Kodak Easyshare M1093IS Digital Camera Review

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS Digital Camera Review - Matt Grayson gets a chance to see the Kodak Easyshare M1093IS, one of the newly designed range of compacts.

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Kodak Easyshare M1093IS in Compact Cameras

As the upgrade to the M893IS, the M1093IS offers a higher resolution, expanded ISO and a completely revamped design. Maybe it was my "designers have an easy life" comment that upset them?

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS: Specification

  • Kodak Easyshare M1093IS Zoom: 3x optical (35-105mm)
  • Resolution: 10.1Mp
  • Sensor size: 1/2.3in
  • Sensor type: CCD
  • Image size: 3279x2774
  • File type: JPEG
  • Sensitivity: ISO64-6400
  • Storage: 32Mb internal, SD/SDHC
  • Focus types: TTL-AF, selectable
  • Normal focusing: 60cm-infinity
  • Close focusing: 7cm-70cm
  • Metering types: Multi, centre-weighted, spot
  • Exposure compensation: /- 2EV in 1/3 step increments
  • Shutter speed: 8sec-1/1448sec
  • Flash: Built-in
  • Monitor: 3in LCD
  • Interface: USB2.0, PTP, Easyshare camera dock
  • Power: Li-Ion battery
  • Size: 95.2x58.5x21.4mm
  • Weight: 135g

 

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS Kodak Easyshare M1093IS: Features
Kodak have certainly taken a much more updated outlook on the design of their digital cameras with this new range of models. The M1093IS has a smooth, barren front with the resolution and HD reminder written in a futuristic font. The flash is slim and long with a groove following the profile of the flash. The lens pokes out slightly from the front and top but the styling flows out to meet it bulging the camera slightly at that point.

As many buttons as possible have been designed to be flush with the natural lines of the cameras edge and the top plate has none sitting higher. Power, flash and mode buttons join the large shutter release and all are in black to match the body. When the camera is powered up, a small blue LED backlights the power button.

On the back and the camera is dominated by the large screen with only a few buttons joining it. The zoom rocker is made of shiny black plastic but has been covered with a small patch of matte black to keep it in line with the rest of the camera.

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS These buttons on the back are the ones that stick out from the camera but to help with the joystick, the camera back has dipped in to accommodate it and also stops it from sticking out too much.

As with any compact these days, the M1093IS has a quick access menu alongside a main menu. This mode button plays host to the quick access menu and opening it brings up four options of smart capture, video, program and scene modes.

There are plenty of scene modes and you have a choice of the usual portrait, sports, landscape and macro as well as more unique options such as panorama, text and fireworks. In all there are 22 different options to choose from.

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
Panoramic images can be started from the left or right. The images will stitch together using in camera software.

Program mode works in the same way as smart capture and does everything for you. It's when you go into the menu and see the stuff available for you to do that you notice the change. The menu in smart capture allows you to change the resolution and that's it. In program, you can adjust the exposure compensation, long time exposure and colour mode as well as having an entirely new page of options for adjusting white balance, metering, sensitivity and sharpness.

Pressing the joystick in confirms any changes made unless you're not in a menu then it just rotates the information on screen with the date & time.

Surprisingly, the joystick only has two functions for adjusting the display of the screen to add or remove information and to paste a rule of thirds grid for aiding composition.

I don't normally comment on the playback menus but the Kodak has a cool new feature that I've not seen on a compact before. When you've deleted any pictures, the menu will spring back up with the option of undoing the delete. This means you can retrieve your image(s) if you've deleted them by accident. This is a brilliant idea and Kodak should be congratulated for putting it in their cameras. With so many image retrieval systems on the market, it's obvious that it's a growing problem for consumers.

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS: Build and handling
I can't imagine a camera at this price point to be made out of anything other than plastic and the outer skin definitely is. IKodak Easyshare M1093IS t has a mottled effect that's rough to the fingertips and gives the camera a matt effect.

The screen is bright enough and doesn't suffer from motion blur but it does have the flicker effect when it's pointed somewhere darker or lighter which is the exposure gain catching up with the change in light availability.

On the underside of the camera, I expected the tripod bush to be plastic and wasn't surprised to see it. The battery door is more stable than I'd imagined which is a nice thing to see.

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS: Performance
Pressing down on the joystick scrolls through the drive modes and continuous shooting shares the same menu as two self timer options. The continuous mode takes three photographs in a fairly respectable two seconds but then takes a further ten seconds to download them which is pretty dire like they're using a processor from a Commodore 64.

