Back in October last year I reviewed the EasyShare Z1275, the top model in Kodak's high-zoom compact range. I wasn't particularly impressed, finding fault with its build quality, image quality, sluggish performance and unfortunate habit of frequently locking up and refusing to work. Today I'm taking a look at one of Kodak's two other 12-megapixel cameras, the 3x zoom EasyShare V1233. The V series is Kodak's premium line of compact cameras, and the V1233 is one of the top two models in the range, so hopefully it will fare a bit better.
It certainly gets off to a better start. With a list price of £149.99, it is £10 cheaper than the launch price of the Z1275, and its price also compares fairly well with 12MP models from other manufacturers. Fujifilm's technically advanced but slightly disappointing F50fd is currently available for £146 from one retailer, but is more likely to be found for around £170. The Panasonic FX-100 has a wider zoom range and more features, but is also a lot more expensive at around £200. In terms of specification perhaps the closest match is the Casio EX-Z1200, but this too is more expensive, currently selling for around £180.
The V1233's build quality and overall design is also a massive improvement on the Z1275, and there's no denying it's a nice-looking camera. Kodak used to have a reputation for cheaply-made plastic cameras that felt more like children's toys, and there was always a suspicion that Kodak - best known for its film products - was hoping that digital cameras were just a fad that it didn't need to take seriously, and that people would soon start buying Kodachrome and UltraMax 400 again. The advent of the innovative and stylish V-series marked a change in corporate policy and also the beginning of a change in Kodak's fortunes in the digital camera market. Like other models in the series, the V1233 is a solidly-made camera with an all-aluminium body, a simple and well-designed control interface and a clean, attractive style. Measuring 101.9 × 54.6 × 23.4 mm it is a little longer and lower than average for a pocket compact, with rounded corners and recessed controls, and weighing 150g (minus battery) it is ideal for slipping into a pocket for a night out.