature is used a lot.
Bottom line - The Kodak EasyShare-One is "one cool digital camera" that offers more sharing capabilities than any other cameras on the market. Not only can you capture awesome 4-megapixel prints, but you can email them or print them out for friends an family, without having to go near a computer; just make sure you have the optional EasyShare Printer Dock Plus Series 3 ( about $179). With an MSRP of $599 the ES-One is considerably more expensive than other 4-megapixel cameras. However when you consider its non-typical features like the huge 3.0-inch touchscreen LCD and Wi-Fi capabilities, we feel it offers a good value, especially for your favorite "techno geek."
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