Kodak LS753 Review
The second LS series EasyShare camera we have seen this year (2004) from Kodak, the LS753 incorporates most of the features found on the previously reviewed LS743, but adds 5-megapixels of resolution, 32MB of internal memory, and a variety of new pre-programmed scene modes, all housed in a compact & stylish, all-metal body. It offers users a wide range of versatility with four images sizes to choose from (including a 3:2 aspect ratio mode that's perfect for making 4x6-inch prints) and point-n-shoot simplicity with its automatic exposure modes. Anyone can use the LS753 in Auto mode or explore their creative side by using any of the pre-programmed scene modes.
The LS753's ergonomics are good. Its compact size allows it to be carried in almost any size pants pocket or purse, and its durable all-metal body ensures that it will survive most users everyday lifestyle. One of the most noticeable changes is that the usual mode dial has been replaced with what Kodak calls the "Camera modes" display. Instead of having the camera modes labeled on a rotating dial, they are displayed along the right side of the LCD screen. When you want to change the shooting/camera mode, you simply rotate the jog dial and press it inwards to select the desired mode. Overall, the controls are well-placed and functional, and the menu system is logically organized.
Shooting performance when using 5.0MP BEST mode was good. From power-up to first image captured measured just under 4 seconds. Shutter lag averaged approx. 1/10 of a second when pre-focused and 4/10 of a second including autofocus. When shooting in single exposure mode, the shot to shot delay measured approx. 1.8 seconds between frames with the flash off and 2 seconds with the flash on. Shooting in Burst mode, I was able to capture 4 frames in about 1.1 seconds. Switching from record to playback takes less than a second and scrolling through images stored on either the internal memory or an SD card is instantaneous. Our tests were done using a Sandisk Ultra II 512MB SD card, 5.0MP BEST quality, preview off, and flash off (unless otherwise noted.) Times may vary depending on lighting conditions, camera settings, media, etc.
Kodak equipped the LS753 with a 1.8-inch "Indoor/Outdoor" color LCD monitor. I found it quite usable outdoors in bright sunlight, but I still wouldn't call it a "daylight LCD" as there are still many angles where the afternoon sunlight reflected off the surface and made it difficult to use. However, when using the camera indoors in low ambient light, the LCD "gains up" well, which is crucial when framing a shot in these conditions. If you want to save battery power you can simply turn the LCD off by pressing the 4-way selector inwards and then use the optical viewfinder. As with most cameras these days, the optical viewfinder only shows about 80-85% of the captured image.
I was pleased with the image quality in 5.0MP BEST mode. Our outdoor shots were sharp, well-exposed and nicely saturated. In fact all the pictures that I took had good saturation and white balance. Outdoor pictures show lots of sky detail even when the foreground takes up the majority of the frame and there was very little noise present in low contrast areas. Indoors it produced similar results. Our indoor flash pictures were well exposed and the "Auto" white balance setting had no problems keeping the color temperature correct. However, I did notice that when using the camera in a dimly lit room, it had some problems focusing on a subject. The flash has good range (about 10 ft.) that's sufficient for most interior shots and when using it with the "Close-up" mode for macro photography, it does a good job of "throttling down" to ensure you don't over expose your subject (even when shooting as close as five inches or so from the lens.)
Bottom line - the EasyShare LS753 makes a great choice for anyone who wants a compact, yet durable camera that captures high-resolution images. Its 5.0 megapixel images provide plenty of resolution to create photo-quality prints up to 13 x 19-inches. With its wide variety of pre-programmed scene modes, you'll always be ready to capture that special moment, no matter what the shooting conditions are. With a street price of around $349, durable all-metal body, great image quality, and compact size, the LS753 offers a great all-round value. If you don't need 5-megapixels of resolution, check out the 4- megapixel LS743, it includes most of the features found on the LS753, but can be had for about $50 less.
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