At a Glance
Kodak EasyShare One
Wi-Fi capability doesn't make up for modest resolution, few controls, and a high price.
If you think it takes too long to upload your photos to a computer and then e-mail them, print them, or transfer them to a blog, Kodak's EasyShare-One--a consumer digital camera with Wi-Fi--could speed things up. But you'll make sacrifices for the convenience.
Like models from Canon and Nikon, the $599 Wi-Fi-equipped EasyShare-One allows you to send pictures and videos wirelessly to a computer or printer connected to your network. The EasyShare-One can also upload these files to Kodak's online photo site, and, according to the company, e-mail them to friends.
However, the camera does not let you e-mail images directly to recipients. Instead, it uploads them to your Kodak EasyShare Gallery and e-mails people a notification that they can view your images there. Also, the Gallery limited online viewing of my 4-megapixel pictures to 22KB, 448-by-336-pixel images, so Kodak could sell prints. If you want to send friends and family the full-size files, you'll still need to involve a PC. At least the camera has plenty of capacity, with 256MB of internal memory (185MB available for image storage) and an SD Card slot.
To activate Wi-Fi, you must switch to playback mode and press the included 802.11b card, located at the top of the camera, so that it pops up halfway. It will then search for available networks. Setting up the wireless feature and transmitting pictures were easy enough. But the camera often dropped connections in between transfers with networks at home and the office.
Even with wireless off, my shipping unit did poorly in the PC World Test Center's battery tests, lasting only 100 minutes and 183 shots; just one other camera we've tested took fewer pictures. The EasyShare-One provides no battery-level gauge, either. Kodak does include two rechargeable lithium ion batteries, so you can charge one while you are using the other.
In image-quality tests, the EasyShare-One earned a score of Very Good. Thanks to its bright, attractive pictures of our test mannequin, the camera received nice marks for color and exposure. But the average megapixel rating of cameras competing for our Top 10 chart is 6.3; with only 4 megapixels, the EasyShare-One fared poorly in sharpness tests. Our test pattern looked particularly fuzzy.
Because the camera lacks manual modes, and even manual focus, it has few buttons and shallow menus. The 3-inch touch screen on the back requires you to press firmly with a tiny included stylus, which slips into a slot on the side. Because you often have to move between touch screen and buttons, navigation can be difficult, although the stylus does speed entry of WEP keys and e-mail addresses.
I might pay extra cash for a wireless-equipped camera, but only if it let me upload my full-resolution pictures to a blog or a better photo site. Even if the EasyShare-One were less restrictive, its price would still be steep for a 4-megapixel camera with few controls.
Wait for Wi-Fi on a camera with higher resolution, more controls, and a better price.