Kodak EasyShare Z740 Review
The Z740 has just four white balance presets in addition to the auto default; daylight, tungsten, fluorescent and open shade. There is no manual (measured or custom) white balance function. It's a good job then, that the auto white balance performs fairly well, particularly in 'difficult' lighting (fluorescent and incandescent). There is a slight warm tone to both our artificial lighting samples, but it is no worse than most of its competitors, and better than many. We did find a few situations where outdoor shots produced a very slight color cast, but nothing that would be really noticeable in a print.
Outdoor - Auto WB
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red 4.2%, Blue -3.0%
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red 3.8%, Blue -3.6%
Aside from some cut-off when the flash is blocked by the lens with very close subjects there's little to complain about here. 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, very slight underexposure
Slightly warm color, very slight underexposure
The Z740's macro function gets you down to about 12cm (4.7 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 around four times bigger (just under 10cm across), and there is still some distortion, though less so (there is, however, noticeable corner softness).
Here for visual comparison are three identical shots taken at 80, 100, 200 and 400 ISO settings in our studio. There's some fairly heavy noise reduction going on here - the results look pretty clean, but the results get softer as you increase sensitivity. At ISO 80 and 100, and 200 shows very little noise. The impact of noise reduction on detail is clear at ISO 200, and ISO 400 results - though better than some of its competitors - do show fairly heavy chroma noise and the softening characteristic of heavy noise reduction.
|ISO 80 100% crop||ISO 100 100% crop|
|ISO 200 100% crop||ISO 400 100% crop|
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
No real problems here - 0.6% barrel distortion is well within the expected boundaries of a lens of this type, and there very slight barrel distortion at the telephoto end of the zoom, though 0.1% is hardly worth worrying about.
|Barrel distortion - 0.6% at Wide angle
Equiv. focal length: 38 mm
|Barrel distortion - 0.1% at Telephoto
Equiv. focal length: 380 mm
Specific image quality issues
First the good stuff. Images from the Z740 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 90%, with the remainder marred mainly by focus errors or camera shake at the long end of the zoom or by exposure problems caused by unusually contrasty scenes. We saw no significant difference in sharpness between this camera and the DX7590, with its supposedly superior Schneider lens.
Viewed on-screen the images lack the biting sharpness of the best cameras in this class (such as the Panasonic FZ series), but the pictures are relatively noise-free, and sharpen well in post-processing. In the final assessment, it must be stressed that for most users the Z740's results will be more than satisfactory, and the softness will have little impact on the standard postcard-sized prints most people will produce. If you're a detail freak, however, you may find the images lack the critical sharpness you demand.
Although it's worst in areas of high contrast and/or overexposure, and at the widest (F2.8) aperture, strong fringing is visible in the corners of the majority of wide angle shots. To be fair this example is about as bad as it gets.
|100% crop||38 mm equiv., F2.8|
Burnt out highlights/Dynamic range/Exposure problems
As is common with such small, high pixel count chips, the Z740 struggles with scenes containing a wide dynamic range, causing some problems in scenes with lots of contrast (such as very sunny days with very dark shadows). This isn't helped much by the fairly steep contrast curve applied to the JPEGs in-camera (something you can't override), and the tendency for the exposure system to be fooled by scenes with large areas of sky.
|100% crop||51 mm equiv., F3|
|100% crop||51 mm equiv., F3|
|100% crop||38 mm equiv., F2.8|
|Misty morining by Claudi Lourens|
from My Best Photo of the Week
|Jet and Full Moon by dibilio57|
from Aircraft lights
Bing Visual Search is a direct competitor to Google Lens, enabling web search and online shopping through images.
The US Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, has ruled online retailers such as Amazon, B&H Photo, and eBay can be forced to collect sales tax in states, even where they don't have a physical presence, overturning a 1992 Supreme Court ruling.
A popular Instagram user based in Singapore has been caught passing stock images off as his own work. Daryl Aiden Yow, who has worked with many recognizable brands, has apologized for his actions, and has deleted some images from his Instagram account while adding credits to others.
Instagram is the fourth Facebook-owned social media app to reach the coveted 1 billion users mark.
