Kodak EasyShare M340 digital camera
A 10.2-megapixel Kodak digital camera that won't break the bank
- Good value for money, improved menu interface, attractive design
- Annoying mode dial, not much improvement over the Kodak EasyShare M320
The Kodak EasyShare M340 is a cheap and reliable compact digital camera that takes decent photos for the asking price. It may not wow in any one area, but nor does it disappoint. Worth the pennies.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
The Kodak EasyShare M340 is a 10.2-megapixel point-and-shoot digital camera equipped with a 3x optical zoom lens (and a 5x digital zoom). It’s the kind of camera that’s easy to overlook on a store shelf, with no all-new features or quirky gimmicks to set it apart from the crowd. Nevertheless, if you want a fuss-free compact camera for simple photography, you could do a lot worse than the EasyShare M340. Like its entry-level stable mate — the Kodak EasyShare M320 — it offers solid imaging performance for the asking price; and little more besides.
At first glance, the Kodak EasyShare M340 is hard to distinguish from the EasyShare M320. Both cameras sport a 3x optical zoom lens and a 2.7in LCD screen, along with most of the same modes and features (including 17 scene modes and the much coveted face detection). What sets the M340 apart is its higher effective pixel count, which has leapt from 9.2 megapixels to 1020k. It also benefits from "Smart Capture"; an automatic scene selector that its cheaper sibling lacks.
The end result is a slightly better camera for slightly higher premium ($50 to be exact). While it would’ve been nice to see a few extra features or an enlarged screen thrown in, we think it delivers a reasonable set of improvements for the asking price.
The Kodak EasyShare M340 has typical styling for a compact camera. It’s a bit smaller than the EasyShare M320 (95.5x58.5x19.2 mm vs. 97.2x59.7x21mm), but significantly larger than most premium ultra-compact models, such as the Sony DSC-T90. That said, it should still fit comfortably into most purses and jacket pockets — something that cannot be said of every sub-$250 camera on the market.
We were impressed by its tasteful button layout, with the playback, menu and delete buttons hidden along the LCD’s lip. For the asking price, it really is an attractive little unit, even if it takes more than a glance to notice. The Kodak EasyShare M340 comes in a choice of two colours — red or silver — with additional finishes available overseas via eBay.
When it came to image quality, the Kodak EasyShare M340 gave a similar performance to the EasyShare M320. The M340’s colour reproduction was slightly superior, though this was really only noticeable in a side-by-side comparison. We also noticed fewer digital artefacts in our shots, but again, the difference was hardly earth-shattering. Its noise performance was also similar, with graininess affecting image detail at ISO 800 and above. In short, the M340’s extra megapixel seems to be more of a marketing incentive than a real-world one. However, it's still capable of taking good-looking photos that are suitable for medium-sized prints. The 35-105 mm lens (35mm equivalent) isn’t perfect for wide-angle photography, but this is a fault most entry-level compact cameras share.
Despite having the same basic feature set as the M320, the EasyShare M340 benefits from an improved user interface. In addition to being easier to read, the menu offers two modes of navigation: you can either click on a menu heading to bring up a separate submenu, or scroll through the available options using the left and right buttons. This helps to make the interface a lot more intuitive and user-friendly; it feels like the menu is catering to your whims, instead of the other way around. The M320’s horrific mode dial has also been improved. While it still cannot be rotated 320 degrees, the ridges are more deeply etched this time around, which makes it easier to turn.
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