Kodak LS443 Review

By Movable Type Admin

Steve's Digicams

Kodak LS443 Zoom

Part of the EasyShare System

Playback Mode Screens & Menus

Kodak LS443 Zoom

When you rotate the Mode Dial to the Play position the last picture taken is displayed full screen. There is very little overlay information, only the picture number and the memory source (SD card).

Kodak LS443 Zoom

You can also display the Picture Info by selecting this option from the Play menu.

Kodak LS443 Zoom

To quickly search through your stored images you can use the Multi-Up index mode which displays nine thumbnail size images per page.

Kodak LS443 Zoom

And you can select the Magnify option to enlarge the image 2x or 4x and then scroll around inside of it using the 4-way selector.

Kodak LS443 Zoom

Movies can be played back in full-screen mode on the camera's LCD or a TV set if using the A/V cable supplied. The audio will be heard through the camera's speaker or the TV.

Kodak LS443 Zoom

The Play mode menu options:

    Magnify - Enlarge image 2x/4x for critical examination

    Protect - Protect or unprotect image(s) from deletion

    Image Storage - Select internal memory or card

    Slide Show - Begin automated playback of all images

    Copy - Copy images to/from internal memory to/from SD/MMC card

    Video Date Display - Display capture date and time during playback

    Multi-Up - Displays 9 thumbnail images per screen

    Picture Info - Display extended picture data on LCD

Kodak LS443 Zoom

The Share button lets you "tag" your pictures or videos. When they are transferred to the computer using the EasyShare software they can be shared by:

    Print - Print the desired picture(s) using EasyShare software

    E-mail - EasyShare software stores up to 32 email addresses in the camera's internal memory. Tagged images and videos will be transferred and emailed when the camera is connected to the computer.

    Favorite - Lets you retrieve, organize and label by subject, date, event or any category you choose after being transferred to the computer.

Steve's Conclusion

Kodak tops off their popular EasyShare digital camera system with the 4-megapixel LS443. It's an excellent choice for anyone that wants to capture the best possible pictures and with a resolution capable of making up to 13x19" prints. This camera has a very high quality Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon f2.8 all-glass zoom lens and takes sharp and colorful pictures. It can be left in Auto to function as a simple point-n-shoot or you can take advantage of the pre-programmed exposure modes. The LS443 comes packaged with its own rechargeable lithium battery and a special version of the Kodak Easy Share dock. Even without the docking cradle the camera connects to the computer's USB port and the Kodak Picture Software makes easy work of transferring your files.

Anyone can use the LS443 in Auto mode or explore the pre-programmed modes for sports (fast action), Night (slow shutter plus flash), Landscape (infinity focus), Close-up (5" to 28" with flash) and Video (320x240 movies with sound, the length is limited only by available memory). The LS443 offers the usual single exposure mode as well as a 3-frame "burst" sequential mode and a self-timer mode too. As with most consumer digital cameras there is a "shutter lag" - this is the time from pressing the shutter to actual capture. Only film cameras are close to instantaneous, digicams have a delay in which the camera sets the autofocus, exposure value and white balance before capturing the shot. The LS443 is about average with a nominal one second shutter lag. It's the first Kodak EasyShare camera to feature an auto focus assist lamp so it can be used in dim to dark environments as easy as the well-lit ones.

Indoor flash pictures look good, they're not over or under-exposed and people pictures have a nice saturated look to them that I'm sure will please the majority of the users. The camera does a good job of throttling the flash down for close-up pictures taken in Macro focus mode, even those shot at five inches or so from the lens were not over- exposed. In fact all the pictures we took had good saturation and white balance. Outdoor pictures show lots of sky detail even when the foreground takes up more of the frame. It seems as if Kodak is emulating their Kodacolor film with this camera and they've done quite well.

The LS443 is equipped with Kodak's 1.8-inch "Indoor/Outdoor" color LCD monitor and it does make some difference when used out in the bright sunlight. I still wouldn't call it a daylight LCD as there were many angles where the afternoon sunlight washed it just about completely out. It's absolutely essential to use the LCD as your viewfinder when taking macro shots of anything. The optical viewfinder can not "see" what the lens sees when shooting closer than three feet because it is mounted above the lens and off to one side slightly. It's also nice to be able to review your pictures in a high ambient light environment without having to look for a cave. How else do you know if you got the shot or not unless you can see it on the LCD screen. Of course the more you use the color LCD, the more drain you put on the battery.

Battery life is approximately 200-300 shots if the color LCD is used sparingly. By default the camera will automatically turn off the color LCD a few moments after your turn the camera on or change flash, drive or exposure modes. You can manually turn the LCD on by pressing the center of the 4-way controller. The camera is supplied with a proprietary lithium rechargeable pack and no other type of battery can be used. As is always the case with a proprietary battery - buy a second battery ASAP and keep it charged and ready at all times or else your picture taking fun is over. If you're lucky enough to be near home or the hotel, you can recharge the battery in about three hours. But if you're in the middle of Disney World - you're out of luck without that backup battery.

This is a great camera if you're just starting out in digital or you've been at it for a while. The four-megapixel "BEST" images will yield photo-quality prints on today's photo inkjet printers right up to 13 x 19-inch size. You can select the smaller "BETTER" or "GOOD" image sizes if you don't need to print the pictures larger than 5x7 or 4x6" Everything you need is in the box including the camera, battery, docking charger and the software to view, edit and manage your digital images. The LS443 Zoom has a Audio Video Out feature so you can also enjoy your pictures and movies on the television screen too. There is a very short learning curve with this $499 camera, just put the battery in, stick it in the dock, wait for the green light - now turn it on and start enjoying digital photography!  It's also a stylish looking and durable metal-bodied camera that will fit in your purse or pants pocket, so take it wherever you go ...

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