Kodak has announced the launch of the EasyShare M series: the M753, M853, M873 and M883, four classy compacts that combine presentable features with subtle styling -- at an affordable price. Kodak is clearly trying to be the George at Asda of the digicam world. The M753 hits the catwalk in July with a very reasonable price tag of £99.99, while the others will follow in August and September.
All four cameras give you a choice of colours. Although the understated series design looks underwhelming in silver, and washed-out in the selection of dodgy pastels, the cameras look sleek and chic in classy black, hot red and deep blue. The M753 (pictured) comes in black, silver, purple, copper, pink and blue, and the M853 in white, red, graphite, silver and espresso, suggesting that the simpler cameras in this series are aimed at the young and superficial. But don't be fooled by the emphasis on looks: the inclusion of image stabilisation as standard with respectable resolution and ISO levels make the M-series more than a stable of clothes horses.
There's plenty going on beneath the surface. The names aren't entirely random, as the M753 has a 7-megapixel resolution and the M8s all boast 8 megapixels. All four come with 3x optical zoom and image stabilisation. Your photos display on 64mm (2.5-inch) screens, except on the highest-spec M883, which packs a 76mm (3-inch) wide-angle screen. If
UK prices for the M853, M873 and M883 are yet to be announced, but in the States the range goes from $149.99 (£75) for the M753 to $229.99 (£115) for the M883. If they stay that close to the affordable end of the market over here, Kodak will be raising the baseline of quality we can expect from fun, fashionable compacts. Colour us impressed. Click through for more pictures. -Rich Trenholm
The M853 comes in hot red, cool black, snow white, sludgy espresso and boring silver.
Only two flavours to choose from with the M873: silver and black. Simple. Classic. A bit boring. But the all-metal body wins style points.
The daddy of the M series, the M883. Three colours: red, silver and black. Like the M873, it has an all-metal shell. The price hasn't been announced, but with the series starting at £99.99, the M883 will hopefully be wallet-friendly. With face detection on top of the other features boasted by the M series, the M883 looks like a triumph of style and substance.