Review: Kodak EasyShare LS743
Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: May 30, 2004
May 30, 2004
Kodak EasyShare LS743 ($350) is a compact 4 Megapixel camera
with a design quite unlike any previous Kodak camera. Along with
its 5 Megapixel sibling, the LS753, this camera features a 3X
zoom, point-and-shoot operation, a user friendly interface, and
support for both Kodak camera and printer docks.
a done of competition in this class. How does the LS743 perform?
Find out in our review!
in the Box?
LS743 has a very good bundle. Do note that depending on where
you live (especially outside of the U.S. and Canada), your bundle
may be different. Inside the box, you'll find:
4.0 effective Megapixel Kodak EasyShare LS743 camera
lithium-ion battery (rechargeable)
charger with plug(s)
featuring Kodak EasyShare software
page manual (printed)
with other recent Kodak models, the LS743 has internal memory
plus a memory card slot. Kodak includes 16MB of internal memory
(and no memory card), which is barely enough to get started with,
so do yourself a favor and buy a memory card. The LS743 can use
Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMedia (MMC) cards, and I recommend
the former because of its superior capacity and performance.
I'd say that a 128MB card is the minimum that you should buy.
LS743 uses the familiar KLIC-5000 lithium-ion rechargeable battery,
which has a fairly low 3.9 Wh of energy. Kodak estimates that
you can take between 200 and 250 photos per charge, which seems
pretty good to me. As frequent readers of this site know, I'm
not a huge fan of proprietary batteries like this due to their
cost (this one's a bargain at $20) and the fact that you can't
use alkalines if you're in a jam. But I don't think you could
fit AAs into a camera this small.
it's time to recharge the battery, just pop it into the included
external charger. Expect a three hour wait while the battery
is charged. This isn't just one of those "plug in right
into the wall" chargers -- you can swap plugs too, allowing
you to use it all over the world. I'm not sure if you can buy
the plugs separately, though.
ultra-compact LS743 has a built-in lens cover, so there's no
lens cap to worry about.
LS743 is compatible with Kodak's camera and printer docks. The
camera dock 6000 ($80) provides battery charging and photo transfer
capabilities. You can do both without buying the dock. The cooler
accessory is the printer dock 6000 ($150), which produces a 4
x 6 inch print in just 90 seconds. Just pop the LS743 onto the
printer and you're set. The printer dock 6000 can also be hooked
into your television for slideshow viewing.
from those two items, the only other real accessories for the
LS743 are an AC adapter ($30) and various camera cases.
LS743 includes version 3.3 of the EasyShare software for Mac
OS X and Windows (and 1.4.2 for Mac OS 8 and 9).This software
really is impressive, with a simple interface and loads of features.
Here's what you can do with it:
main screen lets you import and organize your photos. From there
you can print, edit, and e-mail photos, and you can even burn
a CD of your photos. A nice slide show feature is also available.
Nothing seemed to happen when I clicked on the EasyShare center
you want to edit your photo, there are some basic tools included.
They include rotation, cropping, "instant enhancement",
redeye reduction, brightness, contrast and color, exposure, and
instant black & white or sepia conversion.
Print at Home tab will help you print the images you select (either
by marking them on the camera or in the software). There are
many layouts available, including the two 5 x 7 inch per page
prints you see above. The software will warn you if the resolution
of the image is too low for the chosen print size.
e-mail tab works in the same way. You can compose messages to
be sent along with pictures. You can send the full size picture,
or have it reduced automatically to a smaller size. The e-mail
system is nicely integrated with OS X's built-in address book
can also customize the e-mail addresses stored in the camera
-- more on this later in the review. This feature is also integrated
with the OS X address book.
like with the address book, you can also set up the albums on
your camera. You can then tag photos on the camera, and they'll
end up in the proper album when you transfer your photos to your
final option is to transfer files (presumably images) from your
computer to your camera.
other software-related note: the camera did not mount on my Mac's
desktop like some other cameras, but Image Capture, iPhoto, and
of course the EasyShare software can see it just fine.
it's just me, but it seems like the LS743's manual is a lot thinner
than those included with older Kodak cameras. It's also in three
languages (English, Spanish, French). Despite that, the quality
of the manual is above average.