Shutter lag performance is also slow at 0.12sec which doesn't sound much but is noticeable.

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
Strong colours are bursting out of the chart while the paler ones fade into obscurity.
Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
Oversharpening is a problem although fringing isn't.

It's been a long time since I've seen colours reproduced quite so aggresively on the colour test chart. The primary colours (light and pigment) are bursting out of the image which is great but does have its downfalls. Orange has obscured to a paler colour as has the skin tone which is a faded pink.

In essence the bold colours are punched out and the pale colours are muted further. There's no balance to the equation and this surprises me coming from a company that's dealt with colour in film since the 1930's.

The landscape shot is hit and miss with no fringing on the contrast areas yet has over sharpened and has been taken using f/3.1 which is a bit odd. Even with the higher depth of field created from a smaller sensor, I'd still expect to see a smaller aperture being used. This would prevent the background going out of focus like on this image.

I like the detail from the grass in the foreground and viewed at 25% (fit to screen) the image looks crisp. Viewing at 100% shows slight sharpening to create the sharper look at smaller size with detail being lost out towards the edges of the frame.

There's a little bit of blurriness on the portrait shot which I'm upset about. 1/60sec was a bit too slow for the day which wasn't particularly miserable but with the camera choosing an sensitivity of ISO64, it's difficult for the camera to choose a decent shutter speed to cope. A slightly faster ISO would've avoided this problem.

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
The camera chose a stupidly low ISO which gave a slower shutter speed and caused camera shake.
Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
Using flash has eliminated the shake as well as giving a more even result but the shadow in the back is too big because of the off centre flash.
Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
A 7cm macro normally means a small image in a big frame but this isn't too bad for a compact.

Using flash also avoids the problem and the portrait shot with flash has certainly produced a sharp image. It's also given an arguably better cast to the image, filled in shadows and created catch lights in the eyes. I think the shadow on the left of the wall is too big and could've been avoided in design by moving the flash closer to the lens.

Of course that starts its own problems with red-eye and the like but there's enough red-eye removal software available these days to fit in the camera or editing suites.

The 7cm macro facility isn't the best available but the resulting image is actually quite good thanks to the crop factor of the sensor. A smaller sensor means that focal lengths and depth of field are magnified (see the landscape image) so lenses get in closer without needing to actually go there.

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS: Noise test
I started off really excited about the noise control that the M1093IS seemed to be generating. ISO64, 100 and 200 showed little or no sign of noise which I think is brillilant for a little compact such as this one.

Then I clicked on the ISO400 image and saw the amount of destruction. Detail in the petals is almost gone and a fuzziness has swamped the entire frame thanks to damaging levels of noise reduction taking place.

ISO800 only shows small levels of progression in the decay but by ISO1600, the noise is taking over the image and all detail has left the flower.

ISO3200 is probably one of the worst images I've seen with the exception of the ISO6400 image which has had its resolution dropped to 3.1Mp in a bid to cancel the heat generated from neighbouring pixels.

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
The ISO64 test image shows a beautifully smooth image.
Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
The ISO400 test image shows a distinct change in image quality.
Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
ISO3200 is the highest sensitivity at full resolution.
Kodak Easyshare M1093IS
ISO6400 drops the resolution to 3.1Mp and won't take the picture until it's changed.


Kodak Easyshare M1093IS: Verdict
I like the styling and overall performance isn't bad at all for a compact at this price. It has a lot of features hidden away in the program mode and the camera doesn't shout about them. Noise is an obvious concern but if you can get away without going over ISO200, you're laughing.

A new range of cameras from Kodak have recently been released and on the surface they look quite nice. They appear to be targeting the consumer who prefer looks over everything else and want to look good on a night out. The fact that the camera does a pretty good job will only be a bonus to them.

If you're part of that crowd and you're on the look out for a new camera, take a look at this one.

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS: Plus points
Nice design
Lovely low ISO results
No fringing

Kodak Easyshare M1093IS: Minus points
Terrible high ISO results
Chooses incorrect exposure to keep image smooth
Oversharpens in places

FEATURES

HANDLING

PERFORMANCE

OVERALL

 

A quick look online shows the Kodak Easyshare M1093IS starts at around £120.

 


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Photographs taken using the Kodak Easyshare M1093IS

Forest GuardiansMisty MinsterCurious DonkeyLovely Lauren #2Lovely LaurenCathedral RuinsLight and ShadePink RoseCanadian GooseSunburst BuildingLouis' nose.Sapphy the Guinea Pig.Green LandscapePanda Pup!

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