Kodak EasyShare V1253
- Sharp pictures, great colour, wonderful design, HD video shooting
- Extremely slow to recover from shots at times, some exposure problems
Kodak's V1253 takes great shots, is well designed and offers HD video recording; however, the speed to recover between shots can sometimes be in excess of five seconds, which really detracts from the user experience. Still if you aren't going to take lots of snaps in succession, it is an impressive offering.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
While the megapixels continue to climb on digital still cameras, one area we haven't seen much movement is the video recording capabilities of these units. That is set to change with the Kodak EasyShare V1253, which boasts high-definition video recording alongside 12-megapixel still pictures and a widescreen display.
In most of our imaging tests the V1253 performed very well. Its 12.1-megapixel sensor captures some extremely sharp shots. There was no fringing or blurring and everything was extremely crisp. Imatest corroborated this, returning a great result in its sharpness test.
What amazed us further was the almost complete absence of chromatic aberration. Basically all compact cameras exhibit some form of haloing in high contrast areas as well as a loss of clarity towards the edges of the frame, but none of this was evident here. Edges were sharp right across the whole shot. Imatest returned one of the lowest results we've ever seen in its chromatic aberration test.
Colour response was similarly impressive. It tended towards strongly saturated hues, particularly warm colours like reds and yellows. Meanwhile greens were a little less rich, which gave outdoor shots a slightly more natural look. The overall colour balance is pleasing.
Of course most cameras can't perform flawlessly across the board and the V1253 was no exception. Our shots weren't horribly noisy, and they scaled with increased sensitivity quite well, but at our default of ISO 100 they were a touch grainier than comparable models. You won't notice this at most print sizes, but those looking to take advantage of the 12.1-megapixel sensor to make some poster-sized enlargements will definitely feel the impact.
One other issue we noticed was the camera's tendency to occasionally overexpose bright areas a little. Several times we shot subjects that were under the shade of a tree and everything in the background that was lit by sunlight was horribly overexposed, to the point of almost being white.
We also tested the video quality and were relatively impressed. It did flicker quite badly at times under our fluorescent lights due to the frame rate, but the overall picture was good, particularly for a still camera. It was grainy at times and not as sharp as a proper HD Digital Video Camera but it will do the job in most scenarios.
Accompanying this functionality, Kodak has included a widescreen 3.1in display. It produces a great image and makes shooting, particularly the HD 720p video. It does leave little in the way of space for the controls however, which are squashed next to the screen and along the top. They are a little fiddly at times but manageable with some practice.
The design itself is very nice with a long, narrow metal body and a matte black colour scheme. It looks exceptionally stylish and is sturdy on top of that.
Unfortunately we did encounter one rather large issue with the V1253, which detracted from what was otherwise a brilliant camera. After taking more than two or three shots, the camera experienced significant slow down. We'd get a 'processing' message that lasted anywhere from a second to 10 seconds, and during that time you basically couldn't do a thing. This became severely disruptive and really ruined the user experience quite dramatically.
The usual array of features is present here, including burst mode, ISO sensitivities up to 3200 and face detect. The only notable omission is image stabilisation, but this isn't a huge concern with a standard 3x optical zoom.
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