Last year, Kodak released the EasyShare One digital camera, an ambitious 4-megapixel shooter with a 3-inch, pivoting touch screen and Wi-Fi photo-sharing capabilities. Unfortunately, it simply wasn't a very good camera. The company's attempts to improve upon it resulted in EasyShare One/6MP, a model with the same design and features as the original--including the same 36mm-to-108mm lens (35mm equivalent), and heavy 9-ounce physique--but with a 6-megapixel sensor and a few other minor tweaks. Nothing was done fix the problems with the original EasyShare One, leaving the 6-megapixel version with even less to recommend it. And the experience has left us liking the original even less than we did last year.
Like its predecessor, EasyShare One/6MP's main attraction is Wi-Fi. This feature is the only thing the camera gets right, going above and beyond the basic wireless features offered by other Wi-Fi cameras. In addition to standard local wireless syncing and printing functions, the EasyShare One/6MP can connect wirelessly over the Internet to e-mail photos or share them via the Kodak EasyShare Gallery. So far, no other Wi-Fi camera offers this level of functionality.
The camera's design and features don't vary much from the original EasyShare One--unfortunately. In short, the camera's flip-out LCD touch screen is awkward to use; the most basic shooting settings require menu-diving, and the buttons are small and uncomfortable. Pivoting displays and touch-screen control might sound good on paper, but poor implementation make it harder to use than conventional digital cameras, not easier.
Furthermore, the Kodak EasyShare One/6MP's performance in our lab tests was even worse than that of the original. After taking almost 8 seconds to wake up--the same as its predecessor--the camera's shutter lag on our high-contrast target was about 0.2 second higher at 0.6 second. In our low-contrast test, which uses a slightly dimmer target than we used for testing the previous model, the camera couldn't lock focus; the culprit seems to be a combination of low sensitivity (maximum ISO 400) and the lack of a focus-assist light. As a result, it failed our low-contrast shutter-lag performance test.
The rest of the times turned in by the camera were just average. Under typical shooting conditions, shot-to-shot time ran 1.9 seconds, up from the 4-megapixel version's 1.2 seconds. It took 2.6 seconds between flash shots, slower than the other model's 1.9 seconds. The camera's burst mode speed is better, shooting at a respectable 3.3fps. Though it's limited to just 3 frames, the EasyShare One/6MP's ability to burst indefinitely and save only the last 3 shots makes it useful. The low-light/low-contrast focusing issues combined with the endless start-up time drags down our performance rating.