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20th September 2005
Kodak EasyShare One digital camera hands on first looks review
by Ian Burley
2128: Kodak EasyShare One digital camera hands on first looks review

The new Kodak EasyShare One boasts firsts in consumer digital camera wireless connectivity and touch screen capability. We've been using the camera and it's impressive!

Kodak-ES1H

The Kodak-branded card poking out of the top of the EasyShare One is an SDIO wireless network adapter.


There is a lot to say about the new Kodak EasyShare One camera and Kodak's dedicated EasyShare Gallery support for this camera. We've had a chance to use one and it certainly advances the digital photography experience significantly, though we'll reserve full judgment until we get a retail sample to test.

Kodak-ES1C

Here the EasyShare One starts to reveal its secrets, including a massive three inch screen that is touch sensitive


Wireless and touch screen firsts
The new Kodak EasyShare One is a landmark camera that makes two impressive claims for fame in the digital camera world. First, ignoring low resolution camera-enabled phones and PDAs, the EasyShare One is the first mass-market consumer digital stills camera to be equipped with wireless networking connectivity and, secondly, it's the first mainstream camera to feature a large touch sensitive screen.

Enhanced Kodak EasyShare Gallery service
But just as important, Kodak has built dedicated support for the EasyShare One via its online EasyShare Gallery photo storage, sharing and print ordering service. This means that within seconds of taking a photo using your EasyShare One camera, it can be transferred to an online web gallery ready for friends and associates to view and even print, if you have enabled this option.

Wirelessly email, print and share direct from the camera
You can also email reduced size versions of photos directly from your camera and print wirelessly via Kodak's new wireless-enabled dye-sub printer docks. In theory, though we weren't able to test this, as standard 802.11b wireless networking is supported you should be able to connect an EasyShare One camera up to your home or business wireless network.

Introductory free public wireless connectivity offer
For public wireless access, Kodak has teamed up with various wireless hotspots service providers around the world and is offering free connectivity in some areas for EasyShare One users until the end of this year. Subsequently, new customers will get one month's free trial use of wireless hotspots through partner networks. In the UK, this will be via the T-Mobile network.

On the next page of this article we take an illustrated look at the camera itself and this is followed by some sample pictures from the camera and, finally, you can examine the camera's detailed specifications.

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The EasyShare One in pictures


At a glance, the Kodak EasyShare One appears conventional and even anonymous. It's a mid-sized, square design, but just about slim enough to be slipped comfortably into a pocket. With a guide price of £399.99 in the UK (US$599 in the US and between EU€549 and EU€599 in Europe) for what is a four megapixel camera, something special has to be under the hood.
Kodak-ES1E

The EasyShare One has a 3x zoom and unremarkable looks from the front. Unlike the five megapixel Kodak EasyShare V550, which shares the same lens, the EasyShare One only offers four megapixels and makes do without an optical viewfinder.

Kodak-ES1A
To provide some sense of scale, during a presentattion to assembled European press, Kodak's Helena Tzourou-Kopcic holds the EasyShare One with its fold out LCD screen showing.
Kodak-ES1J

The screen folds out, clam shell style, though it can't be used for angle-view composing. Instead, the screen can be folded inwards to protect it from damage when not in use. The camera body is constructed in a sturdy metal alloy that resembles brushed steel and is typical of the V-series EasyShare camera models.

Above you can see the very short stylus used for navigating on-screen menus and options. You can use your finger tip as well. The screen itself is bright and reasonably legible in sunny conditions.
Kodak-ES1B

With the screen turned fully ready to use, there is an initial feeling that the camera has turned into something like a Pocket PC device.
Kodak-ES1G

Above shows where the stylus stows away. The stylus is very short and one wonders if a better design might have seen a longer one that stowed away horizontally instead.
Kodak-ES1H

Poking out of the top of the camera is an 802.11b SDIO wireless networking adapter. 256MB of internal flash memory is built in to the camera and this can be supplemented with a removable standard size SD card inserted in to a slot hiding under the battery compartment door.
Kodak-ES1I

The SDIO Wi-Fi card is normally stored concealed within its slot and is only activated when pressed, which pops it up to show about the top one centimetre of the card. When you don't need the connection any more, you just press the card home again.
Kodak-ES1K

In the view above you can see the Wi-Fi card recessed. The screen is quite a bit slimmer than the main camera body. The main power on/off switch is on the top left and the smaller button near the centre cycles through the flash mode options. To the right of the screen on the side is a sliding switch that toggles between shooting and playback mode.
Kodak-ES1D

Despite its boxy style, when closed up to protect the screen, the EasyShare One is not an unattractive design.
Kodak-ES1F

As usual, Kodak uses the Schneider Kreuznach branding for its camera lenses and as you can see on the next page, image quality isn't at all bad for a four megapixel point and shoot camera.


