The camera-buying public (that's you folks out there) are a demanding lot. You want all the latest advanced features such as long zoom wide angle lenses, high resolution sensors, HD video recording and mechanical image stabilisation, all in a slim and attractive package, and you want all that for the cheapest possible price. Well now you can have it, because the Kodak EasyShare M580 offers all of those features for less than £110. Surely there must be a catch?
The EasyShare M580 was launched last year at the same time as the 10x zoom Z950, and is the current flagship of Kodak's consumer M series. Considering its bargain price it's a well made and surprisingly well specified camera, with a 14 megapixel 1/2.3 inch CCD sensor, an 8x zoom Schneider-Kreuznach lens, a 7.5cm (3.0 inch) 230k LCD monitor and built-in optical image stabilisation, all wrapped up in a strong all-aluminium body.
Kodak's compact cameras have historically been a bit hit-or-miss in the style department but the M580 is a good looking model. It's a bit large to be considered an ultra-compact, but it is quite slim. The body measures 100.8 x 59.5 x 25.7mm and weighs 165g, which is very light for its size, and the big zoom lens folds away almost flush with the body, so it slips easily into a pocket. It's available in brown, purple or the anodised silver seen here. It's probably not going to evoke jealous stares from Canon IXUS owners, but it's not a camera you'll be embarrassed to be seen with.