Gadget Dad has been trying out the latest Kodak gadget for photo lovers, the EasyShare M580. So, was he snap happy?
Having the Tot Testers, its essential to have a camera at the ready for those daft picture moments, and for the important occasions such as birthdays. Unless you are David Bailey's equally gifted offspring, then it can be hard to get the picture that you thought you were taking, what with a child's inability to stand still!
Thats why I prefer cameras which are easy to use, and which require nothing harder than a few button pushes before I can point and shoot.
The Kodak EasyShare M580 is such a camera, and then some. Its great for the amateur photographer such as myself, and equally so for the talented expert, as there are lots of hidden extras that may not be required for those who like me are taking pictures of their children and who don't need different effects.
When out of the box for the first time, the manual immediately makes the user think that the camera is goiing to be hard to use, as its very thick and full of comprehensive tips, tricks and trouble shooting advice, should you need it. It explains the camera and its functions in detail, and helps you get to know the camera before you first use it.
It soon becomes pretty apparent that the manual isn't necessary, a sit literally has one clearly defined set of buttons on the top, to switch on or off, activate the flash, switch between camera or video (more on that coming) and to take a photo. The back panel has a large 3.0 inch LCD screen to view clearly what you are getting in shot, a zoom button for close ups, as well as menu button, delete function and playback. It has a share button which immediately lets the user share their latest masterpiece of film or photo with social networking sites such as Flickr and Facebook, and the Kodak EasyShare gallery page, or can be emailed, which makes the camera as instant and fun as a modern mobile phone.
Its lightweight, and although the internal memory is a bit small, at 64mb, there is space for a memory card, and of course being digital it can be plugged into a PC or laptop via USB, and uses plug and play tech to make uploading easier.
The best piece of tech here though is the cameras ability to self set using the latest smart capture technology, meaning the camera or video player automatically reduces noise, exposure, focus and ISO, meaning it is clear without even a novice photographer having to try hard. It has image stabilization and face recognition, which is handy for parent photographers as however much the child moves it follows them instantly. The days of fuzzy pictures are gone! The 8 times Optical zoom works wonders for sneaky shots from afar of the mischief the tots can cause!
The video mode is an excellent feature of the camera, and is easily as good as a DV Camcorder, and as its built into the camera there's no extra bulk, making it an ideal holiday camera. The video playback is just as easy to use and clear as the photo mode and again can be uploaded via YouTube and the Kodak Gallery site.
This is a great camera, so simple to use but which produces great results.
A definite Family Panel Thumbs Up.