[ia] Although Kodak was the first manufacturer to announce a Wi-Fi-enabled compact digicam, the race to bring cameras to the local market was essentially tied with Nikon, which introduced two Coolpix cameras at the same time. Both launches come at a time when more households are installing Wi-Fi home networks and the majority of notebook PCs are Wi-Fi enabled, so the release of cameras that can use these facilities is timely. . . [more]
Rating (out of 10):Build: 9.0Ease of use: 7.0Image quality: 8.0Value for money: 7.5
[ia] Although Kodak was the first manufacturer to announce a Wi-Fi-enabled compact digicam, the race to bring cameras to the local market was essentially tied with Nikon, which introduced two Coolpix cameras at the same time. Both launches come at a time when more households are installing Wi-Fi home networks and the majority of notebook PCs are Wi-Fi enabled, so the release of cameras that can use these facilities is timely.
Kodak’s EasyShare-One is a very smart-looking, solidly-built, 4-megapixel camera with a 3-inch LCD touchscreen that doubles as a viewfinder and provides an excellent platform for image playback. When closed, the screen is protected. It can be rotated through 180 degrees for taking pictures from overhead – but not the other way. The camera also doubles as a digital photo album, with 256MB of internal memory (185MB is available for image storage), in which Kodak claims you can store ‘up to 1500 of your favorite pictures’ – when they are resized for viewing on the LCD. In reality, only 150 high-resolution images can be stored in-camera.
The touchscreen is an interesting concept, which is also found on Sony’s new DSC-N1 camera. Icons on the display allow certain functions to be accessed by pressing them with your fingertip. Kodak also provides a stylus, which you need for accessing the tiny alphanumeric keyboard that is used to enter the e-mail addresses and network passwords that allow you to use the camera’s Wi-Fi facilities.
The camera is supplied with a card that slots into the top panel and allows it to connect to the Internet. It’s compatible with in-home Wi-Fi networks and most open public hotspots, but you need an account at Kodak’s EasyShare Gallery (www.kodakgallery.com/one) to use most facilities. EasyShare-One camera purchasers receive a complimentary, camera-specific trial service in conjunction with major hotspot providers, with more than 850 Telstra Wireless Hotspot locations in Australia and other service providers overseas.
Getting online is not as easy as is claimed because the camera’s menu system is frustratingly limited and we found the instructions in the supplied manual didn’t always work. EasyShare software must be installed on any PC used for Wi-Fi connections – and also for viewing shots. Once connected, sending pictures via email or Wi-Fi is pretty straightforward but it can take up to 15 seconds to transmit a shot. Images already stored in online albums download in around a second.
The Wi-Fi facilities are quite power-hungry, so Kodak ships two batteries with the camera. Another downside is that the camera only supports WEP wireless security, so if your network runs the newer, safer WPA security system, you’ll have to drop it back to WEP. The EasyShare-One is compatible with Kodak’s Printer Dock Plus Series 3 printers and you can send pictures to the printer wirelessly if the printer is fitted with a Kodak Wi-Fi card, sold separately.
Performance-wise the EasyShare-One delivered pictures with reasonably good colour accuracy but elevated saturation and contrast. Imatest showed image resolution was slightly below expectations and chromatic aberration ranged from noticeable to quite severe, depending on the orientation of the test sample and its distance from the centre of the frame. The white balance control was an average performer but the flash performed well, even at ISO 100. Image noise was well controlled.
The camera was quick to power up and shut down but could take up to 10 seconds to switch into playback mode because it builds thumbnail icons instead of displaying the most recent shot. Capture lag averaged 0.85 seconds, reducing to 0.4 seconds with pre-focusing. Images took roughly a second to process. The burst mode recorded five shots at 0.4 second intervals and then took approximately five seconds to process them.
Kodak merits considerable praise for the EasyShare-One’s technological innovations. However, in implementing so many new functions at once, it seems to have neglected basic camera functionality. The camera’s menu system and control functions can be truly frustrating to use and many operations are way too slow for a high-end digicam. Non-geeks who buy it will probably give up on the Wi-Fi benefits and simply use the camera for capture and viewing, which makes it pretty pricey for a 4-megapixel, 3x zoom model. 
Image sensor: 5.34 x 4.01mm interline transfer CCD with 4.23 million photosites (4.0 megapixels effective)Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon f2.8-4.8 zoom lens (36-108mm in 35mm format)
Zoom ratio: 3x optical, up to 3.3x digital
Dimensions (wxhxd): 103 ø— 63 ø— 26mm
Weight: 225g (without battery and card)
Image formats: Stills – JPEG (Exif 2.21); Movies – Quicktime MOV (VGA at 24fps with sound)
Shutter speed range: ½ to 1/1448 second (up to 16 sec. in Long time Exposure mode)
Focus system/range: TTL auto-focus with multi-zone and center-spot modes; range 60 cm to infinity; macro 10-70 cm.
Exposure metering/control: TTL-AE with multi-pattern, centre-weighted, centre spot modes; auto plus 16 scene modes and 3 colour modes.
White balance: Auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent
Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto, red-eye, fill, off; range 0.6-3.2m.
ISO range: Auto (80-160 ISO), ISO 80, 100, 200, 400
Sequence shooting: 1.5 fps for up to 5 shots
Storage Media: 256 MB internal memory plus SD/MMC expansion slot; internal memory holds 150 high-resolution images or 451 1.1MP shots.
LCD monitor: 3.0-inch high-resolution (230K pixel) indoor/outdoor display with polariser and touchscreen with stylus
Power supply: KLIC-5000 Lithium-ion rechargeable battery; compatible with Kodak EasyShare Series 3 camera/printer docks
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