Kodak Easyshare V550 Review

Ultra Compact

Picture
Kodak Easyshare V550 Ease of Use 9
Features 7
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality8
Colours 9
Photo Quality 8
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 7
Value for Money 8
5 Megapixels
3x Zoom
2.5 inch LCD Screen
94 x 56 x 22mm
143g

Overview

The Kodak Easyshare V550 is a pocket sized digital camera. It has five megapixels and a three times optical zoom lens. Like the vast majority of similar digital cameras the Easyshare V550 is also easy to use. It is basically a stylish and well made point and shoot model. It is likely to appeal to anyone who is looking for a digital camera that can be taken anywhere and is ideal for no fuss photography.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

5
3x
2.5 inches
94 x 56 x 22mm
143g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

5cm
No
No
Lithium-ion Rechargeable
SD/MMC

Image Quality

This is the first Kodak digital camera I have reviewed and I am pleased to say the Easyshare V500 performed well in each of my tests. There were no photos where I thought the camera really struggled and most of the shots were very good.

Starting with the outdoor scenic shots this is an area where the camera performed well. I particularly like the colours. They have a lively, vibrant feel to them. Focusing is up to scratch without being razor sharp. As is so typical of many digital cameras there is a tendency for the focusing to lose some of its sharpness towards the edge of the picture. Again like a number of other cameras the Easyshare V550 finds it hard to bring out all the detail in very light and very dark areas. One further concern I had was that the second outdoor shot is a little darker than I am used to.

The outdoor portrait is bright, perhaps over bright despite the fact it was taken in the shade. This causes a slight loss of detail in the face. Again though the colour reproduction is better than I have seen from a number of other cameras recently.

The test for colour produces a strong result. This is not surprising given the colours already showing in other tests. This bodes well for all the different types of photos you are likely to take. None of the colours are overpowering.

Moving indoors I am very happy with the photos I have taken. The indoor portrait shows good detail and for a change there is not even the slightest hint of red eye. That is a very big plus point with this type of camera. It there was a way in which the photo could be improved I would like to have seen the picture a touch lighter.

The shot of beer bottles of taken in almost complete darkness. Considering the conditions the result is very pleasing. The image is sharply focused and the picture is bright as well.

Using macro mode for a close up shot I would say the photo I took is only average. It would be quite easy to improve the photo with a software package such as Adobe Photoshop, but if all you want is a point and shoot macro shot there are better digital cameras out there.

Finally my test for taking a picture at ISO 400 produces a picture that shows a clear loss of quality. This happens with the majority of digital cameras I test. Using higher ISO settings can help when you are taking photos in lowlight, but in this case the quality of the photo makes it unlikely you will use ISO 400 unless there really are no other options.

Shutter Lag and Recycling Times

I was able to take a single photo in 0.18 seconds. Five photos took 6.05 seconds. These are both very fast times and shutter lag should not be a problem when taking photos with the Easyshare V550.

You can compare this camera to other models by taking a look at the Shutter Lag Comparison Table.

Features

The three times optical zoom lens has a focal length equivalent to 36 - 108mm in 35mm format. It has a maximum aperture of f/2.8 wide and f/4.8 tele. There is also a 4x digital zoom feature. For close up photography the camera can focus from 5cms away from the subject.

Unlike most ultra compact digital cameras Kodak have managed to squeeze in a viewfinder. This can be very useful in bright, sunny conditions. There is also a 2.5 inch LCD screen.

As well as the purely automatic mode there are also a wide range of predefined scene modes to choose from. All you need to do is select the most appropriate scene. The scene modes are sport, landscape, close-up, night portrait, night landscape, snow, beach, text, fireworks, flower, manner/museum, self-portrait, party, children, backlight, panning shot, candle light, sunset and custom. There is also a special portrait mode to help you produce the best possible portrait shots.

To add something different to your photos you can select from a range of colour modes. These are high color, natural color, low color, sepia, black and white. For when you would like to appear in the photo there is a self timer. This has a ten second delay. For focusing you can choose between Multi-zone AF and Center Zone AF.

The built in flash unit has a maximum range of 3.2m. This falls to around 2.2m when the zoom lens is in use. The flash modes you can use are auto, fill, off, digital red-eye reduction.

Videos of up to 80 minutes can be recorded. The maximum resolution is 640 x 480 and the top recording speed is 30 frames per second. This combination should record TV quality movies. Zoom is available while recording and you can also produce a print of a still image from the video. Sound is also recorded.

