Kodak EasyShare M530
Four new Kodak compact cameras
Wide-angled, equipped with 5x optical zoom and HD video and sold for less than 200 euros. Is that possible? With the manufacturer of these low cost cameras, anything is possible. The EasyShare M530 is an interesting small camera, with a 2.7 inch display, a 12 megapixel sensor, a 3x zoom, a low resolution video output and an USB port included.
A compact camera at 129 euro
Kodak paradox: the old American brand (dated since 1881!) is today a leading supplier of sensors for ultra high-end devices from other manufacturers, such as Leica M9, at exorbitant prices. However, a weird thing is that this brand is known to the general public for its low-end models and its very low-priced products.
If you have wanted to buy a compact Kodak in recent years, you’ve probably had the feeling that it’s a lottery, you can either win or lose. A former cult brand of consumer photo, the Kodak manufacturer has declined since the launching of digital input gadgets with a very limited range, but has almost always been saved by very low prices. Its cameras don’t have wide angle and HD included, but, at this price, what could you expect?
The pleasant surprise of the Kodak M530 is the good quality of images that a digital camera so cheap can produce. Make no mistake: you will probably never be completely accurate in details with a compact high-end. Without enough light, the sensor will produce some dark spots on the images. For this review we tested the product and we found that the use of flash is essential, and were reluctant to we use it, as this device easily loses details and the spontaneity of a picture.
In the performed review, the M530 has mostly amazed us with its warm colors during the daylight. We tried it for a few days and each picture was shown at the height of what we had expected: a postcard full of charm and brilliance. The grass is green, the sky is blue, the sunflowers are yellow, so we managed to get all the colors of summer, without any fading tendency.
Without wide angle
The absence of the wide-angle zoom and its low quality components (tight framework, lack of distance) turn the use of this camera into a funny exercise. We also noticed that it has the tendency to miss some details of photos and forgets to focus on the main subject.
Avoid using this camera indoors without flash, or taking pictures of objects or children moving. Its low sensitivity sensor and its very long loading time make it rather useless sometimes. Similarly, the function of face recognition is almost a joke because it focuses on anything vague round in the area.
The video part can be a solution, but do not expect much from this camera. Speed of reaction is not necessarily the strong point of the M530. A final word on ergonomics: if the case is thin and cute, the buttons are difficult to use. You often need to look where you place your fingers before firing. Which means no spontaneity! M530 did not also recognize half the time the memory card inserted in it. Then we had to switch off and reinsert the SD card and finally perform all these operations again and wait for the start…
Wide web 2.0
The collection of digital cameras produced by this manufacturer will only confirm its reputation, for all four products listed at less than 200 euros ! They were launched in February 2010 and have been available in stores since April 2010. What do they have in common? An aggressive pricing, a playful design, a face recognition function and a Share button that can automatically send the selected photos and videos to Facebook accounts, Flickr and YouTube, once the unit is connected to a computer.
The four models in detail
– EasyShare M530 (129 euro): 2.7 inch screen, 12 megapixel sensor, 3x zoom, low resolution video, USB output.
– EasyShare M550 (149 euros): 2.7 inch screen, 12 megapixel sensor, 5x zoom, low resolution video, USB output.
– EasyShare M575 (179 euros): three-inch screen, 14 megapixel sensor, 5x zoom wide-angle stabilized, HD video, USB port.
– EasyShare M580 (199 euros): 3 inch screen, 14 megapixel sensor, 5x zoom wide-angle stabilized, HD video, HDMI and USB output.
Poor quality picture
The resolutions of 12 and 14 Mpix definitions are very hard to manage for the small and compact sensors they have. The first tests with the M530 offered very poor state of shots (some were actually faded) compared to the much nicer pictures provided by Panasonic F3 for a similar price.
This is a camera sold for a very low price (129 euros) that you can only use for outdoor activities, perhaps holidays condition there is enough light. Too slow and too insensitive to other uses (sports, indoors…), this camera has no other purpose than to take pictures of landscapes and cities. A maker of postcards, in short, but that is pretty good, thanks to its colors full of warmth and brightness.
Positive points (pros)
* Low price for all the series
* Three-inch display with enough resolution
* Pleasant design
Negative points (c0ns)
* Very low quality images…
* … especially with a 14 Mpix difficult to work with !
|Resolution Width in Pixel||0|
|Resolution Height in Pixel||0|
|Viewfinder Type||LCD Monitor|
|Memory Type||Internal and External|
|Depth in mm||22.7|
|Height in mm||56.7|
|Lowest Focal Length in mm||36|
|Focal Length in mm||108|
|Video Capture||Video + Sound|
|Memory Stick / Memory Stick Pro||No|
|Memory Stick Duo / Duo Pro||No|
|Internal Memory size in MB||32|
|Resolution in Pixel||230000|
|Max Resolution Mode Video Width||640|
|Max Resolution Mode Video Height||480|
|Ability to save files in RAW||0|
|Maximum Aperture Tele||0|
|Maximum Aperture Wide||0|
|Shutter Speed Fastest in Second||0|
|Shutter Speed slowest in Second||0|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 “|
|Battery Type||Kodak KLIC-7006|
|Image Stabilizer||Stabilizer Electronic|
|Number of frames per second in video mode||30|