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In case the naked eye cannot decipher the differences in the color, there is a chart below showing the degree of error more plainly. The squares on the graph below show the original colors of the GretagMacbeth chart, while the circles represent the colors produced by the Kodak EasyShare P850.

The line connecting the two shapes shows the degree of error, and most colors remain leashed with the exception of the blue end of the spectrum. These results aren’t as good as the flagship P880’s, which received an overall score of 8.24 and a mean color error of 7.28. In contrast, the Kodak P850 had an overall 6.01 score and an 8.57 mean color error. The P850 kept its saturation under control; it over-saturated by only 3.3 percent.  In all, the Kodak EasyShare P850’s colors were pleasantly saturated, but quite inaccurate – a disappointment in comparison to the flagship of the series. 

**Still Life Scene **

Below is a shot of our still life array captured with the Kodak EasyShare P850.

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Click on the image above to view the full resolution image (CAUTION: Linked file is very large!)](https://www.reviewed.com/cameras/viewer.php?picture=KodakP850-StillLifeLG.jpg)

Resolution* (2.63)

*The Kodak EasyShare P850 advertises 5.1 effective megapixels on its 1/2.5-inch CCD. We tested the camera to see just how effective its resolution is in creating sharp images by taking a series of exposures of an industry standard resolution chart at various focal lengths and apertures. We uploaded the images to Imatest, which determined that the picture below is the sharpest the Kodak EasyShare P850 produced. It was taken using an 18.3 mm focal length and an f/4.5 aperture.

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Click on the chart above to view the full res shot](https://www.reviewed.com/cameras/viewer.php?picture=KodakP850-ResCH-LG.jpg)

Imatest output the resolution results as units of lw/ph (line widths per picture height). This unit describes how many vertical or horizontal black and white lines could fit across the P850’s frame without blurring them together. The Kodak EasyShare P850 resolved 1351 lw/ph horizontally while under-sharpening 5.51 percent. It read 1069 lw/ph vertically with 11.9 percent under-sharpening. The lack of in-camera sharpening is a familiar tale; the Kodak EasyShare P880 had hardly any sharpening with just four-tenths of a percent. This is one instance where the camera does appear intended for a more ‘enthusiast" type audience, reserving sharpening for post-processing and enabling users to determine how much sharpening the final JPEG or TIFFs receive.

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While the overall resolution score of 2.63 is quite disappointing for this model, the image above should be seen as a starting point more than a representation of the camera’s potential. The shot above portrays the out of camera JPEG that many users would use as a base or background image for editing.

Noise – Auto ISO* (3.42)

*When we tested the noise levels in well lit images taken using the automatic ISO setting, the Kodak P850 performed averagely. It did meter the scene well and choose a reasonably low sensitivity setting of ISO 80, but there is still a decent amount of noise at the low end of the ISO range. Still, the Kodak EasyShare P850 pulled out a 3.42 overall automatic ISO noise score – better than the P880’s 2.79 score.

Noise – Manual ISO* (3.51)

*The Kodak EasyShare P850 has a vast number of manual ISO options, moving in 1/3-stop increments, but they are all crammed within a relatively short range of 50-400. Below is a chart showing how each of the ten settings handles noise. The ISO settings show up as dots on the horizontal axis and the accompanying noise levels show on the vertical axis.

The chart shows a steady rise in noise all the way to 400. The problem is that there is already a substantial amount of noise on the lower end of the ISO range. Just to show some comparison, the Fujifilm FinePix F30’s ISO 3200 setting produces less noise than the Kodak EasyShare P850’s ISO 400 setting. The P850 earned an overall manual ISO noise score of 3.51, which isn’t as good as the P880’s lackluster 4.36 score.

**Low Light Performance ***(5.75)*

To see if this "Performance Series" camera can actually perform in low light, we tested it in ever dimming illumination of 60, 30, 15, and 5 lux. We used the GretagMacbeth color chart as the test target so consumers can compare the camera’s low light shots with its optimally lit shot in the color section above. The first two light tests are fairly common situations. Think dank basement lighting. The latter two tests are very dark; it’s hard to even find the shutter release button. However, these tests show any limitations on the image sensor.  

All of the images, even those in the more common lighting levels, are under-exposed. They just become more so as the light wanes. Sure, there are versatile controls and decent shutter speed selections, but the maximum ISO sensitivity of 400 doesn’t help. The noise shows up as random splotchy green and purple speckles throughout the image; pictures get noisier the longer the shutter remains open. To see just how much noise is produced, check out the chart below. The exposure time is displayed on the horizontal axis and the noise level on the vertical axis.

Noise levels are high, but there isn’t a huge jump from one second to the next. This chart is definitely different looking than the P880’s, which showed a steep slope of noise but that camera used shutter speeds only to seven seconds. Overall, the Kodak EasyShare P850 isn’t the best camera to use in low light but will suffice in a bind.

**Dynamic Range ***(5.5)*

Lots of common photographic subjects have very wide dynamic range – a big contrast between the brightest and darkest parts of the scene. Take, for example, an indoor shot with a window in the background. On a sunny day, the scene outside the window will often be much brighter than the room. Our dynamic range test indicates how well cameras will handle challenges like that.

We use a standardized test for dynamic range, photographing an Stouffer step wedge, a target used in the graphic arts industry. Imatest software, which we use for much of our testing, analyzes images of the Stouffer target, and gives dynamic range figures for various quality levels. Dynamic range is measured in EV, or stops of exposure. A dynamic range of 7 EV means that the lightest object that shows detail in the image is 7 stops brighter than the darkest area with detail. We look at High Quality, which measures the dynamic range the camera achieves with 1/10EV of noise or less, and Low Quality, which measures the range with up to 1 EV of noise. Even though it seems that Low Quality wouldn't be of much use, with so much noise, it's an indicator of whether the shadows and highlights will have a hint of texture.