LS743 is a small (but wide), all-metal camera that will fit into
any pocket with ease. It's well built, and can take whatever
you throw at it. In terms of usability, I'm not totally thrilled
with it. The jog dial is placed right by the shutter release
button, and I pressed it accidentally many times. I'm not a big
fan of the unusual zoom controller either.
official dimension of the camera are 108 x 30 x 49 mm / 4.3 x
1.2 x 1.9 inches (W x H x D, excluding protrusions), and it weighs
just 165 g / 6 oz. empty.
the boring stuff out the way, now we can get started with our
tour of this camera!
LS743 has a compact 2.8X optical zoom Schneider-Kreuznach lens,
with a rather slow maximum aperture of F3.0 - F4.9. The focal
range of the lens is 6 - 16.6 mm, which is equivalent to 36 -
100 mm. The camera does not support conversion lenses.
the lens are the self-timer lamp, microphone, optical viewfinder,
and light sensor.
the left of all of those is the built-in flash, which has a relatively
small working range of 0.6 - 3.0 m at wide-angle and 0.6 - 1.8
m at telephoto. The LS743 doesn't support and external flash,
nor would I expect it to.
LS743 does not have an AF-assist lamp, which greatly aids in
low light focusing.
LS743 has a very nice 1.8" LCD. This LCD is what Kodak calls "indoor/outdoor",
and it really is easier to see outdoors than your typical LCD
(though the screen on the DX7630 is better) . Images on the screen
are sharp, thanks to the 134k pixel resolution, and everything
is fluid as well, as the frame rate is 24 frames/second. The
brightness is not adjustable, though, and the screen will be
too dark to be usable in low light conditions.
the top-left of the photo, you'll see the optical viewfinder.
This is a pretty tiny one, so I recommend trying it out before
you buy in case it's too small. The viewfinder shows 80% of the
frame, and it lacks a diopter correction knob to focus what you're
the left of the LCD are four buttons:
- enters playback mode
the Share button enters playback mode and brings up the following
share mode, you can do three things:
a picture for printing
a picture for e-mailing
a picture as a "favorite" for later retrieval
say you want to mark an image for e-mail. Here's what you'll
can select a person or persons that you want to e-mail this picture
to. Once you connect to your computer, the EasyShare software
will allow you to e-mail the photos that you tagged. A related
feature that I hinted at before is the album feature, which is
accessed via the playback menu. Pick an album (in the same way
that you would an e-mail address), and the camera will dump the
photos into the proper album the next time you transfer photos
to your Mac or PC.
to the tour now. On the opposite side of the LCD are the six
modes the camera supports. You select them by using the jog dial
which is on the top of the camera. The modes are:
- this is a great one; flash and sounds are disabled
- view the photos that you've tagged as favorites
final item on the back of the camera is the four-way/zoom controller,
and I don't like it. I found it difficult to use the four-way
controller, especially when you're trying to press it inward
to select a menu option. The zoom controller around it is unusual
and takes some getting used to. The zoom controller moves the
lens from wide-angle to telephoto in two seconds. There are six
steps in the zoom range.
you like pulsating blue LEDs, then this is your camera! You'll
never have trouble finding the power button, which is that blue
thing toward the center of the photo.
the right of that is the speaker, followed by the flash button,
shutter release button, and jog dial. The available flash modes
are auto, off, fill flash, and auto w/redeye reduction. Pressing
the flash button also gives you a quick overview of camera settings
and shots remaining. The jog dial is used for selecting the camera
mode. I don't like its placement, either -- it's too easy to
this side of the camera you'll find the LS743's I/O ports, which
are kept behind a rubber cover. The ports include USB 2.0 (don't
worry, you can still use it with the "old USB"), video
out, and DC-in (for optional AC adapter).
have to excuse the scale of things in this picture. The battery
doesn't really tower over the camera like that.
side of the LS743 is where you'll put the battery as well as
an optional SD/MMC memory card. They are kept behind a plastic
door that could easily bust off if forced.
don't think I have to tell you that the included KLIC-5000 battery
is shown at left.
final stop on our tour is the bottom of the camera. Here you'll
find the metal tripod mount as well as the dock connector. The
tripod mount is neither centered nor inline with the lens.
the Kodak EasyShare LS743
takes the LS743 about four seconds to warm up before you can
start taking pictures.
