Kodak Easyshare M420
Can a cheap camera ever deliver killer shots?
Review Kodak’s Easyshare M420 is aimed at the person looking for a reasonably cheap and convenient, compact camera that will basically take care of business, allowing you to simply point and shoot. As Kodak’s founder George Eastman once said: “You press the button, we do the rest.” So, the Easyshare M420 is cheap, but is it cheerful?
Kodak's Easyshare M420
First impressions were mixed when we removed the Easyshare M420 from its box. It’s certainly compact, measuring 97.2 x 59.7 x 210mm and weighing 155 grams with battery and card. It fits snugly in a pocket and is great for carrying around. But this being Kodak, there are one or two idiosyncrasies. The first is the inclusion of a paper user guide that basically gets you started with the Easyshare M420 – there’s not even a full PDF manual on a CD-Rom and you have to go online to download one.
The second issue is the curious battery charging system that involves plugging a USB cable into a mini USB port on the bottom of the camera and then connecting that to a charging unit that plugs into a power socket – there is no separate charging cradle. Kodak markets spare batteries for this camera, but the recharging system means you can’t charge one battery whilst using a second one.
The Easyshare M420 comes with a three-inch LCD screen composed of 230,000 dots, and uses SD/SDHC cards and a lithium-ion battery. There’s also 64MB of internal memory, with 48MB available for storing mages. When it comes to features, the Easyshare M420 has a 1/2.33-inch CCD with 10Mp (effective) and a 4x optical zoom in the shape of a Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon f/2.6–5.8 lens – try saying that after a few beers – equivalent to a 28–112 mm zoom on a 35 mm camera.
Images resolution ranges from 3648 x 2736 to 1280 x 960 with an ISO range of 64-1600, which can extend to 3200 and 6400 provided image sizes are 3.1MP or less. The shutter speed ranges from 1/1000sec – 8 sec, long time exposure, which sets the shutter speed from 0.5 to 8 seconds with several increments in between.
Considering its size, you get a decent wide-angle lens with a 4x zoom
Other features include a face detection system that detects up to ten faces, image stabilisation system, burst mode, VGA and QVGA video at 30fps recorded as QuickTime Motion JPEG, plus various scene modes and in-camera editing, that includes cropping and trimming.
What is wrong with the charger system?
This is perfect! I always have an USB-cable laying around, but I can't find the chargers for my different Canons I have...
And the system is perfect for traveling. On my vacation I had my netbook with me and I charged my phone, my mp3 player and my navsat with a simple usb-cable. O would have charged my camera but I forgot the damned charger anywhere...
Back in the days of film cameras, you could load Kodachrome 25 into a really cheap camera.
Modern lens design and manufacturing is far beyond what could be done twenty years ago, but the feel I get from the samples is not unlike that roll of Kodachrome. The lens performance doesn't match the potential of the sensor resolution.
I got myself a Sony A200 with 18-70mm and 12 months warranty from CEX and yes its secondhand but at least its a Decent DSLR.
its £50 more but thats a better Camera. and yes No video modem but I can take picture that are good for that sort of cash LOL
High ISO imagery
When you test a camera, you take an image across the range of ISO settings that the camera supports so as to demonstrate any image degradation.
Although this is valuable in allowing us to see the noise, it does not really show off the camera in its intended light (or lack of). Surely, the most common use of a v high ISO is to take pictures in the dark (or near dark) where a flash is either unsuitable or lacks the range.
How about taking some night time shots that demonstrate how dark an image is at low ISO and how increasing the ISO increases the picture brightness so that we can see the trade off of picture quality against noise.
And yes, I do know that higher ISOs also can be useful when taking "action" shots to get a faster shutter speed but I'd bet that they are most used in darker conditions.
"Easyshare M420 has a 1/2.33-inch CCD"
1/2.33-inch? Great, been looking for one of that size for ages.
or to look at it another way 1/2.33in * 25.4 = 10.9mm which at least is understandable.
And do we really need to now the size of the body to sub-millimetre precision? And if we do what temperature were these measurements taken? - in case it gets bigger in a hot, sweaty palm.