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The Kodak 850 delivers fair performance at low ISOs. Up to ISO 100, its performance should be good enough for most situations, including outdoor scenes in bright sunlight. At ISO 200 to 400, however, its range is limited, and users should avoid contrasty lighting. Interestingly, the 850's High Quality performance is much worse than its Low Quality results – there is more of a difference between the two than we typically see. That's too bad, because it indicates how limited the High Quality range is.

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Kodak P850 - Dynamic Range - ISO 50

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Kodak P850 - Dynamic Range - ISO 400

**Speed / Timing **

*Startup to First Shot (4.87)

*Nothing is more frustrating than coming on a photo opportunity, and having to wait for the camera to start up. The 850 is particularly frustrating, with a 5.1-second wait. That's long enough to fish some cameras out of camera bag AND switch them on.

*Shot to Shot (9.58)

*The 850 shot 5 frames in 2.07 seconds, for a respectable 2.4 frames per second. The speed is useful for action sequences, and getting 5 frames in a burst is an advantage over many competing cameras.

*Shutter to Shot (7.92) 

*With professional digital cameras, and most film cameras, getting an action shot is mainly a matter of reflexes – if the photographer presses the shutter fast enough, s/he gets the shot. Consumer-level digital cameras are a different story – they add a long delay between the moment the shutter is pressed, and the moment they get around to actually taking a picture. We timed the 850, and it's slow. Over the course of more than a dozen trials, our most common result was 0.54 seconds. Half a second doesn't seem long, but it is when compared to many events people like to photograph – a jump shot, a kiss, birthday candles being blown out, a dog catching a Frisbee. And half a second is a long time to wait to have your picture taken: for posed pictures, it's long enough that may people assume the picture has already been taken, and turn away from the camera.

 

 

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Front ***(7.25)*The front of the Kodak P850 shows the SLR shape with the prominent hand grip on the left and the large lens barrel on the right. The hand grip has a chrome vertical highlight down its most prominent edge, with a rubbery material surrounding it. At the top of the rubber and chrome highlight is the shutter release button, surrounded by the power switch. Directly to the right of the grip is a rectangular window where the external hybrid auto focus system does its business. Below is it a small circular LED that indicates the self-timer and video modes. At the very bottom is a small glass-like plate that reads, "5.1 Megapixels." The right side of the P850 is dominated by the large lens barrel. There is an outer beveled edge that is threaded on the inside for attachment of conversion lenses. The inner lens rim is brushed chrome and labeled, "Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 36mm-432mm (Equivalent) AF 12x Optical Zoom." Directly above the lens is the built-in flash, which pops up when needed. Above the right side of the lens barrel are three holes that serve as the microphone.  
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Back***(7.5)*The back of the Kodak P850 is more reminiscent of a DSLR than a compact digital camera. Still, there are elements from both types of cameras. There is a 2.5-inch LCD screen set within a slightly raised frame. At the bottom of the frame is the model name: "Kodak EasyShare P850." Directly above the LCD is a viewfinder, which shows up as a circular window in a large rubber eyecup. Above this is the hot shoe. To its left is a tiny gray diopter adjustment. On the far left edge of the left side is a circular button that changes the view from the viewfinder to the LCD screen. To the right of the LCD screen is about an inch and a half of space occupied by all sorts of dials and buttons. At the top, the grooves of the mode dial protrude for easier rotation. In the top right corner is a grooved jog dial with a Set button beneath it. To its left is a zoom switch. Below the Set button is an AE/AF button. Below the zoom switch is a status button, with a review button beneath it. At the bottom of this space is a silver joystick surrounded by a ring with arrows pointing in the four directions; this navigates through menus and pictures. Below the navigational joystick are three buttons: the Delete button on the left, the Menu button in the middle, and the ruby-colored Share button on the right.  **Left Side ***(7.0)*From this angle, users can see the protrusion of the lens barrel with its chrome ring and rubber material covering the barrel. The rubber surface is also on the left side, with a finger grip at the bottom for users to pry it open and connect the power adaptor, USB, or AV-out cables. Above the rubber door is a red rubber panel that reads, "12x IS" to boast the optical image stabilization system. Above it are a set of holes that is actually the speaker. Above this is a silver eyelet to attach the neck strap.

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**Right Side ***(7.0)*The right side is fairly plain with only the black plastic surface showing. A door opens near the rear side to expose the slot for the SD or MMC card. At the top of the right side is another silver eyelet.

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** ** **Top ***(7.5)*Again, the P850's SLR-like shape can be seen from this angle. The lens barrel and silver ring protrude nearly an inch and a half. The viewfinder sticks out the back side in half that length. Atop the viewfinder is a hot shoe on the rear and a Kodak label on the front atop the built-in flash unit. To the left of this feature are two circular buttons: the one near the front changes the focus modes and the one near the back switches flash modes. To the right of the hot shoe/viewfinder unit is the mode dial, which is about the size of a dime. It has grooved edges are protrudes slightly out the back so the thumb can rotate it easily. To its right are three buttons: Drive, Program, and Metering. Above these buttons is the protrusion to the hand grip, with the shutter release and power switch out on the edge of its peninsula.
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**Bottom ***(7.5)*Below the hand grip is a plastic door that swings open to reveal the battery compartment. Centered on the bottom of the camera is a metal tripod socket, with the serial number and dock connector near the back side.

