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Kodak EasyShare V550 4 to 5 Megapixel

4 star rating
                      4 / 5 (5 Reviews)
MSRP : $399.00


  • Image Sensor TypeCCD
    Resolution5.36 Megapixel
    Optical Zoom3x
    Camera TypeCompact
    Interchangeable LensNot Interchangeable Lenses
    35mm Zoom Lens36 - 108 mm
    Digital Zoom4x
    Focus TypeAutofocus
    Focus Range24 in. to Infinity (w) / 396 in. to Infinity (t)
    Macro Focus Range2 - 28 in. (w) / 15.7 - 28 in. (t)
    Camera Resolution5.36 Megapixel
    Image Resolutions2304 x 1728 • 2048 x 1536 • 2576 x 1932 • 2576 x 1716
    Video Resolutions320 x 240 (QVGA) • 640 x 480 (VGA)
    Video Speed30 fps
    Max Movie LengthWithout Limit (Depends on the camera free memory size)
    Video FormatQuickTime • MPEG-4
    Aperture Rangef2.8/f4.8 (w/t)
    Shutter Speed8 - 1/1448 sec
    White BalanceAuto • Daylight / Sunny (Preset) • Cloudy (Preset) • Fluorescent (Preset) • Tungsten (Preset) • Shade (Preset)
    Frames Per Second3 Frames
    Memory TypeMMC Card • SD Card
    Built-in Memory Size32 MB
    Compression TypeJPEG • EXIF 2.2
    File Size (High Res.)5 MB (26 images on 128MB card)
    File Size (Low Res.)1.8 MB (about 71 images on 128MB card)
    ISO Speeds100 • 200 • 400 • 800 • 80
    Flash TypeBuilt-In
    Flash FunctionsFlash Off • Auto Flash • Fill-in Flash • Red-eye Reduction Flash
    ViewfinderWithout Viewfinder
    LCD PanelWith LCD Panel
    LCD Panel Size2.5 in.
    LCD Screen Resolution230,000 pixels
    LCD Protected PositionWithout LCD Protected Position
    Interface TypeUSB 2.0
    Video InterfaceVideo Out
    Battery TypeProprietary Lithium
    Battery Life120 Images
    Self Timer10 Sec.
    Built-in MicrophoneWith Built-in Microphone
    Built-in SpeakerWith Built-in Speaker
    Tripod MountWith Tripod Mount
    Operating SystemApple Mac OS X • Microsoft Windows 2000 • Microsoft Windows 98 • Microsoft Windows 98SE • Microsoft Windows ME • Microsoft Windows XP
    Width3.7 in.
    Depth0.9 in.
    Height2.2 in.
    Weight0.32 lb.
    Warranty1 Year
    Exterior ColorBlack • Silver
    Included AccessoriesSoftware • USB Cable • Video Cable • Bag • Cradle / Docking Station • Lithium Battery • Strap
    Release DateJune, 2005
    Product ID24883419

Product Description

  • 5.0 MP for prints up to 20 × 30 in. (50 × 75 cm)
  • 2.5 in. (6.4 cm) high-resolution display
  • 3X SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH C-VARIOGON Optical Zoom Lens
  • Advanced video features
  • KODAK EASYSHARE Photo Frame Dock 2 included
  • On-camera picture-enhancing features
  • by Loren Crannell

    The Kodak V550 is a 5-megapixel compact digital camera that offers superior high-resolution photo imaging and a 2.5-inch LCD screen in a stainless steel body. It's a beautiful camera that can easily fit in a shirt pocket and feels great in your hand. The Kodak V550 is available in two different colors for a retail price of $399.

