Kodak Z812 IS Digital Camera Review
Since 2002 I’ve had the same digital camera. It was an older Kodak 2-megapixel camera that did it’s job – if just barely. It was light on features, and took acceptable pictures – in 2002 when it was introduced. Fast forward to now, 2007, with a new son and grandparents wanting lots of photos, and my wife (who seldom notices anything about technology) complaining about the quality of the photos that it took and it added up to being time to upgrade our digital camera.I wanted to purchase the Canon Digital Rebel XTi since I had an existing telephoto lens that would fit it. My wife wanted to a pocket-sized camera she could fit in her purse. Needless to say, we were in a predicament. The solution? A camera with a good optical zoom and a number of different picture-taking modes.Originally we purchased the Kodak Z712 IS – which we were quite happy with. The only thing it lacked was the ability to take high definition video. A few weeks later I discovered that the very week that we purchased the Z712 Kodak shipped the Z812. So, the Z712 went back to the store and the Z812 arrived! Here’s my impressions:
What I Really Like:
- Great optical zoom. A 36mm-432mm optical zoom means that nothing is out of range with this camera. Combined with the image stabilization feature you can get away with slightly slower shutter speeds at long focal lengths and still get nice pictures.
- A multiplicity of modes – As an amateur photographer I like having the ability to set my own shutter and aperture values depending on what I’m doing. At the same time, the availability of a fully automatic mode makes it a camera that is easy to use by anyone. Plus, having sixteen preset modes for special settings (night time shooting, portraits, snow, beach, etc.) is handy if you’d rather not mess with the stop settings yourself. In addition to being able to control the exposure you can also control the flash setting.
- Variable Color Settings – This is a relatively simple feature but on the advanced modes you can choose between “Low Color” “Natural Color” “High Color” “Black and White” and “Sepia”. This lets you adjust the appearence of your photos as you take them rather than in a photo editing program later. I find that taking a photo in the mode produces better quality that editing it later in a photo editing program.
- Multiple Photo Features – Besides the standard self-timer, there are two settings for taking multiple photos. One takes five consecutive photos in rapid succession. The other will take up to 30 consecutive photos in rapid succession and store the last five.
- High ISO settings – High ISO settings allows this camera to take photos in low light conditions. While the quality of low light pictures isn’t exceptional, they’re not awful either.
- HD Video – by far my favorite feature is the ability to take 720p video at 30 frames per second. It takes a computer or high definition TV to really appreicate the superior quality of this video. The fact that the sound is stereo is cool, but the quality is about average for a digital camera.
What I Don’t Like: honestly, nothing. There’s no major problems with the camera itself. That’s being said, there’s a few features that would have been nice.
- On a camera of this caliber, it would have been nice to add an external flash for low-light conditions
- Since this camera is labled has “HD” and takes high definition video, it would have been nice to be able to use a component cable connection to output 720p/1080i video direct from the camera.
- Out of the box the camera comes with a disposable battery. The least Kodak could have done was include a rechargeable battery in the box. I ended up purchasing two rechargeable batters and an AC charger for it.
Summary: If you’re not quite ready for size or cost reason to go with an SLR but want a high performance camera that includes the ability to take HD video, this is a perfect camera.