Summary

Our Score

7/10

Review Price free/subscription

Kodak EasyShare M1093 IS - Kodak EasyShare M1093 IS

In terms of overall performance the M1093 starts well, but then really begins show its weakness. It starts up quickly in just under two seconds, but for some reason it takes four and a half seconds to shut down again. In single-shot mode it looks good at first, shooting three frames in just over five seconds, and in burst mode it can shoot three frames in less than three seconds, but then it suddenly runs into a wall. The memory buffer can only hold three shots at a time, and writes its data to the card very slowly. It takes seven seconds before a fourth shot can be taken, and then ten seconds between that and the fifth and subsequent shots. This is very slow performance, and is very frustrating if you're trying to take a lot of photos quickly.
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Annoyingly it does have some good points, such as the autofocus system, which is fast and accurate and works surprisingly well in low light. However the exposure meter isn't as capable, and fails to meter correctly in low light situations, under and over exposing seemingly at random. It also has a nasty habit of setting the ISO to the maximum full-res setting of 3200 in low light situations, resulting in major problems with image noise.

Despite these significant performance problems, the M1093 is redeemed to some extent by having image quality which, while far from perfect, is actually not bad in most situations. In good light it produces rich colour and plenty of fine detail, and the lens too performs well, with minimal barrel distortion at the wide end. It does show some corner blurring and chromatic aberration, but no more than most small compacts. Dynamic range is also better than average, although the slightly erratic metering does tend to favour shadows over highlights. Noise control too is far from disgraceful, with little visible noise at the minimum ISO 64, and no real problems until 400 ISO, where the noise reduction starts to blur out fine details and the colour fidelity starts to fall apart. 1600 ISO looks like a watercolour painting, and 3200 ISO is just a horrible mush, but again that's par for the course at this end of the market.
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Verdict
For a low-priced camera the Koadk EasyShare M1093 IS is surprisingly well made with a decent specification, including an outstanding HD video mode. It is slim and fairly stylish, and can take a pretty good picture under most circumstances, but it is let down by a distinctly non-smart Smart Capture mode, weak flash and poor overall performance.

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