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Viewfinder*(7.0)*The Kodak EasySahre P850 has an electronic viewfinder with a large cushioned eyecup. The rubber eyecup has a circular window in its center that peers to the rectangular view. The resolution is great at 237,000 pixels and makes this viewfinder one of the best we’ve seen on an ultra-zoom model. This is much better than the resolution of the Sony H5’s and the Canon S3 IS’s electronic viewfinders. Unlike these digital cameras, the Kodak P850’s resolution is good enough to manually focus in it without looking pixilated. The view is large and has good contrast. There is a diopter adjustment dial on its left side, so the view is clear even for users who wear eyeglasses. The dial is small and grooved on the edges; it has 16 stops in its range. Also on the left side is a button that switches the view from the electronic viewfinder to the LCD screen and vice versa. Overall, the Kodak P850’s viewfinder has great resolution, an accurate view, and a comfortable eyecup.  **LCD Screen (6.25)
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The Kodak P850’s LCD screen is nicely sized at 2.5 inches, but its resolution is less than half of the viewfinder’s resolution. With only 115,000 pixels, the screen makes diagonal edges look jagged. The screen has a wide viewing angle when held to the right or left, but if the camera is held above or below eye level the screen is difficult to see. The screen’s brightness can be adjusted in whole steps from 1-5, although it is still hard to see in sunlight. In the setup menu, users can choose a standby mode that turns off the LCD after 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes. There is a designated "I" button (Info) that changes the display on the screen and in the viewfinder. The screen can be blank or can show only the battery indicator, all shooting info, or all shooting info with a tiny histogram. After pictures are taken, the LCD screen blacks out for about a second before the live view returns; this is a bit obnoxious as the next shot can’t be set up quickly. Overall, the 2.5-inch LCD screen isn’t very high quality and users are better off using the electronic viewfinder because of its excellent resolution.  Flash (7.0)****
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As part of the Kodak Performance series, the EasyShare P850 has a hot shoe along with a pop-up flash unit. The built-in flash isn’t very impressive for this type of digital camera. It reaches from 2.9-15.4 ft at the widest focal length and 6.6-11.8 ft at the most telephoto focal length; this range can be found on flashes included on compact models. With the Kodak P20 Zoom Flash accessory unit, the range extends to 35 ft. Still, that’s another $149. There are plenty of modes and options on the built-in flash though. The following modes are available from the designated flash button on the left side of the viewfinder/flash components: Auto, On, Off, On with Red-eye Reduction, and Slow Sync. That list may not sound plentiful, but more choices are hidden. The red-eye reduction can be executed with a pre-flash, a digital algorithm, or both; this is changed within the setup menu. Also in the setup menu, users can choose whether to use the built-in flash or the accessory flash or both. In the shooting menu of the more advanced modes, users can choose front and rear curtain syncing options for cool effects. Front Sync, Front Sync Red-eye, and Rear Sync are the choices. There is flash compensation available from +/- 1 in 1/3 increments; it is found at the bottom of the display screen and can be set with the Set button and jog dial.  Overall, the built-in flash unit is not impressive. It returned too many harshly lit images with horribly uneven lighting. The range doesn’t cover macro shooting, as the long lens casts a long shadow into pictures. The range doesn’t extend beyond 15.4 ft either, which is disappointing considering the competition. The flash’s modes and options seem scattered throughout different menus. The organization is a bit confusing; there is a designated flash mode button, but users can also set the Program button to do the same job. It just doesn’t make sense. The Program button is a little more useful when set to display the slow sync options. In the end though, the Kodak P850’s flash isn’t worthy of the enthusiast crowd. ** **Zoom Lens (8.25)
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**The P850 has a Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 12x optical zoom lens that extends from its large barrel in a single segment. The lens has some plusses. It has an optical image stabilization system that boasts a two-stop advantage over non-stabilized pictures. The image stabilization system can be activated to work only when the picture or video is being captured or it can work continuously when viewing and capturing. The system seems to work well; the effect was especially noticeable in the movie mode. The zoom lens measures 36-432 mm and works in both still and video capture. The zoom toggle is quite sensitive and offers plenty of stops within the range – 32 to be exact. Its motor noise is barely audible, but is still noticeable in movies. The Kodak P850’s Schneider-Kreuznach lens has respectable maximum apertures of f/2.8-3.7, so it can bring in adequate amounts of light in darker situations. The camera’s lens filter measures 55 mm and is threaded so users can attach the optional conversion lenses. There are wide and telephoto conversion lenses available for $149 each. When attached, the P850 must be informed of its presence in the setup menu. To protect the glass, Kodak threw in a lens cap. And to make sure that lens cap doesn’t go too far, Kodak added a lens strap. Overall, the 12x optical zoom lens and its image stabilization system are some of the strongest attributes this digital camera has to offer.

 **Model Design / Appearance***(6.0)*The Kodak EasyShare P850 is designed to look and feel like a DSLR while still being as easy to use as a compact model. The camera does have the look with its chunky shape, prominent lens barrel and viewfinder components, and host of on-camera buttons and controls. However, the ease of use is lost in the design. Sure, it has the trademark Share button, but this still isn’t like operating a compact EasyShare camera. The handling is better than most compact models though; the grip is more comfortable with its shapely curves and rubber surfaces. The rubber may feel good to the touch, but it doesn’t look so good to the eye. It acts like a lint roller, attracting any dust and hair within a 3-meter radius. This same rubber material surrounds the lens barrel and viewfinder cup, so the P850 looks hairy much of the time. The hairy rubber isn’t complemented well by the rest of the black body, which is constructed of plastic.  **Size / Portability***(5.5)*At 4.3 x 3.3 x 2.8 inches, the Kodak P850 is much smaller than the Canon PowerShot S3 IS and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H5. It weighs less too. Both the Canon and Sony digital cameras run on AA batteries, while the Kodak EasyShare P850 runs on a much lighter lithium-ion battery. Without its battery, the P850 weighs a mere 14.2 ounces. It is light and stable enough to be held with one hand, although two hands are recommended. While this model is compact compared to other ultra-zoom models, it will still require a small camera bag to safely tote it around.  **Handling Ability***(7.25)*The Kodak P850’s SLR-shape lends itself well to comfortable handling. The base of the camera is wide and balanced so users can successfully support the camera from beneath. The hand grip has a nice curve on its front with a chrome lip to keep fingers from slipping back around the camera. Surrounding the lip is a sloped rubber material that makes gripping easy and worry-free. The same rubber material can be found around the lens barrel and on the left side of the camera – just where the left hand supports. The rubber also makes up the cushioned eyecup around the electronic viewfinder. This comfortable eyecup is positioned far enough from the rest of the camera’s back so that there are no major collisions between the user's nose and the LCD screen. The Kodak EasyShare P850 has a few slopes in its plastic housing that are meant to make handling more comfortable. In particular, there is a bump where the right thumb rests with a divot to distinguish the Set button and dial from other controls. For consumers who don’t want to keep two hands on the camera at all times, a neck strap is included in the package. 

