Kodak Ektra – first look, image comparison & review

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My Kodak Ektra arrived on Friday and I have been trying to get to know this camera first, phone second, device as much as possible.

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Kodak Ektra top buttons, including strap attachment

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Ektra leather case and packing

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Ektra – fresh out of the box

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Ektra’s on-screen keyboard

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Ektra’s proprietary charging lead…

Apart from the proprietary lead (why, why, why) it’s a fairly nice device, it’s lighter than it looks and much lighter than my Sony Z5.

It has a very thick and chunky form factor and whilst the divine luxury case also adds to the bulk it really focuses on the camera aspect, but is also part of the drawback, because as soon as you put the case on, it becomes unwieldy as a phone…

Kodak Ektra unboxing...

Taking a phone call with this case becomes a farce – see above – I’m not sure what to do, talk through the leather, speak into the case, undo the other clip and let the case dangle… I really don’t know, my best fix – use bluetooth headphones!

In Use

In use, it’s really quick and snappy, opening apps is fairly quick, I currently have a Sony Z5 which is no slouch in the data stakes, but this seems slightly faster.

I miss not having finger print recognition and also the security of having a little waterproof protection is becoming standard these days, but not on the Kodak (?)

One big bug with the case though – it covers up the charging port, this is really, really annoying as the case is a snug fit – you really need to force the phone out and quite a few times I’ve wondered if my phone is just going to fly across the room as I exert so much pressure to extract it from the confines of it’s cosy case… and the more I have to pull it in and out of the case the less safe my phone will be in the case…

Using the Camera

The big deal on this phone is the camera… With a sharp double click on the beautifully styled ‘K’ button on the top side, the camera app pops open from any situation.

I like the on screen dial and the amount of control you can have in manual, but, on this first look review, I have barely touched on the Manual control, and have been playing with all of the other Auto options.

I like what I see, but I have reservations about the lack of feedback when I press either the on screen virtual button, or the dedicated shutter button – did the picture take, can I move? – only when the preview popped up, did I feel secure that the photo actually saved. On my Z5 as soon as you click, a wheel appears, to show it’s saving then when that’s gone you know it’s saved.

Maybe this is something I will get used too..

Also why can I only take 21mp images in the 4:3 aspect ratio? If I want to take a 16:9 it drops to only 16Mp… (Obviously cutting into the image)

Comparison Images from flickr

All images are taken with Auto settings.

Ektra Lake view (below)

Kodak Ektra Tests

Z5 Lake View (below)

Comparison Z5 images

– Kodak Ektra – Tree (below)

Kodak Ektra test shots

z5 Comparison tree (below)

Z5 comparisons

Kodak Ektra Homepride man (below)

Kodak Ektra test shots

Z5 Homepride Man (below)

Z5 comparisons

Kodak Ektra – Wreath (below)

Kodak Ektra test shots

Z5 Wreath (below)

Z5 comparisons

Kodak Ektra Lake Landscape taken in 16:9 ratio (below)

Kodak Ektra Tests

Kodak Ektra Lake Landscape 4:3 (below)

Kodak Ektra test 4:3

Z5 Landscape (below)

Comparison Z5 images

In Conclusion

 

I do like the images that the Ektra is producing, and the pin sharpness just edges it in some of the demo images above, so it is better than my Z5 in that respect. But, it’s thicker, bulkier and the case spoils the phone aspect… hmmm…

I miss the fingerprint recognition, but is it forgivable for better images…

It functions as a mobile device nicely, speedy apps, quick to launch camera, nice keyboard, swype texting as standard.

I have had this phone for just 3 days, but will be moving more in-depth over the coming days and moving to Manual mode, whilst trying to get along with the awkward case and the charging problems that brings…

I will also pit it against my carry camera of choice, the fuji X30…

to be continued…

 

Running Tech Review – Tom Tom GPS Watch #tomtom #running

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Running was something I didn’t think I would be able to start doing again after an operation on my foot a few years back, but, encouraged by a friend I have been able to get back into it, with help from a great little piece of tech…

The TomTom Multi Sports (and Runner) GPS Watch seemed – from the reviews – to be the ideal choice for me, I did look at the newer heart rate one, but for an extra £100 it was too much of a price hike to warrant me not being able to feel when my heart was working harder!

TomTom GPS Watch

TomTom GPS Watch, Multi-Sport or Runner

The watch itself is fairly bulky on my small wrist, but it still has two notches to go so definitely able to cater for women, or young adults.

The graphics are big, big enough to clearly see when running, and the handy little light can be on permanently if out at night.

You can see your pace, time, or distance (in Miles or Km) as the larger of the three areas on the face, so you can choose what you want to concentrate on, I find I mostly use the pace, but have recently taken to longer runs and just need the distance, this view is frustrating though as this is the only layout where all three main items aren’t displayed, you get the distance in two of the sections, an unnecessary duplication and loss of information.

The GPS always hooks up quickly, although if I’m walking up to my starting point it can need me to be stationary before it locks my position in, a little annoying, but the good points outweigh this niggle.

I liked it so much I bought one for my husband and his favourite feature is the Race This option, where you can set one of your last recorded races as a guide to race yourself, it shows you how far ahead – or behind – you are from the last race and even if you go back to the pace screen to see how you’re doing, you’ll get a buzz on your wrist when you go in front, or fall behind, and if you win you get a celebratory trophy on completing the previous distance.

One of the best things about this watch is the visual representation and immediate feedback you get as soon as you plug your watch back into the computer after you get back in from the run. Your breathing might not have slowed down, but the Tom Tom’s data will upload in a  flash and you’ll get something like this…

TomTom Visual Data

TomTom Visual Data from a 10k Race For Life run I did over the weekend

You can see your split times, elevation and I love the visual tracker showing where you went, it’s so accurate and thoroughly fascinating to analyse after a run, and then you can compare this to others in your dashboard.

A Screenshot from a Tom Tom Dashboard, where you can compare your pace week to week and run to run

A Screenshot from a Tom Tom Dashboard, where you can compare your pace week to week, and run to run, you can also record treadmill runs, but I’ve found it to be totally inaccurate, so don’t bother anymore…

Really great to see how you are doing – I seem to be quite consistent – compared to other runs and courses and slowly see improvements.

The visual online area is a stand out feature for me and one of the things I really rave about to others if they ask me about my TomTom watch.

The Watch is great and I would recommend it to others, it probably has so many more things you can do with it, but for me it does the basics really well and shows me in a clear and visually interesting way.

I hate it when bloggers say sorry I’ve been away for a while I’ve been busy at the beginning of a post, but here’s my apology at the end, I’ve been running!