Among the more advanced features are a burst mode (3 fps, maximum 5 image in any quality mode), white balance (auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, open shade), metering (multi-pattern, center-weighted, center spot) and exposure compensation (±2.0 EV with 0.3 EV step increments).

A nice touch allows you to select long shutter speeds yourself. These can be up to eight seconds. Sensitivity can be set to auto 80, 100, 200, 400 and 800. It should be noted that ISO 800 can only be used for shots where the resolution has been set to 1.8 megapixels. 1.8 megapixels is not large enough to produce a high quality 4x6" image.

Kodak supplies all the necessary cables and software to connect the Easyshare V550 to a printer, computer and PictBridge compatible printer. The camera also comes with its own printer dock. This can be used to connect the camera to a range of Kodak printers.

Ease of Use

There is nothing particularly daunting about this camera. Buttons on the back of the camera are kept to a minimum and the menu system is well designed too. This is a simple point and shoot camera and is well suited to anyone who is new to photography.

Cost

You can pick up a Kodak Easyshare 550 for around £195. This compares to around £180 for a Canon IXUS55, £190 for a Sony DSC T5 and £195 for a Fuji Finepix Z2.

As you can see there is a fair amount of competition around this price. The Easyshare V550 compares well against the competition and is well worth a closer look.

Style

The Easyshare V550 is a pleasingly simple camera. It has dimensions of 94 × 56 × 22mm and weighs in at 143g. You should have no problems slipping it into a pocket or a small bag. It is a typical rectangular shape, with a small grip on the front to help you hold the camera steady while taking a shot.

Batteries and Memory Cards

A rechargeable lithium ion battery is used to power the camera. Kodak supplies both the battery and a charger with the Easyshare V550. I must admit the battery ran down on me more quickly than I am used with a lithium ion battery.

There are 32mb of memory built into the camera. Therefore it does not come with a memory card. The camera is compatible with SD cards and Multi Media Cards (MMC). I was able to take 40 shots before the internal memory became full. Click here to save money on SD cards..

Points I like:

No red eye shows in indoor portrait
Shutter lag times are low
Viewfinder
Ease of use

Where it is not so hot:

Some photos are darker than I would like

Summary

There are a number of five megapixel, pocket sized digital cameras to choose from The Kodak Easyshare V550 should be included on your shortlist. I like the standard of photos the camera took. Shutter lag should not be an issue and all in all the camera is pretty straightforward.

Kodak Easyshare 550 Front View Kodak Easyshare V550 Front View

Kodak Easyshare 550 Back View Kodak Easyshare V550 Back View

Kodak Easyshare 550 Top View Kodak Easyshare V550 Top View

Sample Menus

Kodak Easyshare V550 long exposure Kodak Easyshare V550 iso

Kodak Easyshare V550 resolution Kodak Easyshare V550 self timer

Top Rated Cameras in this Category

Canon IXUS 510 HS Rating 86/100

If you are prepared to pay a bit more for extra quality then the Canon IXUS 510 HS is likely to be of interest to you. For a pocket camera picture quality is very good. Add in the impressive set of features including a touch screen and Wi-Fi and you can start to see that you do get more for your money compared to a lot of digital cameras. The power of the lens also gives you plenty of scope for capturing a wide range of photo opportunities. It is true you pay a little extra than with more standard pocket cameras, but if you also include the stylish look of this model there is a lot on offer for the price tag.

Read Review: Canon IXUS 510 HS Review

Canon IXUS 125 HS Rating 86/100

If you are looking for a pocket camera and you are prepared to pay extra for picture quality and build quality then the Canon IXUS 125 HS is a good choice. Although it doesn’t have all the latest features like 360 degree panoramas it does an excellent job when it comes to taking pictures. It is straightforward, easy to use and will fit into just about any pocket.

Read Review: Canon IXUS 125 HS Review

Canon IXUS 1100 HS Rating 85/100

The Canon IXUS 1100 HS is a very good choice if you are looking for a pocket digital camera with a combination of a longer zoom lens and touch control. Once you get used to the screen and improve your touch accuracy it responds well. Picture quality compares favourably with other pocket cameras. The style and build suggest a bit of extra class too. The IXUS 1100 HS ticks most of the boxes for a camera in this category.

Read Review: Canon IXUS 1100 HS Review

Related Pages

Kodak Easyshare V550 Review Kodak Easyshare V550 Specification Kodak Easyshare V550 Sample Images Kodak Digital Cameras

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