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Control Button / Dial Positioning / Size (6.25)

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The Kodak P850 has control elements borrowed from both compact and DSLR models. Perhaps to retain users of compact EasyShare cameras, the P850 has similar one-touch buttons for reviewing and deleting photos – and of course the hallmark Share button that streamlines printing and emailing. The Kodak P850 is still a big change from compact models though; its control buttons and dials are more reminiscent of a DSLR. There are more designated buttons to change the flash mode, the display information, the focus mode, burst settings, AE/AF lock, and metering. There is even a Program button atop the camera that is the Renaissance man of the control buttons: it can be set to change just about any option (see the menu section). The grooved mode dial looks like something that could be found on a single lens reflex model, as does the Set button and accompanying jog dial. Many of the buttons are very small, but are spaced far enough apart as to not get pressed simultaneously with neighboring controls.  Menu ***(8.5)*

The Kodak P850’s menus have the same design and font as the flagship P880 as well as some of the more compact V-series cameras. Users push the designated Menu button to enter the system, which organizes options into categories. The shooting modes with manual functionality have three categories: Advanced Recording, Basic Recording, and Setup. Scene modes and the auto mode offer only the basics and the setup. The playback menu will be discussed later. The categories are differentiated as tabs across the top of the display screen. The tabs are labeled with a camera icon with a plus sign next to it for the advanced shooting options, a plain camera icon for the basics, and a camera icon with a wrench next to it to represent the setup menu. On the left side of the menu are tiny icons, more for decoration than anything else. Next to them are full text titles of the menu options, with the selected choice on the right.  The following menu is the Advanced Recording menu included in the Custom, Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Program modes.   The following menu is available from every shooting mode and offers only the most basic of options. Sometimes these options are truncated; for example, the RAW and TIFF file types are not available in the auto mode.   The following setup menu can be accessed from recording or playback modes.   The setup menu is extremely long and there’s no good way to quickly get to the options that are buried in the middle.  The following menu is from the playback mode and includes options on how to view the pictures, manage them, and even edit.   The next menu is quite short and can be found whenever the ruby Share button is pressed.   Overall, the tabbed menu system is easy to figure out and navigate with the exception of the setup menu. That particular menu is ridiculously long and should be organized into sub-categories of some sort to make finding certain options simpler.  **Ease of Use ***(6.5)*The Kodak EasyShare P850 is one of the more difficult EasyShares to use. Many shooting settings can only be changed in the menus, which are quite lengthy. Some of the camera’s functions will require a briefing with the user manual beforehand too. Setting the custom modes isn’t entirely intuitive and adding albums to the camera requires hooking up to the included software. Still, Kodak didn’t completely ignore ease of use. The Share button makes printing and emailing simple and fast, while the text mode descriptions help beginners learn the camera and its functions quickly. Overall though, the EasyShare P850 is one of the more painful to use EasyShare cameras.

 
 **Auto Mode *(7.0)*The P850’s auto mode blocks access to most of the manual controls so point-and-shooters can easily use this camera. The basic camera menu is available with options to change the image size, file compression, color mode, and the date stamp. The designated buttons on the body are mostly useless. Nothing happens if the metering button is pushed. A message appears if the Program button is set to an option that is normally unavailable in the auto mode, such as white balance. Some of the buttons do work though: burst and flash modes can be changed. The focus mode can be changed as well and surprisingly, it can even be manually focused. The auto mode is easy to use and easy to find on the mode dial, so point-and-shooters have a reliable place to capture photos.  Movie Mode***(7.5)*The optical image stabilization system is most noticeable in the movie mode, where the zoom functions while recording video. Ultra-zoom cameras often have trouble keeping bumps and shakes out of video when zoomed in on distant subjects. The optical image stabilization system keeps the picture steady though. The 12x zoom lens makes a high-pitched noise when it zooms, but the noise doesn’t completely take over the audio track. Still, the monaural audio isn’t great quality. It just isn’t very crisp and sounds like it’s underwater at times.  Motion JPEG movies are recorded with 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels with a single frame rate speed of 30 fps. Movies can be recorded up to 80 minutes continuously or users can keep clips short by setting a specific time limit in the movie mode’s menu. 5, 15, and 30-second options are available. Options such as metering and white balance are unavailable – and it shows in the Kodak P850’s video quality. Backlit subjects are totally dark and videos shot in relatively low light don’t look very good at all. The whole picture is dark, but it looks better on the LCD screen. Only when the clip is uploaded and viewed with the QuickTime player do users realize how dingy it looks. Another drawback to its quality is the slow focus time. The movie mode has continuous and single auto focus control modes, but in both settings it takes a half-second or so for the focus to catch up with the zoom. Sometimes the auto focus system breathes in and out if it can’t figure out what is supposed to be focused. Still, this doesn’t happen all the time and decent quality video can still be gleaned from the Kodak P850.  In the playback mode, users have lots of editing options: Trim, Cut, Split, and Merge. The trimming option saves a chunk of video out of the middle of the original clip, as opposed to the Cut option that simply chops the beginning or end. The Split option is the most common movie editing feature, but it is still only found on a few compact digital cameras. In the three previous editing functions, users can scroll through videos frame by frame or at normal speed to choose the correct spots to trim, cut, or split. Merge lets users select two different video files and string them together into a single video clip. While this is a cool feature, there is no way to preview the selection before it is finalized. In the editing portion of the menu, there is also a choice to make a still image from the video. Users can scroll through and choose the frame to be converted into a JPEG file. This won’t be good quality though, as it will only be 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels. In the included Kodak EasyShare Software, users can tweak movie clips even more. Video clips can be combined and music can even be added in the program.  **Drive / Burst Mode (6.5)

