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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak V803

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Kodak EasyShare V803 Review

Review Date: Mar 5, 2007

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Kodak EasyShare V803 is available in 8 colours


The Kodak EasyShare V803 is an ultra compact digital camera that you can easily carry in your pocket or fashion purse. It has 8.0MP resolution, a 3x optical zoom (36-108mm, 35mm equivalent), and its design is elegantly simple.

Kodak wants you to make the EasyShare V803 personal: it is available in 8 different colours of your choice (Midnight Black, Silver Essence, Pink Bliss, White Glaze, Red Shimmer, Cosmic Blue, Mystic Purple, and Golden Dream) in the US and 9 (instead of Midnight Black, it's Java Black and the 9th is Slate Gray) in Canada -- and, if this is not enough, you can even purchase skins that fit over the camera to further personalize it to your individual personality, taste or mood.

Carrying it in a soft case is so passé, so Kodak also makes available for purchase small fashion bags that will protect your new digital camera and allow you to carry it in style. Other coordinated fashion items include backpacks, totes, neck and wrist straps, and wristlets. All of these fashion items are, of course, optional and have to be purchased separately.

No matter what colour you choose, the Kodak V803 will have nice silver and chrome accents. The body is finished nicely and, as is the case for most other compact digital cameras, the finish is easily scratched, so don't store keys in the same pocket or purse you put the camera in. There is no handgrip but the Kodak logo is slightly raised with a hatched texture and that seems to serve the purpose as a minimalist grip nicely. Using the wriststrap is highly recommended.

The optical zoom lens is flush with the body when closed but extends approx. 2.8 cm (1.06 in.) when powered on.

As is now the case with all Kodal digital cameras (and that we wished other camera manufacturers would follow), Kodak wisely engraves the 35mm equivalent focal lengths on the "lens barrel" and the black on silver engraving looks very professional.

Startup time is at just slightly less than 2 sec. (1 sec. for lens to fully extend and another sec. for the image to appear on the LCD). Shot to shot time is billed to be less than 1.2 sec. but in practical terms it is more about 2.5 sec. (I took 23 shots in approx. 60 sec.). Burst mode takes 4 images in sequence in about 4 sec. (i.e. 1fps). The long shot to shot time is due to the autofocus which is not particularly fast and takes approx. 1 sec. to lock (more depending on subject and light level). So, pre-focusing is recommended to eliminate shutter lag. The Kodak V803 uses the Secure Digital (SD) memory card.

- Colours: 8 (or 9) different colours with silver and chrome accents
- Looks: elegantly simple
- Kodak logo serves a minimalist grip
- Controls are on the small side but click precisely
- Ultra Compact: fits in a pocket or small fashion purse
- Dimensions: 103W × 54.5H × 25D mm / 4.1W × 2.1H × 1.0D in.
- Weight: 141.5 g / 5.0 oz (without batteries and memory card)
- Takes 1 Li-Ion rechargeable battery KLIC-7003
- Startup with LCD turning on (and lens extension) in about < 2 sec.
- Shot to shot time about 1 - 2.5 sec.
- No practical shutter lag if pre-focus (AF lag about 1 sec.)

Included in the box is a rechargeable Li-ion battery and an AC Adapter that plugs directly into the camera to recharge the battery in approx. 2 hours. You can also purchase the optional Kodak EasyShare Photo Frame Dock 2 or the Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock for easy recharging and transfer of images from camera to PC.


There is no Mode Dial but a series of thin rectangular buttons on the top and thin rectangular buttons on the back of the camera give access to the various modes. On the top of the camera is the Shutter Release button, Power ON/OFF button, AUTO/SCN button, Movie button, and Favorites button.

On the back of the camera are the Flash, Delete, Menu, Review, and Share buttons on the left side of the LCD, and the Zoom Lever and mini Joystick ("4 Way Controller") on the right of the LCD. Besides Flash and Macro/Infinity, all other functions are accessed through the Menu button.

The mini Joystick LEFT and RIGHT positions are defaulted to Exposure Compensation. I personally love this default implementation though you should be careful that you do not inadvertently dial in an exposure compensation and end up with lots of under- or over-exposed pictures.

Kodak should be commended that even on a point and shoot digital camera, it includes a Live Histogram and a useful Framing Grid.

Overall, I had no problems using the tiny control buttons; their size seem more to be geared for, if I dare say, delicate feminine touch and handling. Recommend that you try them out for yourself.

