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Kodak EasyShare M1093 IS
As arguably the best-known name in photographic history, and one of the original innovators of digital imaging, it's no surprise that Kodak offers a large range of digital cameras, with everything from big super-zoom models to stylish touch-screen ultra-compacts. Unfortunately, despite its long and illustrious history, some of Kodak's recent models, particularly its budget-priced M-series, have been rather disappointing. However if one is to judge by specification alone then the M1093 IS, currently the top model in the M-series, could be one to buck the trend. It is a 10.1-megapixel ultra-compact camera with a 3x zoom lens, a big 3.0-inch monitor, optical image stabilisation and HD video capability, and all for under £110.
The M1093 IS certainly makes a good first impression. It's a nice looking camera with a half-aluminium, half-plastic body, and is available in black or the anodised silver finish shown here. It has a very slim and compact shape, measuring 95.2 × 58.5 × 21.4 mm, and weighing 135g minus battery, or about 155g fully loaded. The body shape is a sharp-edged rectangular slab with slightly rounded ends, and the flush-mounting controls and retracted lens mean it can slip into a pocket with ease. The overall build quality is good, and the camera feels more solid and well made than its price might suggest.
The M1093 is one of a small but growing number of cameras that can be charged via a USB connection. The supplied battery charger comes with both British and European plug adaptors, but the output socket is a standard USB connector. The supplied cable can be plugged into any powered USB socket for charging, so if you're taking your laptop on holiday then you don't need to pack your camera charger as well. The downside is that the battery is charged in the camera, but unless you spend £18 on a spare battery that's not going to be a problem. Like all Kodak compacts the M1093 also comes with an adaptor plate for the EasyShare printer dock.