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Kodak Easyshare Z885 Digital Camera Review

Kodak Easyshare Z885 Digital Camera Review - These days 135 won't get you much. With that in mind, Kodak bring you the Z885 which actually gives you quite a lot. Matt Grayson takes a look.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Kodak Easyshare Z885
Price : £135
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With a maximum ISO rating of 8000, the Z885 can see very well in a dark room which makes using your shins to find the coffee table a thing of the past.

KOdak easyshare Z885 front view Kodak Easyshare Z885 Specification

  • Sensor: CCD - 8.3 Mp
  • Image Size: 3264 × 2448 pixels
  • Lens: 36-180mm f/2.8 - f/5.1 (5x optical zoom)
  • Focus: TTL-Auto
  • Exposure: Auto, Macro, Manual
  • Metering : TTL-AE, Multi, CW, Spot
  • Monitor: 2.5in LCD
  • Movie Mode: Yes
  • Storage: 32Mb internal, SD/MMC
  • Batteries: AA
  • AC Adaptor: Optional
  • Video Output: Yes
  • Transfer: USB 2.0

The Kodak compares in price to the Fuji Finepix F31fd with 6.3Mp, 3x optical zoom and face detection technology and the Pentax M30 with 7.4Mp, 3x optical zoom and 22Mb internal memory. Both lack the resolution and zoom and the Pentax doesn't compare on the internal memory either, but the Fuji does have the face detection.

Kodak Easyshare Z885 Modes and features
Set out to resemble a digital SLR, there are plenty of buttons on the top and back of the camera. The Self-timer, Flash options, Power button and Shutter release button are all located on the top Kodak easyshare Z885 side view of the camera. The shutter release is also wrapped by the selector dial which allows for faster selections. Options on the dial are Digital image stabiliser which is not as good as optical image stabiliser as the camera usually does something to the picture to sharpen it up like zooming in a little on the screen so the movement of the hand doesn't seem so excessive.

The ISO uprater is the next option and the Z885 boasts a maximum of ISO8000 but this can only be used on resolutions like 2.2Mp or lower. The P/M option is for Program or Manual mode. When this option is selected, more features are available in the Menu and by pressing up or down on the navigation pad the camera will switch between Program which is like Auto with menu options and Manual which gives control of both shutter speed and aperture to the user.

The green camera icon denotes fully auto mode and SCN is the Scene mode. There are 20 different options in the Scene mode which include Portrait, Panoramic Left and Right, Sport, Landscape, Macro, Night Landscape, Snow, Beach, Text, Fireworks, Flower, Museum, Self portrait, Children, Backlight, Candlelight, Panning and Sunset. Some of these options are replicas of others like the Beach and Snow options used to be one option called Beach/Snow. Also, Macro and Flower will get roughly the same results as both are close up modes. Sports and Children could also both be the same setting as they are both set for fast moving objects.

The last two options are the Video mode and Favourites. The favourites option doesn't do what it suggests and selects a favourite mode for quick access. It actually allows you to store all your favourite images in low resolution to take with you and share with your friends which in principle is a good idea as it broadens this whole sharing community lifestyle that the internet seems to be heading down these days. However it appears that Kodak have forgotten that larger memory cards are available for this very purpose so I cannot see anyone wanting to carry around low quality versions of their favourite pictures when they can download large quality versions onto a memory card.

The back of the camera has the zoom button which is a simple rocker switch, the delete button for when reviewing pictures, display button which scrolls through different options of what you might want to see on your screen. It also doubles up as an info screen for giving image information like the shutter Kodak easyshare Z885 top view speed, ISO and histogram as well as other things. The navigation pad encircles the OK button to set any changes made in the menu and below that are the Menu, Review and Share buttons.

In Auto, the menu gives three pages of options. The first page is the camera settings and only two options are available which are Picture resolution and Date stamp which are extended to include Colour options and AF modes in Manual. The second page is for the picture options and has the Red-eye pre-flash switch which in Manual extends considerably to include Bracketing, Sharpness, Reset Camera settings, White Balance, Metering and AF zones.

The third page allows changes to the LCD brightness, Image storage options of Auto or Internal memory although the camera automatically switches to internal memory when the card is full, so the option seems pointless. The other options are Set album which allows an album with a name like Birthday or Wedding to be set. The Grid option puts a rule of thirds grid on the screen to compose images whilst the orientation sensor will automatically orientate your images so they are easier to view. The other options available are Camera sounds, Volume, Date & time, Auto power off, Video mode which can be switched between PAL or NTSC for use abroad, Language, Format the card, Features demonstration which again seems like a waste of memory and an About feature which will give the current Firmware version on the camera.

