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Product Review: Page (1) of 1 - 04/29/08 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at MyDmn.com).print page facebook
First Look: Kodak EasyShare M1033 digital camera
10 megapixel digital camera
By John Virata

The Kodak EasyShare line of digital cameras is one of the most successful digital camera line for the company because they are really easy to use, and their user interfaces are some of the easiest to navigate. The company has recently shipped the Kodak EasyShare M1033, a sub $200, 10 megapixel digital camera that features a 3X optical zoom lens (35-105 35mm equivalent) and a 3-inch wide angle LCD. The camera is small, at 126 grams, and measures in at 83.7x57.8x20.7mm. It is targeted at those who are looking to upgrade fom their first digital camera to a more full featured model, as well as those buying for the first time.

Typical of small form factor digital cameras, the M1033 is small enough to fit into your shirt pocket to whip out at a moments notice. Powering on the system to capture ready status takes less than three seconds, and a Blue LED on the pwoer button let's you know the camera is powered and ready to shoot. The top of the camera features the power button, the flash on/off button and the mode button, which features Smart Capture, Program, scenes, and movie mode. The Smart Capture mode is the M1033's deffault mode. Essentially, this mode enables you to point and shoot and the camera will analyze the scene and make the camera adjustments that it feels is the best for the scene. It sets exposure, focus and ISO, reduces noise, and applies Kodak's Perfect Touch technology that the comapny says captures shadows and highlights with intelligent detail. This is basically your automatic setting, enabling the camera to make the adjustments for whatever subject you are shooting. Smart Capture can also be disabled.

The M1033 captures 720p HD video


Program mode is used for general picture taking, with the difference being that you have access to all the camera's settings, so if you wish to change the focus mode, color mode, or exposure, or any other setting, you can do so. The M1033  features 22 scene modes, ranging from panorama shooting, to flowers, landscape, sport, and snow and beach. These modes in any digital camera that offers them are probably under utilized, yet they offer automatic image capture ideal for the scene subject. The M1033 can capture images ranging from 1.2 megapixels on up to 10 megapixels.

Color is faithfully reproduced. Click for full resolution view

Other Specifications

Focus range: 

  • wide: 0.6 m "infinity, tele: 0.6 m "infinity (normal AF)
  • wide: 0.07 "0.7 m, tele: 0.4 "0.7 m (macro AF)
  • wide: 10.0 m "infinity, tele: 10.0 m "infinity (landscape mode)

Focus modes: 

  •  normal, landscape, macro selectable
  • Focus:  single, continuous
  • Auto focus zones:  multi-zone (5 zone), center zone
  • AF assist light:  yes

Exposure control:
ISO sensitivity  auto (smart capture): 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
manual: 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400** selectable
 
Metering modes:  multi-pattern, center-weighted, center spot
Compensation  ±2.0 EV with 1/3 EV steps
AE lock:  exposure is locked when S1 locked
Histogram display:  yes
White balance:  auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, open shade
Flash Range 

  • wide: 0.6 "4.2 m, ISO 400
  • tele: 0.6 "2.3 m, ISO 400

Modes:

  • auto, fill, red eye pre-flash, red eye, off
  • Compensation  yes

And then there is video capture mode. Just a year ago there were scant point and shoot digital cameras that captured video in high definition. Kodak was one of the first manufacturers to offer 720p HD video capture, and the M1033 continues the tradition, capturing QuickTime MOV MPEG-4 HD video at 1280x720 at 30 frames per second. It also captures at 640x480 and 320x240 standard definition. I've previously downplayed a still camera's video capture capabilities, suggesting that you get a dedicated video camera for such endeavors, but the video quality in the last year, and especially with HD video, has appreciated tremendously, and video is pervasive, being viewed on everything from iPods to the Internet. In a few years, there will be cameras that will be capturing 1080p video and recording to an ultra fast 64GB SDHC memory card. I was first exposed to Kodak's 720p HD video via its sibling the Kodak V1253, which I purchased as a gift for my son. I was really pleased with the video capabilities, and the M1033 offers the same really nice HD quality video.

In Use:
As with most compact digital cameras, the M1033 is small enough to fit into your shirt pocket, but just be sure to not forget it if you bend down to pick something up, because once it slips out and hits the floor, well, just pray that beautiful 3-inch LCD doesn't get damaged. When digital cameras first came out in the mid 1990s, Kodak had a model called the DC40. meant to be held like a pair of binoculars, the DC40 had a rubberized grip on the top of the unit that helped immensely when holding the camera to take a picture. Most digital cameras today, and especially the compact point and shoot models lack any type of grip on the camera body, and rely on a wrist strap, which many folks don't even bother to attach. The M1033 is no different, even though there are ample places in which some sort of non-slip material could be added, such as on the front of the camera body where the middle finger tends to rest when framing a shot, or even on the sides near where the lens is located. The M1033, like most cameras in this price range, does not have an optical viewfinder. Images are framed via the LCD Display, which means that the camera is sucking juice when you frame the images, review, and playback. So, be prepared to have a spare battery on hand, especially when traveling.

The center of the fin has texture that reproduced beautifully in this shot. Click for full view.

Image quality is outstanding, and Kodak's EasyShare software is one of the easiest applications to use. Available in a multitude of languages, including Turkish, Simplified and traditional Chinese, EasyShare is the gateway for managing and sharing your digital images. Other cool features such as Face Detection make shooting people really easy to do as the camera will auto locate a face and place a green box around it on the LCD. Those areas will be certain to be in focus.

Kodak has always packaged an easy to use camera with its EasyShare line, and the M1033 is one of those. It offers enough features to experiment with to get creative, or you can opt for the Smart Capture (automatic) mode if you'd rather just point and shoot. And for the fashion lovers, the M1033 comes in Red, Pink, Silver, Black, Pewter,  and Dark Grey. For more information, visit www.kodak.com


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John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at jvirata@digitalmedianet.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 





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