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Kodak V1073 and V1273 - Kodak V1073 and V1273
Not surprisingly the overall performance of both cameras is virtually identical, which unfortunately means that they both suffer from the same problems. Both cameras start up in a little under three seconds, which is a bit slow but not critically so, however they take over four seconds to shut down again, which can be a pain if you need to put the camera away in a hurry. However it is the shot-to-shot cycle time that is the major problem. In single-shot mode both cameras can manage a shot every two seconds for the first three shots, but then when you try to take another you get a message saying “Processing…” This takes progressively longer with each subsequent shot, until you’re waiting eight seconds until you can take a picture.
Meanwhile in continuous shooting mode either camera can take three shots in just under two seconds, but then you have to wait nine seconds before you can take another shot, and nearly 30 seconds of writing to the memory card before you can take another burst of three. Bear in mind that in all tests I was using a high speed SanDisk Extreme III SD card. This is extremely poor performance for a modern digital camera.
The autofocus system is fairly quick in most conditions, and the motion tracking AF lock works well, but low light performance was well below average, and generally failed to focus at all in dark conditions despite the presence of an AF assist lamp. Flash coverage was good though, filling the frame well at wide angle, although I think the stated range of 4.1m is a bit optimistic.
Image quality too is not without its faults. For a 12MP or 10MP camera, the V1073 and V1273 produce extremely small image files, both averaging around 2MB. There is no option to change the compression setting, so you’re stuck with JPEG artefacts all over the place, and images that generally look over-sharpened and over-processed. The same criticism applies to noise control, which is heavy-handed even at quite low ISO settings. Colour rendition is bright and lively, as is usually the case with Kodak cameras, and dynamic range is above average for both cameras. However these small positive points are not enough to counteract the many negative points of both the V1073 and V1273.
Sometimes what appears to be a technological advance is actually a step backwards. Both the V1073 and V1273 are beautiful to look at, and the touch-screen interface, while a problem for some people, is well designed and operates fairly smoothly. However both cameras suffer from slow overall performance and serious image quality issues. They’re marginally better value than the Sony T2, but not by much.