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Sample images


We were only able to try the camera out under bright sunshine on the beach at the launch venue in Nice, in the south of France. An acrobatic dance troop from Brazil was on hand to provide some subject matter.

Below is a selection of some of the images we took and at the bottom of the page is a link to a Zip archive folder containing the original camera images for you to examine first hand if you wish. Kodak did not impose a restriction on the distribution of our pictures, but it should be noted that the cameras we were furnished with were not retail samples and were operating under pre-release firmware. Nevertheless, we were quite impressed with the quality obtained, considering this is a consumer-orientated four megapixel point and shoot camera and this was backed up when selected images were printed.

No levels or colour adjustments have been made to the images displayed below.

Kodak-ES1-100_0049.jpg

In very harsh direct sunlight, the Kodak EasyShare One coped well. Images were sharp and punchy, well on par with other four megapixel point and shoot cameras, with just a hint of halos around high contrast boundaries. Shooting data: 36mm focal length 135 equivalence (maximum wide angle setting), ISO 80, 1/640th sec, f/4.5, auto mode, no EV bias, pattern metering.

Kodak-ES1-100_0011.jpg

There was a tendency to shoot lopo-sidedly, something which would have been sorted out with extended time with the camera. Purple fringing was well controlled and the auto white balance proved to be reliable. Shooting data: 108mm focal length 135 equivalence (wide telephoto setting), ISO 80, 1/500th sec, f/4.8, auto mode, no EV bias, pattern metering, auto-orientation sensor has rotated image in-camera

Kodak-ES1-100_0043.jpg

With its small sensor, there is a lot of depth of field in EasyShare One images. This is good in terms of keeping things in focus, but it does mean the background areas can remain sharp enough to be distracting, but this is common to all small-sensor point and shoot cameras. Auto exposure can't really be faulted here. Shooting data: 108mm focal length 135 equivalence (wide telephoto setting), ISO 80, 1/500th sec, f/4.8, auto mode, no EV bias, pattern metering, auto-orientation sensor has rotated image in-camera

Kodak-ES1-100_0044.jpg

Despite the challenging conditions, we obtained a good set of shots with even exposure, white balance and reasonable dynamic range. Shooting data: 108mm focal length 135 equivalence (wide telephoto setting), ISO 80, 1/400th sec, f/4.8, auto mode, no EV bias, pattern metering, auto-orientation sensor has rotated image in-camera

Kodak-ES1-100_0010.jpg

Shooting data: 108mm focal length 135 equivalence (wide telephoto setting), ISO 80, 1/640th sec, f/4.8, auto mode, no EV bias, pattern metering, auto-orientation sensor has rotated image in-camera

If you would like to examine the original, un-touched, camera image files, you can download them as a Zip archive. Please read the Readme.txt file contained in the archive first. All the images provided for download are copyrighted.

On the next page you will find our brief summary and conclusions after our first hands-on with the new Kodak EasyShare One.


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Preliminary conclusions


There is no doubt that the Kodak EasyShare One is a remarkable camera because it offers two key features that have been absent in a consumer stills camera to date: broadband wireless connectivity and touch-screen operability. Why either of these assets has taken so long to arrive is a mystery as touch screens are now routinely featured in the specifications of many camcorders and the SDIO Wi-Fi adapter technology used by the EasyShare One has been around for several years.

Perhaps it's the third Kodak ingredient that makes it all worthwhile, namely support for EasyShare One connectivity via Kodak's online EasyShare Gallery service, further encouraged by limited time free try-out public hotspot provision. We'll be looking at this in more detail later, but it's the obvious partner to the EasyShare One's party tricks and should, hopefully, issue a wake up call to other camera manufacturers.

There are going to be some who suggest the camera is a gimmick, or that four megapixels is mean and inadequate. After having used an EasyShare One for a few hours, I'm loathed to describe the camera as gimmicky – wireless connection to the Web makes Web-based sharing a cinch and you get instant photo emailing capability too. There are some rough edges to the user interface, but in the end it hangs together and actually works. Perhaps more of a concern is the bottom line cost of public hotspot services, because I can see myself using this facility a great deal in conjunction with a camera like the EasyShare One.

Yes, four megapixels does seem a bit mean, but it's adequate and means that the EasyShare One's already substantial price tag can be lightened a little further.

It's about time digital camera evolution was given a shove in the back and Kodak has certainly achieved that. We look forward to evaluating a retail sample of the EasyShare One with gusto.

On the final page of this article you can examine Kodak's official specifications for the EasyShare One camera.


