Kodak EasyShare P850 Review
Operation and controls
The EasyShare concept is one Kodak has been pushing - and refining - for several years now. At its heart is a friendly user-interface (now looking a lot less cartoon-like than in earlier generations) and the ability - with the supplied software - to transfer and 'share' images with as little fuss as possible. And there's no doubt that as a point-and-shoot camera, the P850 is supremely user-friendly. That said, like the DX7590 (and Z740) before it, some aspects of operation can feel a little fiddly, and the camera certainly requires a few weeks' solid use before you really master the extensive manual controls on offer. On the plus side, Kodak has covered every spare space on the P850's body with buttons covering virtually all the most commonly accessed photographic controls, meaning you don't need to use the menus very often at all in everyday use.
Rear of camera
The P series sees some subtle, though important changes in the control arrangement over previous 'big zoom' cameras. The main mode dial has moved from the back to the top of the camera, and command dial has moved from the front of the grip to the back (and is now thumb operated).
Otherwise, although they've moved around, the external controls will be familiar to any user of a DX or Z series camera. The only change I'm not so keen on is the 'set' button, which does the same thing as pushing the command dial on previous cameras. The beauty of the old system was that you could do virtually everything without taking your eyes off the screen, as you only needed to use the command dial, whereas now you need to take your thumb off the dial and press the set button every time you want to change something. It's a tiny thing, but it's an extra step that simply wasn't necessary.
Top of camera
|The top of the P850 is home to focus, flash, drive and metering buttons, the main mode dial, a 'programmable' custom function button and the shutter release. The grip is a considerable improvement over previous models.|
Display and menus
The P850'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. There are even little on-screen 'tips' to tell you a little about each exposure mode as you select it (though how much help it is to see 'Use for Aperture Priority settings' appear on-screen when switching to A is questionable). 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. What you do get, once you've mastered the controls, is the ability to change a lot of settings without having to enter menus, simply by selecting and changing them using the jog dial and set button on the rear of the grip. 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.
|Here's the display in fully automatic mode, with the information overlay turned on. In 'auto' mode you can't really change much - this is a true 'point and shoot' setting.||In P, A, S and M modes you get a lot more information - and more control. Moving the joystick highlights each of the available settings in turn (AE compensation, shutter speeds/apertures, ISO, flash output control); press the set button and turn it again to make changes.|
|Half-press the shutter and the camera focuses, indicating the auto focus (AF) point and auto exposure (AE) settings chosen.||Pressing the 'i' button lets you turn off the information overlay or - as here - activate a small live histogram.|
|As you switch between the various modes a brief description appears on-screen. When you get sick of this 'feature' you can turn it off in the setup menu.||Manual exposure mode - with a simple '+/-' gage showing how far you are under or over the metered exposure.|
|Turn the mode dial to SCN and press the menu button and you'll get access to 16 scene modes. Each has a brief explanation of what it does and how to use it. Note there are no longer any scene modes on the mode dial itself - their place has been taken by three custom modes - much more useful.||Pressing any of the external control buttons (focus, flash, drive or metering) brings up a single page menu - use the joystick or command dial to select options.|
|Pressing the menu button brings up three tabbed menus. The middle tab covers basic shooting options; file size and type (JPEG, TIFF, raw), color mode and date stamp on/off.||The left tab has more advanced shooting options (note you don't get all these in full auto mode). Controls include white balance, AF mode / zone, image sharpness & contrast, flash settings and custom mode setup.|
|The third tab is a 'setup' menu, covering things like LCD brightness, image stabilization and button behavior.||One nice touch is the 'program' button, which can have one of a huge range of controls assigned to it. Options include white balance, AF, file type, color mode and many others. You can assign a different function to the button in review (playback) mode. Neat.|
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
ISOCELL comprises four sub-brands: Bright, Fast, Slim and Dual which are tailored to specific mobile device market demands.
The new store will be located at the Fotografiska center for contemporary photography in Stockhom, Sweden and carry the full range of Hasselblad products.
A recent vacation gave Richard a chance to think about the needs of travel photography – and how our reviews might recognize the perfect travel camera.
Need more evidence that 2017 is the year analog begins its comeback? Well, welcome another new film stock to the world.
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.
Photojournalist Pete Souza served as the presidential photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In an interview with fellow photographer Marcia Nighswander, he discusses several of his most noteworthy images.
Photographer Michael Wolf has been documenting the crowded conditions of Tokyo's subway trains since the 1990s. The photos have gone viral regularly in the years since he started the project, and he just published the final edition in the series.
The just-launched OnePlus 5 is getting a minor update that should improve camera function.
A Belgian camera shop is showing off an extremely rare, limited 'Rex Edition' Nikon D500. The cosmetic alterations were provided by a customer's German Shepherd Rex, who got ahold of the camera within a day of its purchase.
Adobe says that many of its users have been relying on SkyBox for VR editing and it therefore made sense to make the plug-ins available to all subscribers through Creative Cloud.
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not famed as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you look in the right places. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.