Conclusion - Pros
- Great feature set at a great price
- Decent build quality
- Full photographic control with genuinely usable interface
- Typical Kodak ease of use, excellent integration with EasyShare software
- Useful 5x zoom range (would be nice if it started a bit wider, however)
- Reliable focus and exposure
- Decent resolution, respectable image quality
- Lots of detail at ISO 64/100
- Bright, vivid color; typical 'Kodak' output
- Generally responsive
- Useful post-shot blur warning
- Useful Custom mode
- Reliable auto white balance in everything but the most challenging artificial lighting
Conclusion - Cons
- Screen not very bright, not enough resolution, can be hard to see in bright light
- Slow focus at the long end of the zoom and in low light
- High noise reduction at ISO 200+ causes excessive loss of fine, low-contrast detail
- No custom white balance
- Flash exposures a little hit and miss
- Images are over-compressed; no quality options
- Images a touch over-contrasty and over-sharpened for purist tastes
- Bit fussy about type of batteries used
- Fairly high distortion (not a major issue for everyday photography)
- Corner softness at full zoom / maxiumum aperture
I have to say that when i first started this review I had fairly low expectations; not because I have any preconceptions about Kodak's ability to make a decent camera (they've proved that they can many times), but because the C875 appears to offer too good a deal; 8MP, 5x zoom, full photographic control, all for well under $200 / £150. I'm pleased to report that the C875 counfounded those expectations fairly successfully, and that it shows just how far we've come when a camera this capable is available for so little.
Of course there are some compromises to be made; the C875 isn't the fastest camera in the world, and there are plenty that offer slightly better image quality, but the truth is that the typical user won't find a great deal to complain about. The screen isn't a patch on more expensive models, and can be pretty hard to see in direct sunlight, but the build quality is anything but 'budget' and ultimately there is only so much you can expect at this price point.
If you're on a budget and looking for a camera that allows you to experiment with the more creative side of photography as you learn more about shutter speeds, apertures and so on, then the C875 is well worth considering. Like the best cameras in Canon's A series it offers a wealth of controls, but - cruicially - it also offers very reliable 'point and shoot' operation, rarely failing to get a shot even in fairly challenging conditions. That famous Kodak color - if it's to your taste - produces great looking prints 'straight out of the camera', and unless you're looking very closely at the output on-screen and stick to lower ISO settings where possible, the output is surprisingly good.
The C875 may not be very glamorous, but Kodak could teach some manufacturers of much more expensive cameras a trick or two about user interface design. It's all very well stuffing budget cameras with photographic control, but if you bury it all away in menus you might as well not bother. Kodak's system, once you've mastered it, of putting pretty much all the controls on-screen (using the joystick to change everything) is a much rarer thing; a compact camera control system that not only makes experimenting with settings easy; it positively encourages it.
If you can live with the slightly sluggish focus, that awful over-the-top noise reduction at higher ISO settings, and the rather lame screen - and don't intend to produce huge prints - the C875 offers an awful lot of bang for your buck, and for this reason it just manages to sneak into our 'Recommended' category.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||7.5|
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