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Kodak EasyShare M873
Earlier this year, Kodak announced that it would be pulling out of the low-end camera market, and has already pulled out of the digital SLR market, which presumably means the company will be concentrating it's efforts on its excellent super-zoom cameras, its somewhat less impressive high-end compacts, and its ultra-slim style cameras, such as this EasyShare M873.
The M873 is an 8-megapixel ultra-compact, with a 3x zoom lens and a 2.5-inch monitor. It's launching into a crowded and fiercely competitive area of the camera market, and will be matching itself against cameras such as the Pentax M40 (£125), Canon IXUS 70 (£136), Olympus FE-250 (£161), Nikon CoolPix S510 (£189), Sony Cyber-shot W90 (£199), Casio Exilim EX-S880 (£220) and the Panasonic Lumix FX33 (£220). The M873 is currently available from some online retailers for under £113 including delivery, or £129.99 bought direct from Kodak via its website, so it's definitely competing on price, but what about quality?
The initial impression is certainly good. There's no denying that the M873 is a nice looking camera, and one of the slimmest on the market (although it's actually 22mm thick, not the 17.9mm claimed in the online spec sheet). It has an all-metal aluminium body with a nice brushed finish and chrome highlights. The overall build quality is quite good and the camera feels a lot more expensive than it actually is. There are a couple of worries though, in particular the flimsy plastic-hinged card/battery hatch and the off-centre plastic tripod bush, both of which could succumb to wear and tear.