Budget compacts are considered fast moving items in the camera sector, and every manufacturer has at least a few models in the market.
These are aimed at users wanting better images than their mobile cameras can offer, without burning a hole in their pockets. Kodak is a strong brand in this segment, holding on to their age-old philosophy of bringing affordable yet efficient cameras to the market. The EasyShare Mini M200 is Kodak’s new entrant in this segment with ultra compact and feather-light design.
Design and Build Quality
The outer body of the Kodak EasyShare Mini is built with engineering plastic. The camera is so compact that you can easily hide it in your palms. The design looks neat with miniature buttons and a small lens. The lens has a two-segment construction and does not protrude from the body. The battery chamber door looks better than those of many other compact cameras in the market. The camera weighs under 100g. It has a plastic tripod mount, which is not really a concern for a light compact.
The 10-megapixel Kodak EasyShare Mini uses a 1/3-inch Type (4.80 x 3.60mm) CCD for imaging. It features a 29 – 87mm equivalent lens. Shutter speed ranges from 8 to 1/4000 sec. The camera uses multi-zone, centre-zone, and face priority focus methods. In Smart Capture mode, the lens focusses from 0.5m to infinity at the wide-angle end and from 0.8m to infinity at the telephoto end. In Macro mode, it focusses from 0.05 to 0.8m at the wide-angle end and from 0.5 to 1.0m at the telephoto end. There are options of single and continuous focussing. The focus modes are Normal, Macro, and Infinity. The EasyShare Mini features Face detection and Face recognition functions. ISO sensitivity options are Auto and ISO 100-1000. Exposure can be compensated up to +/-2EV in 1/3 EV steps. The White Balance options are Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, and Open shade. Shooting modes available are Program, Scene, Smart Capture, and Video. The available scene modes are Portrait, Sport, Landscape, Close-up, Sunset, Backlight, Candlelight, Children, Bright, Fireworks, Self-portrait, Night portrait, Night landscape, Blur reduction, High ISO, and Panorama. Still images are recorded in JPEG format while videos are recorded in Motion JPEG and AVI 2.0 formats with audio recording. Maximum recorded pixels is 3640 x 2736 pixels for still images while video quality is 640 x 480 (VGA) at 30 frames per second. Colour modes available in the Mini are Vivid, Full, Basic, Black and White, and Sepia. The camera features monaural speaker and microphone. It has an AV output port along with USB 2.0 high speed connectors.
The camera has 32MB of internal memory and accepts an SD/SDHC card as external storage device. It uses a 2.5-inch, 230,000 dot TFT colour LCD for display. The device weighs approximately 99.2g with battery and memory card, and measures approximately 86.4 x 50.8 x 17.78mm (W x H x D).
The Kodak EasyShare Mini M200 fits snugly in your hands. Though the camera is small, it offers good grip. But always keep the wrist strap attached. The buttons are tiny too, but we cannot really complain because there is good separation between the buttons, which prevents accidentally pressing the wrong button. The interface is simple and intuitive. Images appeared crisp on the LCD and we had no difficulty in using it. The user manual is downloadable from the Kodak website, but we wish a concise version of the basic manual was included in the package.
The Kodak EasyShare Mini focussed accurately even in low light. AF was fast and close focussing was impressive too. The camera controlled darkening of corners very well. We did not observe any darkening at f/5.6 at the wide-angle end. Since the camera does not have any priority modes, we could not control the aperture in the test shots. Prominent flare and ghosting were observed at f/5.6 at the wide-angle end. Purple fringing was also seen. Images from the camera were sharp. Apart from slight pincushion from 72mm equivalent onwards, we did not observe any perceptible distortion.
The camera’s White Balance was reasonably accurate. Slight casts produced under certain light sources could be easily removed in Photoshop. The native image size was 9.12 x 12.33 inches at 300 ppi. At 16.67 percent of the screen size, ISO 800 and ISO 1000 showed noise. At 25 percent screen size, we did not observe any significant change in noise characteristics. At 33.33 percent, very slight noise was observed at ISO 400, but not enough to be of concern. Viewed at 50 percent screen size, we did not observe any change in noise. Overall, the images were usable up to ISO 800.
Value for Money
The Kodak EasyShare Mini retails at an MRP of Rs.6,499. At this price, the camera is very good value for money.
+ Easy to use
+ Feather-light and compact
+ Good performance
+ Value for money
– Instruction manual not included
– Prominent flare
Design and Build Quality 17/20
Key Features 16/20
Noise Control 4/5
Extra Features 4/5
Value for Money 8/10
Grand Total 81/100
In the slew of entry-level compact cameras, the Kodak EasyShare Mini M200 is a no-nonsense performer. Easy to operate and stealthy to carry, the camera is certainly a Best Buy in this segment.