With its ice-blue indicator lights and included flying-saucer-shaped dock, the 5-megapixel Kodak EasyShare V550 brings some much-needed style to Kodak's line of point-and-shoot cameras. Equipped with friendly features, the V550 will appeal to those who want portability and simplicity wrapped in an attractive package.
This model costs only £30 more than the EasyShare V530, its slightly smaller but technically identical sibling, which is available in red and pink as well as the V550's black and silver. It also offers a larger 64mm (2.5-inch) LCD, as opposed to the V530's 51mm (2-inch) display, and an optical viewfinder. Although the viewfinder is too small and crops your view too tightly to be useful, we think the extra £30 is worth it for the larger LCD.
Dressed in basic black or sleek silver, the ultracompact and lightweight Kodak EasyShare V550 makes an attractive companion for any picture-taking occasion. Overall, Kodak has done a good job of maintaining the camera's sleek design without compromising ease of use, especially considering that the camera sports a huge 64mm LCD. However, by necessity, its control buttons are tiny and will present a challenge for people with large hands.
The S-shaped curves that lie flush with the top surface of the camera may look like static design elements, but they're actually controls for accessing the camera's shooting modes: Auto, Portrait, Scenes and Video. Press one of the icons surrounded by the S-curve and an ice-blue light illuminates your selection. In the case of scene modes, a menu appears on the LCD, from which you can choose among a wide range of shooting options. However, once you select a scene mode, you have to press either Auto or Portrait, then once again on Scene to get back into the menu.
Along the top, you'll also find the power button, the flash control and the shutter release. Since most cameras provide access flash settings through a four-way controller, it took us a while to remember that this one puts them on the top of the camera.