The Kodak EasyShare M580 is a point-and-shoot digital camera that offers 14-megapixels, automated settings, and lots of features to help novice photographers take the best pictures possible. However, with all that automation, more advanced photographers may dislike the inability to be in control.
In total, the EasyShare M580 is slightly larger than most really small compact cameras, but it isn't large by any means. It measures about 4 x 1 x 2.3-inches (wdh) and weighs on average with other similar models (~6 ounces). The body is actually on an angle, meaning it gets thicker as you move away from the lens, and it is really evident from the top. This allows the camera to be held with ease, as it is slightly thicker where the shooter's right hand would hold it. It is made out of a fairly sturdy plastic but it would probably not withstand too much bumping and dropping.
The back of the camera offers many buttons, from a four way directional pad, to the zoom toggle, shooting mode buttons, and more. A dedicated Share button is also located on the back and allows you to choose from one of many quick share options. There is also a 3-inch LCD that is very large and bright as well. It can easily be seen in almost direct sunlight too. The top of the device has just four buttons: power, flash, shutter release, and flash.
Some of the Kodak EasyShare M580's specifications include 14-megapixels, an 8x optical zoom with a focal length of 28mm, no digital zoom, and the ability to record HD video (720p) at 30 frames per second. You may use SD (SecureDigital) or SDHC (HIgh Capacity) memory cards with this camera. Inside the box you get an AC adapter to charge the battery, a USB cable to connect to your computer, and a wrist strap.
The Share button, as described above, lets you tag photos/videos for upload to one of many services, including Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, and the ability to send it via an e-mail as well. All of this is done whenever the camera is connected to a computer.
As we stated in the introduction, this camera is mostly geared toward novice photographers and relies on the SmartCapture mode, which completely automates everything. This mode automatically detects the shooting "scene" and adjusts the features, like ISO, shutter speed, etc, for that particular shooting condition. Even when shooting a picture of something upload, it usually detects this and enabled macro shooting automatically. If you wish to manually choose your scene mode, you may, and you have quite a long list to choose from (20 to be exact). When you're in SmartCapture mode, you cannot modify any settings beyond just the scene. If you want to be able to control ISO, white-balance, and a few others, you cannot use SmartCapture at all.
Image quality is actually quite good for a point-and-shoot, even when using the automatic SmartCapture mode. Color accuracy and sharpness were excellent in subjective image tests. There were noticeable lens distortion as well, but not anything terrible. There is also blurriness present whenever the camera wasn't held completely steady, which turned out to be a nagging problem. This camera does have digital image stabilization, but it didn't do much in the end. In less-lit conditions, image quality was still quite good and above average when compared to other similar point-and-shoot cameras.
Video quality was decent as well. The camera saves the movies in .MOV format and are recorded in 720p HD quality, but not full 1080p. No zooming is allowed when recording a video as the lens motor would make too much noise (this is the usual reason some camera makers don't allow zooming during videos). Quality is well-lit conditions were good, but low-lit conditions produced sepia-toned video which was rather mediocre at best.
The battery life for the EasyShare M580 is rather mediocre as well, lasting only about 100-shots in our use. It does use an included Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, so at least you aren't wasting money on batteries.