Of cameras and clean-up

Of cameras and clean-up
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First Published: Fri, Dec 07 2007. 11 52 PM IST

The Kodak M883 is a great point-and-shoot
The Kodak M883 is a great point-and-shoot
Updated: Fri, Dec 07 2007. 11 52 PM IST
I like Kodak point-and-shoot digital cameras with their compact design, innovative features, and high megapixel sensors that are extremely easy to use right out of the box. Kodak offers four very similar cameras in recently launched M-series, and the Kodak M883 is one of them. The M-series sits in the middle of Kodak’s EasyShare range, between the entry-level C series and the higher-end V series.
The Kodak M883 is a great point-and-shoot
The Kodak EasyShare M883 (Rs13,999) is a fairly low-cost, basic point-and-shoot camera. It features an 8-Megapixel CCD, 3X optical zoom lens, a big 3-inch LCD display, high ISO settings and the ease of use that you expect from a Kodak digital camera. The familiar Kodak matte and silver colour scheme is a little plain, but I like the minimalist style and the slimmish design. The controls comprise a four-way thumb stick, with a smattering of buttons and sliders. The interface is also extremely simple to use, making this a great novice camera.
For more advanced shooters, despite the high megapixel sensor, face detection and digital image stabilization features, the images leave a little to be desired and, at times, operation can be sluggish. My pictures were a little soft at times, but looked perfectly crisp at postcard and 6x8-inch print sizes which, I suspect, will do for the majority of consumers. So this won’t be an issue, unless you’re making jumbo-sized prints. Colour reproduction was okay, with good saturation. The shutter lag means you will have to anticipate the right moment in a dynamic frame and press the shutter accordingly. Focusing speeds were, however, below par, with the camera taking some time to lock in, especially in low-light conditions.
Features-wise, the M883 is fairly standard for a mid-range compact model. It features a 38-114mm zoom range, a face-detect focus mode, as well as ISO and white balance presets, with the “auto” setting doing a good job. In fact, the auto white balance did a far better job at removing the ghastly greenish tint of the photos shot under the fluorescent lights of the office than the recommended “fluorescent” white balance setting. ISO speeds extend up to 3200, but I wouldn’t recommend shooting above ISO 400 unless you’re a fan of a little graininess. There is digital image stabilization as opposed to the far superior optical image stabilization, and is of limited use. A great feature is the Panorama mode, which auto-stitches three pictures clicked in sequence for a super-wide frame. Video capture is at a TV-quality 30 fps at 640 x 480 pixels. The battery is rated for 300 shots, which is better than comparable cameras in the M883’s class.
Just for kicks
The other day, I came across an Indian website that has an interesting collection of fun stuff you can buy online. At www.computerkitchen.com, I found a USB-powered mini-vacuum cleaner (Rs190), which would be just perfect for cleaning up my iMac keyboard as I can see the dust and debris of the last few months in alarming—and disgusting—amounts through the transparent casing. Then, there is that USB-powered smokeless ashtray (Rs425) that my colleagues should gift me, since I have developed a liking for the fine Cohiba cigarillos that are available so freely these days at the corner shop paanwala.
Tell Harsh what gadgets you want him to review. Write to gizmoguru@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Dec 07 2007. 11 52 PM IST