The maximum ISO sensitivity setting is ISO 1,250, but it's not worth using because of the noise problem. Images aren't bad at lower ISO levels, but if you're the sort of photographer who knows what ISO is and how to change it, the M853 probably isn't for you anyway.
Burst mode is another disappointment. Annoyingly, the screen goes black when you hit the shutter, so maintaining your composition when tracking movement is impossible. Still, it only takes two or three pictures at once so you don't have time for the composition to change much. Even then it still takes two or three seconds to process the images, complete with blue screen and processing logo.
On the plus side, battery life was good, with the rechargeable lithium-ion battery surviving our hundreds of lab testing photos. That said, there's no onscreen battery indicator, so we don't know just how much juice we used.
The Kodak M853 is simple and affordable, and takes pictures. There isn't much else to say about it. While we recognise the value of budget compacts, it's hard to like a camera this undistinguished. The Nikon Coolpix L11 packs features such as face detection into a similar price point, while an extra £50 outlay will buy the far superior Fujifilm FinePix F40fd.
Lacklustre speed, terrible low-light performance and a lack of features far outweigh the simplicity and user-friendliness of the M853, making it a frustration to use.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Nick Hide