The shutter was acceptably responsive, lagging 0.6 seconds with our high-contrast target and 1.6 seconds with our low-contrast target. The camera's burst mode only takes four shots at a time. In our tests it snapped them over 1.9 seconds for a respectable rate of 2.1 frames per second.
Noise and artefacts plagued the V803's images, softening and obscuring fine details. Photos shot at settings as low as ISO 400 displayed notable amounts of grain, which only grew worse at higher ISO settings. At ISO 1600, static-like speckles completely covered the image, softening all but the largest and most prominent details and rendering it almost completely unusable.
It's telling that the second paragraph of Kodak's press release for the V803 starts with a quote from chief marketing officer Pierre Schaeffer, rather than a product manager or engineer. "As consumers look for more ways to expand their picture taking experience, the Kodak EasyShare 10- and 8-megapixel digital cameras make it fun to personalise the camera look and feel," said Schaeffer.
Unfortunately, the same company that ushered in colour photography with Kodachrome now seems more interested in the colour of the cameras than the technology inside them and the usability of their design. Unless you plan on making very large prints, you'd be better off sacrificing a megapixel and buying something such as Canon's PowerShot A560. Its images might still be noisy at high ISOs, but its controls are easier to use and it doesn't take forever to start up.
Additional editing by Nick Hide