The panorama layout of its 109 by 30 by 48mm all-metal body lets the 184g Kodak EasyShare LS743 slip easily into the narrowest of pockets, but its wide shape and the placement of the shutter release and zoom controls make it awkward to use this camera one-handed. For best balance, brace the left side of the LS743 with one hand, place your right index finger over the top on to the shutter release, and let your right thumb find the zoom toggle on the back panel. Those with large hands may find the grip awkward.
Top-mounted controls include a power-on button illuminated by a blue LED that's bright enough to read by, and a flash-mode key. There is also a rotating wheel that cycles through the main camera modes, which are displayed on the back panel. When the icon for the mode you want (Auto, Portrait, Close-Up, Scenes, Video, or Favorite Review) is illuminated, you press the jog wheel to activate it. Selecting Scenes produces an LCD menu of choices such as Night or Sport. Because the mode indicators are each illuminated by a flashing red LED and described on the LCD, it's easy to choose these settings under the dimmest ambient illumination.
The back panel is clean and well laid out. The 46mm (1.8-inch) LCD is centred and flanked on the left by Delete, Menu, Review, and Share buttons and on the right by a four-way controller pad that rocks up, down, left, and right to navigate menus or controls and is pressed to activate a selection. The zoom toggle is concentric with the four-way button.
Shooting options other than flash mode require a trip to the well-designed menu system, where you can make adjustments to exposure compensation, white balance, ISO setting, focus zone, and metering mode. You'll also find the burst mode and self-timer there. Unfortunately, most settings other than picture quality return to their defaults once you turn off the camera. A second menu layer invokes a setup menu for more permanent settings, such as picture review, sound volume, and date stamps.