Features & Controls


The biggest feature on the Z981 is its 26x SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent of 26-676mm. This lens handles low-light situations very well on the wide end with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 (f/5.0 at the telephoto end). Kodak has included an optical image stabilization system to help steady the lens when shooting handheld, either in low-light or when using the telephoto end of the large zoom. The lens retracts into the body when the camera is powered down for protection, and includes a lens cap to protect the front.

Focus Range
   Wide: 0.7 m (2.3 ft)-infinity, Telephoto: 2.5 m (8.2 ft)-infinity
   Wide: 0.1-1.0 m (0.3-3.3 in.), Telephoto: 1.7-3 m (5.6-9.8 ft)
Super Macro:
   1-30 cm (0.4-11.8 in.)

kodak_z981_flash.JPGKodak's powerful built-in flash unit automatically pops up when the flash is needed or turned on manually. It features auto, on, off and red-eye reduction modes as well as adjustable flash compensation. 

Flash Range:
Guide No. 9(m)
Wide:6.2 m (20.3 ft) @ ISO 100
Tele: 3.5 m (11.5 ft) @ ISO 100

kodak_z981_controls_top.JPGOn top of the camera 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. 

kodak_z981_evf.JPGThe Z981's electronic view finder (EVF) features 230,000 dots of resolution and a full 100% field of view. It will show all of the information that you will see on the LCD screen, but this option allows you to save battery power all while being easier to see in any lighting conditions. 

kodak_z981_back.JPGFraming and viewing your images is accomplished on the camera's 3.0-inch, 230,000 dot LCD screen (if not on the EVF). It features two levels of brightness to allows you to see it in bright lighting or turn it down if you are in a low-light setting. It also has an auto mode which will adjust the brightness for you. 


Controls on Back: On top you will find the Zoom lens controls, in playback they function as the magnify and index controls for inspecting stored images. Next you can see the Delete button for playback mode. The Menu button is for calling up and dismissing the onscreen menu system. Information about the camera settings can be viewed by pressing the Info button. Under that is the playback button, which changes the camera from REC to Play and back. To the right of the four buttons listed above, you can see the IR sensor, which allows the use of an optional remote control. The 4-way controller button is for navigating menus and selecting pictures. Inside you will find the OK button for changing the information on the LCD screen and accepting options in the menus. Finally above the 4-way controller is the "share" button, which allows for image transfer andn uploading the the web with just the push of a button. 


Hidden under a rubber door, the camera has a USB port, which allows you to connect it to a computer or allows you to view your images on a TV with an optional A/V cable. Above the USB port you can see DC in for an optional external power source. Unfortunately this camera does not feature an HDMI out for watching your HD movies on a HDTV.

kodak_z981_grip.JPGHere you can see the vertical shutter release with the included vertical grip. This makes the camera very comfortable while shooting vertically.

kodak_z981_memory.JPGThe Z981 uses SD/SDHC type memory cards to store your images when you are not using the camera's 64MB of internal memory. It will accept SDHC cards of up to 32GB. It is shown here with a RiDATA 2GB SD memory card.

Included with the Z981 is a set of 4, 2100mAh rechargeable Ni-MH batteries and a portable battery charger. This is an excellent feature as it allows you to keep several extra sets of batteries charged and on hand at all times. Since the camera takes AA style batteries, you can pick up a set just about anywhere in the world if you are in a bind. Kodak claims the camera is capable of capturing approx. 450-500 images with the fully charged included batteries (CIPA). 

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.