The LCD in record mode
LS753 focuses quickly in most cases. It takes about 1/2 second
at wide-angle, and about a second at telephoto. The camera did
not focus well in low light -- no doubt an AF-assist lamp would've
has done a good job at minimizing shutter lag -- even at slower
speed is average, with a 3 second delay between photos. You cannot
turn off the post-shot review feature, so you must halfway press
the shutter release to return to shooting if the photo you just
took is being displayed.
can delete a photo immediately after it is taken by pressing
the delete button.
all Kodak cameras, the LS743 is always ready to shoot, even in
playback mode. If you're reviewing a photo and want to take another,
just press the shutter release.
uses a "star" system to represent photo resolution
and quality. Here's a look at the available (and quite limited)
photos on 16MB
photos on optional 128MB SD card
2304 x 1728
2304 x 1536
1656 x 1242
1200 x 900
no TIFF or RAW mode available on this camera. The camera names
files as XXX_YYYY.JPG (where X = 100 - 999 and Y = 0001 - 9999),
and remembers the numbering even if you switch cards or delete
has created an attractive, easy-to-use menu system for their
cameras, perfect for those new to digital photography. Here are
the LS743's menu options:
compensation (-2EV to +2EV in 0.5EV increments)
(on/off) - take up to 6 photos at about 3 frames/sec
quality (see chart)
quality (640 x 480, 320 x 240) - more on this subject later
balance (Auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent) - no custom
speed (Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800) - note that the resolution
is locked at 1200 x 900
mode (Color, black & white, sepia)
metering (Multi-pattern, center-weight, center-spot)
zone (Multi-zone, center zone) - multi-zone automatically chooses
one of three areas in the frame to focus on
time exposure (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 sec) - this is the only manual
control on the camera; ISO is locked at 100
storage (Auto, internal) - if set to "auto", camera
uses SD/MMC card first, then internal if that's full. "Internal" option
always uses internal memory, even with card inserted.
Album - choose an album before you start taking pictures
length (Unlimited, 5, 15, 30 sec)
Menu - see below
up there should be self-explanatory. One particular annoyance
about this camera is that all the settings go back to their defaults
when you power off the camera. That's bad!
addition to the record menu, there's also a setup menu, which
has the following options:
(on/off) - turns LCD on for composing photos
themes (Shutter only, standard, music, scifi, fun) - now I've
(Off, low, medium, high)
- Date & time
out (NTSC, PAL)
sensor (on/off) - camera will automatically rotate portrait
Stamp (Off, YYYY MM DD, MM DD YYYY, DD MM YYYY) - for printing
the date on photos.
date display (Off, YYYY MM DD, MM DD YYYY, DD MM YYYY, YYYY
MM DD HH:MM, Mm DD YYYY HH:MM, DD MM YYYY HH:MM) - all those
things are just different ways of displaying the date/time
when viewing photos on TV
(English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese,
Korean, Chinese) - those last three are a guess
(Memory card, internal memory)
- shows the current firmware version; mine was 1.0000
don't know about you, but I'm tired of menus. Let's talk picture
LS743 produced a very "smooth" rendition of our 3 inch
tall macro subject. Colors are mostly accurate, though the red
cloak seems a little off to me. I was a bit concerned about how
the camera would handle my 600W quartz lights without manual
white balance, but the tungsten setting did a good job.
focal range is macro mode is 5 - 100 cm at wide-angle and 30
- 100 cm at telephoto.
camera did a fairly good job with the night shot. The camera
brought in plenty of light and noise levels are low. My only
complaint is about the patches of purple fringing in the shot.
only way to take long exposures is to use the LT mode in the
record menu. This will allow you to keep the shutter open for
as long as 16 seconds (the shot above was an 8 sec exposure).
Do note that in LT mode, the ISO is fixed at "auto" and
you cannot use exposure compensation.
was shocked to see how well the camera did in our redeye test.
There really isn't any to speak of, save for a little flash reflection.
distortion test shows mild barrel distortion at the wide end
of the lens, and a slight hint of vignetting, or dark corners.
I did not notice any vignetting in my real world photos, though.
the LS743's photo quality is good. Colors are saturated, exposure
is accurate, and everything is sharp. Purple fringing was not
a major problem. Photos from Kodak cameras do tend to have a "fuzzy" look
to them, which you'll notice on things like grass, trees, roof
tiles, etc. I also noticed that the sky had a fair amount of
noise in it... it's not just flat blue. Finally, I should mention
that file sizes are awfully small for 4 Megapixels -- a higher
quality (lower compression) option would've been nice.
don't take my word for all this -- have a look at the photo
gallery and judge the LS743's quality for yourself.
