Real men eschew girly frivolities like manicures, facials, and gizmos in colors other than black or silver. But real men aren't buying enough cameras on their own, so Kodak's offering the choice of ten colors (including black and silver) on its EasyShare V803 and V1003 to entice ladies and men who read Details. The hues are midnight black, java brown, pink, red shimmer, cosmic blue, mystic purple, golden dream, slate grey, silver essence, and a super-cool white glaze that resembles the porcelain finish on antique kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
For just $199, the 8-megapixel V803 is a sharp looker that contrasts with the clunky My-First-Digicam style of similarly-priced models from companies like Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, and well, Kodak. If you want to blow an extra $50, plus more money for memory cards, you can get a 10-megapixel sensor in the otherwise-identical V1003 version.
We didn't get a chance to take sample photos, but at least one spec is promising: Kodak upped the light sensitivity to ISO 800 to improve the chances of picking up something recognizable in a dark setting. (Most previous Kodaks were stuck at a wimpy ISO 400 level.)
And Kodak finally got smart enough to make a camera that can remember its settings — like ISO, white balance, and resolution — after you shut if off (long a given capability from rivals such as Canon). But to keep it from being truly useful, Kodak makes you specify individually which item should be remembered and which should keep resetting to default when the juice goes out (which happens often because of power-save modes on digicams). So instead of a single "reset" button, you get a screen full checkboxes. Hmmm...that's a slight improvement.
Kodak also modified the "Favorites" button so that pressing it actually saves a copy of a photo to the camera's internal memory. Uh, we thought it already did that — as did most of Kodak's PR team. (Instead, it used to just tag a photo as a "favorite" for when you upload it to Kodak's PC software.) Well, at least they finally installed a feature we thought they always had.