CES 2010. Another camera, Kodak unveiled at CES is the EasyShare Z981 superzoom . at is the superzoom. It is distinguished by a lens with 26 -fold zoom combined with a matrix with a resolution of up to 14 megapixels. It is distinguished by a lens with 26-fold combined with a matrix with a resolution of up to For advanced users provide a set of manual modes…….
The Kodak EasyShare Z981 feels like an afterthought in the company’s camera lineup. It was released at CES 2010 but was not part of the fanfare for its other models announced at the same time. The only thing that seems to tie the Z981 to the rest of Kodak’s offerings is its Share button and built-in software for quickly getting shots off to friends and family or uploaded to photo-sharing sites. Otherwise, it’s pretty slapdash with missing features, a somewhat clunky design, average shooting performance, and inconsistent photo quality.
The Z981 looks like several other megazoom cameras. After all, there’s only so much that can be done when you’re working around a big, wide-angle 26x zoom lens. For the most part it’s the same as 2009’s Z980, but feels fractionally more compact. The only visible difference is that the previous model’s hot shoe was jettisoned.
The new KODAK EASYSHARE Z981 Digital Camera is where creativity and versatility come together. It zooms in faster, wider, and closer than ever, giving you sharp, steady shots you’ll be proud to share. Kodak’s Share button lets you tag pictures directly from your camera for uploading to YouTube, FACEBOOK, FLICKR, and KODAK Gallery sites, plus e-mail too. And its unique vertical shutter release and detachable grip give you the flexibility to go from horizontal to vertical shots with ease. From dramatic wide angles to the convenience of ultra-zoom, the Z981 delivers extraordinary performance.
On top is the shooting-mode dial with a spring-loaded power switch placed so closely in front of it that it actually requires effort to turn the camera on. Next to the Mode dial is a vertical dial for selecting and adjusting shot settings; it should really be on back where it would be in easy reach of your thumb. I have a preference for zoom toggles to be under thumb on back, but Kodak put it a little too far off to the left to make it easy to reach. To make portrait photography a little more comfortable, Kodak added a secondary shutter release at the lower front edge of the handgrip. A switch on top activates the button as well as changing the directional pad into a zoom toggle. Sadly, it doesn’t shift the shooting information on the screen. If you want to go back and forth between using the two shutter releases, you’ll have to keep flipping the switch. Kodak also includes a plastic grip that screws into the bottom of the camera so there’s more to hold on to when you’re shooting vertically. Thoughtful yes, but you have to take it on and off every time you want to access the easy-to-open, difficult-to-close SDHC card slot/battery combo compartment.
On back there’s a 3-inch LCD and an electronic viewfinder; a button to the left of the EVF lets you switch between the two. Down the right side of the LCD are Delete, Menu, Info/help, and Playback buttons. To the right of those is a directional pad for navigating menus and browsing photos and movies as well as Kodak’s Share button. This is really the biggest highlight of the camera as it allows you to quickly tag photos and movies for posting to Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube in addition to directly sending them to e-mail addresses or compatible Kodak digital photo frames. Tag what you want and then connect the camera by USB to a computer, and the built-in software handles the rest. At least it will once you’ve installed it on your computer and entered all of your account information.
The menu system is simple to navigate, as there are only two tabs: one for shooting options, another for camera setup. While checking through the settings, though, there are clearly differences between what the manual says the camera has and what is actually available. There is no way to shut off the image stabilization, for example. Presumably it shuts off when the camera is on a tripod, but maybe not. There’s also no way to turn on a date stamp or turn off Quickview, the instant playback of shots after they’ve been taken. And while I’m on the topic of missing features, the camera manual and Kodak’s Web site for the Z981 say it has a stereo mic for use when recording movies; it does not.
As for outputs, the Z981 has only a Micro-USB/AV port under a door on the camera’s right side. Most current megazooms have a Mini-HDMI port for directly connecting to an HDTV, but this doesn’t. Lastly, the Z981 is powered by four AA batteries, and Kodak includes rechargeables and a charger. They’re precharged, too, so you can start shooting out of the box. However, once they’re depleted, the bundled charger takes 16 to 18 hours to refresh the batteries. You’ll either need to buy a second set of batteries or buy a faster charger.
