Kodak V803 Review
Kodak EasyShare V803 Operation
True to the EasyShare tradition, the Kodak V803 has a user-friendly interface with well laid out controls that keep camera operation simple. The Kodak V803's automatic systems do an excellent job of capturing good-looking photos with a well-rounded range of preset shooting modes to handle a wide range of scenes. The LCD menu system is short and simple to navigate, and the plain-English descriptions of menu items are a welcome change from the all-too-common cryptic icons on so many other cameras. The mode buttons across the Kodak V803's top panel let you switch modes quickly, and once again, plain-English descriptions that flash along the top of the LCD screen make operation straightforward even for beginners. It's the kind of camera you can pick up and start using with hardly a glance at the manual.
Record Mode Display
Depending on the exposure mode, the Kodak V803's LCD display shows the currently-selected options for image size/quality, macro mode, flash mode, exposure compensation and the number of images of the current size and quality that can be stored in the remaining space on the memory card. Pressing the Up arrow on the joystick once in a Record mode cancels the information display, while a second press brings back the information display with framing guidelines. A third press adds a histogram display, and a fourth cancels the grid and histogram displays leaving the information overlay.
Playback Mode Display
In Playback mode, you can use the Kodak EasyShare V803's Zoom lever's T position to zoom in or out on an image with a maximum enlargement of 8x. Press the W on the Zoom lever for a 9-image thumbnail display of the images on the card. Pressing the Up arrow toggles through the display modes, removing all information, adding a more detailed information display, and returning to a basic display for the current image. The normal Playback display reports only the camera's operating mode, the image storage location and picture number, the battery level and displays scroll arrows. The full display shows the file name, date, time, image size, color mode, focal length, ISO, f-stop, EV setting, metering and focus settings, flash mode, histogram and battery meter. Pressing the center button on the five-way navigator marks the image for printing or deleting.
Kodak V803 Modes and MenusAuto Mode: The default mode when the camera is turned on and toggled by the Auto/Scene button, this mode enables the Kodak V803's photo capture and review functions.
Scene Mode: Pressing the Auto/Scene button while the camera is in Auto mode enters Scene mode, displaying the menu of 23 available scene selections. Choices here include Portrait, Panorama Left-Right, Panorama Right-Left, Anti Blur, Sport, Landscape, Close Up, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, Snow, Beach, Text, Fireworks, Flower, Manner/Museum, Self-Portrait, High ISO, Children, Backlight, Panning Shot, Candlelight, Sunset and Custom.
Movie Mode: This mode is accessed by pressing the Movie mode button (movie camera icon) on top of the camera. In this mode, the Kodak V803 can record moving images with sound.
Favorites Mode: An album icon with a heart on its cover marks this mode on the Favorites button on top of the Kodak V803. Here, any images that have been designated as "favorites" are displayed. You can opt to view images in a slide show or index format, or view exposure information for individual images. You can also access the camera's Setup menu.
Still Record Menu: The following menu items appear whenever the Menu button is pressed in any Record mode. However, not all menu options are available in all modes.
- Self-Timer: Selects between the 10-second, 2-second, or 2-shot Self-Timer, or disables it.
- Burst: Enables or disables the camera's Burst photography mode, for capturing a series of up to four images at 1.0 frames per second.
- Picture Size: Sets the resolution for still images. Choices are 8.0 MP (3,264 x 2,448 pixels), 7.1 MP (3:2) (3,264 x 2,176 pixels), 4.9 MP (2,560 x 1,920 pixels), 3.1 MP (2,048 x 1,536 pixels), 2.5 MP (3:2) (1,920 x 1,280), 2.1 MP (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) or 1.2 MP (1,280 x 960 pixels).
- White Balance: Sets the color balance to Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, or Open Shade settings.
- ISO Speed: Sets the sensitivity to Auto (ISOs 80 to 160), or to 80, 100, 200, 400, 800 or 1,600 equivalent settings.
- Color Mode: Allows you to record images in High, Natural, or Low Color, or in Black and White or Sepia tones.
- Sharpness: Controls the in-camera sharpening, with options of High, Normal, or Low.
- Exposure Metering: Designates the camera's metering mode as Multi-Pattern, Center-Weight, or Center-Spot.
- AF Control: Sets the autofocus to Continuous or Single modes.
- Focus Zone: Controls where the camera's AF system determines focus from. Choices are Multi-Zone and Center-Zone.