    Price: $399 US

    Kodak EasyShare V550 Pros and Cons
      Pros
    • Lightweight and compact
    • Metal construction
    • A wide variety of scene modes
    • Anti-shake technology and warning system
    • Optical viewfinder
    • A very capable movie recorder with sound
      Cons
    • No manual controls
    • Spare battery not readily available
    • Buttons on camera a little stiff
    Kodak V550 Studio Test Images
    Kodak V550 Studio Samples ISO 80 Sample >>
    ISO 100 Sample >>
    ISO 200 Sample >>
    ISO 400 Sample >>
    ISO 800 Sample >>

    More Kodak EasyShare V550 Resources
    All Kodak EasyShare V550 Photos >>
    Owner-posted Kodak V550 reviews >>
    Write a Review >>
    Kodak Web site >>


    Kodak V550 - front and back
    Introduction
    I've had the opportunity to try out three different digital point-and-shoot (P&S) cameras in the past couple of months, the last one being the Kodak V550. Even though I love my digital SLR, I've had a lot of fun using these cameras. I was able to use the V550 on a paid wedding job and vacation with my niece and nephews in Lake Tahoe. The kids are getting older (and so am I), so having a light camera helped me keep up with them. I had fun letting some of the children at the wedding use the camera to take pictures. If a child can use the V550, prospective owners should have nothing to worry about.
    Kodak EasyShare V550 Design
    I was impressed the first time I looked at the V550. The primary shooting menus are on top of the camera, easy to find, but out of the way when one is shooting. When I picked up the camera, it felt solid and well balanced in my hands. The setting controls were on the back, and with a couple of clicks, I was able to change the white balance, the ISO, color mode, or even resolution. Even though there are no manual exposure settings, exposure can be changed by one-third stops by using the selector button and pressing left or right. Pressing up changes the information on the monitor, and pressing down changes between macro and landscape focusing points. Everything is well laid out and well thought out.

    The camera comes with a docking station that will allow it to communicate with a computer and printer. Unlike the previous camera that I reviewed, the camera battery can be recharged with the ac adapter directly, and the user doesn't have to pack the docking station along on trips.

    Kodak V550 - LCD Display
    Kodak EasyShare V550 recording display, with histogram on

    Kodak V550 - LCD Display
    Kodak EasyShare V550 playback display, with histogram
    Kodak V550 - LCD Display
    Kodak EasyShare V550 menu

    Kodak V550 - LCD Display
    Kodak EasyShare V550 Scene modes and picture-enhancing features menu
    Camera Experience
    Start-up on the V550 is incredibly fast. When the photographer hits the power button, the camera requires barely a second to turn on, extend the lens, and be ready to take a picture. Equally impressive is the lack of shutter lag. The zoom is easy to use, and I appreciate when a camera lets me know whether I am using optical or digital zoom. When the LCD information is on it shows the histogram, the resolution, and the flash. To be really useful it should show exposure information, too. But having a histogram display will help the photographer save some images that might otherwise be under or overexposed. The auto white balance is excellent and delivers consistent results in a wide variety of situations. When you carry this camera around you don't need to worry about changing the settings -On pure auto the V550 is great-the camera does the thinking for you.

    The V550's 3X Schneider-Kreuznach C-Variogon lens is superb and provides good contrast and sharpness. The 36-108mm optical zoom (35mm equivalent) provides a decent coverage, but having a wider lens would be really nice. Perhaps a future Kodak EasyShare digital camera will offer improvement in that regard. Although lacking a truly wide lens, having the camera start up at the widest focal length is great for capturing impromptu moments.

    Kodak V550 - Controls and Schneider-Kreuznach lens
    Left: Kodak EasyShare V550 top of the camera controls
    Right: 36-108mm Schneider-Kreuznach optical zoom (35mm equivalent)

    One of the best features of the Easyshare V550 are the 18 different scene modes. There were two settings that really popped out: the sports mode and the panning mode. These settings allow for motion blur while keeping the subject sharp. Most P&S digital cameras don't have this feature. Normally an SLR with rear curtain sync flash would be necessary to achieve the sharp subject with motion blur. To get this effect at the press of a button was impressive. Other scene modes included are: portrait, beach, twilight, day and night landscape, candlelight, macro, and indoor-party modes. The Kodak also has anti-shake technology that helps prevent blurry pictures, and when there is still too much vibration or the shutter speed is too slow, a red hand on the screen warns of camera shake.