Like most full-size megazooms, the Z981 has semimanual and manual mode options. Shutter speeds can be set from 16 seconds to 1/2,000 second. Apertures include f2.8, f3.2, f3.5, f4, f4.5, f5, f5.6, f6.3, f7.1, and f8.0. With the lens fully extended, you just get five, though: f5.0, f5.6, f6.3, f7.1, and f8.0. Being able to control shutter speed is great for freezing or blurring motion; the aperture control gives you the ability to select how much of a scene you want in focus. Using them is easy, too, but again, the location of the dial for making changes should really be on back of the camera and not on top. You also get exposure bracketing, color effects, and contrast and sharpness adjustments. A manual white balance option is notably absent.
Maybe this stuff would be more forgivable if the photo quality was stellar or the performance fast. But the camera pretty much misses the mark on those, too. The resolution’s been bumped up to 14 megapixels, but the photo quality is predictably worse than the 12-megapixel Z980. Although I typically have no major issues with Kodak’s image processing, this model is inconsistent with color and exposure. Shooting performance is decent, mainly because CCD-sensor-based megazooms all have a tendency to perform slowly.
One-button upload—turn moments into memories:
- Snap your picture.
- Press the Share button and tag it to YouTube, FACEBOOK, FLICKR and KODAK Gallery sites, plus e-mail too.
- Connect your camera to your computer, and with Kodak’s Share button app, your pictures are automatically uploaded.
- Your pictures and videos are automatically transferred to your computer.
Vertical shutter release:
- Shoot vertically and horizontally with the convenient vertical shutter release.
- Detachable vertical grip (included) provides maximum comfort while shooting vertically.
- Capture sharp, steady shots when shooting at long zoom ranges.
- Image stabilization automatically minimizes camera shake to deliver sharper pictures.
Amazing quality prints with 14 MP:
- 14 MP means you can make stunning prints up to 30 × 40 in.
- More megapixels means you can crop and enlarge and still have great picture quality.
- However you choose to print—at home, at retail, or online—trust KODAK for picture quality that’s truly exceptional and for memories that will last.
HD picture capture:
- Capture beautiful HD pictures in 16:9 format.
- View your pictures in high definition on an HDTV or other HD devices.
HD video capture:
- Capture HD quality video.
- Capture more video while using less memory with MPEG-4 compression.
- Print multiple frames on a 4 × 6 in. print.
- Save single frames and e-mail family and friends.
- Mark special spots in your video with video bookmarking.
Enhanced lighting control:
- Responsive performance, including fast power up, shot-to-shot and click-to–capture.
- RAWfile format for full creative flexibility.
- Exposure compensation—± 2.0 EV in ± 1/3 EV step increments.
- Shutter speed—16–1/2000 sec.
- ISO equivalents—(automatic), 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400.
- Auto focus—TTL imager AF system.
- Exposure metering—multi-pattern, center-weighted, center-spot.
- White balance—auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, open shade.
- Flash mode—auto, off, fill, red-eye reduction.
Multiple scene modes:
- Portrait modes—portrait, night portrait, backlight, self.
- Landscape modes—landscape, night landscape, fireworks.
- Bright scene modes—sport, beach, snow.
- Action modes—sport, children.
- Close-up modes—flower.
- Text/Documents mode—get sharp text when photographing documents.
- Manner/Museum mode—use when sound or flash are not desired.
5 color modes:
- High color.
- Low color.
- Natural color.
- Black and white.
Kodak’s Face Recognition feature:
- Find, organize, and share your pictures easily.
- Camera automatically recognizes up to 20 pre-tagged faces so you can easily locate and share them later.
- Recognizes up to five faces in a single image.
- Name tags carry over to your favorite photo management software for easy searching.
KODAK PERFECT TOUCH Technology:
Make your pictures as vivid as the moment you took them. Print better, brighter pictures using KODAK PERFECT TOUCH Technology in PASM modes.
- Make better, brighter pictures.
- Relive your memories in richer detail.
- Clear up dark shadows to reveal better more smiles.
High ISO mode:
- Capture the details in low light conditions and fast action situations with a powerful, high ISO (up to 6400).
- Faster shutter speeds mean you can capture scenes in low light and fast action.
- The camera automatically selects from ISO 64 to ISO 3200 based on lighting conditions.
- ISO 3200 and 6400 available at 3 MP and less in PASM modes.
- 14 megapixels.
- 26x optical zoom.
- Optical image stabilization..
- 3-inch LCD display.
- 720p HD video mode.
- Vertical shutter release and detachable vertical grip.
- Captures to SD/SDHC memory cards.
- Rechargeable Ni-MH AA batteries included.