- Long Time Exposure: Accesses longer exposure times, with options of 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.3, 1.6, 2.0, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, and 8 seconds.
- Maintain Settings: In Auto mode, this command tags which settings are saved when power is turned off. Options include Flash, White Balance, ISO Speed, Color Mode, Sharpness, Exposure Metering, and Focus Zone.
- Set Album (Still): The Kodak V803 can recognize album names set up through Kodak's EasyShare software on a computer. If albums have been set up and downloaded to the camera, you can associate images with an album as they are recorded.
- Date Stamp: Imprints the date on the image.
- Image Storage: Sets where images are stored, either in the internal memory or SD card. If Auto is selected, the camera automatically stores images to a memory card if one is present.
- Setup Menu: Displays the Setup menu.
Setup Menu: The following menu appears when accessed from any of the Record or Playback menus.
- Return: Returns to the main menu display.
- Camera Sounds: Selects among the Kodak V803's various operating sounds. You can choose a theme of sounds, or set sounds individually for specific camera operations.
- Sound Volume: Sets the volume to Low, Medium, or High, or turns sound off.
- Digital Zoom: Turns digital zoom on or off.
- LCD Brightness: Select between Power Save and High Power.
- LCD Dimmer: Sets the period of inactivity before the LCD dims. Choices are 10, 20, or 30 seconds, or Off.
- Auto Power Off: Specifies the period of inactivity before the camera shuts itself off. Choices are 1, 3, 5, or 10 minutes.
- Date & Time: Sets the camera's internal clock and calendar.
- Video Out: Specifies PAL or NTSC as the Video Out signal.
- Photo Frame: Sets the Dock settings for image display. Options are Interval (between slide show frames), Loop, Transition (between slide show frames), Image Source (Auto, Internal or Favorites), and Run Time.
- Red-Eye Pre-Flash: If activated, this function fires the Red-Eye pre-flash before the full flash. If off, no pre-flash occurs. In either mode, the camera automatically corrects Red-Eye.
- Blur Warning: Turns on the camera's blur warning, or disables it. If on, the camera displays the shaking hand icon during quickview, with a range of colors to indicate the level of blur. A green hand indicates that the picture is sharp enough for a good 4x6-inch print. Yellow shows that the image may be sharp enough for 4x6-inch prints, or that sharpness hasn't been determined. (In other words, check the image on a computer before printing.) A red icon means that the picture is not sharp enough for a 4x6-inch print. White indicates that the camera is still assessing the image file.
- Language: Sets the menu language to one of 20 languages.
- Format: Formats the SD memory card or internal memory.
- About: Displays the camera's firmware information.
Movie Mode Menu:
- Self-Timer: Selects between the 10-second or 2-second Self-Timer, or disables it.
- Video Size (Movie mode only): Sets the pixel resolution for Movie mode. Choices are 640 x 480, 640 x 480 (long), or 320 x 240 pixels.
- Set Album (Video): The Kodak V803 can recognize album names set up through Kodak's EasyShare software on a computer. If albums have been set up and downloaded to the camera, you can associate video with an album as they are recorded.
- AF Control (Video): Sets the autofocus to Continuous or Single modes.
- Image Stabilizer: Turns the image stabilization function on or off for movies.
- Image Storage: Selects between Automatic and Internal Memory.
- Setup Menu: Displays the same settings as under the Record menu.
Playback Menu: This menu appears in Playback mode.
- View By: Lets you choose how images are viewed. Options are All, Date, or Album.
- Album: Adds images to an image album, created on a computer with EasyShare software.
- Perfect Touch Technology: Displays the Original image and an automatically enhanced New version side-by-side. Options include Save As New, Replace Original, and Cancel.
- Make Picture (Movie only): Allows extraction of still images from movies.
- Crop: Lets you crop an image and save it as a separate image file.
- Slide Show: Enables a slide show of captured images, with user-adjustable intervals between images, control over looping, and a choice of transitions (block, horizontal blind, Center to L/R, Left to Right, Right to Left, Center to T/B, Top to Bottom, and Bottom to Top).
- Multi-Up: Enables a index display of images on the memory card or stored in the internal memory.
- Copy: Copies files from the internal memory to the SD card, or the reverse.
- Protect: Write-protects the displayed image, preventing it from being accidentally erased or manipulated (except via memory or card formatting). Also removes protection.
- Image Storage: Selects between the internal memory or the SD card for image storage.
- Setup Menu: Displays the same settings as under the Record menu.
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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.