The Kodak EasyShare V350: A Great Compact Camera for Less Money

Until very recently I thought digital cameras were only for taking quick family pictures to send to Grandma and Grandpa. My simple-to-operate Kodak EasyShare V530 changed my mind.

When I realized the benefit of being able to share my photography online to supplement articles I wrote I saw that my fully manual Canon AE-l wouldn’t let me do that. Taking a deep breath, I decided to go digital. After three weeks of reading reviews, learning terminology, and asking people who owned digital cameras I discovered that the Kodak EasyShare V530 would serve my purposes very well.

I knew from the reviews that I would be spending between $100 to $300, but wanted to keep it as inexpensive as possible without sacrificing quality. I purchased my camera on Ebay for a respectable $192.50 including shipping and handling. In the package was the computer software, a camera dock for recharging the batteries and transferring photos, and a 128 MB SD card for extra memory. Since getting the V530 at the end of April, I have taken over a hundred photos of scenery, family, and wildlife. I have been very happy with the photos I have taken, and those that I’m not pleased with, I delete on the spot.

The V530 is a pocket-size digital camera that measures 3 5/8 by 2 inches and 7/8 of an inch thick. At less than 5 ounces in weight, it is slim and light. The LCD display measures 1 1/4 by 1 5/8 inches, a decent size to see your subject. Mine came with a plastic peel-away LCD cover, which I have since determined may serve the dual purpose of dulling the sun’s rays so that the subject may be seen and protecting the display from damage. Unfortunately, my plastic cover is long gone. In bright sunlight, the display window darkens to the point of not being able to see the subject very well, if at all. My advice: keep the plastic on that LCD as long as you can!

The 5-megapixel V530 has a Schneider-Kreuznach lens which I read was superior to the standard Kodak lens. The optical zoom capabilities for this camera is 3X, and the digital zoom allows 4X beyond that.

Many of the reviews indicated that battery life could be a problem. I have taken this camera with me for a full day of photography and haven’t had the batteries indicate that they were low. Then again, I cradle the camera in its recharging dock every time I come home. I usually have pictures to transfer to my computer anyway.

My first time out, I quickly used up the 16 MB of internal memory on about seven pictures. I would recommend anyone purchasing a Kodak Easy Share V530 to get an SD card for extra memory.

Some of the buttons are tiny, and may be too difficult for a person with larger fingers to operate. The directional pad, essential to deleting unwanted photos and reviewing those already taken, is about the size of a dime. The ‘OK’ button that you use to approve any deletion is the size of a pencil eraser and is only slightly raised. I use my fingernails to push that and the grooved on/off button!

I have not explored the video capabilities of this camera yet.

If you are just entering the world of digital photography as I was, with no previous experience, the instruction manual is well-written and easy to understand.

Transferring the photos you have taken in a day’s worth of shooting is easy. Put the camera in its dock, press a button, and your Kodak software will do the rest. Either edit as soon as the pictures are transferred or wait until later.

What I really like is the things I can do on my own computer to edit my photos. If you have ever used one of those do-it-yourself photo editing/copying machines in discount stores, you know how much fun this can be. The editing software that came with the V530 is easy to use and includes the ability to make any photo black and white, sepia, or color or enhance the forest, portrait, scenic, or sunset qualities of a picture. You can also adjust exposure (brightness or darkness) levels and shadow and highlight detail. Zoom in, do a free form crop, or select a portrait or landscape 4×6, 5×7, or 8×10 format. By using the fun effects feature, I edited one of my photos of seagulls on a boat dock to make the scene look like a colored-in line drawing. The fun effects include spotlight, coloring book, cartoon, and fisheye.

For photos of wildlife that is further away I still prefer my Canon with a zoom lens, but the V530 is less clumsy and great for general scenic and family photos. When I’m going out to shoot some photos I generally take both with me.

I regret not having a small bag just for this camera for easy carrying in my purse. The quarter inch diameter strap is great for hanging the camera around my neck to keep it handy, but I don’t like to keep it there all day. I would also like to see a more permanent cover for the LCD, one that doesn’t come off so easily. To be honest, I can’t think of any other things that I would change.

I highly recommend the Kodak EasyShare V530 as an excellent digital camera for casual picture-taking and sharing as well as for content pictures to accompany your articles. I think you will be as happy with your purchase as I am.

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