    One of the EasyShare V550's coolest features has nothing to do with picture taking. It is the massive 2.5-inch LCD monitor on the back of the camera. From almost every angle, you and the people around you, can look at the pictures or movie clips. The LCD display color and sharpness are extremely good, especially a digital P&S camera. Many of the most expensive medium-format digital cameras back use Kodak technology for their displays and sensors. While I can neither confirm nor deny that the V550 LCD is the same, its performance makes a huge and very favorable impression.

    When it comes to usability, the Kodak V550 is even easy for a child to use. At the wedding I mentioned earlier, children from age three to age eight had a great time taking pictures and reviewing them on the camera's great LCD monitor. While it may be nice to have a lot of features and modes, it's also nice to have a camera that can operate as simple P&S. The kids loved taking pictures with the V550, and I loved watching the kids have fun and savor their successful photos.


    Fun V550 photo taken by a 8 year old
    Image Quality
    I was really impressed with the images that came from the Kodak V550. They showed little noise and great detail. Skin tones were very pleasing, with or without flash, and in varied lighting conditions. It's important that people don't look like characters from "Star Wars" when the pictures are downloaded from the camera. To get great images straight from the camera without any editing is one of the primary reasons to buy a P&S digital camera like the Kodak EasyShare V550. And with the V550, that's what you'll get.

    Landscape photos are my particular strength. And the V550 wowed me when I shot at Lake Tahoe. Even with bright sand and a cloudy blue sky the V550 properly exposed the scene on auto. No ISO setting, no white balance setting, nothing set by me - and yet the camera did an awesome job. I am also amazed at the V550's in-camera color processing. Each shot, straight from the camera, was ready to print.

    Kodak V550 Beach Portrait Kodak V550 Lake Tahoe Landscape Kodak V550 - Lake Tahoe Landscape
    Click on thumbnails to view sample photos.

    Kodak V550 Bike Path Landscape Kodak V550 Casual Portrait Kodak V550 Casual Portrait #2
    Click on thumbnails to view sample photos.
    Conclusion
    The Kodak EasyShare V550 is a great camera for all ages. It's built extremely well, and it has great set of features. Having a pocket-sized camera that delivers excellent results with no thinking on the part of the photographer is amazing. Having scene modes ready when an artistic moment arises is very convenient - although having manual exposure controls as well would be nice.

    There is nothing about this camera that takes away from the great images I got, and I return it with a bit of sadness. The Kodak V550 performed so well in so many different situations that it would be impossible not to be enthusiastic about it.

    Who Should Buy The Kodak EasyShare V550
    If you want an excellent P&S camera that can provide everyday pictures, this is it. This is a camera that I can recommend to almost anybody because of the weight, size, and image quality. Only if you want the control of a digital SLR would this camera not be right for you. It is a pure winner for most people, regardless of photographic skill.

    -end-

    Kodak EasyShare V550 box contents
    Contents of the Kodak EasyShare V550.

    • Kodak EasyShare V550 Digital Camera
    • Kodak Li-Ion Digital Camera Battery KLIC-7001
    • Kodak EasyShare Photo Frame Dock 2
    • USB and audio/video cables
    • Camera bag
    • Neckstrap
    • Kodak EasyShare Software
    • Getting Started Kit
    • 32 MB internal memory
    • Custom camera insert for optional Kodak EasyShare Camera and Printer Docks
    Other Resources:
    Kodak EasyShare V550 User Reviews >>
    Write a Kodak EasyShare V550 Review >>
    Kodak EasyShare V550 Sample Gallery >>
    Kodak Web site >>


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    Professional Reviews:
    Kodak EasyShare V550 Review at Imaging Resource


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    Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:3
    Value Rating:2
    Submitted by Charlie2 a Casual

    Date Reviewed: April 5, 2007

    Bottom Line:   
    Total loss at 19 months because of mechanical failure

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

    Type of photography:   Outdoor


    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Dave Kass a Expert

    Date Reviewed: August 22, 2006

    Strengths:    -NO RED EYE in photos of blue-eyed children, even without setting flash to red-eye reduction!
    -Big 2.5-inch LCD
    -Great edge-to-edge sharpness
    -Viewfinder for times when the sun washes out the LCD
    -Fast shot-to-shot times
    -TV-quality video mode
    -Easier to hold than Canon's micro-sized SD cameras; grippy surface without plastic/rubber appliques
    -Abundant shooting modes
    -EV adjustment easy to use
    -Low-light focus assist lamp.


