The Kodak Easyshare V803 is a compact, stylish, easy-to-use, and very pocketable AE (programmed auto exposure) 8 megapixel point and shoot digital camera. The V803 is available in a rainbow array (pink bliss, red shimmer, cosmic blue, mystic purple, golden dream, white glaze, silver essence, slate gray and java black) of 'hot' colors. If all that isn't enough, the V803 also features a 2.5-inch LCD, a 3X (36mm-108mm equivalent) Kodak Retinar optical zoom, 22 scene modes, a unique in-camera panorama stitching function, an ISO sensitivity range that goes to 1600, a 30-fps VGA movie mode, 32MB of on-board image storage, and a nice selection of trendy accessories. The V803 is targeted at snap-shooters, casual photographers, stylistas, geeksters, and gadgeteers. The V803 is competitively priced, at just under two hundred bucks.
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The V803 is menu driven - dedicated controls are un-intuitively placed across the top of the camera and along the left side of the camera's rear deck. The V803's auto focus isn't always accurate - it sometimes fails to lock on the subject, plus this camera is noticeably slower than average, across the board. Images (when they're in focus) are bright and sharp with bold and noticeably oversaturated colors. The delete function is (like the V603 I tested last year) a bit wonky - it doesn't always delete the image you want it to delete (it sometimes skips back to the first image on the card) and the delete OK/cancel screen completely covers up the image that is going to be deleted, making it easy to delete an image you wanted to keep. The V803 is easily the most frustrating digital camera I’ve ever used, but it may be an OK choice for those to whom style and compact size are more important than results.
Want to find out why I can't recommend the V803? Check back in a few days for our full review.
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