Kodak easyshare Z885 rear view Kodak Easyshare Z885 Build and handling
Built on a metal chassis, the camera is covered in a gunmetal covered plastic coating. It feels very good in the hands, there is a little grip on the front and a small thumb plate on the back to help with holding. The Power button is a little small and the lens doesn't come out very fast when powering on. Ideally, I would also like to see the shutter button a little nearer the middle as I had to curl my finger over a little too much, but people with smaller hands wouldn't find this a problem, so it is personal opinion on that aspect.

The aspherical lens is stable with no movement and has a 5x zoom to bring those far away objects nice and close. In 35mm terms, the camera would be a 36-180 which is not the widest but always means more top end.

The buttons are well laid out and easy to see and navigate. The memory card is located on the side of the camera whilst the batteries are in the bottom of the camera. Secure Digital is the memory card of choice for the Z885 despite the Compactflash sized door, but it also houses the USB port.

Kodak Easyshare Z885 Flash options
Auto, Flash off, Red-eye reduction and Flash on are the basic functions on the Z885. The distance that the flash can reach are 0.6m - 5.9m at wide and 0.6 - 3.2m at telephoto which is very good.

Kodak Easyshare Z885 Performance
The Z885 has a focus range of 60cm and 20cm in macro which, quite frankly, is appalling. In the burst test, the camera managed 5 pictures before having to download, which is average except that the camera then takes another 35 seconds to download those pictures which is terribly slow.

The colour chart image produced good colours and gave a nice boost to the primaries and especially the blues. The portrait mode gave a lighter image with a slightly cooler tone than Auto and less shadowing in low key areas. The overcast day gave a gloomy outlook to the lock image, but the Kodak still managed to get some reasonable colour out of the day with no fringing on the building.

Kodak easyshare Z885 colourchart
The colour chart produced good colours especially in the blues.

Kodak easyshare Z885 macro
Macro mode has good colour reproduction, but is let down by its rubbish performance.

Kodak easyshare Z885 portrait mode
The colours and highlights are balanced.

Kodak easyshare Z885 Manual mode
Manual mode gave more contrast.

Kodak easyshare Z885 wide angle
The wide angle is not great at 36mm.

Kodak easyshare Z885 zoom image
5x optical brings subjects closer nicely.

Kodak easyshare Z885 lock image
The lock image gave good colours on a nasty day with no fringing but looks like it was sharpened in camera.

 


Kodak Easyshare Z885 Noise test
There are seven ISO ratings available at 8Mp and ISO80 gives a rich colour on the petals and no noise on the grey card. ISO100 does start to show a little noise which is disappointing, but there is little difference between ISO100 and ISO200. ISO400 has a breakdown on the image and the petals have gone a brighter orange which remains constant at ISO800 with more noise on the card. ISO1600 shows a considerable amount of noise and ISO3200 has input lots of red and purple pixels making the picture deteriorate considerably. Also on the chart is an image at ISO8000 at the highest resolution possible which is 2.2Mp.

Kodak easyshare Z885 ISO80 test
The ISO80 test.

Kodak easyshare Z885 ISO100 test
The ISO100 test.

Kodak easyshare Z885 ISO200 test
The ISO200 test.

Kodak easyshare Z885 ISO400 test
The ISO400 test.

Kodak easyshare Z885 ISO800 test
The ISO800 test.

Kodak easyshare Z885 ISO1600 test
The ISO1600 test.

Kodak easyshare Z885 ISO3200 test
The ISO3200 test.

Kodak Easyshare Z885 ISO8000
ISO8000 can only be used at a maximum of 2.2Mp and it shows.

Kodak Easyshare Z885 Verdict
The Z885 seems to underperform in some areas and perform well in others. The features are well balanced for the price so that the kind of person buying this camera will not be overwhelmed by it, the zoom is adequate for the price as is the resolution. However, the focus range is appalling in both auto and macro modes. the image stabiliser is only digital and the continuous shooting capability is rubbish.

For the price, their are a lot of features but don't expect to be bowled over and the focusing may make picture taking a struggle at times.

Kodak Easyshare Z885 Plus points:
Good flash coverage
Easy to use
Good colour rendition

Kodak Easyshare Z885 Minus points:
Focusing is pathetic
Image stabiliser is only digital
Some features are doubled unneccessarily

FEATURES

HANDLING

PERFORMANCE


OVERALL


The Kodak Easyshare Z885 costs around £135 and is available from the ePHOTOzine shop here .

 

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Photographs taken using the Kodak Easyshare Z885

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