A new 10x entry to Kodak’s superzoom Z series...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

83%

Kodak EasyShare Z650

Value:85%
Features:80%
Overall score:83%
Design:85%
Image Quality:80%
Performance:85%

Pros:

  • The Z650 comes equipped with a solid lens that yields a great overall imaging perfomance. It’s user-friendly too, with easy-to-access features

Cons:

  • Image quality degrades during close-up and maximum zoom shooting. Clunky operation lets the camera down

Product:

Kodak EasyShare Z650

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£230

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The Z650 is one of a trio of fresh new entries to Kodak’s Z series of budget superzoom cameras. Sitting at the top of the range, its suggested retail price of £230 may not make it everyone’s idea of a budget purchase, but a quick glance under the bonnet reveals a surprisingly healthy set of specifications.

Features
The Z650’s headline feature is of course its 10x optical zoom lens. Fashioned by glass master Schneider-Kreuznach, this Variogon lens dominates the camera, providing f2.8-3.7 (38-380mm equivalent) optics. The lens is complemented by a two-inch LCD and electronic viewfinder, while a pop-up flash, 17 scene modes and PASM manual controls offer users the capacity to yield enhanced creative control when shooting.

Design
Sculpted in silver plastic, the Z650 provides palm-sized bulk through its mini-SLR styling. While it may not offer the pocket-sized convenience of a traditional compact, a rubber handgrip and sturdy build favourably offset the weight and size of the lens. Control layout is excellent, providing clear, on-body access to the most commonly called for shooting commands.

Performance
Meandering to life in about two seconds, its write times are equally leisurely, leaving frustrating delays during blink-and-you’ll-miss-it photo opportunities. Operation is clunky in this respect, extending to the performance of the far-from-simultaneous electronic viewfinder. Despite this, the Z650 offers a commendable imaging performance. Its shooting controls bring precise results and a good degree of accuracy when it comes to exposure and focusing. PASM modes are simply accessed and controlled, making the camera well suited to users beginning to break away from automatic operation.

Image Quality
The level of detail picked up by the Z650 is generally impressive, and proves the worth of Kodak’s relationship with Schneider-Kreuznach. For the most part, finer details are sharp and well defined, and this clarity is enhanced further by bright, punchy exposures. Image quality degrades at either extreme of the camera’s focal range, bringing about a degree of softness to some edge details. Noise is well controlled but some purple fringing is noticeable, along with a slight tendency to overexpose.

Value For Money
The Z650 offers healthy prosumer specs in exchange for a more widely accessible price tag than similar specified models. A few jagged operational edges belie its budget heritage, but the fact that it can already be found online priced less than £200 means it can be easily forgiven.

Verdict

Despite a general lack of true style and panache both inside and out, the Z650 offers some impressive specs and an extremely favourable level of imaging prowess

Full Specification

Other:
-
Memory Card:
SD

Connectivity:
USB 2.0
Power:
NiMH

Dimensions:
97.8 x 77.5 x 72.6mm
Flash Modes:
Auto plus four modes

White Balance:
-
ISO Range:
80-160, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800

Metering System:
multi-pattern, center-weighted, spot
Exposure Modes:
Auto, PASM, 17 scene modes

Shutter Speeds:
1/8 – 1/1700sec
File Formats:
JPEG

Lens:
Schneider Kreuznach Variogon f2.8-3.7 (38-380mm 35mm equivalent)
LCD:
2.0in, 110,000 pixels + viewfinder

Sensor:
1/2.5” CCD (5.76 x 4.29mm), 6MP effective