Customer Reviews: Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 12 MP Waterproof Digital Camera (Gray)
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on July 10, 2011
If you're looking for a simple point-and-shoot that you can take underwater, this camera is great.

Let me begin by explaining that I am an avid photographer; I have over $10,000 in high end DSLR equipment and lenses. I have over 20,000 photos in my collection. I know something about photography.

I recently went on a sailing vacation with my family and wanted a simple digital camera to take in the water. I wasn't looking for something high-end because all i really wanted to do was shoot pics of my kids snorkeling and scuba diving. I didn't want a disposable because they aren't digital, you usually have to wind them which is a real pain in the water, and they shoot poor pictures. My wife bought me a $500 top-of-the-line underwater point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix but I took it back because it was overkill. It was waterproof to 40 feet, had an altimeter, etc -- I didn't need all that. I found this Kodak camera and it was perfect. It worked great -- we took on jet skis, on snorkeling trips, and down to 11 feet underwater scuba diving. It never had an issue -- it started up quickly, operated simply and reliably, and the photos are just fine. Frankly, the videos are even better -- I was surprised at good they are! Of course, the photos don't compare to my $2,000 Nikon DSLR, but I wasn't expecting them to. I just wanted a camera that could capture some of the memories of the water fun on our sailing trip, and this did it.
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on July 22, 2011
This video was recorded as I snorkeled over a reef just off Kaanapali Beach, a few hundred yards north of our hotel (Honua Kai)- not the nicest reef by far, but this video should demonstrate the camera's surprisingly good capabilities, especially considering the low price. It was late afternoon and the water was a bit murky, and I was surprised how well the video came out. I have uploaded the raw avi file (66.9 MB; 44 seconds). This camera shoots VGA (640x480). Amazon processing reduced the resolution and quality, although it still looks fairly faithful to what I uploaded. Although I read reports of this camera failing rapidly underwater, ours did not present any problems after spending many hours underwater. It appears just about all the underwater cameras have about a 10-20 per cent failure rate based on rates in reviews here on Amazon. So, I decided not to risk $200-300 on a more expensive underwater camera, as they seemed no more reliable. The camera is fixed focus but seems to have enough depth of field to present sharp pictures. Note that the fixed focus offers an advantage with snapshots - shutter delay is VERY short.
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VINE VOICEon June 14, 2011
UPDATE: Kodak's bankruptcy and exit from the digital camera business probably means that these cameras will be gone forever! I have the updated C135 in pre-order, but I'm not holding my breath. Amazon says it's 'unavailable,' but my account's order status has the C135 shipping in April. Who knows? All I know is that I'm glad I own a backup C123 in the box. The C135 is supposed to have digital stabilization, as opposed to no image stabilization in the C123 - but the C123 still takes great pics for its intended purpose.

although it's more orange than red, i like my new c123... i carefully read every review, and although i can understand why some folks are disappointed, i am more than happy with this camera after playing with it, taking indoor, outdoor, and yes, even close-up shots!

the controls are fairly intuitive, but i found that i had to set up the camera before it would take acceptable pictures (specifically, the 'sharp' selection under 'Sharpness' on the Capture menu; you may also want to manually select an ISO if you're going to be in the same lighting conditions for your picture session - see below)

this camera works with my version of iPhoto on an older iMac, so i'm grateful - the kodak setup was fairly easy: plug in the camera, turn it on, install the resulting kodak.pkg from the Desktop, etc. ... i use 'Other Application' for the 'Computer Connection' item under the Setup menu...

UPDATE: i have since found that there is no reason to use any Kodak software with my C123 and iPhoto, since iPhoto recognizes the C123 and imports pictures with no problems - and especially since i can (if i wish) send iPhoto pics straight to facebook if desired (something i rarely do)

this camera's firmware is deceptively sophisticated, but honestly, these were all the initial settings i used...

you *will* have to hold this camera steady! it does NOT have 'shake reduction' featured in most higher-end cameras...

that said, anyone who knows photography knows that it's not the camera that makes the best pictures, but the photographer's eye (and to a degree, technique)

i was a bit apprehensive about the lack of macro shots, but tried a 24" flash pic of some stuff on my desk - the picture came out perfectly sharp and acceptable, considering this is an inexpensive camera

i next tried to take pictures indoors, with no flash, use the digital zoom about a third out... first, i tried the 'Auto' ISO mode; next, i set the camera to ISO 80... carefully bracing the camera, i squeezed off one shot each of a stack of books about 20 feet away in the living room...

