Tue, 16 Feb 2010 Kodak EasyShare M381 review
EasyShare M381 looks and feels like many basic point-and-shoot cameras
- Manufacturer: Kodak
- Pros: Easy to use; Perfect Touch improves poorly lit shots.
- Cons: Shutter and zoom lag a bit; limited manual controls; no HD video shooting.
- Min specs: Sensor type 1 / 2.3 type CCD total pixels 12.7 MP (4164 × 3050) Effective pixels 12.4 MP (4096 × 3016) Zoom 5X optical zoom, 5X continuous digital zoom Lens KODAK AF 5X Optical Aspheric Lens, 35–175 mm (35 mm equiv.), f/3.0–4.8 Shutter speed 8–1/1400 sec. LCD 3.0 in. indoor/outdoor color display (230K) Storage 32 MB internal memoryavailable, SDHC/SD card expansion slot Auto focus Focus Type TTL-AF, selectable Modes auto, infinity, macro selectable Focus range normal (wide): 0.9 m–infinity; (tele): 0.9–infinity macro (wide): 0.1–0.7 m; (tele): 0.8–1.0 m landscape: 10 m–infinity Auto focus control continuous AF for Smart Capture, single AF Auto focus zones multi-zone AF (5 zone), center zone AF Exposure control ISO sensitivity auto (Smart Capture): 64–1600 manual: 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, selectable
- Price: £119.99 including VAT
- Star rating:
Perfect Touch technology
After you take a picture in Smart Capture mode, the camera automatically processes the image with its Perfect Touch technology, which adjusts the shot for backlighting or poor exposure. Perfect Touch worked well with many of the photos that I took in problematic lighting, and for the target audience (novices), it’s a nice feature.
In Smart Capture mode, Perfect Touch makes changes to the original photo, not a copy. To get an unmodified original (ideal for performing adjustments after the fact in image-editing software), you must shoot in Program mode. You can still apply Perfect Touch after you have taken a picture in Program mode.
The M381 also lets you crop images while saving the original shot, and you can make copies of a picture in the camera.
The main problem I encountered with the M381 was in the use of the controls. First, though the shutter button is easy to press, the camera has a short shutter delay. It’s barely noticeable, and the lag probably won’t come into play when you take posed shots. But when the action is fast, or when you’re waiting for a precise moment, the delay is bothersome.
You’ll also experience a delay when you’re using the M381’s 5X zoom. When you first press the zoom toggle on the back of the camera, there’s no delay, but if you make adjustments and zoom in and out, you’ll encounter a delay after you press the buttons, as if the motor were still catching up to your commands.
The M381’s Video mode is limited to 640 by 480 resolution, with no support for 720p video. You can use the zoom when you’re shooting a video, but it stutters—a lot. In some instances, the zoom stutter can seem like a neat effect, but if you want to zoom in smoothly, you’re better off physically moving closer.
In addition to black, the M381 is available in red and blue-grey.