Kodak LS420 Review
By Movable Type Admin
The Kodak EasyShare LS420 is a great way to get started in digital photography without emptying the piggy bank. The camera outfit including the docking cradle and rechargeable battery pack is available for less than $300 (as of 05/2002.) The 1752x1168 pixel resolution will give you photo-quality 5x7" prints from any good photo inkjet printer. The built-in 8MB memory is sufficient for approx. 12 high-resolution 1752x1168 pictures or approx. 49 lower resolution 876x584 pictures. The LS420's MultiMediaCard card expansion slot accepts either MMC or SD (Secure Digital) type of flash memory cards to further extend your image capturing capabilities.
The LS420's 38mm lens exhibits the least wide angle barrel distortion of any camera we've seen in this price range or above. It has no optical zoom lens, but it does have a continuous 3x digital zoom. All digital zooms produce less than optimum images as it only magnifies the central portion of the picture. This is something that we have always felt was better done in software than inside of the camera. The focusing is fixed and this eliminates a lot of the shutter lag (delay) experienced with cameras that use an autofocus system. Lag between shots was about 2 seconds and add 4 seconds if the flash is used. It has the ability to render subjects from 2.6 feet to infinity in relatively sharp focus.
Overall the image quality, color and sharpness of the images are very good for a camera in this price class and better than some at twice the price. The only thing that leaves you wanting for more is the movie quality, it just isn't very clear. The Audio / Video Out feature allows the camera to be connected without the cradle to a TV for picture and movie display (handy when on vacation and you want to show off your images back in the motel room.) It lacks the fancier thumbnail playback option found on other cameras. The Kodak Picture Software allows for quick and easy downloading of image data when the camera is in the EasyShare docking cradle. The docking cradle also charges the LS420's proprietary battery.
If you know someone that has been getting the itch to go digital, the Kodak LS420 might be just what they're looking for. It's an affordable and easy to use camera that can be slipped into your pocket or purse and yields good image quality.
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