Kodak Easyshare Z981 Review
Kodak's EasyShare series promotes how easy it is to take and share your pictures and videos with the world. This is made possible with Kodak's one click Share button found in every Kodak EasyShare digital camera. With the Kodak EasyShare Z981 digital camera, not only is it easier to share your pictures and videos but you also get to share them in high definition (HD). With the advent of HD technology, this camera is definitely a step towards the future. Here are the camera's key features.
The Kodak EasyShare Z981 belongs to the megazoom or superzoom category. If you love having a powerful zoom you definitely won't be disappointed with this camera. The EasyShare Z981 offers 26x optical zoom. That's equivalent to 26-676 mm in a 35mm camera. Most superzoom cameras only sport a 10x or 14x optical zoom. This makes the camera ahead in its class. The lens supports both wide-angle and telephoto coverage. With the wide-angle setting you would be able to take wider landscape shots and it would be easier to fit large groups in one single frame. With the telephoto setting, you would be able to zoom in and take close up pictures of distant subjects. One useful advantage of having a zoom like this is when taking pictures of animals in the wild. The animals run away when you get too close. With this zoom at hand, you won't have to go near them just to be able to take photos of them in their natural environment.
The picture quality of the EasyShare Z981 is not that impressive. Even with a 14.0 megapixel sensor and a world renowned lens, colors sometimes appear flat and lacking in contrast. In some instances, images are over exposed and over saturated. This usually happened when we took pictures at automatic shooting mode. In maximum zoom, the pictures were a bit soft already and some details were lost. But if you're just looking to print 4x6 or 5x7 photos, this camera will be enough to do trick.
The Z981 delivers on its easy sharing promise by putting a one click Share button at the back of the camera. In one single click, you can tag your photos and videos and instruct the camera to upload these pictures and videos into YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Kodak Gallery sites, or even e-mail. It's a very user-friendly application that makes sharing your videos and photos to friends and family very easy. Your pictures and videos are also automatically transferred to your computer upon connection to your computer.
Cameras with a powerful zoom like the EasyShare Z981 are definitely big and bulky in structure. The EasyShare Z981 however is even bigger and bulkier than those of competing models. Compared to the Pentax X90, which also sports a 26x optical zoom, the EasyShare Z981 is noticeably larger. What contributes to this bulkiness is the camera's support for using 4 AA sized batteries. Although we love the accessibility of using AA sized batteries, the added bulkiness is definitely a turn off.
Talking about the batteries, the AA batteries definitely last longer. However, it took us 17 hours to fully charge them with the battery charger that came with the box. This is definitely an added inconvenience especially for photographers who are always on the go. You'll either have to buy a faster battery charger or a second set of AA batteries to replace depleted ones.
The 3.0 inch display with a two-level brightness adjustment is a plus. With a large LCD display, it would be easier to compose your pictures and then view them later. While the brightness level adjustment allows you brighten the LCD when shooting in direct sunlight so that you would still be able to clearly see it.
Another bonus is the vertical shutter release support with a detachable vertical grip. With this at hand, you can now take vertical or horizontal pictures with the same shutter press action. This makes taking vertical pictures a lot easier because normally without this, you would have to press the shutter button sideways and not in the normal downwards motion.
The EasyShare z981 is also capable of recording videos in 720p HD resolution. The video quality is quite good and is comparable with other compact video recording devices. Auto focus and zoom also works while recording. This is a definite plus. One setback though is the loudness of the lens movement when zooming. The noise can sometimes be heard on the video especially when recording solemn or quiet moments.
Like all other superzoom cameras, the EasyShare z981 also comes with semi-manual and manual shooting modes. The user has the option to shoot in Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, or Full Manual mode. The user also has flexibility in setting the exposure compensation, ISO, exposure metering, white balance, and flash mode. These are advance settings that will come in handy in shooting conditions where the auto shooting mode of the camera fails.
If you prefer shooting in automatic mode, the EasyShare z981 is equipped with Kodak's Smart Capture feature. This feature combines Intelligent Scene Detection, Intelligent Capture Control, and Intelligent Image Processing so you get the best pictures all the time. There are also 7 scene modes to choose from and 5 color modes to spark your creativity.
- 14.0 Megapixels sensor
- 26x Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon Optical Zoom lens
- 26mm wide-angle lens
- 3.0 inch bright LCD display
- Vertical shutter release button
- Image Stabilization
- Manual and Semi-manual shooting modes
- HD pictures in 16:9 format
- 720p HD video capture capability
- Kodak Smart Capture
- Great sharing software
- Vertical shutter release button
- HD video quality
- Average image quality
- Bigger and bulkier
- Long battery charging time
- No mini HDMI port
In a nutshell, the Kodak EasyShare z981 is an affordable superzoom camera with great specifications but produces pictures with only average quality. For the budget conscious who wants a powerful zoom and are not that discriminating when it comes to image quality, this camera would be enough. Otherwise, we recommend you get something else. There are a lot better options out there.
Rating: 3.4 out of 5
Where to Buy It:
Lowest Price: Amazon for $236.28.
Note: This is a 28% off Amazon coupon and one of the best deals for the Kodak Easyshare Z981.
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|Amazon||$236.28 (Cheapest Price)|
Prices last updated on: Tue, 21 May 2013 00:12:30 PDT