Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 At just $79.99 (direct), the 12-megapixel Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 is about as inexpensive a digital camera as you can find. It comes inside a shrink-wrapped package, lending it the appearance of something you’d place next to the action figures or Skittles in a Target or Walmart. But it is a true digital camera—just not a very advanced one. It’s waterproof to 10 feet, dustproof, and generally well-guarded against the elements, and for the casual vacationer looking for the absolute simplest experience possible, it will deliver. It’s also a great camera for kids to play around with. But the Sport has a fixed focus (no zoom) for still shots, offers no image stabilization, and shoots only low-resolution video. Excellent photos and video from this camera will likely be an exception rather than the norm.
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Design
The EasyShare Sport comes in three colors—my test unit was what Kodak calls red, but it’s almost orange. (Your other options are gray or blue.) It’s fairly hefty for a pocket camera, the glossy plastic, chunky rectangle measures 2.6 by 3.6 by 1.2 inches (HWD), but does have a cute, sporty look. On the front of the camera are the lens, the flash and a slightly protruding grip with a rubber strip that makes the otherwise slippery camera a little easier to hold. On top are the Shutter, Power, Mode (for switching between still images and video) and flash toggle buttons. On the bottom is the compartment for the two standard AA batteries that power the camera, along with the SD card slot and the micro-USB port. That compartment is a bit difficult to access, but it keeps what’s inside dry.
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The back of the camera sports black, rubbery buttons for the Sport’s most common features. There are two zoom controls (though the camera only features digital zoom), Menu, Playback and Delete buttons, and a directional pad for navigating the camera’s menus. There’s also a big, red Share button, that you can use to earmark pictures and videos for sharing on various social networks—Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and more. When you connect the camera to your computer, it will automatically upload the photos and videos to their respective destinations. If you’ve got a Kodak Pulse ($129.95, 4 stars) picture frame, you can email photos directly to the frame as well.
The display on the back of the Sport is what you’d expect on an $80 camera. It’s a smallish 2.4-inch LCD, made up of 112,000 dots—it’s much lower-resolution than most pocket digital cameras, but most of those are at least $50 more expensive. The Kodak EasyShare Mini ($99.99, 3.5 stars), a better camera overall than the Sport, packs its LCD with a standard 230,000 dots. For basic purposes, though, like framing and reviewing your photos, the Sport’s low-res LCD gets the job done.
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Specifications
- Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Type
- Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Megapixels
- 12.1 MP
- Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Media Format
- Secure Digital High Capacity
- Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 LCD size
- 2.4 inches
- Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Video Resolution
The lens on this shooter isn’t its strong point. It’s a fixed-focus, 1.3 meters-infinity lens, so you’ll need subjects to be at least 4.2 feet away before they’ll be in focus. The lens also has no optical image stabilization, which means that in any situation with sub-optimal lighting, you’ll either need a tripod, the flash, or a taste for very blurry photos. The slightest motion, on either your part or your subject’s, leaves considerable blur in your photos. As long as light is good, it’s not really a problem, but in anything other than broad daylight getting sharp images is a challenge.
The user interface, as with all of Kodak’s EasyShare models, is extremely simple. There are two menus: one is called Capture and contains a few settings for your shots, and the other is called Setup and allows you to adjust variables like date, time, and sharing settings. There’s very little manual control on the Sport, but adjusting ISO and shutter speed seems a bit excessive on a camera with a fixed-focus lens. There are a number of scene modes you can use for shooting portraits or twilight moments, but that’s about as granular as it gets.
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Performance
My first test of the EasyShare Sport was to determine its ruggedness. I tossed it around my desk, dunked it in a cup of water, and beat it up in various other ways. Through it all, the Sport kept right on shooting. This camera should serve you well in the pool, at the beach, or in unreliable hands.
The Sport is surprisingly fast for such an inexpensive camera: it can turn on and capture a shot in 1.95 seconds, and the time between shots averaged 1.90 seconds. Both of those numbers are accelerated by the fact that there’s no autofocus, so the only thing the Sport has to do is open and close the shutter. Of course, half the photos I took during the speed test were out of focus and blurry thanks to the lack of autofocus and image stabilization. It’s much slower at things like scrolling through menus—there was a definite beat between me pressing the button and the cursor moving—especially when playing back images, which frequently took several seconds to load when I pressed the Play button.
Running the EasyShare Sport through our usual gamut of Imatest trials seems unnecessary, as it’s clearly not a camera for someone who cares about performance numbers. Really, there are three factors that will affect your images on this camera. If the light is good, your images will likely be good too. If your subject is far away, it will probably look okay, but remember, there’s no optical zoom, so we’re not talking really far—anything closer than four or five feet is going to be blurry. With the Sport, the flash is your friend. Photos won’t have the natural look comes with naturally lit photos, but using the flash is the only way to get usable pictures in imperfect lighting.
Video recording is lackluster:The EasyShare Sport shoots only VGA-resolution (640-by-480) video, which won’t exactly wow you. The camera can autofocus during video recording, but only when it has detected faces and is following them around. Videos are recorded as .MPG files, which can be natively uploaded to most social networking sites.
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 For $80, the Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 is a fine camera, and I can see the purpose it serves: it’s fun for the kids to take in the pool, or on a beach vacation. Compared with other compact digital cameras, it doesn’t come close to measuring up, but it doesn’t have to. If you want a more-well-rounded waterproof camera, try the admittedly more-expensive Kodak Playsport Zx5($179.99, 4 stars) or the Canon PowerShot D10 ($329.99, 4 stars). If you’re on a strict budget, though, and you just want a camera to goof around with on vacation, it’ll serve you fine.\