Check the latest price or purchase options for the Kodak EasyShare One via
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USA
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Specifications and features


Standard Features
CCD resolution 4.23 MP (2408 × 1758 pixels)
Image resolution 4.0 MP (2304 × 1728 pixels)
Picture quality 4.0 MP—best (print, enlargement)
3.5 MP—best (optimized ratio for 4 × 6 in. (10 × 15 cm) prints; 3:2)
2.1 MP—better (small prints)
1.1 MP—good (email)
Zoom 3.0X optical zoom, 6.0–16.6 mm (35 mm equivalent: 36–108 mm) 3.3X advanced digital zoom 10X total zoom
Auto focus TTL auto-focus with selectable modes: multi-zone, center-spot
Focus distance wide—23.6 in. (60 cm) to infinity; tele—23.6 in. (60 cm) to infinity
Display 3.0 in. (7.6 cm) high-resolution (230K pixel) indoor/outdoor display with polarizer and touchscreen with stylus
Aperture f/2.9 or f/4.7 (wide); f/4.9 or f/8.1 (tele)
Shutter speed 4–1/1400 second
ISO equivalent automatic; manual (80, 100, 200, 400)
White balance auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent
Flash mode auto, red-eye, fill, off
Flash range wide—2.0–10.2 ft (0.6–3.1 m); tele—2.0–6.9 ft (0.6–2.1 m)
Self-timer user-selectable 2–30 seconds
Performance Features
Scene modes auto, portrait, close-up, self-portrait, museum/manner, night landscape, night portrait, sport, landscape, snow, beach, party, children, flower, backlight, fireworks
Macro/close-up mode wide—4–27 in. (10–70 cm); tele—17–27 in. (43–70 cm);
Burst modes 2 fps, up to 6 pictures
Color modes high color, standard color, low color, black and white, sepia
Light metering method automatic: TTL-AE; selectable: multi-pattern, center-weighted, center spot
Exposure compensation +/- 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV step increments
Exposure control programmed AE
Click to capture <0.5 seconds (wide)
Shot to shot <1.5 seconds
Movie mode continuous digital MPEG-4 video with audio capture, playback on camera
Movie image resolution VGA (640 × 480 pixels) at 30 fps
Zoom during movie capture 3X optical zoom
Movie length limited by capacity of external memory card
Sound selectable sound themes
Ease of Use Features
Auto-orientation auto picture rotation, auto display orientation
Dedicated buttons power, delete, menu, Share, flash, back, info, capture/review mode
Review mode slide show, multi-up, protect, share/print, image storage, copy, picture info, favorites, view by date, view by album
Video out NTSC, PAL (user-selectable)
Software KODAK EASYSHARE Software
Compatibility Dock compatability—KODAK EASYSHARE Camera Dock Series 3, KODAK EASYSHARE Printer Dock Series 3, KODAK EASYSHARE Printer Dock Plus
Additional Features
Storage 256 MB internal memory*, SD/MMC card expansion slot
Wireless SDIO WiFi 802.11b
Power options KODAK Rechargeable Li-Ion Digital Camera Battery KLIC-5000, DC-in jack on side of camera for 5V adapter, via the KODAK EASYSHARE Dock Terminals
Image file format Still: JPEG/EXIF v2.21, Video: Quicktime MOV
Interface USB compliant, KODAK EASYSHARE Docks Series 3, audio/video connectors
Lens protection built-in lens barrier
Tripod mount 1/4 in. standard
Weight 7.9 oz (225 g)
Dimensions W × H × D: 4.1 × 2.5 × 1.0 in. (103 × 63 × 26 mm)
Warranty
Warranty 1 year

Package Contents
  • KODAK EASYSHARE-ONE Zoom Digital Camera 4.0 with built-in lens cover

  • Wrist strap

  • KODAK EASYSHARE Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery and Charger

  • Stylus

  • Audio/video cable

  • USB cable

  • KODAK EASYSHARE Software

  • Documentation kit

  • Custom camera insert for optional KODAK EASYSHARE Camera and Printer Docks Series 3


  • System Requirements
    Windows Macintosh
  • WINDOWS 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, SP1, OR XP OS

  • INTERNET EXPLORER 5.01 or higher

  • 233 MHz processor or greater

  • 64 MB RAM (128 MB RAM for WINDOWS XP OS)

  • 200 MB hard drive disk space available

  • CD-ROM drive

  • Available USB port

  • Color monitor, 800 × 600 pixels (16-bit or 24-bit recommended)
  • POWERMAC or POWERBOOK G3, G4, G5, iMac; eMac; or iBook

  • MACINTOSH OS X 10.2.3, 10.3 or greater

  • 128 MB RAM

  • 200 MB hard drive disk space available

  • CD-ROM drive

  • Available USB port

  • Color monitor, 1024 × 768 pixels (thousands or millions of colors recommended)

  • * 256 MB internal memory/185 MB available memory for image storage (1 MB equals one million bytes)

    Check the latest price or purchase options for the Kodak EasyShare One via
    Buy through Amazon and you will help fund this site
    USA
    Click on the flag that best relates to your location
    Each Amazon outlet can ship to most countries in the world.
     
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