You can record movies with sound (continuous based on memory capacity) at either 640 x 480 or 320x240 pixels at 30fps. You can use optical zoom during movie recording though the zooming noise will also be recorded. You can set focus to be Continuous AF or Single AF, as well as turn Image Stabilizer ON (available for movie recording only). The camera's microphone seems to be very [too?] sensitive and I could even hear the noise made by the Continuous AF.

Video Storage Capacity
Video Size
Internal Memory

Kodak EasyShare V803 Back View

FUNCTIONS ACCESSIBLE BY CONTROL BUTTONS (clockwise starting from the Zoom Lever)
- Zoom Lever: The Zoom Lever toggles right and left. It takes about 2 sec to zoom from wide to tele. I counted 6 steps you can stop at.
- Mini Joystick (4 Way Arrows):
= UP steps thru different Display modes: Info On, Off, ON plus Framing Grid, ON plus Framing Grid plus Histogram (LCD display resets to Info On at startup)
= DOWN steps thru Normal, Macro, Infinity
= LEFT and RIGHT default to Exposure Compensation
- SHARE: Print, Email, Favorites, Print All, Cancel Prints
- REVIEW: with 8x Zoom. View By, Album, PERFECT TOUCH Tech., Crop, Slide Show, Multi-Up, Copy, Protect, Image Storage. Touch shutter release button to immediately return to Shooting mode.
- DELETE: Picture, All
- FLASH: Off, On, Auto Red-Eye Reduction, Auto

Push the mini Joystick DOWN to select MACRO.


Push the mini Joystick DOWN again to select LANDSCAPE (INFINITY); useful when shooting thru windows, and for far-away scenes [not specified, but probably 32.8 ft (10 m)-infinity]

- The camera takes up to 4 pictures as long as the shutter release button is depressed. Recording ceases when the shutter button is released or the memory card is full. The 4 shots are taken in about 4 sec. in 8.0MP image size for a brightly lit subject (you may get faster or slower times depending on the speed of your SD Card). Of course, if it's quite dark, you will get much slower frame rate. Flash is disabled during Burst.
- The Burst mode is turned OFF when the camera is turned off and on again.
- Self-timer is 2 sec., 10 sec. or 2-Shot. It is set thru the MENU. Self-timer turns OFF after the picture is taken.
- The 2-Shot self-timer option takes one shot after 10 sec. and then a 2nd shot 8 sec. later. I would think the 2nd shot should have been taken after a shorter interval, say 2 sec., since it is right after the 1st shot is taken when everyone usually relaxes and starts smiling.
- Exposure Compensation is always ON and dialed in by pushing the mini Joystick LEFT or RIGHT.
- Once set, the Exposure Compensation Indicator conveniently stays displayed on screen until it is reset to "0"
- Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (13 steps in 1/3 EV increments)
- The screen brightness will increase or decrease to reflect the value you use
- Note: the exposure compensation value selected is conveniently reset when the camera is turned off and on again.
- A Histogram is available and can be displayed either in Playback or live in Shooting mode by pushing the mini Joystick UP repeatedly until the Histogram displays.
- The camera does not save your preferred display setting, and the LCD display defaults back to Info ON when the camera is turned off and on again.
- Shutter speeds from 0.5 to 8 sec. can be manually set thru the MENU
- When using LT, ISO cannot be set and defaults to Auto.

The Battery / SD card Compartment is at the bottom of the camera and there is an inside mechanism to keep the battery from accidentally falling out. You won't be able to change battery or card when the camera is on a tripod. There is also a Dock socket if you choose to purchase the optional Photo Frame Dock 2 or Printer Dock.

LCD & Menus

There is no optical viewfinder but a large 2.5 in. LCD monitor with 150,000 pixels resolution. The LCD has a fast refresh rate for a smooth display in good light and low light. The LCD monitor's brightness can be adjusted in SETUP (Power Save and High Power), is very clear and automatically gains up very well in low-light (just slightly grainy) and well in extreme low-light (grainy). Kodak LCDs remain among the very best we've used so far with the best low-light performance and a wide viewing angle.

There is an AF-assist light (the lamp beside the lense) and it is quite effective in low-light.

New is a Maintain Settings option. You can select to maintain the settings for Flash, White Balance, ISO Speed and a few others (see the screen shots below) so that they are retained when you power off the camera. Next time you power on the camera, these settings are restored. You can still use the Custom scene mode to save your favourite settings.

The Kodak EasyShare V803 is an easy-to-use point-and-shoot digital camera for those who want to be able to customize its looks. It handles well and is compact enough to carry anywhere. Beginner photographers will love the push button simplicity, while advanced photographers will appreciate the availability of live histogram, framing guide, infinity focus, and direct access to exposure compensation.

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