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Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Review

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Review - The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 is a bridge camera with a 36x optical zoom lens, available for less than 200. Daniel Bell reviews.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Kodak PixPro AZ361
Price : £190
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Kodak PixPro AZ361

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 is one of the new Astro Zoom cameras from Kodak and has a 36x optical zoom lens, zooming all the way to a 864mm equivalentIt was announced in July 2013 and is available from Argos and Tesco with an RRP of £189.99. Let's see how the camera performs in our test.

Kodak PixPro AZ361

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Features

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 has a 16.15 megapixel CCD sensor and 36x optical zoom lens which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-864mm, with optical image stabilisation to reduce the effects of camera shake. The lens also has a minimum focus of 5cm when shooting wide for macro shots.

There is an auto mode which adjusts the camera settings automatically, as well as PSAM modes for more control. You'll also find a panorama mode as well as a number of scene modes. There are also a number of digital filters (including vivid, sepia, vignetting and more) as well as the option to record HDR images where the camera combines three shots.

Videos are recorded in 720p HD with optical zoom available and you can apply one of three digital filters, vivid, sepia or black and white. 

Kodak PixPro AZ361

Key Features

  • 16.15 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 36x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-864mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 460k dot LCD screen
  • Full manual controls
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 80-3200
  • 5cm minimum focusing distance
  • HDR mode
  • 180º panorama mode
  • Filter effects
Kodak PixPro AZ361

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Handling

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 has the look and feel of a small DSLR, although it wouldn't really be small enough to carry in your pocket. The grip is rubberised to help you to hold the camera, with a rubberised patch on the rear for your right thumb.

There is a mode dial on the top, this gives access to PSAM and auto modes, as well as panorama and face beautifier modes. The top has the zoom rocker and shutter release and also has buttons for continuous shooting, on / off, and movie record. The flash also has a button to pop it up.

On the rear the i button gives access to the filters, there are also menu, playback, display and exposure compensation buttons, the latter gives access to ISO, aperture and shutter speed, depending on the mode you're using. Lastly, there is a d-pad with a set button in the middle. The directional buttons can be used to access focus, macro, flash and self-timer.

The menu system is fairly easy to navigate, but one or two things are a little different to most cameras - access of shutter speed and aperture settings via the exposure compensation, as well as using the set button to change the white balance. The 3.0 inch screen has a decent 460k dot resolution and is easy to see in bright light.

Battery life is rated at quite a low 200 shots according to CIPA test results. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response   0.35 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   1.05 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.8 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   3.2 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   3.2 secs
Continuous Shooting   3.3 fps
Continuous Shooting - 3 shots   0.6 fps

The camera is a little slow between shots, but doesn't get slower when using the flash. Continuous shooting is fairly quick. When shooting HDR's it is nearer the 0.6 fps, but is quick enough to shoot handheld.

Kodak PixPro AZ361

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Kodak PixPro AZ361 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Colour reproduction is good and images are well exposed. Portraits have good skin tones and are free from red-eye when using the flash. For more details in the highlights and shadows you can use the HDR mode which stitches three images together and does a good job, even when shooting handheld.

Kodak PixPro AZ361 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Detail is decent in the centre of the images but are significantly softer in the corners. Purple fringing is an issue in contrasting areas of the pictures. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, which allows for a good macro shot.

Kodak PixPro AZ361 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 80 and 100, but even at ISO 200 a little detail is lost in places. This loss of detail worsens at ISO 400, meaning the images are slightly soft. Image quality becomes quite poor at ISO 800, particularly in contrasting areas, with even worse image quality at ISO 1600 and is therefore best avoided. You can shoot at ISO 3200 but image size is limited to just 4 megapixels.

Kodak PixPro AZ361 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) takes a picture with a very slight orange cast, with the incandescent preset performing well. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB and fluorescent preset both perform well.

Panorama | 1/280 sec | f/5.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80
Panorama | 1/280 sec | f/5.3 | 4.3 mm | ISO 80

Panorama mode - Panoramic images have a decent amount of detail - but they are poorly stitched together. The example above was the best of three attempts.

Kodak PixPro AZ361 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a number of filters available when shooting, with examples of each above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in 720p HD. Recording quality is good, you can watch a video recorded using the optical zoom on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.



Value For Money

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 is available for £189.99. Other similar bridge cameras include the Pentax X-5 with 26x zoom at £164.99Fujfilm FinePix S4800 with 30x zoom at £139.00Sony CyberShot H200 with 26x zoom at £147.83 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 with 35x optical zoom. If you have a bigger budget, you can get the Canon PowerShot SX50 at £349.00 and Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 at £269.95 which both have 50x optical zoom, or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 which has 60x optical zoom at £369.00.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Verdict

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 is going to suit someone who wants lots of optical zoom, but isn't too fussed about image quality being good enough for large prints. If you prefer sharing your images on Facebook instead, image quality is good enough, particularly as colour reproduction is good. Noise is an issue from ISO 200 upwards, so shooting in good light or with the flash is useful, the battery life is also disappointing. But for the amount of zoom available and full manual controls, the AZ361 is worth its price - especially as you can also shoot HDR images using the camera handheld.


 

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Pros

Plenty of optical zoom
Good value for money
Optical image stabilisation
Screen has a decent resolution
HDR mode
Rubberised grip

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Cons

Poor battery life
Noise effects image quality from ISO 200
Image quality could be better
Panorama images are poorly stitched

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Kodak PixPro AZ361 Specifications

ManufacturerKodak
Lens
Max Aperturef/2.9 - f/5.7
35mm equivalent24mm - 864mm
Optical Zoom36x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16.15Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 720p
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery LB-060
CIPA Rating200
Box Contents
Box ContentsRechargeable Li-ion battery, lens cap with strap, quick start guide, warranty card, service card, neck strap, USB cable, AC adapter and CD-ROM
Dimensions
Weight416g
Width112.7mm
Height81.6mm
Depth76.7mm

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Photographs taken using the Kodak PixPro AZ361

Garden AngelWhite Lotus
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Comments


Alan_Baseley e2
13 333 2 England
29 Aug 2013 8:35AM
Nose effects????!!!!

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joshwa e2
4 710 United Kingdom
29 Aug 2013 9:36AM
Corrected, thanks

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