So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Kodak EASYSHARE C340 Zoom
- Great image quality, light and easy to carry, easy to use
- Horrible image lag, lacking manual features, weak construction
You might consider this model if you're a beginner looking for good image quality, but there are better buys elsewhere.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
This camera is a great example of the direction Kodak seems to be taking with its 5 megapixel range. It is firmly targeted at beginner photographers, making the learning process as painless as possible, but this comes at the expense of control and versatility.
The EASYSHARE C340 Zoom comes with a range of picture shooting options, including sports, landscape and portrait, all of which are easily accessed by the function wheel. Each also displays a description across the screen, explaining what the function is best for, which saves referring to the manual. We really like this function, as it makes the camera intuitive and easy to use, which is perfect for new users. More cameras should implement menus such as this.
On this particular model, however, the options come at the expense of any real control. The camera offers basic features such as white balancing, flash intensity and exposure control, but these are half-hearted. It doesn't have the depth and flexibility required by a moderately adept photographer.
Despite this lack of control, the camera actually produces quite crisp images. Compared to most of the other 5 megapixel cameras in this category, the images were colourful, sharp and full of detail. This was completely overshadowed, however, by the incredible lag that followed taking even the simplest photo. During our testing, this lag was sometimes as long as four and a half seconds, which, when compared with other models is simply not good enough.
The camera design itself also leaves much to be desired. It's smaller than several of Kodak's other 5 megapixel models, but it feels considerably more flimsy than the competition. It's made almost entirely from thin plastic, with hardly any metal present. The upside of this is that the C340 is a very light camera, weighing only 145g without batteries.
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