Kodak EasyShare M1093 IS
Great specs slightly hampered by a budget sensor.
- Good zoom, fast burst photo speed
- Image stabilisation is poor, zoom is jumpy, poor high ISO performance
The M1093 IS has good credentials and a decent lens, but a budget image sensor means that photographs are less than impressive in some situations.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
On paper, the M1093 IS has plenty of good features. It has a 10-megapixel sensor, optical image stabilisation and a host of manual shooting features.
It is not perfect, though — it struggles with macro photography and low-light conditions. The powerful flash helps out in these situations, but we would have liked better non-flash performance, especially given the fantastic low-light ability of the Canon PowerShot G10.
The optical image stabilisation was a bit of a letdown. Its performance was acceptable when using higher shutter speeds, but on longer exposures it was not able to keep the lens steady successfully. This led to significant blurring of fine textures and detail.
The lens itself is one of the camera’s good features. A 3x zoom with a 35mm film equivalent range of 35-105mm is not particularly versatile, but the quality of the lens itself is good. We only noticed a small amount of barrel distortion at full zoom levels, which meant straight lines throughout the zoom range generally remained accurate and un-curved.
The camera offers an ISO range from 64 to a frankly ridiculous 6400. We found the lower ranges generally usable — up to 400 — but anything higher introduced significant grain into images. ISO 1600 upwards was pretty much unusable — but it might be useful if you go hunting UFOs at night. The camera does not allow ISO 6400 to be selected unless the picture size is no larger than 3.1 megapixels and the end result is not pretty: a low resolution photo with an incredible amount of blur and noise.
Even for a compact digital camera, the M1093 IS is not particularly small. A depth of 22mm, height of 59mm and width of 95mm means it can be stashed in a pocket on a whim but it is larger than our benchmark Canon Digital IXUS 75. The body is made of sturdy, hard-wearing plastic but it feels cheap and hollow.
Images had good resolution and detail but were hampered by excessive softness and high levels of chromatic aberration. In our outdoor shots there was noticeable purple fringing when photos were examined closely and a very minor amount of softening towards the extreme corners of the frame.
Thankfully, colour reproduction was excellent. All hues were accurate and vibrant, although slightly over-saturated by default.
The camera’s speed ranged from good to average. The start-up time was great at 1.1 seconds, and capturing a photo added half a second to that time. Shutter lag times were average at 0.1 seconds, while shot-to-shot lag was 1.7 seconds. The camera’s buffer quickly fills up, so a maximum of only three shots can be taken continuously — at a gap of 0.5 seconds between shots in the dedicated continuous mode.
It has the standard range of compact camera features, with a multitude of options ranging from panorama stitching to a discreet museum setting. Smart Capture mode has face detection included for the novice photographer.
All up, the EasyShare M1093 IS is a decent camera. The photographs that it takes will please amateurs, but if you want better performance look for a camera with a better image sensor.
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