Kodak EasyShare P850 Review
The P850 has very comprehensive white balance controls for a camera in this class. In addition to the default auto WB there are six presets; Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Open Shade and Sunset, one click manual white balance and no less than three custom white balance settings. Finally a neat white balance compensation function lets you fine tune color using the on-screen preview. In our tests the auto WB generally worked very well, preserving the warmth of the winter sun and representing colors pretty much as we saw them, though scenes with a predominance of a single color fooled the AWB system on occasion. Indoors the AWB coped well with incandescent light (better, in fact, than the tungsten preset), though fluorescents did produce a greenish cast, which was solved by switching to the fluo preset.
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red 5.5%, Blue -3.8%
|Incandescent - Incandescent preset WB
Red 6.9%, Blue -13.6%
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red 0.8%, Blue -13.6%
|Fluorescent - Fluorescent preset WB
Red 3.0%, Blue -2.5%
There's little to complain about here apart from the increasingly extended flash recycle times as the battery starts to run out. Even worse, if the flash isn't fully charged by the time you press the shutter it will take the picture anyway, without firing the flash, resulting in a totally underexposed shot. At first I thought this was a fault with my camera, but apparently it is 'normal behavior'. This means you have to be very careful when using flash with a half-empty battery.
Otherwise, exposures are excellent and color almost perfect (unusually for a built-in flash it's slightly warm, which is no bad thing most of the time). Fill flash is well balanced and the slow-sync works very well.
Good color, good exposure
Slightly warm color, very slight underexposure
The P850's macro function gets you down to about 10cm (3.9 inches) at the wide end of the zoom, capturing an area just over 5cm across, though there is obviously a price to pay in the form of distortion (common to most digital camera macro modes). At the telephoto end of the zoom the area captured is almost identical, though the shooting distance is increased to 90cm and the distortion almost non-existent.
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
There is noticeable barrel distortion at the wide end of the zoom, but it's unlikely to mar everyday shots, and is no worse than most of the competition. There is only the merest measurable (0.1%) pincushion distortion at the tele end of the zoom.
|Barrel distortion - 1.1% at Wide angle
Equiv. focal length: 36 mm
|Barrel distortion - 0.1% at Telephoto
Equiv. focal length: 432 mm
The biggest problem with the DX and Z series of big zoom EasyShare cameras was the lack of image stabilization, which, combined with the inevitable noise problems associated with such a small sensor, made using the long end of the zoom difficult. The good news is that the P850 has a similar optical image stabilizer to its main competitors from the Canon, Sony and Panasonic stables. The even better news is that it seems to work very well, allowing hand held shots at three stops or so slower than would be possible without it - meaning you'll get pretty sharp shots at 1/50th of a second at the long (432mm equiv.) end of the zoom, and even dropping to as low as 1/8th produces acceptable results if you've got a fairly steady hand in the first place.
The P850 has two IS modes, 'single' (activated on half-press of the shutter) and continuous. In our tests there wasn't a huge difference in effectiveness between the single and continuous modes, though we had a higher success rate with continuous, so I'd only suggest using the single mode if you want to maximize battery life. It's worth noting that the 'single' mode doesn't work in the same way as it does on Canon and Panasonic cameras (where the IS is activated only when the shutter is actually pressed) - it simply doesn't come on until you half-press the shutter (to focus), and so is no more effective than leaving it on continuous - quite the opposite according to our tests.
Although we've no definitive test for IS systems in real-world use, I was very impressed with the P850's stabilization, which seems roughly on a par with that offered by Canon and Sony (though we still feel the Panasonic FZ cameras have a slightly more effective IS system). These tests are rather extreme - around 3 or 4 stops slower than you could safely use without IS - and in 'real life' shots - where you are maybe using a shutter speed two stops slower than normal - the system is pretty much 100% effective.
Specific image quality issues
First the good stuff. Images from the P850 have typical Kodak color - rich, saturated and vibrant, yet very natural, meaning most of the target audience will be overjoyed at the bright punchy prints they get without any post-processing. Exposure is good - though far from foolproof - and I reckon I got a hit rate of about 80%, with the remainder marred mainly by focus errors or by exposure problems caused by unusually contrasty scenes.
On the downside, as noted elsewhere in this review, the images lack biting sharpness, and there is a tendency for fine detail to be muddied by the in-camera processing, which leads to a loss of texture in scenic shots. Inevitably there is some clipping of highlights, but this doesn't seem to be as much of a problem as we've seen with some other 5MP cameras.
Not a huge problem, though you can see some CA (and some purple fringing) in bright, contrasty scenes.
|100% crop||36 mm equiv., F2.8|
|Perfection in Repetition by Nilesh Trivedi|
from Your City -Repetition
|a century before powerpointP1540926 by nt35|
from Books - Macro only
|Red splash by millan|
|1958 Edsel-8060 by vbuhay|
from E is for...
According to a Reuters report, US Congress is urging US companies to sever ties with Chinese manufacturers of communication equipment.