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The Kodak EasyShare P850 has a burst mode that is slightly faster than the flagship P880’s. The P850 can snap 2.3 frames per second, whereas the P880 can take 2 fps. In the fine JPEG mode, the camera can take up to 5 pictures in a continuous burst. That lengthens to 8 pictures in the standard JPEG compression mode. Once the burst is over, it takes quite awhile for the camera to write to the memory card and reboot for the next burst. There are several burst options, which can be found by pushing the designated button near the shutter release. The first burst is the standard burst mode, while the last burst snaps shots until the shutter button is released and then it only records the last 5. Also grouped in with the burst modes are the exposure bracketing modes and a time lapse mode, as well as a single shot mode. There are two exposure bracketing modes: one takes 3 shots and the other 5 in selectable increments of exposure values. The time lapse option can take a picture every 10 seconds or 24 hours – or pretty much anything between. It can be programmed to record 2-99 pictures. This looks really cool but takes quite a lot of battery power, so the optional power adaptor is recommended if this is something that will be used extensively. Overall, the burst mode is decent and has lots of options but the read/write speed is a little disappointing.  Playback Mode *(8.0)*The Kodak EasyShare P850 is designed with in-camera playback in mind. The camera is equipped with a Favorites mode on the power switch to easily access frequently shown off pictures. The Favorites mode is great for parents who carry around their cameras and want to show off their kids’ first steps or chocolate milk mustache to whomever they run into. The Favorites mode has demo pictures of exotic birds and dirtbikers, but those can be changed by connecting to a computer that has the Kodak EasyShare Software loaded. The software can file pictures into the Favorites mode and can create up to 32 albums for users to organize their pictures into.  Users can turn on an orientation sensor in the setup menu, so all of the pictures automatically rotate to the proper angle. Individual pictures can be scrolled through normally or the joystick can be held down to quickly scroll through large numbers of photos. Users can also skip through
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screens of nine images at a time with the multi-up view, which can be activated in the playback menu or the Program button. Most cameras use the zoom switch to control the playback view, so the Kodak P850’s way of doing things isn’t very intuitive.  Pictures can be magnified from 1-10x and panned to see tiny details. The 115,000-pixel LCD screen doesn’t make the magnified view look good; the view is better in the viewfinder. Pictures can be protected or filed into albums. They can also be cropped and resized. The following options are for cropping: Landscape 4:3, Portrait 3:4, Landscape 3:2, and Portrait 2:3. There is no widescreen crop nor is there an option that allows more freedom outside the formatted boundaries. Images shot in the RAW format can be converted to TIFF or JPEG from the playback menu too. The last editing option is the digital red-eye fix, which doesn’t work all the time. The specs claim that the P850 shows highlight and shadow clipping in playback, but no matter how many times the "I" display button was pushed there was no such function. There is, however, a histogram available.  Slide shows can be played, but they aren’t anything fancy. Users can choose to display images from 3-60 seconds and can play the slide show on a loop or only once. The ruby colored Share button can be pushed to tag certain – or all – pictures for printing, emailing, or adding to the Favorites mode on the camera. The pictures are tagged, but do not transfer to the mode until the camera is connected to the Kodak EasyShare Software.  Videos can be played back in the camera complete with audio, although the audio quality isn’t the best. It sounds a little muffled. Movies can be played and paused, fast-forwarded and rewound, and there are more movie editing options than on most cameras. Videos can be trimmed at the beginning or end, a chunk can be cut from the middle, or they can be split in two files. Users can also merge two video files, although there is no preview of what the final product will look like – so don’t expect a smooth transition. Still, this is an interesting concept that hasn’t yet been included on most digital cameras.  Overall, the playback mode is good and thorough with sufficient viewing options and plenty of playback and editing options for both still images and videos.  
Custom Image Presets (7.0)
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**The Kodak EasyShare P850’s mode dial has a Scene position on it through which users can access the following modes: Portrait, Self-Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, Snow, Beach, Text/Document, Flower, Sunset, Candlelight, Backlight, Manner/Museum, Fireworks, and Party. The modes automatically appear as tiny icons across the display screen. When scrolled upon, the text explanation appears. After a few seconds, the selection disappears. To make it reappear, the joystick must be pushed in. This isn’t labeled and isn’t entirely intuitive; many cameras throw the scene mode selection into the menu system. Still, if done once it’s not hard to remember. The 16 scene modes cover all the basics – and then some. The modes themselves work particularly well for their very specialized shooting conditions. For instance, the Sports mode uses a fast shutter speed and freezes action perfectly, but lots of light is required for this mode to work properly. Overall, the selection is good and the modes work well.

 **Manual Control Options       The EasyShare P850 has plenty of manual control and its interface is set up similar to a DSLR, which could be quite a change for Kodak users who have graduated from their automatic point-and-shoots. Still, manual controls are a welcome change. The P850 eases intermediate users into using more manual control by offering automatic settings for just about everything and included Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority modes. The priority modes allow users to select a specific parameter manually, then the camera does much of the rest of the work. The P850 has three custom modes along with its fully Manual and two priority modes; users can save current shooting settings to the three custom positions. This is done by scrolling through the menu system to the buried option or setting the Program button to assign settings to the custom modes. There is no confirmation that the settings are saved, so users must only hope that the function works. Overall, the P850 earns its place in the Performance series with all of its manual controls and its vast array of designated buttons to access them.  Focus***Auto Focus (5.5)***

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The P850 is outfitted with an advanced hybrid auto focus system that works through-the-lens. The hybrid external passive sensor detects subjects and focuses on them – most of the time. Sometimes the sensor just can’t figure it out, like in low contrast situations or if the subject is very small. Also, the focus often lags behind the zoom lens. The lens zooms in first, then it takes another half-second or so for the system to focus on the subject. The auto focus system has two control modes typically found on digital cameras: Single and Continuous. The system can be set to focus on the center zone, multi-zone (default), or the focus point can be moved around to 25 different points around the frame. Both the AF control mode and the AF zones can be set to be selected on the Program button.  The P850 can focus as close as 3.9 inches normally in wide and 35.4 inches in telephoto. The macro mode doesn’t get any better. It focuses from 3.9-35.4 inches in wide and 35.4 inches to 6.6 ft in telephoto. For photographing scenery far away, there is a Landscape focus mode too. In low light, there is no auto focus assist beam so focusing could be very tricky. This is a time when the manual focus will come in handy, but that too will be difficult to see. To allow more creativity and control, the EasyShare P850 has an AE/AF button that locks the auto focus in place of the shutter release button. The auto focus system was generally slow, often lagging behind the zoom lens. * Manual Focus (3.0)