    Weaknesses:    -The self-timer mode is only activated by a menu selection, no on-body button. Also, it needs to be re-set after each photo.
    -Optical viewfinder cuts of 15-20% of the total image
    -Smallish 4-way controller takes some getting used to; now it's easy, but not at first.


    Bottom Line:   
    Bought refurbished online. The camera has a big, terrific LCD and a tiny viewfinder -- I like having both options. Shot side-by-side with the Canon SD400 and the Kodak V550 had sharper edge-to-edge image quality, a bigger screen, better battery life, and cost less. Extra batteries are considerably cheaper than the Canon's, too.

    This 5-megapixel camera is my replacement for the Olympus Stylus 35mm film camera that lived in my briefcase for years: great image quality, easy to use, and TV-quality 30-FPS video.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

    Price Paid:    $229.00

    Purchased At:   Kodak.com online sto

    Similar Products Used:   Canon SD400
    Pentax Optio S40


    Type of photography:   People


    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by racermd a Casual

    Date Reviewed: March 18, 2006

    Strengths:    Small, portable, and (fairly) durable. Huge LCD. Internal memory. Comes with decent docking solution. Decent image quality for a 5MP P&S. Nearly instant shutter-button response.

    Weaknesses:    Huge LCD sucks batteries. Tiny buttons with little or no tactile feedback.

    Bottom Line:   
    Awesome point-and-shoot. It's definitely capable of taking good photos, but it seems that this camera is destined to be a companion at social events rather than at the top of a tripod outdoors or in the studio.

    The V550 is extremely portable, which means this is probably going to be used more often when photography *isn't* the purpose of an outing. It's small enough for a shirt pocket, but I wouldn't recommend putting it in a pants pocket. The camera is durable, but not enough to be sat on!

    The LCD is *HUGE* for a camera of this size. Over half of the rear of the camera is LCD. This is both good and bad. Good because you can actually see what you're shooting at (basically, the optical viewfinder is like a pinhole). Bad because such a large LCD will drain a battery charge much faster than a smaller one would.

    Which brings me to battery life - it's decent, but don't expect to go out and shoot all day on a single charge. You'll definitely need a portable charger or a second charged-up battery to swap in if you plan on taking lots of photos in a single outing. I've used the camera intermittently for about a week and it's needed charging at least twice since the first full charge.

    I was pleasantly surprised at the image quality. I'm used to shooting with my Canon 20D (a digital SLR camera), so I'm also used to getting high quality images when I shoot. My expectations were much lower with a point-and-shoot, but I guess they didn't need to be.

    As for operating the camera, everyone else that's reviewed this camera is correct - the buttons are *way* too small for full-sized adult fingers. While the size of the buttons make things difficult, it's not entirely impossible to get full use from the camera, either. I can deal with most of the difficulties of the small buttons (it is, after all, a rather small camera), but I just can't understand why some of the buttons have no tactile feedback whatsoever. The top-mounted buttons to select the shooting mode lie flat with the top edge of the camera and don't offer any sort of tactile feedback when pressed. If you're in the middle of composing a shot and press one of these buttons by accident, you'll be greeted by a change of display on the LCD and that's it. Until it's happened a few times, you'll likely be confused as to what happened. I guess the small buttons and controls just take some getting used to.

    The V550 takes SD cards for media, but it does have some built-in memory if the card you're using runs out of space. These areas are kept separate from one another, and there's a menu option to select between the two. Write speed to the SD card seems to be pretty quick, so I don't know if buying 'premium' cards will be worthwhile. I only had a single 128MB SD card from a few years ago to try out (all my other camera gear uses CompactFlash). The 'regular' SD card appears to be just as fast as the internal memory. Since this camera doesn't come with any SD cards to use, I suggest buying for capacity rather than write speed since that's where you'll probably notice the most difference.

