Kodak V603 Review
Kodak EasyShare V603 Design
The V603 is an eye-opener in the Kodak EasyShare lineup. Its stylish black panels, low-profile controls, and thin size rank the Kodak V603 among the more fashionable digital cameras in the marketplace. Measuring only 3.6 x 2.0 x 0.9 inches (92 x 50 x 21.6 millimeters), and weighing only 4.2 ounces (120 grams) without the card or battery, the Kodak V603 is at home in shirt pockets and small purses, and comes with a wrist strap to save it from damage should it slip out of your hands.
The telescoping lens takes up the right side of the camera's front panel, and withdraws completely flush with the front panel so that there are no protrusions to snag on a pocket. The lens extends outward a full inch when the camera is powered on. A shutterlike lens cover automatically slides out of the way as well, and eliminates the need for a removable lens cap. Also on the front panel are the microphone grill and the flash in the top left corner, and to the right of the lens, a light sensor and the self-timer/AF assist/video lamp. A thin, horizontal ridge is the only fingergrip provided, and isn't much more than a design accent.
On the right side of the camera (as viewed from the rear), you'll find the strap post and the uncovered memory card slot.
The opposite side of the camera features only the DC In terminal, which remains uncovered for easy access.
The Kodak V603's top panel has a V-shaped chrome accent that also makes the small buttons easy to find without requiring them to stick up above the camera's profile. From left to right, the buttons are the Favorites button, Movie mode button, Auto/Scene button in one group, and the Power button, Flash button and large Shutter button in another. The V-shaped groove is worthy of a Nobel prize.
The rest of the camera controls are on the rear panel, along with the 2.5-inch LCD monitor. On either side of the LCD are two sculpted panels. At the top of the left panel, are the three mode/battery charging LEDs (Favorites, Movie, Still). Below them are four buttons: the Delete button, the Menu button, the Review button, and the Share button. The top of the right panel has the Zoom lever and, below it, the speaker grill. In the lower right corner is the four-way navigator with an OK button in the center.
On the bottom panel of the Kodak V603 are the tripod mount, dock jack, and battery compartment. The metal, threaded tripod mount is near the center of the body but off the lens axis and too close to the battery compartment for quick battery changes while working with a tripod (but you can use the AC adapter for studio shots). The battery compartment features a locking, hinged door, which slides forward to open. Inside, a small ejection lever locks the battery in place or releases it. The dock connection jack connects the camera directly to the EasyShare dock for quick image downloading.
Kodak EasyShare V603 External Controls
Shutter Button: Located on the far right of the camera's top panel, this button sets focus and exposure when halfway pressed, and fires the shutter when fully pressed. In Playback mode, pressing this button returns the camera to the selected Record mode.
Flash Button: To the left of the Shutter button, this button cycles through the Auto, Fill, Red-Eye Reduction, and Off flash modes.
Power Button: Just left of the Flash button, this button turns the camera on and off.
Favorites Mode Button: This is the first in a series of mode buttons on the left portion of the camera's top panel, accessing images stored in the camera's Favorites album in the 32MB of internal memory.
Movie Mode Button: To the right of the Favorites button, the Movie mode button allows recording video clips up to 80 minutes long with zoom and sound.
Auto/Scene Mode Button: Right of the Movie Mode button, this button toggles between Auto and Scene mode, displaying all 22 Scene modes. Options in Scene mode are Portrait, Panorama Left-Right, Panorama Right-Left, Sport, Landscape, Close-Up, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, Snow, Beach, Text, Fireworks, Flower, Manner/Museum, Self-Portrait, Party, Children, Backlight, Panning Shot, Candlelight, Sunset, and Custom.
Zoom Rocker Button: In the top right corner of the camera's rear panel, this two-way rocker button controls the optical and digital zoom in any record mode. In Playback mode, the lever controls the amount of digital enlargement applied to captured images, to a maximum of 8x.
Multi-Controller and OK Button: Located in the lower-right corner of the rear panel, this square-shaped four-way rocker button with central OK button navigates through menu screens and options. When the center OK button is pressed, it confirms menu selections. Outside of the menu system, the right and left buttons adjust the exposure compensation. The up button controls the LCD information display, while the down button cycles between Normal AF, Macro, and Landscape focus modes.
In Playback mode, the controller scrolls through captured images, when moved left and right. Pressing the button down activates the index display mode.
Delete: The first in a vertical series of buttons lining the left side of the LCD monitor, this button calls up the Delete menu in Review mode. You can delete individual images or all images on the card. There's also an option to cancel.
Menu Button: Below the Delete button, this button displays the settings menu in Playback or Record modes.
Review Button: Beneath the Menu button, this button activates Playback mode when pressed in any record mode. Once in Playback mode, pressing the button again, or the Shutter button, returns to the Record display.
Share Button: The final button in the series on the left of the LCD monitor, this button lets you tag images for printing, emailing, or as a favorite image. (A heart icon appears on "favorite" images.) Pressing this button in Review mode automatically enables Playback mode, and displays the Share menu with the following options:
- Print: Designates the number of copies of the current image to be printed.
- E-Mail: E-mails a low-resolution copy of the image to a recipient, based on a saved address book.
- Favorite: Marks the current image as a "favorite."
- Print All: Prints one copy of each image on the memory card or internal memory.
- Cancel Prints: Cancels a print order.
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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.