Kodak EasyShare CX7530
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A million more pixels aren't the only improvements in the Kodak EasyShare CX7530, an upgrade from the the. You also get twice as much internal memory (32MB), a larger 1.8-inch LCD, improved performance, and the ability to select a noisy but useful ISO 800 sensitivity. Other enhancements to the CX7530 include more zoom-in power (8X) during picture review. You'll want to add rechargeable batteries and a memory card to your shopping list, but this fast-operating, simple-to-use 5-megapixel camera will please snapshooters who value quick response over manual controls.
At 4 by 2.6 by 1.5 inches and 8 ounces, this Kodak just slips under the wire of our definition of a compact camera. It fits your hand, and all the controls are right where they need to be, from the top-mounted shutter release and the back-panel zoom lever that fit your index finger and thumb comfortably to the knurled mode dial that switches the camera on and selects full automatic operation or one of five scene modes (Portrait, Sport, Night, Landscape, and Close-up), plus Movie mode and Favorites display. A four-way controller button navigates menus, and separate buttons let you review and delete pictures; activate the self-timer/burst mode; adjust your flash settings; and display the shooting and setup menus on the LCD for adjusting exposure, white balance, ISO setting, exposure mode, and photo quality. The bright red Share button lets you mark images for printing or e-mailing to addresses downloaded from your computer.
The aspheric, all-glass 3X Retinar optical zoom lens emphasizes a middle-of-the road view, running 34mm to 102mm (35mm-camera equivalent). There's no manual focus, but the multizone and center-spot focus work well down to 5 inches in macro mode at the wide-angle setting. You can evaluate your shots in Review mode using magnification as high as 8X, with images shot in vertical orientation automatically rotated for you.
There aren't many shooting settings besides exposure compensation (plus or minus 2EV in 0.5EV steps), but you can choose from multipattern, center-weighted, or center-spot automatic exposure, with shutter speeds from 1/2 to 1/1,400 second and f-stops of f/2.7 to f/5.2 (f/4.6 to f/8.7 at the tele setting), and either multizone or center-spot autofocus. While the CX7530 will set the ISO and white balance for you, sensitivity settings of ISO 80, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400, and ISO 800 (the latter at a lower resolution) and daylight, tungsten, and fluorescent white balance can all be specified manually. The CX7530 offers 13fps MPEG-4 movie clips with sound at VGA resolution, or 320x240 at a less-jerky 20fps, for as long as your flash memory holds out.