I’ll keep this quick. There isn’t a lot new about the Easyshare Mini except that it’s smaller than most of the other options on the market. It’s bigger than a mobile phone, of course, but it has a big-boy lens with real 3x zoom and real buttons for shutter release and so on.
In fact, buttons seem to be the main feature of this thing. For its size, it sure has a lot. I suppose that’s because they’re proportional. That is to say they’re very small. Do you have big fingers? You will have trouble with this camera.
But of course it isn’t designed with big fingers in mind. Are you thinking of giving your kid or tween a camera? This could be it. It’s cheap, it’s cute, it’s got a flash and a mirror for self-shots (essential).
Your daughter will like it, and will probably be better at setting it up than you. Navigating this keyboard using the Mini’s microscopic, square d-pad is slow work. It’s much easier to set up your accounts in the app, which is simple enough. It’s handy to be able to tag things and forget about them, then just plug in and have your best shots upload themselves. It’s a common feature to all Easyshare cameras, but it’s a real draw for a socially-orientated purse-cam like this one.
The LCD screen is necessarily small and low-resolution, but it’s bright enough and responsive. The on-screen interface is ugly but functional. The camera’s so simple that there’s very little to navigate to.
Photo quality is what you’d expect from a cheap point-and shoot. Here are a couple sample shots.
Fine details are muddy, but focus was accurate and could get surprisingly close, as you can see on that knob. I know, not the most exciting pics, but it’s not really an exciting camera!
I mean, you know what you’re getting here. It’s not bad in day-to-day medium and bright lighting, though low light performance is, of course, terrible. Better and more responsive than a phone camera, and it has a decently wide lens, but don’t expect much in the way of clarity or color. Flash photography pops just fine.
Video is 640×480 and again, just what you expect.
At a hundred bucks, this thing is a no-brainer for your kids if you were considering something else. They’re they only ones who can operate these little buttons anyway. An alternative would be a rugged camera (kids don’t take good care of things), but most of those are significantly more expensive. The Easyshare Mini is a decent little device for someone who can’t stand using their phone as a camera, but doesn’t want the cost or quality of “real” point and shoots.