Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Kodak EasyShare-One Wi-Fi Digital Camera

The latest buzz in the world of digital photography surrounds the new EasyShare-One Wi-Fi digital camera from Kodak. As implied by the name, this camera has Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) capabilities, which means that you can share your digital photos via email from any hotspot without the need for a hard-wired connection to the Internet. You can also upload your pictures to your computer and print them without using a USB connection. These features give the EasyShare-One a level of convenience that is (so far) unmatched by its competitors. What else does this camera offer? Let's take a look.

First, let's cover some of the camera's other basic specs. In addition to the Wi-Fi capabilities, the Kodak EasyShare-One boasts features that are similar to other mid-level cameras in the same price range. For example, you'll get photos with a resolution of 4.0 megapixels and you'll have a 3X optical zoom lens to work with. You'll also be able to toggle between several different shooting modes, such as portrait, nighttime, action, landscape, and close-up. Furthermore, you can control picture settings such as white balance, ISO equivalents, and exposure. So far there are no surprises here. You can get these features on a lot of other cameras.

Where the Kodak EasyShare-One starts to separate itself from other cameras is with the screen. The EasyShare-One screen is 3-inches big, making it much larger than the screens on most other digital cameras. The screen is high-resolution for more accurate previewing and also has the ability to swivel out and rotate, much like the displays on handheld video cameras. The EasyShare-One screen also has touch-screen capabilities, so you can scroll through and select menu options with a stylus.

These are the features that are immediately apparent to casual digital camera users like me. There might be some other technical aspects that I've overlooked here, but I think I've covered most of the features that would be important and relevant to the average consumer. Anyway, the Kodak EasyShare-One is priced at $599 -- without the Wi-Fi card! You have to shell out another $99 for that. So right away, you're looking at having to spend close to $700 just to get this camera home. Are the extra features worth it?

Personally, I don't think the Wi-Fi capabilities would really be a factor in my purchasing decision. I simply don't encounter any photography situations where it is imperative for me to submit photos from wherever I happen to be. All of my photo sharing can wait until after I've returned home and have had a chance to upload the photos to my computer. Furthermore, I don't have much of a problem using a USB connection for uploading. It's not that much of a hassle for me, so Wi-Fi doesn't have the same appeal for me that it might for some others.

That being said, I am intrigued by the EasyShare-One's screen. I think it seems truly innovative as far as digital cameras go, and I would definitely be interested in trying the camera out for that reason alone. In that case, I think I would forego purchasing the Wi-Fi card and just purchase the camera to check out the screen.

So far, I have seen mixed reviews for this camera. Some users absolutely love; others are on the opposite end of the spectrum. It'll be interesting to see how this camera does and what other kinds of innovations will follow. Stay tuned!

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