EasyShare LS743 has a VGA movie mode, but don't get too excited
-- it has a sluggish 13 fps frame rate. A 320 x 240, 20 fps option
is also available. Whichever mode you choose, sound is recorded,
and the movie recording stops when the memory card fills up.
In the case of the on-board memory, that takes 1 minute at the
VGA setting and 2 minutes at the QVGA setting. A 256MB SD card
holds 18 and 36 minutes, respectively.
also gives you the unusual option of limiting the length of your
clips to 5, 10, or 30 seconds. By combining this with the self-timer,
you can put yourself in the video.
sound is recorded, the optical zoom cannot be used during filming.
Movies are saved in QuickTime format.
a sample movie for you, taken at the VGA setting. I wasn't thrilled
with the quality, especially with regard to exposure.
to play movie (2.4MB, 640 x 480, QuickTime format)
Can't view it? Download QuickTime.
you've read this far, you can probably guess that the LS743 has
an easy-to-use playback system. And you'd be correct.
basic features that we all know are here: slide shows, DPOF print
marking, image protection, thumbnail mode, and zoom and scroll.
and scroll (called Magnify here) lets you zoom in 2X or 4X into
your photo, and then scroll around in the enlarged image. You
can activate this function by using the menu system or pressing
the center button on the four-way controller. Everything is nice
and fast -- good job Kodak!
LS743 lets you copy images from the internal memory to a memory
card, and vice versa. If you've got a memory card inserted, you
must switch to the internal memory using the menu if you want
to view the pictures stored there.
sharing and album features were covered earlier in the review,
so scroll back up to the tour section to learn about that.
default, the LS743 shows you no exposure information about your
photos. You'd think that the "Picture Info" menu item
would show you some, but it really isn't helpful.
camera moves through images fairly quickly. A low res image is
shown instantly, with the high res version appearing about a
Does it Compare?
Kodak EasyShare LS743 is a nice choice for those looking for
a compact, high resolution point-and-shoot camera. Enthusiasts
will be turned off by its lack of manual controls and limited
image quality choices, but the average shooter probably won't
miss either. The LS743 has a compact body made mostly of metal,
and it's very slick. I did not care for the clumsy four-way and
zoom controllers, though. Photo quality is good, though a bit "fuzzy" at
times. The sky seemed mottled, as well. Kodak puts the word "Easy" into
the product name for a reason -- cameras don't get much easier
to operate than this one here. The camera is responsive and all
the menus are simple and understandable. The EasyShare system
lets you tag photos for printing, e-mailing, or organizing right
on the camera. Combine this with the excellent software on your
Mac or PC, and you've got a complete system for sharing your
photos. Other nice features on the LS743 include USB 2.0 and
support for Kodak's camera and printer docks.
a few downsides in addition to those listed above. Low light
shooting wasn't so hot: there's no AF-assist lamp, and the LCD
was too dark to be usable. The camera doesn't store settings
when it is powered off, which can be frustrating. And finally,
the movie mode, while having a VGA resolution, the frame rate
is slow and the quality was not great.
I do recommend this camera, especially for beginners who want
nice photos from a small, super easy-to-use camera.
good redeye test performance
system makes it very easy to share, print, and organize photos
-- right on the camera
optional camera and printer dock
I didn't care for:
is noisy and images have a "fuzzy" look at times
AF-assist lamp; poor low light focusing
four-way, zoom controllers
movie mode not so hot
does not save settings when powered off
lens is only 2.8X
compact point-and-shoot cameras worth looking at include the Canon
PowerShot S410, Casio
Exilim EX-Z40, Fuji
FinePix F700, HP
Photosmart R707, Konica
Minolta DiMAGE G400, Kyocera
Finecam SL400R, Nikon
Coolpix 4200, Olympus
Stylus 410, Panasonic
Lumix DMC-LC70, Pentax
Optio S4i, and the Sony
Cyber-shot DSC-P73. A long list, I know, but there is a lot
of great competition out there!
you like the LS743 and feel that 4 Megapixels is just not enough,
you may want to consider its big brother, the LS753.
always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try
out the LS743 and it's competitors before you buy!
how the photo quality stacks up in our LS743
another review over at Steve's
Feedback & Discussion
you have a question about this review, please send them to Jeff.
Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me asking
for a personal recommendation.
discuss this review with other DCRP readers, please visit our forums.