the results were as i expected: the ISO 80 picture was noticeably 'sharper'... so there is a some manual control available to the picture taker...

i have no intention of going snorkeling with this camera, but wanted something that will be impervious to dust, dirt, or sand at the beach - in this regard, this little kodak will fit the bill perfectly... it's compact, uses AAs, has simple controls, tripod socket, and accepts an SD or SDHC card (although it did not like my 16GB Adata, but worked fine w/a 4GB microSDHC in an SDHC carrier taken straight from my Canon A570is and stuck in - even the Canon's pictures showed up under the C123's preview! w00t!)

five stars for this camera for me - i look forward to an improved model or firmware... i also recommend going to kodak's web site to get the 'extended c123 user guide' - there are more hints and tips in the manual
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on April 29, 2011
We recently purchased this camera for our Disney Cruise. Our seven year old son was scheduled to snorkle with stingrays on Castaway Cay and we wanted to capture that experience. We were able to take photos and video of him with the stingrays, some of it underwater. The camera took clear pictures and video. The only drawback was it is hard to see the screen (so you know what you are photographing) and there is no viewfinder but that problem was easily outweighed by the price. We are very pleased with our purchase!
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on May 31, 2011
Have only had this a couple of weeks but this camera is turning out to be great for the pool.

A great price for a camera I can re-use and not have to worry about getting wet.
Takes great pics in/under the water and you can also record videos (no zoom when in video mode).
When turning on it is ready to take pictures very quickly.
So far it has not eaten batteries, which is good because it does not appear to turn off automatically.
Has other modes if you want to use the camera for more than taking pictures in the water but we have not really tried them out.

Soon, I am going to attempt to upload a video taken in our pool. Also, wanted to add one great thing about this camera - we left it out side overnight and it rained. It was really a relief to know that my camera didnt get ruined simply because I forgot to bring it in after swimming!

Kids are having a great time using this camera, so much so I may have to go ahead and pick up a 2nd one! It is really holding up to being roughly handled.

added a very short clip of my dog. my son uses the camera 1st above the water then underneath and then above again. I have also noticed that when in video mode, the camera is picking up sound underwater! it's pretty cool, I wasn't expecting that.
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on June 1, 2011
I was truly blown away by the picture quality! I just printed some of the pictures and they look way better than I anticipated from a waterproof camera - insanely inexpensive at that. I kept the camera submerged for long periods of time and I never noticed any sort of leakage. My vacation would not have been complete without it...serious!

Only drawback is the speed at which you can take multiple pictures in repetition. The screen takes a second to process the photo so you have to wait a few seconds to take another picture.
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on June 12, 2011
I purchased this last minute from another retailer for a trip to the Cayman Islands where I knew we would be doing extensive snorkeling. In the past, I have rented underwater cameras while there or used disposable cameras and had the photos developed. I couldn't believe the quality of the pictures considering the price of the camera.

I agree with some of the other reviewers in that it is difficult to see the screen when it is bright out. I found that setting the LCD brightness to maximum helped to relieve this but I still had to be at the correct angle to see it clearly. Like all compact UW cameras, the flash is fairly ineffective due to back-scatter unless the water is crystal clear or the subject is within a foot or so of the camera.

Regardless, i can't recommend this highly enough. While some of the adjustments are limited, from an underwater camera standpoint, this is a deal that can't be beat. I think that it compares favorably with the low end Fuji camera at about half the price. I think one of the best things is that it uses AA batteries and sips them at that. I was averaging about 140 shots per day (50% with flash) with camera on and ready to shoot (read screen on and active) for at least a 3 to 4 hours hours a day and two alkaline AA batteries would last about 2 days. I will test with NiMH and update the review later. I was also able to exceed the depth limitation and still take pictures but YMMV (I took several pictures at around 15 ft.).

Most of the modes work reasonably well for a cheap Point and Shoot camera. Obviously, it is not a DSLR (or even advanced P&S) but still highly serviceable. My only complaint in this area is that in UW mode the camera caused a greenish cast on most all pictures. It would be nice to be able to set white balance manually to avoid this but it was a simple fix with Photoshop Elements (I would imagine that it is simple with other photo editors, too).

