Why Buy the Kodak Easyshare Z8612 IS?
If you are looking for a camera with some extra zoom and are put off by size and complexity then the Easyshare Z8612 IS may provide the answer. Although much larger than a pocket camera the Easyshare Z8612 IS is smaller than most super zoom models. Despite the manual exposure controls on offer I also found the camera fairly straightforward. It is also one of the cheaper super zoom cameras.Image Quality
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|Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)|
The plus points in this picture include the way in which the camera has handled the lightest areas of the photo. This has meant that most of the detail of the boats has been captured. Sharpness is good as well. Where the Easyshare Z8612 IS is not so hot is where blue lines on the boat have picked up a purple tinge. I can also see signs of purple fringing when the photo is blown up into a large print.
|Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)|
As soon as you look at the second outdoor shot you will notice it is dark. There is also a fair amount of noise in the photo. This has quite an impact on photo quality even when a small print is made. Purple fringing is also in evidence again.
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|Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)|
With the lens fully zoomed in the opposite happens. The photo is overexposed. In this instance detail is lost from the lightest areas. Although purple fringing is a common problem with super zoom cameras I am not used to seeing it to the level produced by the Easyshare Z8612 IS. With most super zoom models it is hard to see purple fringing in smaller prints, but here it is likely to need cleaning up with a package such as Photoshop.
|Outdoor 4 (Building)|
This is one of the weaker efforts for this test shot. The lighter areas are again over exposed causing a loss of detail. The darker areas show noise and purple fringing appears again.
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The skin tones in this picture are very strong. This overpowers the photo. I am also not convinced by the sharpness of the shot and the focusing has a softer look.
|Indoor Portrait with Flash|
I would say this is my favourite test shot taken with the Easyshare Z8612 IS. This is mainly down to the colours being gentler in this shot than on others. Even here I am not convinced that the photo is as sharp as I would like it to be.
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|Indoor Portrait without Flash|
This is also a better effort. There is not a lot to choose between this shot and the indoor photo taken with flash. Colours are better balanced than in many of the other photos, especially the outdoor portrait.
I like digital cameras that are able to produce strong colours, but the Easyshare Z8612 IS takes this too far for me. The colours are so strong in some cases they lose any natural look.
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My macro shot is over exposed and has more purple fringing. Add in the fact you cannot get in closer than 12cm and the Easyshare Z8612 IS is not the best macro camera around.
ISO 400 and ISO 1600:
Here I have found plenty of noise and purple fringing is showing up once more.Overall:
As you can see I have struggled with this camera. Even taking into account its lower price tag the picture quality does not match up to my expectations.Shutter Lag and Recycling Times:
There were no significant problems with shutter delay. Single photos with and without flash were faster than standard. The camera's buffer fills up after four shots and this really slows the camera down if you are firing off a number of shots in quick succession. A single photo without flash took 0.23 seconds. Five photos were captured in 16.10 seconds. With flash, times were 0.25 seconds for a single photo and 16.19 seconds for five. It took 3.29 seconds to turn on the Kodak Easyshare Z8612 IS and take a picture.Style:
The Easyshare Z8612 IS is noticeably more compact than many other super zoom digital cameras. It has a grip area on the front to hold the camera steady. As with other cameras of this type there is a resemblance to a Digital SLR camera.Dimensions:
104 × 65.6 × 70.5 mmWeight:
Two AA batteries are required to run the camera.Memory Cards:
21MB of memory have been built into the Easyshare Z8612 IS by Kodak. This is enough for around 12 shots. The camera is also compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards.Ease of Use Rating:
Good. Changing key settings such as aperture and shutter speed is quite easy with the Easyshare Z8612 IS. As with other Kodak digital cameras this one is well thought out and has been made as easy as possible to use when taking its features into account.Points I Like:
Small for a super zoom camera - easier to use than most similar modelsWhere it Could Improve:
Build quality does not match some of the more sturdy super cameras - picture qualityDavid Tymon's verdict:
The Kodak Easyshare Z8612 IS does have some good points, but these are outweighed by the problems I encountered with picture quality. Even though this camera has a lower price tag compared with other super zoom cameras I don't feel it offers great value for money.
David Tymon works with Cameras.co.uk