A firm launch date is still forthcoming, but in the meantime a sample reel from Kodak's new Super 8 camera has been released.
HTC's newest handset, the HTC U11 Eyes, improves on the standard U11 by slapping a dual camera on the front for 'portrait mode' selfies with real-time bokeh simulation.
Missile scare notwithstanding, we spent a lovely few days in Hawaii shooting with Sony's newest APS-C E-mount lens. See how it measures up capturing the spectacular scenery that the Aloha State is known for.
Now that we've completed our review of Panasonic's Lumix DC-G9, we've updated its entry in our Best Cameras Under $2000 and Best Cameras for Sports & Action buying guides.
Hasselblad has introduced its next-generation multi-shot camera body, built to shoot 400-megapixel photos by using sensor-shift technology to combine up to six exposures into a single monster image measuring 23200 x 17400 pixels.
CVS is banning digitally altered beauty imagery on its store-brand beauty products, and plans to mark other brands' images as "Digitally Altered" if they're not up to snuff by the end of 2020.
Canon has announced that it will introduce a series of printers that allow users to refill the ink tanks themselves—a surprising shift that could, in theory, save customers quite a bit of money.
Adventure and lifestyle photographer Lucy Martin put together a useful little video that goes over her 18 favorite Lightroom shortcuts—a great guide for beginners.
Following a series of allegations of sexual misconduct against Bruce Weber and Mario Testino, magazine publisher Conde Nast has severed ties with both of the famed fashion photographers, and released a code of conduct for future photo shoots.
Photographer Christopher Payne captures the 'colorful world of craft and complexity' you'll find in the General Pencil Company's factory in Jersey City... and almost nowhere else.
A new feature in the Google Arts & Culture app compares your facial features to its database of thousands of artworks, finding your fine art "doppelganger."
Recently, we spent a day in Los Angeles with photographer, cook and food blogger Kylie Mazon. Join us and see how Kylie approaches the challenge of shooting lifestyle and promotional images for a downtown hotel with the Canon EOS M6.
Leica has announced a pair of short telephoto lenses for its SL full-frame mirrorless camera. The APO-Summicron-SL 75mm and 90mm F2 ASPH lenses feature an apochromatic design to reduce chromatic aberration, one aspherical element and minimum focusing distances of around 0.5m.
The Panasonic G9 is the brand's top-tier stills camera. We've updated our already large sample gallery with even more photos to enjoy.
The latest product of Huawei's collaboration with Leica is a smartphone with a great all-around imaging feature set that left us very little to complain about.
In this quick video, award-winning travel photographer Bob Holmes shares nine of his most basic and straightforward tips for finding great images, even when you're in a rut.
Gudsen has launched a new gimbal that’s aimed at mirrorless photographers. With a payload of 3.9lbs/1.8kg, the new Moza AirCross can provide stabilization to a mirrorless body even fitted with a cinema lens and a new in-handle option can provide power to Sony and Panasonic cameras.
The Lensbaby 46mm Macro Kit comprises of three stackable filters with different magnification levels, which can be combined with several of the company's "bokeh effect" lenses.
Nikon Rumors is reporting that an upcoming full-frame mirrorless camera from Nikon will sport an all-new "Z-Mount" with an extremely short flange distance of just 16mm.
A lot of people still have positive associations with the Kodak brand and its iconic logos, but it’s worth clearing something up: not everything with the Kodak name on it has much connection to a bunch of clever people in Rochester, New York.
A leaked image of a Galaxy S9 retail box indicates the new model might come with a variable aperture lens and a super-slow-motion video mode.
The portable little scanner features a 3.5-inch color screen, an integrated SD card slot for saving your scans, adapter trays for different types of film, and an HDMI port for viewing your scans directly on an external display.
Yesterday, Canon Italy and Canon Spain accidentally shared a composite photo that contained stolen elements shot with a Fujifilm camera. Today, in a response on social media, the company somehow managed to make things worse.
We've got a pair of Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN lenses in the office: one for Micro Four Thirds and the other for Sony E-mount. In this article we have some impressions of the MFT version, as well as some other lenses in this class worth considering.
Most wedding photographers are probably open to a little bit of feedback from their clients, but one Hong Kong couple was reportedly so upset, they provided their photographer with a detailed 30-page report full of their grievances!
It appears Huwei's ties to the Chinese Government and a fear of espionage have played a role in AT&T's decision not to offer the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and it's Leica-branded dual camera to customers in the United States.
The Autel Robotics EVO looks like the first serious competitor for DJI's Mavic Pro Platinum. With a better remote, slightly better camera, and a slightly cheaper price tag, this drone could steal some serious Mavic market share.
Sony has released firmware version 2.00 for its flagship a9 mirrorless camera. The most notable improvements are to continuous AF, but overall stability has been addressed, as well.
Kodak just debuted a bitcoin mining machine for rent at CES, leaving photographers slack-jawed and confused, and cryptocurrency mining experts balking at what they claim is an outright scam.