capsule review

Kodak EasyShare V803 Compact Camera

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Kodak EasyShare V803 Compact Camera

    TechHive Rating

The stylish Kodak EasyShare V803 comes in a choice of eight colors at an attractive price of $180. This 8-megapixel compact camera is small enough to carry wherever you go and fun to use. With a plastic body built around a metal frame, it's tough enough to withstand a few knocks, too (we've reviewed another Kodak with the same type of body, the EasyShare V1253). Our photos looked bright and sharp, whether shot in natural light or with the flash.

Kodak clearly designed the EasyShare V803 for two-handed operation. To shoot, you hold the camera in front of you in the now familiar "digital camera pose," framing your subject on the bright 2.5-inch LCD. You must use both thumbs to operate controls on each side of the screen, a bit like the way you hold a video game controller. Five buttons on the left let you change flash settings, delete images, access the menus, review your shots, and choose to print or share your favorites. On the right you'll find a rocker switch for adjusting the 3X zoom and a joystick for navigating through menus. Anyone with large hands may find these controls too small to operate accurately.

The joystick (which Kodak employs on other EasyShare models) also gives you quick access to some useful functions while shooting. With an upward flick you can cycle through several display options, including showing grid lines to compose your shot and a histogram to check for a balanced exposure. Through left and right flicks you can adjust the exposure compensation until the histogram--ideally--comes to a smooth peak in the middle.

Across the top of the EasyShare V803, next to the power button and shutter release, are three mode buttons, which light up in neon blue when selected. One lets you manage a collection of your favorite shots; the camera saves the images in a collection as lower-resolution copies in its 32MB of internal memory, and can display them as a slide show on the screen or on an external display. The two other buttons switch between shooting video and taking still photos.

A few in-camera editing functions let you adjust the brightness, remove red-eye, and crop your photos. The panorama mode shows a thin ghosted image to help you align three shots; it automatically stitches the shots together. This process feels a little slow, like several of the camera's other functions.

In our lab tests, the EasyShare V803 earned slightly above-average scores overall, with its best showing in our exposure-accuracy and color-accuracy measures. Its battery held out for 294 shots--about 30 shots better than the average of compact camera models we've tested.

The Kodak EasyShare V803 is a fun and easy-to-use compact camera. Though it lacks fancier features, such as face detection and optical image stabilization, it produces surprisingly good photos at a reasonable price.

--Paul Jasper

This story, "Kodak EasyShare V803 Compact Camera" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    The Kodak EasyShare V803 lacks a few bells-and-whistles, but delivers high image quality at a fair price.

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