Kodak Easyshare C875 Review
Design and Handling
The C875 is surprisingly well-constructed for a budget model, with half of the exterior clad in metal and a fairly solid feel. The design may be more functional than funky, and it's not the slimmest kid on the block, but the control layout and ergonomics are actually pretty good. The days when 'budget' equated to 'hideous plastic brick' would, on the evidence of the C875, be far behind us. And the other good news is that Kodak hasn't scrimped on the level of external control either, with a user interface that doesn't rely too heavily on menus and places most of what you need at your fingertips.
Key body elements
Controls & Menus
The C875's user interface is as user friendly as you could ever hope for - despite the fairly hefty feature set. The menus are written in plain English with large, easily understood icons, meaning the manual is rarely needed when exploring the range of features. The main record mode screen is - when you're not in the fully automatic auto mode - rather cluttered, with a huge amount of information on display.
But there is a powerful benefit to the screen clutter; once you've mastered the controls, it gives you the ability to change a lot of settings without having to enter menus, simply by selecting and changing them using the joystick. This approach means that experienced photographers have virtually all the control they need at their fingertips without once seeing a menu or leaving record mode, something very rare indeed in a camera in this class.
|As usual you can change the amount of information displayed on-screen in record mode, from nothing to the full works (shown here) with framing grid and a little histogram. Note that the amount of information shown in PASM mode (as here) is considerably more than you get in the full auto and scene modes.||Half-press the shutter and the camera focuses, indicating the auto focus (AF) point and auto exposure (AE) settings chosen.|
|Pushing the joystick left or right highlights each of the available settings in turn (AE compensation, shutter speeds/apertures, ISO, focus mode); moving it up and down change the settings.||Turn the mode dial to SCN and you'll get access to 22 scene modes covering just about every photographic eventuality (including stitched panoramas). Each has a brief explanation of what it does and how to use it.|
|Pressing the menu button in record mode brings up the menus shown above. You use the joystick to move up and down the list, and press it to select a setting to change. Here you'll find some pretty basic shooting options covering white balance, metering, focus, picture size and sharpening.||Pressing the review button switches the camera to playback mode. Note that portrait images are rotated automatically (you can turn this option off). Pressing the info button toggles between three views, including a (tiny) histogram option (shown above). There is also a three color blur warning system (which also works in instant review after you've taken a shot), which gives a pretty reliable indication of whether camera shake and/or focus errors could result in a blurred image.|
|Pressing the info button a second time brings up a fairly comprehensive overlay of shooting information (shown above).||
Push the left zoom button (wide) and you get a grid of 3x3 small thumbnail image. Push the zoom lever to the right and you can magnify the image up to 8x
|Pressing the menu button in review mode brings up the usual array of options to protect (lock) images, watch slideshows and so on (deleting has its own button). You can also copy images to and from the internal memory/SD card and use albums (which have to be created when the camera is attached to the PC).||One new option is 'Picture Perfect Technology' - something Kodak has transplanted from its printers. This is a sophisticated 'auto levels' that - amongst other things - helps lift the shadows in contrasty scenes. You have the option to save the modified image as a new file or to overwrite.|
|Pressing the 'Share' button allows you to tag images for printing or emailing, or designate them as 'favorites'.||Add an image as a favorite and next time you transfer your pictures to the PC a small (screen resolution) version will be copied back to the camera's internal memory so you can carry it with you at all times. Not sure how useful this is, but it's very 'Kodak'.|