In line with more advanced models, the P850 includes a manual focus mode. It can be accessed with a designated button on the top’s left side and controlled with the joystick on the back of the camera. The LCD/EVF display shows a tiny indicator in the bottom left corner of the screen. The center of the screen is magnified so users can more accurately assess whether the subject is in focus or not. Many competing models do this, but not many have great resolution on their display screens – making it very difficult to tell whether subjects are in focus. The LCD screen has this awful problem; it only has 115,000 pixels of resolution. However, the electronic viewfinder is stocked with enough resolution for users to make a good judgment of sharpness. The manual focus mode works very well and is very easy to use.  

*
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Exposure (7.5)*As a member of the Performance series, the Kodak P850 allows total control over the exposure – if the user wants it. The mode dial reflects the camera’s flexibility in its exposure control: Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, Custom x 3, Scene x 16, and Auto. Users can select the shutter speed and aperture in the more advanced modes, while most other modes simply offer the standard +/- 2 exposure compensation scale in 1/3 increments. Unfortunately, the exposure compensation is not available in the scene modes which is where most point-and-shooters would use it. Also involving exposure compensation is the bracketing mode, which snaps either 3 or 5 pictures in selectable increments within the range.  If users are unsure about the picture’s exposure, live and review histograms are available by pushing the "I" button. Also, there is an AE/AF button that locks the exposure settings rather than using the shutter release button. Overall, there is a lot of flexibility in how the exposure can be changed. * **
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Metering ***(6.5)*The Kodak EasyShare P850 has a standard selection of metering modes including Multi-Pattern, Center-Weighted, Center Spot, and Selectable Zone. The default multi-pattern metering option uses only 25 zones to measure the scene. This is a little disappointing seeing as many compact models use upwards of 256 zones throughout the frame to more accurately measure light. The Kodak P850’s through-the-lens system seems to perform decently in optimal conditions though. The center-weighted metering setting measures from a larger area in the center, while the center spot measures from a smaller area. The selectable metering zone shows a tiny cross that can be moved to 25 points around the frame with the joystick. For pictures with the subject against bright light, users can choose the selectable zone or centered metering modes or can use the more automatic Backlight scene mode.

White Balance *(8.25)***           ****

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**Many of the current compact EasyShare models on the market have only four white balance settings, so it is refreshing to see a few more offerings on the Performance series cameras. The P850 has plenty of white balance control. It has three custom white balance settings, plus an automatic mode and the following presets: Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Open Shade, and Sunset. There is also a manual mode that can save current settings or use the last captured picture as the measurement for white balance. But wait, there’s more. The Kodak P850 has a white balance compensation setting that shows users a tiny rainbow-colored box in the corner of the screen. Users can scroll around the box to adjust the shade toward blue, red, magenta, or green. There are 196 different points in this box that users can scroll upon. All of the white balance options can be accessed in the advanced recording menu or through the Program button if set.

ISO*(6.5)*The Kodak EasyShare P850 has lots of ISO options, but in a relatively small range. The options are as follows: Auto, 50, 64, 80, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, and 800. These are selectable in the Program, Priority, Manual, and Custom modes. Another catch: the ISO 800 setting is only available in the tiny 1.2-megapixel image size. So basically, this is just a glorified 50-400 range. This is a bit disappointing especially for a digital camera that flaunts its "performance" features – and at a time when many compact models are offering higher sensitivities. The Kodak P850’s sensitivity can be adjusted with the jog dial and the set button; the option appears at the bottom of the display screen along with the exposure compensation and other manual settings.

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Shutter Speed ***(6.25)*The Kodak EasyShare P850 has manual and automatic adjustment of the shutter speed. The automatic modes use a relatively short range of 1/2-1/1000th of a second. The manual mode can only go as fast as 1/1000th of a second, but will slow down up to 16 full seconds. When manually adjusting the shutter speed with the jog dial and set button, the numbers change red to white and vice versa. The camera meters the scene and gets an idea for what settings should be used and flashes the numbers in red if the chosen speed will return an under-exposed or over-exposed image. This is helpful for beginners who are easing into the idea of manual shutter speed control.  Aperture (7.0)****
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**In the Manual and Aperture priority modes, the aperture can be changed with the jog dial and the Set button. The jog dial moves from the aperture setting to the exposure and flash exposure compensation settings on the bottom of the LCD screen. When the aperture is scrolled upon, users must push the Set button to then be able to scroll within the aperture range. In the wide angle of the lens, the range extends from f/2.8-f/8.0. The maximum aperture shrinks to f/3.7 at the telephoto angle. There are a total of ten stops within the full range. When the camera thinks the picture will be underexposed, it flashes the aperture in red. Acceptable aperture choices are displayed in white. This is a nice setup especially for beginning photographers who are exploring the manual modes.  

 **Picture Quality****/ Size Options (7.5)**In every mode, the image size can be changed. The following options are available: 5 MP (2592 x 1944), 4.5 MP (2592 x 1728) this is the 3:2, 3.1 MP (2048 x 1536), 2.1 MP (1664 x 1248), and 1.2 MP (1280 x 960). Basic, Standard, and Fine JPEG compression settings are available from all modes, and more options abound when not recording in the fully automatic mode. RAW and TIFF files can be shot as well. Beware though: RAW files cannot be edited on Macintosh systems. This is too bad for Mac users everywhere who rely on their computers to do a lot of image editing. The picture size and file type options can be set to the Program button if they are frequently changed.

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**Picture Effects Mode ***(7.0)*There are several effects that can be applied to the P850’s pictures. Color modes can be found even in the auto mode, although the offerings aren’t as extensive as in other recording modes. Colors include the default Natural Color, Sepia, and Black & White. In modes other than auto, High Color and Low Color choices are available too. In the more advanced recording menu, the contrast and sharpness can be adjusted to High, Normal, or Low. Picture effects are only for adjusting still images – not videos. The color mode, contrast, and sharpness parameters can be set to the Program button for easy access.

