In these tough economic times, consumers are searching for bargains wherever they can get them, but separating the good deals from the bad is not always easy. Digital Camera HQ would like to take this opportunity to point out an incredibly bad deal that has unfortunately ensnared lots of camera shoppers over the last few months. The influx of negative feedback about this one particular camera has been overwhelming, rivaling that of the Pentax E10, which we named the "Worst Digital Camera Ever" in 2006.
To put this as clearly as possible: Don't Buy the Kodak EasyShare C813.
Though it was released over a year ago, the incredibly low price of the C813 (currently hovering around $75) and decent-enough specifications (8 megapixels, 5x optical zoom) have made it a popular choice for budget-conscious shoppers. Kodak markets the C813 as an entry-level digital camera, perfect for novice users, and based on the information we've received at DCHQ in recent owner reviews, many people chose to give this camera as a gift this past holiday season.
The results were disastrous. According to the unlucky owners, the Kodak EasyShare C813 would provide about a week of operation. In some cases, turning it on was difficult right out of the box. Those who did manage to get it working were burdened with poor image quality and disappointing performance. Malfunctions like stuck lenses, distorted LCD displays, and battery door issues were common. Nearly all say that after 20 or 30 photos (or a week's time), the camera shut down and simply refused to turn back on. Battery changes didn't help. The C813 proved itself little better than a disposable camera, and what should have been a good gift turned into a big headache as owners had to spar with customer service representatives. In some cases, their C813s were replaced with other Kodak cameras that also failed spectacularly.
"This was a Christmas present I was looking forward to," reports 'S', a C813 owner who submitted a one star review to Digital Camera HQ, "until I tried to turn it on." While S was successful in getting the C813 to turn on, they found it devoured batteries of all types in mere minutes. There are dozens of these reviews on our DCHQ Product Page for the Kodak C813, with many more to be found at other review sites around the web.
What makes this situation so devastating is that many consumers felt that Kodak was a brand name that could be trusted. "Kodak has always been the best for cameras," writes owner Monique. Unfortunately, this has not been true for some time. As someone who reads lots of feedback and reviews from owners, and has had the chance to evaluate cameras hands on and in detail, I can say that Kodak makes terrible digital cameras. These problems are not limited to merely the EasyShare C813. Take, for example, Jennifer, who received her troubled C813 as a replacement for another Kodak digital camera, the Z1085.
Poor battery life, poor image quality and cheap build are intrinsic problems with virtually all Kodak digital cameras. That Kodak would push such abysmal products onto consumers, using their long legacy and historical reputation to treat well-meaning, trusting shoppers as suckers, is repulsive. It's disrespectful, dishonest, and really nothing more than a scam.
So with that in mind, I'll go a step further with my earlier declaration and say: Don't Buy Kodak Cameras --- Period.
If you're looking for a great deal on a digital camera, consider the Canon Powershot A470 or the Nikon Coolpix L18, two compact, well-reviewed digital cameras that provide a lot of power for under $100. They aren't perfect cameras, but at least they work.