My kids LOVE taking pictures. It’s a pretty common occurrence for me to open up my phone’s photo file, or turn on my camera and find various random shots that they have taken unbeknownst to me.
So when I was sent a Kodak Easyshare M532 camera and a Pulse frame I knew exactly who was going to be testing this out for me~the kiddos!
To start with, the camera itself is very small-you really can tote this thing anywhere-it would easily fit in my purse or in the inside pocket of Yankee Bill’s motorcycle jacket. The entire camera fits easily in my hand.
Actually, it’s smaller than my iPhone 4, although a bit thicker.
The Kodak Easyshare is a 14 megapixel camera with a 4X optical zoom, which is good for your basic point & shoot situations. The Easyshare M532 is sold at Walmart for about $99.
Using the camera is dead simple. Turn it on. Point. Shoot.
Of course it’s got more features if you WANT to use them-just press the “mode” button and you will get various film effects you can use (Sepia, Kodacolor, Kodachrome, and various black and white settings like T-Max), Scene modes for things like portraits, sports, panorama, long exposure, candlelight, sunset and even fireworks. As a fun little addition there is a “Photo Booth” setting as well-it takes 4 shots in succession and then puts them in a strip like a photo booth. The camera also takes decent video.
The really cool thing about this camera is the “EasyShare” feature. Once you have installed the software on your computer, all you have to do to share photos is click on the “share” button after you’ve taken the picture. This will send photos to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, or even email them. You can get really slick and email them to your Pulse frame. . . but more on that later.
When you plug the camera into your computer for the first time it will give you prompts to set up the Kodak Camera App-you’ve got a few things to click and such, but it’s an easy, straightforward process.
After that, when ever you want to share a photo, you just push the share button on your camera and choose where you want to share it. The next time you plug your camera into the computer, it will automatically open up the Kodak Share app and transfer the photo! No thinking involved!
As you can see above, you can also add email addresses in directly on the phone. . . but that is a bit of a pain. It’s better to do it when you set up the app.
Now on to the picture taking itself. Without much in the way of directions-actually with no directions-I handed the camera over to the kids and we headed out on a walk to test it out.
They had a great time taking pictures. We even fooled around with the photo booth setting.
Now on to the Kodak Pulse frame, which retails for $119 at Walmart. Now I know that sounds really expensive for a 7 inch digital picture frame. Granted, it stores up to 4,000 photos. But what makes it worth the money to me is that uses Wifi to connect to your computer network at home.
So what? Well, Using the Wifi, you can sit at your computer and add photos right to your frame without having to hook anything up. You can also connect your frame to your Facebook photo album and have all those pictures appear. I’m not so interested in that personally-I’ve got a lot of pictures of odd things in my facebook photo albums 🙂
But what hat I really, really like about this frame is that each frame has it’s own, discrete email address-so once the frame is set up you can give out the email address and then folks can email you photos THAT WILL SHOW UP AUTOMATICALLY ON YOUR FRAME!
Think about that for a moment. You could get a few family members together and buy this Pulse frame, set it up for Grandma (as long as she has Wifi at her house-and so many folks do these days) then you, and all your siblings, can email photos of the grandkids and the family to her frame and they will just automatically start appearing-without her having to do ANYTHING.
Kids have a recital? Boom-Grandma’s got pictures on her frame. Suzy goes to the prom. Bam! Prom pictures.
That is pretty awesome!
And if you have the Easyshare you can program in the frame’s email address and hit share as soon as you take a picture to make it doubly easy.
The frame is a touch screen, so you plug it in and follow the prompts. There is one glich-the firmware (ie internal software) that the frame comes with is old. You need to update it, but it IS NOT OBVIOUS how you are supposed to do this. The awesome Monica of Mommy Brain Reports figured it out-so I’m going to let you in on the secret.
When you try to hook the frame up to your wifi network it may not work. If it doesn’t, turn it around and press on the little checkmark button on the back (that’s the health check). It’s going to give you a bunch of options on the screen. Ignore them and press the ABOUT button at the top. That is going to give you an option to press “Check frame for updates”. The New Update Available option should be displayed. Just touch it to start the update. When that is done it will go back to the begining. Set up the Wifi again and it should work!
Don’t press the “Fix It” button. That isn’t going to work. Trust me.
So there you have it, the Kodak Easyshare M532 Camera and the Kodak Pulse 7 inch Frame. Either one alone would be a great Mother’s Day, Birthday, Christmas, or any holiday gift. Buy them both together and you will be a rock star 🙂
So what do you think? Do you like the idea of a camera that “shares” photos so easily, and a frame that you can email pictures too?