Kodak EasyShare V1253 digital camera

Kodak's latest digital camera sports 12 megapixels, an HD logo and large screen, but is it enough to impress against offerings from the competition? We get snapping to find out.

The rounded gloss finished design available in black or white features the almost defacto 3x optical zoom lens, and widescreen 3-inch LCD screen on the rear. Next to the screen there is the usual array of buttons for deleting, sharing and reviewing your images as well as access to the menu system.

The top features shortcuts to video, scenes, favourites and flash control with a bright blue HD logo that does nothing but remind you that you are shooting in "HD".

The camera might sport 12.1 megapixels on the front of it, but that doesn't mean you have to shoot in that and there are eight different resolutions available right down to 1.2 megapixels.

If you want to benefit from the widescreen display though you will have to shoot in 9 megapixel mode (16:9) as the 12 megapixel mode will give you grey bars either side of the image, because it's only 4:3.

Before you panic, the grey bars don't come out on the finished picture, but it's a bit like having a widescreen television and then not expanding the picture out to fill all of it.

When it comes to video this can be shot in HD too - up to 720p and there are four resolution settings ranging from 1280 x 720 pixels down to 640 x 480 for web use.

In use and the EasyShare is fairly standard stuff offering you a host of auto features for those looking not to be fussed by aperature and ISO settings and the like and in fact we haven't yet found controls for either.

The menu interface is okay, but not perfect and at times it can be clumsy to find what you are looking for, be it understanding the numerous scene mode pictures or trying to find out how to save images to the internal memory.

As for picture performance we had mixed results, when in quick fire party mode we had trouble focusing on subjects and this resulted in most of our images, even with the flash, coming out blurry. However on shots with plenty of light and a bit more thought in their set up, the results where stunning picking up lots of detail at both 12 megapixel and 9 megapixel resolution.

Verdict

The Kodak EasyShare V1253 comes across as an average 12 megapixel camera from Kodak. While we are impressed with some of the images, we can't but help think that if you are a party goer, you will be disappointed with the performance and the images the next morning.

We also don't like the fact that to benefit from this camera the most, i.e., use the full 3-inch screen, you have to shoot in 9 megapixels not the full capable resolution of 12.