Kodak’s industrial designers were obviously told to go mad with the EasyShare V1273. This metal bodied, curvaceous vision in black or gunmetal grey is one of the best looking cameras we’ve seen this year.

Internally, the specification keeps our impress-o-meter peaking too with 12megapixel still resolution and high-definition 720p video recording the show-stopping highlights.

And then there’s the space-hogging 3in touch-screen display. Apart from three small buttons, the zoom toggle and the shutter release, all the options and settings are accessed on here, so it had better be good.

Menu system disappoints

Unfortunately, that’s where the V1273’s biggest problem lies. The menu system itself isn’t terrible, and should be familiar to people with Kodak previous. It’s just that the screen itself is too unresponsive and slow, especially when compared to the likes of Sony’s DSC-T2.

For example: to access the flash options you have to press a specific part of the screen to get a second layer of options, and then choose your flash settings from there. It sounds simple, but you’ll probably press the larger ‘mode’ setting zone at least once, and then have to press the flash twice for it to recognise the change, by which time your subject has probably swanned off to the bar to get another drink in.

Point and shoot wins favour

Still, the Kodak V1273’s point and shoot mode, the ‘smart’ setting, is bright enough that many casual punters won’t even see a problem here. It works out what you are taking an image of – a landscape, a face, or something close up - and adjusts the settings accordingly. And it does this pretty well most of the time, letting you concentrate on framing your shots rather than having to worry about the intricacies of white balance and ISO settings.

While this goes some way towards countering our menu moans, a good quality digital camera needs to be much more than just a point and shoot idiot box, and accessing the V1273’s manual options can be frustrating. All of this is a shame, because the pictures that this camera is capable of are at times very impressive, and at its worst above average.

Plenty of colour

The colour palate of shots is attractively bright and vibrant, but not overly so, and even when blown up the pictures are free of the unsightly noise that can effect some high-megapixel compacts. There’s not the pin sharpness that’s available on the very best cameras such as Canon’s Ixus 85 IS, but it’s not overly smooth either.

And then there’s the HD video, which turns out to be not only a fun extra, but a useful tool. When the brilliantly detailed and jerk-free videos recorded on V1273 are displayed on a 32inch LCD the benefits of HD are obvious. 


Stuff says... 

Kodak EasyShare V1273 review

A well-built and stylish compact. Only a sluggish menu system lets it down