 **Connectivity***Software (6.25)*The P850 comes with a CD-ROM that includes Kodak EasyShare Software and a tutorial to teach beginners how to use it. It takes about five minutes to download the included version 5.0.1 software. It is available for both Windows and Macintosh platforms, although Mac users will have to forego RAW editing capabilities. The Kodak EasyShare Software has five tabs that run down the left side of the screen to organize the software’s different functions. My Collection, Print at Home, Order Prints Online, Email, and Kodak EasyShare Center are the tabbed options.  My Collection is the browser that displays the pictures. The thumbnails can be made large or small with a sliding bar at the bottom of the page, but there are no views that display shooting information and such like on many other software programs. If users double-click on a picture, there are options to edit and to tag as a favorite. Back in the regular browser though, the following options appear at the top of the screen: Add Pictures, New Album, Edit, Rotate, Select All, Burn CD/DVD, Slide Show, Express Upload, and Help.  The Kodak EasyShare Software automatically loads pictures that have been taken from Kodak digital cameras, so any other photos must be manually loaded with the Add Pictures button. The New Album function creates folders in the software’s browsing system; these – along with the tagged favorites – can be transferred to the P850 when it is connected to the computer with the USB cable. The Edit button opens a separate window with an enlarged preview of the selected picture or video. The following editing options are available for still images: Crop, Red-Eye, Enhance, Scene Balance, Color Balance, Scene Effects, Fun Effects, and Rotate. The cropping function lets users choose preset formats such as 4 x 6, 5 x 7, or 8 x 10-inch sized crops – or it lets users freely crop without limitations. The red-eye reduction feature can automatically take out the red-eye or it can be manually done with the cursor. The Enhance button is an automatic function that does provide a preview; this fixes backlighting and colors. The Scene Balance option gives users three sliding bars to control the exposure, shadow details, and highlight details. The Color Balance option isn’t the traditional red, green, and blue setup. Instead, users select a gray area on the picture and the picture automatically is fixed – sortof. This feature was difficult to use because there are many shades of gray often in the same picture. The Scene Effects hosts the following options: No Effect, Black & White, Sepia, Forest, Scenic, Portrait, and Sunset. Some effects act as color filters and others simply tweak the saturation and tone. The Fun Effects are great for keeping kids busy on a Saturday morning. Spotlight, Coloring Book, Cartoon, and Fisheye options are available. The Spotlight adds darker areas in the corners of the image, while the Fisheye bends the center into a giant bubble. Unfortunately, users cannot adjust the size or scope of the bubble so it can look pretty ridiculous. The Cartoon simplifies the colors and creates a line drawing around the subject and other prominent edges. This feature does work very well and it looks cool, but probably not cool enough to print and frame over the fireplace. The Coloring Book option omits colors and just creates a line drawing. The Rotate button can be pressed over and over again until the proper orientation is reached.  If a video is selected in the browser, a different set of editing features appear: Trim, Add Music, Rotate, and Splice. These options aren’t any different than the ones included on the P850, but are still more than what is offered on any other software program included with a digital camera. Users can also view the video clips at full size, 200 percent, or 400 percent. In case any of the still or video editing options look awful, there is always an Undo button at the bottom to fix things.  The Print at Home tab offers just a few options to streamline printing. Users can choose the paper size, print layout, paper type, and print quality. The Kodak EasyShare Software automatically loads default printer settings from the computer it is installed on, so the actual printer’s settings won’t need to be loaded again. The Order Prints Online tab syncs with the Kodak EasyShare Gallery. Users must create or enter their login and password to access this part of the program. Currently on the Gallery, 4 x 6-inch prints cost 15 cents. The Email tab prompts users to choose whether they’d like to email pictures as attachments or share pictures as albums in the Kodak EasyShare Gallery. The software helps users set up a personal page of pictures that can only be viewed by people who are invited. The bottom tab is Kodak’s link from the software to the latest the company is working on. The Kodak EasyShare Center has tips, features, and software updates. Currently, the version 6.0 software is available and can be downloaded for free.  Overall, the included software with the Kodak EasyShare P850 is quite extensive for a digital camera in this price range. The basics are covered, interesting effects can be added, and there is even movie editing – which isn’t included on any other digital cameras’ software yet.

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 *Jacks, ports, plugs (6.0)*The P850 has a rubber cover on the left side that blends in with the housing very well. It is opened with a tiny grip at the bottom. The power adaptor and AV-out/USB jacks are beneath the cover. The AV-out can be set to North American (NTSC) or European (PAL) standards, so that lovely slide show can be played directly from the camera in Italy or Iowa. The AV-out jack is a multi-terminal because it also functions as the USB 2.0 port. The bottom of the camera also has a USB jack, but this is one that connects directly to the Kodak EasyShare printers and camera docks.  *Direct Print Options (8.0)*The Kodak EasyShare P850 has compatibility with PictBridge and ImageLink printing systems. The digital camera connects via USB or optional printer dock to the printer except in the case of the Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock Series 3, where the P850 sits directly on top of the printer and connects with a jack on its bottom. The camera comes packaged with a plastic insert so that it will fit into the Series 3 printers; the P850 also works with Kodak’s Printer Dock Plus products. Print orders can be made from the ruby colored Share button, which lets users tag single pictures (and scroll through pictures to pick and choose) or all images can be selected. Quantities of prints can be chosen from 0-99 too. The printing process on the Kodak EasyShare P850 is one of its simplest functions; the easy to find Share button, the intuitive menu, and the abundant compatibility makes printing pictures easy to do.  *
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Battery (5.75)***The Kodak EasyShare P850 comes with a light rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a wall-mount charger. The KLIC-5001 battery lasts between 210-290 shots. It lasted about three days of spontaneous casual shooting sessions ("Oh look, he’s smashing the banana in his hair! Let’s get a picture!") before needing a rest in its charger. The battery can also charge while in the camera if it is parked in one of Kodak’s optional EasyShare Camera Docks. The on-screen battery indicator has three levels on it, so users should know where they stand in terms of power.  *
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Memory (3.5)*The Kodak EasyShare P850 comes with 32 MB of internal memory, which is enough to hold only 9 images at the finest resolution. There is a door on the right side that covers a slot for SD or MMC cards. Users can choose in the setup menu whether to save only to the internal memory or to automatically save to whatever storage is available. If users would like to copy a picture to the internal memory, it is possible to do so from the playback menu. Unfortunately, the Kodak P850 seems to have quite a slow read/write speed to the card so prepare to have some waiting time when copying or snapping shots.  **Other features **(2.0)*Self-Timer* – The Kodak EasyShare P850 has simple self-timer options that include 10 and 2 seconds. In the automatic mode, only the 10-second option is available. There is no custom self-timer mode like on many other models.  
 

