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Kodak EasyShare P850 Review

December 2005 | By Simon Joinson


Review based on a production Kodak EasyShare P850

In August 2005 Kodak announced a new class of 'advanced digital cameras' with the introduction of the P series, which it hopes will provide an alternative to entry-level DSLRs. The EasyShare P850, which has an image-stabilized 12x zoom Schneider-Kreuznach lens (36-432mm 35mm equiv), is a direct competitor to the likes of Canon's S2 IS, Sony's H1 and Panasonic's FZ20. As well as the new image stabilizing feature the P850 boasts RAW file capture and a flash hot shoe, plus a real wealth of photographic controls.

  • 36-432mm (12x) Schneider KREUZNACH Variogon F2.8-3.7 zoom lens
  • Image stabilization
  • 5.1 MP sensor
  • VGA (640 x 480-pixel) video clips at 30fps
  • 2.5 in. (6.4 cm) LCD
  • High resolution electronic viewfinder
  • Hot shoe flash connector
  • Program, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual and three custom modes
  • Responsive performance
  • RAW file format
  • Histogram (capture and review)
  • Optional docks and printer docks
  • Optional 0.7x and 1.4x lenses

Kodak EasyShare P850 key specifications

Street price • US: $410
• UK: £310
Body Material Plastic
Sensor • 1/2.5" CCD
• 5.1 million pixels total
• 5.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 2592 x 1944
• 2592 x 1728 (3:2 ratio optimized for 6x4-inch prints)
• 2048 x 1536
• 1664 x 1248
• 1280 x 960

File Formats • JPEG (basic, standard, fine)
• RAW
• TIFF
Movie clips

• 640 x 480 (30 fps)
• 320 x 240 (30 fps)
• Duration limited by card capacity (streaming)

Lens

• 36-432mm equiv.(12x zoom) Schneider Variogon
• F2.8 - F3.7
• Optical image stabilization
• 55mm filter thread

Focus

• Multi-zone, center zone, 25 selectable zones
• TTL-AF, hybrid AF external passive sensor
• Normal: 0.1 m - infinity (W) 0.9 m - infinity (T)
• Macro: 10 - 90 cm (W) 0.9 m - 2 m (T)
• Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual Focus

Shooting mode

• Auto
• Portrait
• Self-portrait
• Sport
• Landscape
• Night portrait
• Night landscape
• Snow
• Beach
• Text/document
• Flower
• Sunset,
• Candlelight
• Backlight
• Manner/museum
• Fireworks
• Party
• 3 custom modes
• AE Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV steps

Sensitivity

• Auto ISO
• 50, 64, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 800*
* ISO 800 only available in 1.2MP picture quality

Shutter speeds • Automatic: 1/2–1/1000 sec
• Manual: 16–1/1000 sec
Apertures • f/2.8– f/8.0 (wide), f/3.7–f/8.0 (tele)
• 10 position aperture f/2.8–f/8.0 in 1/3 EV step
White Balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Open Shade
• Cloudy
• Sunset
• Click WB
• 3 custom WB modes
• White balance compensation: blue/red bias and magenta/green bias

Metering • Multi-pattern
• Center-weighted
• Center-spot
• Selectable
Image parameters

• Color: High, natural, low (saturation)
• B&W
• Sepia
• Sharpness: High, normal, low
• Contrast: High, normal, low

Continuous • First: 2.3 fps up to 5 images (Fine / JPEG)
• Last: 2.3 fps last 5 frames saved (Fine / JPEG)
Flash • Built-in auto pop-up
• Modes: auto, fill, off, red-eye reduction
• Range @ ISO 140: (wide) 4.7 m, (tele) 3.6 m
• +/- 1.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
• Guide number: 11 @ ISO 100
• Hot shoe
Storage • SD/MMC card
• 32MB internal memory
Viewfinder • EVF
• 237,000 pixels
LCD monitor • 2.5 " TFT LCD
• 115,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0
• NTSC/PAL
DC in
AV out
Power • Kodak 1700 mA Li-ion rechargeable battery
• Adapter optional
In the box*

• KODAK EASYSHARE P850 Zoom Digital Camera
• High-capacity KODAK Li-Ion Rechargeable Digital Camera Battery and Charger
• USB and audio/video cables
• Lens cap with strap
• Neck strap
• KODAK EASYSHARE Software
• Getting Started Kit
• Custom camera insert for optional KODAK EASYSHARE Printer Docks and Camera Docks

Other features

PictBridge
Playback and record histogram
Exposure bracketing, 3 or 5 images 1/3, 2/3, 1.0EV steps
In-camera raw developer
In-camera red-eye removal (playback mode)
• +/-2EV with 1/3EV steps
• 1/2 - 1/1000 sec shutter
• Image stabilizer
• 2 or 10-second self-timer
• Timelapse (intervalometer)

Weight (excl batt) 403 g (14.2 oz)
Dimensions 108 x 84 x 72 mm (4.3 x 3.3 x 2.8 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2005 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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