I was able to get the Kodak EasyShare V530 for $220 online. The V530 is a 5-Megapixel digital camera, which is pretty similar to the 5-Megapixel Kodak EasyShare V550 I had earlier, aside from the smaller LCD screen and less flashy design. The V530 is available in Black, Silver, Red and Pink colors.
What Is Kodak EasyShare V530?
The Kodak EasyShare V530 a compact 5-Megapixel digital camera with 3x SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH C-VARIOGON optical zoom (36-108 mm equivalent), 2-inch LCD screen with 230,000 pixels, powered by a compact rechargeable battery.
The camera stores pictures and videos (MPEG-4, up to 640x480 resolution) on Secure Digital (SD) memory cards or its built-in memory (16MB) and features a USB connection to PC and Mac computers. It is also compatible with Kodak EasyShare camera and printer docks. The cables, software, rechargeable battery and docking station are included.
The camera comes with a cool-looking Kodak EasyShare Photo Frame 2 dock, which can be used to transfer images to your computer as well as to recharge the camera battery pack. The camera lacks a viewfinder (it only has a 2-inch high-resolution LCD screen).
The camera I got is black in color. The camera and its accessories are well-made from high-quality materials. The V530 is pretty compact. The back side of the camera has a large 2-inch LCD screen, zoom control, control buttons and menu controls with a blue translucent OK button in the middle.
The V530 looks nice and stylish. It is miniature yet feels sturdy. It has a retractable lens that extends and has a lens cover that opens when the camera is powered on. When the camera is powered off, the lens retracts and the lens lid closes. The on/off button is on the top deck as well as a shutter release button and some other buttons.
They include a flash mode button, which lets you adjust the flash setting quickly.
The bottom of the camera has a threaded tripod mount as well as a battery compartment lid. The lid is sturdy. The bottom also has the connector for the camera dock.
The side has a DC power input. The other side has a slot for an SD card. I inserted the supplied rechargeable battery pack into the camera (it was charged), inserted my Kingston Elite Pro SD memory card and was ready to shoot.
The V530 is easy to use. Its menu system is rather easy to use, but is arranged in a slightly unconventional manner. I have not read the manual, but was able to use the camera and all its features immediately.
The camera can be used by any member of the family and by photographers of all levels of expertise from novices to advanced ones (albeit with not much control over the shutter speed or aperture). The camera comes pre-set to Auto mode, in which you have no need to adjust settings. You do not have to do anything other than point and shoot - the camera takes care of the rest.
Just as with any other compact digital camera you press the shutter release button halfway to make camera focus and the camera beeps to indicate it focused. Then you take the picture by pressing the shutter release button all the way. As easy as it gets.
If you want more control, you can select Portrait or one of the Scene modes. The camera also uses the menu down arrow button to switch to Macro or Landscape mode. The flash mode selection is available at a push of a button on the top deck. More on flash performance later.
The camera has a metal tripod mount. It is useful if you want to take macro pictures or pictures with long exposures (e.g. nighttime). The camera has a timer, which you should use to avoid blurry images when the camera is on the tripod.
The camera has a large 2-inch LCD screen. There is no viewfinder. The LCD coverage as about 100% - you can see exactly what will be recorded. The screen is fluid, has high resolution and works well in dark conditions.
You can use the dock supplied with the camera and its USB connector to transfer pictures to your computer. You can also remove the SD memory card and use a memory card reader (if you have one). I used my memory card reader for data transfer.
The camera comes with a stylish and functional docking station. It lets you charge the camera's battery and provides easy USB connectivity to your computer. The docking station is well built and has a button that lets you do a slide show on your camera while the camera is attached.
The V530 has several color saturation settings that let you make the colors more or less saturated. I found that the default setting worked well.
The V530 takes about 3 seconds to power itself on and extend its lens in shooting mode. The camera can capture images at about 2.5 per second in burst mode (using the Kingston Elite Pro SD memory card). In single-frame mode, the camera could snap pictures as fast as I could push the shutter release button - about 1-1.5 seconds per picture, which is very fast. The focusing takes less than a second, at both wide angle and telephoto (focusing at telephoto is a little slower than at wide angle, but still under a second).
The zooming from wide angle to telephoto (or back) feels a bit slow and takes about three seconds. I find the 3x optical zoom of this camera sufficient for most situations.
The shutter lag, when pre-focused, is almost nonexistent. The camera has a flash recycle time of about 4 seconds, but unlike most of the other cameras, it will allow you to take a picture even if the flash was not fully charged. The result is faster shooting, but you may end up with some underexposed photos.
I have not tested the battery life, but took more than 50 pictures and the low battery warning has not appeared yet. I estimate that you should be able to take about 150-200 photos on one charge.
The flash has good power and uniform coverage. The recycle time is in 4-5 second range, which is pretty good.
The V530 features excellent photo quality. The automatic white balance system works well. The photos are well-exposed, sharp, contrasty and richly-colored. The lens of the camera exhibits slight blurring in corners, which is not a big issue. This will be mostly unnoticeable in printed pictures since corners normally don't make it to the print due to the aspect ratio difference and other factors.
There is some chromatic aberration (purple fringing) in the areas of high contrast, especially at wide angle, but it is not very noticeable and not uncommon.
The V530 is no different that most of compact digital cameras. The noise is low at lower ISO (80-100) and increases as the sensitivity goes up. The photos at ISO 400 are suitable up for prints of up to 7x5 and look sharp at 4x6. The camera lets you use ISO 800 at 1.8-Megapixel resolution only, which is only good for web or email photos. At ISO 80-100, you can print your photos at up to 11x14 inches with good detail level and sharpness and even print 13x19-inch wall-mountable (softer-looking) prints.
How Does It Compare To Kodak EasyShare V550?
The 5-Megapixel Kodak EasyShare V550 has a larger screen (2.5-inch), an optical zooming viewfinder, comes with 32MB of onboard memory and has fancier-looking laser-cut buttons on its top panel. Its burst mode is 3 fps.
Pros:Build quality, features, supplied accessories, performance, photo quality, resolution
Cons:Some chromatic aberration, no viewfinder
The Kodak EasyShare V530 is a very good choice if you want a compact digital camera with high resolution and fast operation. It is well-built, easy to use, comes with useful accessories and has excellent performance. Make sure you get an SD memory card, unless you already have one. The built-in memory is only enough for testing the camera.