Kodak EasyShare Z650 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 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 Z650 is supremely user-friendly, though one that offers a fairly comprehensive feature set and an excellent 'one screen' interface for changing standard shooting options without resorting to menus.
Rear of camera
The majority of the Z650's controls are found on the rear, in a cluster to the right of the new larger 2.0-inch LCD screen. Directly above the LCD we have the Info button (used to turn on and off the information overlay when shooting or reviewing) and the EVF/LCD switch. To the right of this are the zoom controls.
Next down is the bejeweled 'share' button, used to tag images for printing or emailing (using the supplied EasyShare software). Below this is the main mode dial. In the center is a small silver 'joystick', which replaces the more common arrow keys on most cameras and is used to navigate menus. I found this particularly fiddly, as it is all too easy to accidentally press it ('Enter') when you're trying to move up, down, left or right. Again, I'm sure this is something you'd eventually get used to. Then again the joystick really comes into its own in PASM modes where it allows you to control apertures, shutter speeds, ISO and AE compensation without ever going near a menu.
Finally, below the main mode dial are three buttons; review (switch to playback mode), menu (to activate on-screen menus) and delete.
Top of camera
|The top of the Z650 is home to the main power/mode switch (record, off, favorites), the pop-up flash and its switch, the shutter release and three buttons for flash mode, macro/infinity AF mode and burst mode.|
Display and menus
The Z650's user interface is as user friendly as you could ever hope for - despite the full 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. The main record mode screen is - when you're not in the fully automatic auto mode - rather cluttered (though much less so now the screen is larger), 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 joystick on the back of the camera. 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. You can see at a glance your exposure mode, AE compensation setting, flash mode, picture size/quality, remaining frames and AF mode. The blue brackets indicate the AF area (in this case we're using the 3-area AF).||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); press the joystick and push it up or down to make changes. You can turn this information off with the 'i' button if you find it distracting.|
|One of the Z650's new features is a live histogram (activated by pressing the 'i' button below the viewfinder).||Half-press the shutter and the camera focuses, indicating the auto focus (AF) point and auto exposure (AE) settings chosen.|
|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.||Turn the mode dial to SCN and press the menu button and you'll get access to 14 more scene modes (in addition to the portrait and sports settings on the dial itself). 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.||In each case, pressing the joystick brings up a page of options with plain english descriptions, rather than incomprehensible icons. The last option in the list takes you to the setup menu.|
|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)...||
Pressing the info button a second time brings up a fairly comprehensive overlay of shooting information (shown above).
|Push the joystick down and you get a grid of 3x3 small thumbnail images (why, for consistency, this isn't activated by the zoom lever I do not know).||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).||Pressing the 'Share' button allows you to tag images for printing or emailing, or designate them as 'favorites'.|
|Images can be tagged for emailing when transferred using the EasyShare software. All contacts need to be created on the PC (you can't do it in-camera).||You can set up in-camera 'albums' - though again, not using the Z740 itself (you have to use the supplied EasyShare software). If you transfer the images you shoot via the EasyShare software they are stored on your PC in the albums used in-camera.|
|One unusual feature is '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'.||Last but not least is the setup menu (accessible from both record and playback modes). Here you can set the date/time and change basic camera behavior, including date stamping, orientation sensor (auto rotate), sounds and volume and digital zooming. It is also here that you'll find the command to format the card or internal memory.|
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Chinese Acrobat by lim yau tong|
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
In this weeks' Throwback Thursday article, Simon raises a toast to the Sony Digital Mavica FD71 - a little camera which used really big memory cards.
It's been half a decade since Canon first debuted the original 6D and finally its successor is here. So what does five years of innovation look like?
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II brings more resolution, better autofocus and faster continuous shooting to Canon's entry-level full-frame camera. And we've had the opportunity to shoot with one.
The Canon 6D Mark II will ship to consumers in August, but we've been able to do some shooting with a pre-production unit well in advance.
Rumors have been swirling around for a while, and Canon has just unveiled the long-awaited successor to the popular and long-serving EOS 6D. Read all about it in our hands-on preview.
Canon's latest entry-level DSLR is here. The new Rebel SL2 (EOS 200D) is the belated successor to 2013's Rebel SL1, billed at the time as the smallest and lightest DSLR on the market.
Nearly five years after the announcement of the EOS 6D, Canon has finally replaced it with the EOS 6D Mark II. The Mark II features an all-new 26.2MP Dual Pixel AF full-frame sensor, 6.5 fps burst shooting, a fully articulating touchscreen, 1080/60p video and much more.
Canon has announced the EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D), which replaces the aging SL1. This ultra-compact DSLR features a 24MP sensor, DIGIC 7 processor, Dual Pixel AF system and a 3" fully articulating touchscreen LCD.
When one of his friends got a filter stuck on his $1,700 Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L, former MythBuster Adam Savage removed it using an unlikely, terrifying tool: a band saw.
The New Yorker asked Magnum's famed photographers, in town for the agency's 70th anniversary, to go out and capture 'the fleeting beauty of New York City's golden hour.' This is what they shot.
Roger Cicala is a difficult man to impress, but he's been waxing lyrical over at Lensrentals about Sony's new 12-24mm wide zoom.
Glassware is one of the most challenging subjects to photograph, especially against a white background. This tutorial shows you how to do it with hardly any gear.
Handevision is now shipping its all-metal Iberit 90mm F2.4 short telephoto lens for Leica M-mount 35mm and full-frame cameras.
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.