The Controls

Figure 3 shows the front of the M580. At the left is the stylishly-shaped flash. Next to that is the small self-timer/video light/AF assist light. Under the flash is a narrow rubberized strip that is again, stylishly placed and can be used as an index finger rest to steady your hand when taking a photo. Much of the front of the camera is taken up by the retractable lens which has a built-in mechanical lens cover. The lens has an 8x Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon optical zoom and a 5x digital zoom. It is a wide-angle lens that has a 28–224 mm (35 mm equiv.) focal range. The microphone opening is in the lower right corner right next to the lens.

Kodak EasyShare M580 Digital Camera ReviewFigure 3: The front of the camera

The back of the M580, shown in Figure 4, sports a 3” color LCD screen. Most of the camera controls are to the right of the screen. At the top is the wide angle/telephoto button. Below that on the left side are the Delete, Menu, and Info buttons. To the right of that is an IR receiver for an optional remote control. Under these buttons in a four-way scroll pad with an OK button in the middle. Below that are two other buttons: a Review button on the left and a red Share button on the right. All of these buttons are raised, have a nice tactile feel, and are easy to access.

The Menu button lets you choose Video, Smart Capture, Scenes, and Program. You scroll through the choices with the four-way option button and make a choice by pressing the OK button in the middle. On-screen prompts give you addition information. For instance when you choose the Program mode, the screen tells you that this if for “Use for general picture taking with access to all capture settings.”

Kodak EasyShare M580 Digital Camera ReviewFigure 4: The back of the camera

The stylish look of the M580 continues on the top of the camera as shown in Figure 5. The top has four buttons: Power, Flash, Mode, and Shutter. They are obviously designed for a stylish presentation. Unfortunately, that presentation severely affects the functionality of the camera. The shutter button has a slight indentation that makes it fairly easy to find without looking, but the other buttons are irregularly shaped, close together, and not tactily differentiated. Because of this they can be difficult to find without looking and equally difficult to press. Several times during our review period we found an action scene that we wanted to capture and were thwarted by having difficulty turning the camera on.

Kodak EasyShare M580 Digital Camera ReviewFigure 5: The top controls

Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up's Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.