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.
Most performance figures were a tad better than this camera's 4-megapixel sibling, except for wake-up time, which amounted to a still-respectable 4.2-second lapse to the first shot. However, its shot-to-shot times were outstanding. We were able to snap off full-resolution pictures with only a 1.3-second wait between shots and just a hair more than 2 seconds when using a flash. In burst mode, the Kodak cranked out five pictures in about 1.6 seconds, a 3fps clip at both full resolution and at the 1.7-megapixel Good setting. Shutter lag amounted to only 0.7 second under high-contrast lighting conditions, but with no focus assist lamp to fall back on, the autofocus system increased lag times to just under a second with more challenging low-contrast subjects. The camera also uses power pretty efficiently; in our battery testing, we snapped more than 800 shots using our standard 1,850mAh nickel-metal-hydride AAs.
Compared to its sibling, the CX7430, the Kodak EasyShare CX7530's photos had a lot more contrast and snap, and there was less tendency for whites to blow out. Many images were a little soft, however, and lacked the sharpness we expected from a 5-megapixel camera. However, flesh tones were pleasing, and the camera did a good job of preventing red-eye.