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First Look: Kodak EasyShare V550

A high quality 5 megapixel camera that fits in your shirt pocket By John Virata

Kodak's EasyShare V550 is a diminutive, Japanese built 5 megapixel digital camera that can fit in your shirt pocket. Weighing in at 5.1oz without the battery, the camera measures 3.7 x 2.2 x 0.9 inches and features a 2.5-inch 230,000 pixel LCD display with a 170 degree viewing angle. Within the scope of this review, we'll take a look at some of the features this camera has, as well as its image quality output in each of the five image resolutions supported.

Kodak EasyShare V550
About the size of a deck of playing cards, the EasyShare V550 is compact enough for you to take anywhere to shoot images. It uses an all glass Schneider-Kreuznach C-Variogon 36-108mm equivalent autofocus lens with a 3X optical zoom capability. Beware of cameras that use a plastic lens. The flash is built in, as is 32MB memory for image storage. The camera also supports SD memory cards for more storage capabilities. The lens cover is built in so there is nothing to lose, and the camera comes with a wrist strap so you don't accidentally drop the camera.

One side of the camera includes the DC in port while the other side of the camera features the AV out port, wrist strap connector, and a camera favorites switch that enables you to access your favorite images in the camera's memory without having to worry about deleting them. This is akin to having a digital photo album built into the V550. The rear of the camera is where most of the controls are, including delete image button, menu button, review button, share button, the wide/tele bar, and the menu controller. The top of the camera includes the on/off button, flash, video camera, auto, portrait, and sport buttons. These are placed for easy access as they are the most used features in a digital camera.

The V550 features the following modes that you can choose from when composing a picture; Scene modes include sport, landscape, close-up, night portrait, night landscape, snow, beach, text, fireworks, flower, manner/museum, self-portrait, party, children, backlight, panning shot, candle light, sunset, and custom, which you create yourself. For more creativity, the V550 features the following color modes; high color, natural color, low color, sepia, black and white.

The V550 sports a three frames per second burst mode, a click to capture rate of 0.3 seconds with preview on and 0.6 seconds with preview off. Focus range of the lens includes 0.6m to infinity (normal), 0.05-0.7m (macro-wide), 0.4-0.7m (macro-tele), and 10m-infinity (landscape). The flash capabilities include automatic flash, fill, off, and digital red-eye reduction. The flash range is 0.6-2.6m at wide angle, and 0.6-1.8m at tele.  

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