Chinese smartphone brand Oppo has employed a clever solution to the dreaded display 'notch' – a sliding mechanism that houses the device's front and rear-facing cameras.
The Kamlan 28mm F1.4 is an all-manual prime lens for APS-C (and Micro Four Thirds) mirrorless cameras. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, it'll go on sale to the public for just $200 – see what it can do on Sony and Fujifilm bodies.
Instagram TV — IGTV for short — is a new app and service from Instagram that puts the focus on video content. You can now follow content creators and watch up to hour-long vertical videos inside the new dedicated IGTV app, as well as directly within Instagram.
Researchers at NVIDIA have used artificial intelligence to train a system that's capable of turning standard 30fps video into 240fps slow-mo video with minimal loss in quality.
Loupedeck has updated its popular Lightroom editing console with a new '+' version featuring improved build quality, more customization and support for some non-Adobe software.
Apple released a new batch of mobile photography tutorial videos this week, each briefly demonstrating how to perform various camera actions using the flagship iPhone X.
Adobe has announced development of Project Rush, a cross-device video editing application that consolidates the entire video creation workflow, from shooting to social media sharing, in a single application.
Adobe's quarterly financial report was just published, and the news is good. Q2 2018 saw a new quarterly revenue record of $2.20 billion, and 22% growth to $1.55 billion in its Digital Media segment.
Just months after launching its QuartzLine filters for DSLR and mirrorless lenses, PolarPro has launched a buyback program that will give you credit towards a PolarPro filter for trading in an old one - even if it isn't theirs.
Sigma has announced that five of its Sony E-Mount Art-series primes, announced earlier this year, are now shipping.
Adobe has announced a raft of updates across its suite of Creative Cloud apps, including Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC.
The FUJINON GF 45mm F2.8 R WR is a 36mm equivalent fast prime for Fujifilm's GFX 50S. We've been shooting with one for a few days, and we're impressed. Check out our sample gallery to judge for yourself.
Video editing software package Video Pro X has received what is described as its biggest update yet to mark ten years since Magix Video Pro was launched.
Back in 2010, Canon announced that it was developing the world's largest CMOS sensor, measuring about 40 times larger than full frame. The company has just updated its website with more details.
Samyang has launched its latest lens, the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 EF. This telephoto prime is a direct competitor to Canon's $1,600 alternative—and considering it's expected to retail for half the price, it looks like quite the bargain.
Scanning film takes forever and photographing negatives is a pain. The Pixl-latr aims to provide a simple solution.
Google has published an 18-page study fully detailing its synthetic depth-of-field technology that makes its single-camera Portrait Mode possible. The in-depth paper shows a degree of openness and academic mindset unusual for the industry.
Rugged, waterproof compact cameras are tough enough to survive even the most action-packed vacation, but they're not the only choice for capturing those great memories. Photographer Josh Root takes us through the options.
Kodak has restarted production of one of its most famous film emulsions - Ektachrome. Popular Science editor Stan Horaczek recently go to take a look inside.
The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD is an affordable F2.8 standard zoom for full frame Sony E-mount cameras. What's it like, what are the trade-offs, and what are the alternatives? Chris and Jordan take a closer look...
We've updated our Best Drones buying guide and there's a new winner. Find out which drone was our favorite and learn more about all current models in our updated guide.
A teardown of a Nikon D850 has provided proof that the camera's sensor is made by Sony Semiconductor. The chip's design and performance already strongly supported this, but the confirmation also gives a hint about how the industry works.
Leica Camera has announced a new compact camera that features a 24-360mm F3.3-6.4 zoom lens and a 20MP 1” MOS sensor. Essentially a re-badged Panasonic Lumix ZS/TZ200, the Leica C-Lux will save Raw and JPEG files, will offer 4K video and has a viewfinder with a 2.33 million-dot resolution.
Leica has launched a limited edition M10 with a contoured handgrip designed by luxury car manufacturer Zagato. And, to celebrate the opening of a new part of the company's Wetzlar factory, a pair of Leica-made watches are due this autumn.
The new Mijia gimbal provides 3-axis stabilization and can charge the battery of the attached device.