Review: Kodak EasyShare-OneReview: Kodak EasyShare-One
Kodak's new $599 Wi-Fi enabled digital camera is a cool and, for now, unique gadget, but a mixed bag in the usability, picture quality and networking departments. Don’t buy this camera for its photographic features. A similarly priced camera from other major maker might have image stabilization, much higher optical zoom, and a higher pixel count.
October 13, 2005
The EasyShare-One can either upload or e-mail photos. Upload is straightforward: with the Wi-Fi connection active, select an album or an individual photo, click the Share button on the camera’s upper-right back, and click Upload. The process is automatic, quick, and blessedly simple.
E-mailing photos is slightly trickier. It’s not actually e-mailing the photo, but rather first uploading it to the Gallery, then sending an e-mail to your recipient with referenced images. (You can choose to “e-mail” attachments via the Mac and Windows software.) Transferring photos to computers on a local network is slightly more problematic. The software must be located on the same subnet as the camera’s network connection, which is not an issue for any home network. However, initially I could not consistently get the camera to recognize and transfer photos successfully. Even on a successful transfer, the camera would freeze requiring a reboot. (The reboot is trivial: hold down the power key for a normal power down and then power it back up.) After working with the software for a while, it seemed to settle down: the same behavior worked consistently and the camera no longer crashed. It’s also possible to use USB and avoid Wi-Fi for local transfers entirely, but that takes some of the fun out of the equation. (The USB connection is used for either Video Out or USB using different adapters.) E-mail addresses can be entered in Mac or Windows software or imported from existing address books and then synchronized with the camera. This is easiest via USB, frankly. Otherwise, addresses have to be entered through the touch-screen keypad on the LCD, which is a little tedious. The glaring omission in this otherwise very interesting 1.0 product is any method to transfer photos that doesn’t involve proprietary methods. A simple embedded SFTP (Secure FTP) client hidden under an advanced options menu would have made this a possible choice for some photographers and some applications. The lock-in is pointless. The good news is that virtually all the omissions, flaws, and choices that Kodak has made are in software and firmware. Kodak hasn’t evolved into a digital powerhouse by ignoring user feedback and sales figures, and it’s likely that beyond WPA and 802.1X support that future updates will resolve irritations and missing features. The camera’s product manager confirmed in an interview that they view the camera as a product ready for market, but that they plan upgrades based on feature requests. I can’t recommend this camera wholeheartedly without WPA support, but I do recommend that anyone who wants a Wi-Fi camera watch Kodak’s site for its upgrades. This 1.0 product could mature into a superb 1.1 without a hardware swap out.
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