If you are planning a vacation where you will be taking underwater photos in shallow water, buy one of these. Basically, you can buy this camera for the cost of 2 disposable 35mm UW cameras and photo processing fees and you will be able to use the camera again and again.

One other issue/nice to have is close focus (I think that other reviewers may have mentioned this). Once you are closer than about 12" focus becomes iffy. Some times it works, some times it doesn't. It would be nice to have a dedicated macro mode but I am still exceedingly happy with my purchase.
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on June 2, 2011
OK, it's not perfect but for $70 and waterproof what do you expect? The zoom is digital, so the closer you zoom the grainier the picture gets - so I don't use it. As a point-and-shoot without using the zoom it takes good pictures. I took it on a canoe trip down the Shenandoah river - it performed with no problems. If you're looking for a camera with a zoom, this is not it. If you're looking for an inexpensive waterproof camera to weather a canoe/raft trip this will do fine.
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on May 25, 2011
I bought this camera for my 15 year old son who is taking a 2 week hiking trip. He hasn't actually taken the trip yet, but he's been playing around with the camera (we both have, actually) at home to get comfortable with its features and abilities. Considering the price, I am actually quite impressed. Aside from the price, there are two reasons I choose this camera. First, it is waterproof (to 10 feet)and could therefore withstand getting dropped in a puddle or rained on. The waterproof feature just takes that type of worry out of the equation. My son is also a competitive swimmer, so I fully expect he will at some point also enjoy it in the pool with his friends. The second reason for choosing this camera was the "easy share" of the pictures. You set up emails or a facebook account in advance, then as you take the pictures you choose where you will share them (email, facebook). To actually share them, you will need to plug into a computer, but then it will automatically and quickly send those pictures to wherever you have designated. (Hint: you need to designate an email to send from and a yahoo or gmail account are the easiest to use to set up... techies may know more, but this worked best for me). The biggest suprise was the pictures themselves. The quality is actually not bad. Professional photographers and photo enthusiasts of course would not be satisfied, but for a 15 year old boy or me, this works pretty good. Settings for lighting, etc. are available and are pretty simple to use. Video is good in good lighting. Lighting is probably the key to all, but we haven't had any problems so far with any light (assuming use of the flash in poor lighting). Things that I would like to see would be the ability to associate with more than one facebook account at a time and a view finder so that you could see what you were doing in bright sunlight, but these are minor disadvantages. Given the price, this is really a very nice camera and will serve our purposes very well.
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on September 7, 2011
I bought this camera for our honeymoon to Hawaii intending on abusing it in the ocean, and did just that. We used the camera for underwater pictures, video, and even for a lot of normal pictures out and about. Having given the camera a hard drive, here is my honest feed back:

Cost - This camera is a great price in comparison to other underwater digital cameras, which you really have to want to invest in. We already have a number of cameras, and specifically got this just for water photos. If you want a camera for the rest of your life that may take pictures in and out of water, you might want to consider investing is something a little higher in quality, but for getting a majority of your underwater shots, invest in this camera over disposables. Trust me, it's worth it!

Underwater picture quality - We took a lot of video and pictures while snorkeling, and the pictures for the most part turned out amazing. Don't get me wrong, some are dark and some are blurry... but most of the pictures, and especially the videos actually turned out really nice. One important point, the lense is fixed. Therefore, the lense does not move in and out when zooming. I noticed that the more you zoom, the less quality the picture is. Just something to keep in mind.

Water-proofing - We did not have a single problem with this. We took the camera in the ocean, a waterfall, and in the pool, and not once did we have water get into the camera. Take care of the camera and make sure the doors/seals are closed, and this camera will handle the water well.

Finally, one last point is on the lense fogging. This DOES happen when getting in and out of water (mostly with temperature changes). The fastest way I found to defog the lense is turn it off, and then place the lense in direct sunlight. The fogging will disappear in a few minutes.

I know this is too long, but in summary - The camera is a great choice for someone that wants much higher quality than disposable cameras, wants to take underwater pictures, and has another camera for the rest of your high quality day-to-day pictures (aka not in the water). If you want an all around high quality camera for in and out of water, maybe looking into getting a more expensive waterproof.
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