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Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak V550
Kodak V550 Zoom Review
Date: Aug 15, 2005
The Kodak EasyShare V550 Zoom is a digital
camera strictly targeted to Point-and-Shoot (P&S)
photographers. It has 5.0 megapixel resolution
and a Schneider-Kreuznach C-Variogon 36-108mm
(35 mm equivalent) 3x optical zoom lens, with
a maximum aperture of F2.8(W)-F4.8(T).
The Kodak V550 produces images that are sharp
and rich in colours straight out of the camera.
If you do not want to post-process any images
in an image editing software, then you will like
the images that come out already sharpened and
saturated in colours.
In the above pictures, we show the coverage for
6mm (36mm), and 18mm (108mm).
|36mm, Auto, Multi-Pattern,
1/20 sec., F2.8, ISO 80
Macro, Tripod used
The Kodak V550 can focus as close as 5cm at wide-angle
and 40cm at full telephoto.
||WB = Tungsten
As the above two pictures show, the auto white
balance (AWB) indoors under tungsten artificial
light gives a slight pinkish hue; dialing in Tungsten
WB corrects the colours really well. AWB works
very well in natural light.
||ISO 800 (1.8 MP)
The Kodak V550 has 5 ISO settings going from
ISO 80 to ISO 800. The 100%
crops above (area delimited by the white square)
demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds
of 80, 100, 200, 400 and 800. At ISO 80 and ISO
100, noise is quite clean and under control. At
higher ISOs up to 400, noise is visible, but the
images are still very usable. At ISO 800, noise
is quite visible as blotches of colour and the
resolution is fixed to 1.8MP.
Interestingly, though the Kodak V550 defaults
to ISO Auto mode everytime you switch it on, it
smartly also defaults to ISO 80 as long as there
is enough light to correctly expose the picture.
Many of the photos in the gallery were taken in
ISO Auto mode which the camera defaulted to ISO
We were not able to find much CA in everyday
shots. A rare example is the picture above where
the corner delimited by the red square at top
right, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right,
shows minimal purple fringing.
|70mm, Auto, Multi-Pattern,
8 sec., F3.8, ISO 80
Tungsten, Self-timer, Tripod Used
The Kodak V550 allows the use of a long shutter
speed of up to 8 sec., therefore allowing night
photography. Note that with Long Exposure set
ON, ISO is defaulted to 80. Generally, with CCD
image sensors, noise usually becomes more prominent
at slow shutter speeds.
I place Bamm-Bamm under my table in the shadows.
Since the camera selects the ISO automatically,
I choose 8 sec. and let the camera adjust the
aperture (f/3.8) and ISO (80) for correct exposure.
I use the 10 sec. self-timer to negate camera
Though the Kodak V550 is meant for P&S shooting,
advanced photographers can use the exposure compensation
to influence the exposure and use the Long Exposure
setting to access shutter speeds from 0.5 to 8
Overall, the Kodak V550 is capable of producing
good to very good image quality for its category
and the images are sharp enough right out of the
camera, with rich and appealing colours. The only
area needing improvement is that highlights tend
to be easily blown.
The pictures in the Kodak EasyShare V550 Zoom
Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of
what the camera is capable of. I have provided
samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality
60/100 in Photoshop Elements) as well as the 5MP
2576 × 1932 pixels original size. Click
on the image for the original version.
You can safely assume that most macro shots
and slow shutter speed shots required the use
of a tripod. Any image that is adjusted for levels
in Photoshop has "_adjusted" appended
to the file name (though the original sized image
is, of course, not adjusted). The navigation images
at the top are usually adjusted (levels and sharpening).
I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels.
For those who have their monitor resolution set
to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit
and you should not have to scroll to see the whole
image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels
resolution, start the slide show and then scroll
to the right to position the image within your
screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using
Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode,
and the image should fill your screen nicely.
Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor
display back to normal mode.
To return to this page from the Photo Gallery,
click on the animated graphics of the camera.
Please open and download the original size version
only if you need to and only once
to your hard drive -- and save me some precious