The Kodak EasyShare Sport C123’s general performance ranged from incredibly average to poor, with the photo quality one would expect from an $80 rugged camera. Pictures were never particularly vibrant or stunning, and I found I had difficulty capturing sharply focused images with the point and shoot. Also, the exceptionally poor battery life of the device meant that when I went out on an excursion, I would not find myself shooting for very long.
The underwater capability of the camera, as far as I was able to test it, was novel but limited.
The C123 did a generally poor job capturing crisply-focused images. I’m an impatient photographer (I use the term loosely), and considering that the C123 is meant to be an on the fly rugged camera, it felt like it lacked the capacity to come out of a pocket and quickly snag a shot.
The EasyShare Sport didn’t score well in our lab timing tests either. With its fixed focus lens, there’s no way to focus with a half-press of the shutter – it’s all or nothing. Consequently, we don’t have a lab score for shutter lag. Several sample images came out exceptionally blurry, including the two below.
AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)
|Pentax Optio WG-1 GPS||0.21|
|Kodak EasyShare Sport||0.30|
|Canon PowerShot A3300 IS||0.39|
|Olympus Stylus Tough 3000||0.86|
|Kodak EasyShare Sport||3||1.8 fps|
|Pentax Optio WG-1 GPS||12||0.8 fps|
|Canon PowerShot A3300 IS||∞||0.7 fps|
|Olympus Stylus Tough 3000||∞||0.4 fps|
*Note: Continuous shooting framerates are based on the camera’s fastest full-resolution JPEG continuous shooting mode, using the fastest media type available (300x CF, SDHC, etc.). “Frames” notes the number of captures recorded per burst before the camera stops/slows to clear the buffer.
After capturing an image the EasyShare Sport takes upwards of five seconds before it is ready to take another picture. The EasyShare Sport did come out on top of our sample group in terms of burst shooting rate, though it may be useful to note that it records only three frames in continuous shooting mode. Images may come out blurry unless you can keep the camera very still in burst mode.
The batteries did not last through the two weeks I’ve had the camera, over which time I only had two really extensive bouts of shooting. I’m currently on my second set of AAs, and the C123 might be the most battery hungry device of any type I have ever used. I did make several videos using the C123, but they were all relatively short, and do not exempt the camera from what is still very poor battery performance. Also, the LCD screen dims after just a few seconds of being on, a bothersome shooting feature considering the screen is difficult to see to begin with, and somehow despite this feature the battery life is still so horrendous.
The entire shooting experience with the Sport is underwhelming, to say the least.
The EasyShare Sport features a fixed focus Kodak lens, waterproof to 3.0 meters with 5x digital zoom. The digital zoom is functional, but nothing to write home about. For the majority of images and videos I had the lens immersed in some body of water, as it is really the only unique or notable feature it can claim.
Using the Sport underwater led to mixed results. On a bright and sunny day the camera performed respectably. However under less ideal conditions, underwater shots became nearly impossible. All shots, underwater or not, were lacking in low-light conditions.
Any subject too close to the lens of the C123 would be out of focus; the C123 lack any type of macro function. My experience with the camera’s lens was ultimately not a positive one. For a starter camera, it really did not do much to aid the budding rugged photographer, and felt like one of the cheapest parts of the camera.