    Zoom range is decent, but not exceptional, even for a point-and-shoot. However, auto-focus speed is F-A-S-T! It does get confused occasionally, but it's pretty easy to recompose and get that focus lock again without losing the shot.

    The response from the shutter button is nearly instantaneous. At the very least, it doesn't appear to have any perceptible lag.

    Some of the accessories that came in the box included a dock that both charges the camera as well as connects to the computer to offload the images. It's clear that some thought went into how the dock operates and is presented to the user. The camera slides into a shallow plastic tray that aligns the camera to the ports on the dock such that the LCD is facing the user and it's angled up at the user's face. This allows the camera's LCD to be used as a second display when the computer is powered up and as a sort of picture frame slide-show when the computer is off (using the images already stored in the camera). This eliminates the need to remove either the battery or the card from the camera. Now if I could just get my dSLR to do that...

    Who should buy this camera? Well, it's a pretty wide group, to be honest. Most likely, it will be those that just need a compact camera that can go anywhere with them. It makes an excellent camera to take to parties since it's small, fairly fast, and fairly durable. It might also make a good companion to some dSLR shooters that want something light and easy for either comp photos or if the dSLR rig will take too long to prep before a magic moment is lost. For now, that's how I'm using it, anyway. Something tells me that my wife will eventually take it as her primary camera, though...

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

    Purchased At:   Contest Winner

    Similar Products Used:   None - first compact digital P&S.

    Type of photography:   Other


    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by davemystery a Expert

    Date Reviewed: November 29, 2005

    Strengths:    The V550's big screen lets you compose pictures with ease, making the micro-sized optical viewfinder superfluous. Its focus-assist light works very well in low-light conditions. Images are sharp and contrasty. The video mode is surprisingly good. The camera, while all-metal and on the heavy side, still fits in your pocket easily.

    Oh, and the cool backlit blue buttons double as a recharge meter -- and a night light!


    Weaknesses:    - Battery life is kinda short, mostly due to the big LCD. Now you know why it has a viewfinder. Need to buy a second battery.
    - Four-way controller and its center nub are very small and easy to push in an unintended direction. Gets to be frustrating. Kodak should put a small button-poker on the camera strap.
    - Bad placement of the flash-mode button, right next to the power switch. I turned the camera off several times while intending to just click off the flash.
    - Self-timer button is on a menu, rather than a separate external button.
    - Reviewing pictures on the LCD shows less detail than what's actually in the pictures. Prints look way better than what that LCD screen shows.
    - If you like pressing lots of buttons, baby, this is your camera.


    Bottom Line:   
    Cool little camera that actually delivers better photos than shown on its big LCD screen. But the tiny buttons and 4-way controller are a pain for anyone with large (e.g., men's) fingers.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

    Price Paid:    $334.00

    Purchased At:   B&H Photo Video

    Similar Products Used:   Pentax Optio S50
    Kodak LS743


    Type of photography:   People


    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by funzie50 a Professional

    Date Reviewed: November 13, 2005

    Bottom Line:   
    A great consumer camera and a fun camera for the pro when you just want a pocket size camera for a quick snapshot. Easy to use good image quality. PHD button

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   21+ years

    Price Paid:    $325.00

    Purchased At:   on line

    Type of photography:   People



    Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


    New - Kodak EasyShare V550 Review

    Yesterday we posted a new pro review, by Loren Crannel, for the 5-megapixel Kodak EasyShare V550 compact digital camera. The V550 has an image stabilized 3x Schneider Kreuznach optical zoom, lots of useful scene modes, and a pocket-sized metal body. [url=http://www.photographyreview.com/proreview ... Read More »

    KODAK EASYSHARE V550 and V530 Digital Cameras - Press Release

    [CENTER][B]New KODAK EASYSHARE V-Series Digital Cameras Fuse Video and Still Photography; Sleek, Compact Models Smaller Than a Deck of Cards [/B] Kodak Pairs Style with Substance in KODAK EASYSHARE V550 and V530 Zoom Digital Cameras; Leave the Camcorder Behind with Built-In Video Capabilities [/ ... Read More »

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