Kodak’s compact cameras are traditionally very easy to use, and the C180 has extremely basic controls. On the top plate it has the power, flash mode and shutter buttons, as well as a six-position mode dial, while on the back it has a row of four single-function buttons, the rocker-switch zoom control, a simple square D-pad for menu navigation, and Kodak’s usual “Share” button. With the exception of the flash mode button the controls are quite large and well labelled, and the mode dial and D-pad are big and clunky enough to operate while wearing gloves; the C180 would be a fairly good choice for anyone with limited manual dexterity.
Despite its low cost and unambitious specification the C180 is not completely devoid of features. Main shooting modes include the standard full-auto, a high-ISO setting to reduce camera shake, macro and sports modes, and a scene mode with 16 fairly predictable scene programs. Menu options include multi-pattern, centre-weighted or spot metering, multi-zone or centre-spot autofocus, face detection, adjustable sharpness and a short selection of colour options. It’s not a lot, but I’ve seen less offered for more money. There is also an on-screen quick menu, offering instant control over exposure compensation, self-timer setting and AF mode.
There are a couple of features in playback mode, including the Perfect Touch automatic retouching option, which tries to improve shadow detail, brighten colours and sharpen detail, but to be honest it’s not really very good. The camera has such limited dynamic range that any but the lightest enhancement just ends up introducing a lot of unwanted image noise.
Video shooting, as you might expect, is limited to 640 x 480 with mono audio, and the optical zoom cannot be used while recording.
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