Kodak Z980 Review
By Mike Flacy
Features & Controls
The Easyshare Z980 is equipped with a Kodak AF 24x all-glass lens with a 26-624 mm (35 mm equiv.) focal range. The maximum aperture range is from f/2.5 - 5.0. The lens retracts into the camera when powered down and is protected by a the included lens cap.
Auto focus is handled by a 25-zone contrast detect TTL system with multi-zone, center zone, and selectable zone options as well as single AF or continuous AF modes.
The focus range is:
Normal: 2.3 ft. (0.7 m)-infinity at Wide or 8.2 ft. (2.5m) - infinity at Tele
Macro: 3.9 in.-3.28 ft (0.1-1.0m) Wide, 5.6-9.8 ft. (1.7-3.0 m) Tele
Super Macro: 0.4-1.0 in. (0.01-0.3m)
The built-in speedlight has mode for Auto, Fill, Red eye and off. The maximum range is approx. 20.3 ft (6.2m) wide or 11.5 ft (3.5m) tele, using ISO 400.
Here you can see the EVF or Electronic View Finder. This is simply a tiny LCD mounted inside a magnified eye-piece. There is no dioptric adjustment. To the left is the EVF-LCD button to switch between the monitors. The EVF can display all of the same information and menus as the LCD.
The indoor/outdoor 3.0-inch wide view color LCD has 201,000 pixels of resolution. It can be used as the live viewfinder, for viewing stored images/movies, and accessing the menu screens.
Controls on the back: At the top are the Zoom lens controls, in playback they function as the magnify and index controls for inspecting stored images. Along the side of the LCD are the Delete, Menu, Info, and Playback buttons. Above the 4-way is the Share button, which is used when the camera is connected to you PC or a PictBridge compatable printer. The 4-way selector is for navigating menus and selecting pictures; pushing the OK button in the center will accept menu selections. Pressing any direction on the 4-way will bring up the function shortcut menu. See the Next page for more information on the menus.
On top are several controls. First we have the Power switch. Next is the orientation switch, that enables the vertical shutter release and controls. The Mode Dial has positions Smart Auto, Portrait, Sports, Panorama, SCN, Manual, Shutter speed priority, Aperture priority, Program, and Movie. To the left are button for Flash, Macro focus, and self-timer. Last we have the main control dial, which is used to change various exposure values, depending on the mode being used. Press the dial inward to select the function that you desire to change.
On the right side of the camera is a DC IN jack for an optional AC power supply as well as the USB/AV combination port. This port not only takes care of transferring images to your PC, Mac, or PictBridge compatible printer, but it also handles Audio/Video output to your television set. Unfortunately, Kodak does not include the A/V output cable with the camera.
The Z980 has ~64MB of internal memory and a memory card slot capable of using SD/SDHC memory cards. We recommend the purchase of at least a 1GB SD card (or larger if you are planning a vacation). Shown here with a spacious and speedy OCZ Class 6 4GB SDHC memory card.
The Z980 is powered by four AA type batteries. Kodak includes a set of 2100 mAh rechargeable cells along with a handy and compact charger. They claims this set fully charged can power the Z980 for up to 400 pictures.
Here you can see the alternate 'portrait' or vertical shutter release. When shooting in this orientation, the Up and Down (Left and Right when you have the camera on its side) arrows of the 4-way controller operate the lens.
Here you can see the Z980 with the detachable vertical hand grip installed. This is an included accessory that gives the camera an SLR like feel when shooting in the portrait orientation. Kudos to Kodak for including this handy addition.
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