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The great Indian gadget purchase : Part II; Kodak 1093 Easyshare - found my match

Saturday, November 22, 2008

/ by Srikanth Eswaran

In part one of this article, I had written about how I got the need to purchase yet another digital camera for specific purpose of video recording. In this post, I ll explain a few things about the purchase and the elements of the camera in much more detail for you to read and enjoy.

I reached Croma, knowing well that I need a digicam for as-less-as-possible value with good video recording. I had heard about High Definition video or HD video to a great extent in the last one year and in the same time, I had also worked extensively with applications using HD video content in my job. But what I least expected that some camera manufacturer would plonk in that capability into a digicam, about the size of ten credit cards packed as a bunch! And add to that least of all - the guy in question to be Kodak.

The sales representative was friendly enough to explain to me the various digicams present there in the mall, the same old (or new) Nikon Coolpixes, Sony, Canon powershots, or Olympus or Casios and needless to say the Kodaks. Now most of these cameras either were sleek, with 3x optical zoom lenses, but would not take good video or had 12x optical bulky lenses and still would not take good video. Remember that my definition of good now had translated to High Definition. Also remember that though you do have high definition capable LCD televisions today, NO ONE gives you a HD channel as a broadcast. That will have to wait atleast 3+ years in India by which time buying a HD Tv would be a formidable proposition. This however is not the case in countries like USA where channels like National Geographic are available in ultra sharp quality HD mode which makes viewing TV a different experience.

Having said this, I was not really impressed with any camera he showed me just because they were no different from the Sony handycam I had written about in terms of video recording abilities. Until he showed me THIS:

The Kodak 1093 IS is an ultra sleek camera . It works on SD memory based storage with a Hershey shaped lithium ion battery that packs some punch. AND IT DOES HD VIDEO RECORDING!!! Plus its a 10MP sensor which can give some real good prints!

The very form factor of this camera really delighted me and its great to know one of the first few photography companies like Kodak who were recently hurt badly due to competition heating up, followed on their philosophy of making EasyShare based cameras, have finally woken up to be the first. The first company to pack a HD video recording ability into a camera as small as this. Coming back to the form factor, a little bit of pictorial explanation of things in this camera:

The camera came with a 1GB card and a pouch, but I denied the pouch and settled instead for a 2GB card. Knowing very well that HD videos would take lot of space, I decided this deal is better.

Having said that the top portion of the camera has four buttons, all embedded neatly into the form factor, without any projection for Power (a blue blinking button), flash setting button, a mode button which would easily help you adjust modes for this camera, and finally the shutter click button (which hardly is recognizable unless you look closely)

The bottom portion has a battery and SD card compartment, a tripod mount, and a HDTV or easyshare dock adapter, all again neatly built in.On one side is the USB charging port (for both data and power!!) and the power adapter socket in case you use a separate 5V dc adapter from Kodak. The other side has no other ports and is clean!

And finally the big huge LCD on the backside with four buttons around a joystick control, one for playback of photos and videos, one for menu options, one for deleting a video or image and one for sharing the image using EasyShare. Also are buttons for using the 3x zoom for either wide or telephoto modes. The joystick is very usable, and so are the menu options. The mode menu gives you 22 different photography situations and also offers full manual control if you want to be in expert mode. All menu fonts are readable and very usable easily which makes this camera a breeze to handle!

The only drawback if at all I felt with this camera relates to two things, one - very less optical zoom, something I can live with, and two - the image quality is a bit soft in all Kodaks that I have seen - something also that I can live with! The best positives of this camera are great video recording in FULL HD (the next time you watch those Sony Bravia ads, ask the dealer whether its 1080 interlaced (I) or progressive (P), obviously that P being the real Full HD), extremely usable form factor and easy portability with SD compatibility.

Before I end this post, I will leave you with a video review of this camera. Hope you like it! The moral of the story is prioritize your needs and go for a camera satisfying those needs. And always remember, try avoiding using the same camera for both video and photo. Both modes are different and needs different types of cameras! But for Rs.9999/-, this Kodak is a steal considering that the Sony DCR-DVD 610E still does not do full HD video!

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