 

**Value ***(5.5)*The Kodak EasyShare P850 originally retailed for $499 when it was announced in August 2005, but the price quickly dropped. Kodak reevaluated many of its prices on digital cameras this year. Currently, the company lists the retail price at $299. This price is so good that consumers almost forget that the LCD screen has only 115,000 pixels, the built-in flash unit is horribly uneven and harsh, and the pictures just don’t look impressive. The Kodak P850 does have some great components: a 12x optical zoom lens, image stabilization, movie shooting and editing, and full manual functionality. But if it doesn’t take beautiful pictures, is it really worth even $299? 

 **Comparisons***

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Kodak EasyShare P880* – This digital camera has more resolution with 8.1 megapixels and is the flagship of Kodak’s Performance Series. It has many of the same advanced shooting features as the P850: manual and priority modes, the same white balance options, and RAW shooting capability. The P880 has a slightly slower 2 fps burst mode, and has the same problem with shutter lag that the P850 has. One of the most noticeable differences between the two cameras is the smaller lens on the flagship model. The Kodak P880 has a Schnieder-Kreuznach 5.8x optical zoom lens with no stabilization system. Not only is the lens shorter, but it has a smaller maximum aperture of f/4.1. The P880 is much larger with its 4.5 x 3.8 x 3.6-inch measurements and 17.6 oz weight. Still, the cameras have similar components. Both have the same electronic viewfinder and 2.5-inch LCD screen with only 115,000 pixels. The built-in flash units are different though. The P880’s must be manually opened, whereas the one on the P850 simply pops up automatically. The Kodak EasyShare P880’s built-in flash unit is more powerful; both cameras have a hot shoe and accept the same accessory flash. The P880 retails for $499.  *
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Canon PowerShot S3 IS
* – The S3 IS costs quite a bit more at $499, but takes great pictures. It has a 12x optical zoom lens with an optical image stabilization system. The 6.1-megapixel digital camera has an electronic viewfinder with a large window and cushy eyecup, but its resolution doesn’t come close to that of the Kodak P850’s. The Canon PowerShot S3 IS also has a 2-inch LCD monitor that folds out and rotates. It has the same amount of screen resolution as the P850, but spreads its pixels across a smaller area so it looks smoother. Unfortunately, the LCD solarizes and needs to be tilted often. The S3 has a built-in flash unit that produces much more even lighting and extends a little farther to 17 ft. It is compatible with a Canon slave flash unit that can reach as far as 30 ft and costs about a hundred dollars. The S3 offers similar manual functionality. It has manual, priority, and auto modes – but doesn’t have the custom modes like the Kodak P850. The Canon S3 does have a nicer ISO range that extends up to 800 – even while shooting full resolution pictures. Its white balance options aren’t nearly as extensive though. Its shutter speed range is wider from 15-1/3200th of a second, and its aperture range offers ten stops but begins with a wider f/2.7. The Canon PowerShot S3 IS cannot shoot in RAW format and eats up AA batteries, but takes beautiful pictures with nearly perfect colors.  *
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Fujifilm FinePix S5200
* – This SLR-shaped digital camera offers the same amount of resolution as the Kodak P850 and pairs it with a 10x optical zoom lens. It does not have image stabilization, but it did turn in some impressive pictures and performances. It produced colors that were extremely realistic and it kept noise to a minimum. This is great especially considering the camera’s ISO range extends up to 1600. Despite the high sensitivity, the camera didn’t perform very well in low light. Pictures are properly exposed, but the colors looked awfully saturated. The Fujifilm FinePix S5200 has a 1.8-inch LCD screen with 115,000 pixels and an electronic viewfinder with poor resolution. These don’t complement the manual focus mode, which doesn’t magnify the center of the composition either. The S5200 has full manual controls, but there aren’t as many designated buttons on the camera body. There is no jog dial and set button like on the Kodak either. Instead, users must constantly enter the menu system to switch the ISO or adjust the white balance and such. The Fujifilm FinePix S5200 retails for $399.  
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Olympus
* SP-500 UZ*
– Perhaps its closest neighbor, the SP-500 also has a spot at the low-end of the ultra-zoom market. It offers 6 megapixels of resolution, but poor color reproduction and an abundance of noise in pictures. Still, the Olympus has 27 shooting modes ranging from the fully manual to the fully automatic with everything in between. It even has four custom shooting modes. Its SLR-shaped body has a 10x optical zoom lens tacked onto its front, but it is not equipped with image stabilization. The lens accepts conversion lenses, but there is no hot shoe. This is too bad because the SP-500’s built-in unit is tiny and has a range as disappointing as the Kodak P850’s. The digital camera has an electronic viewfinder with much less resolution at 201,000 pixels. The tiny viewfinder is surrounded by plastic that is not comfortable at all and makes the Kodak EasyShare P850 look like a plush LaZBoy. The Olympus SP-500 UZ has a 2.5-inch LCD screen with 115,000 pixels – the same specs as the Kodak model. The Olympus camera has similar exposure specs too: 15-1/1000th of a second shutter speed range and f/2.8-f/8 aperture range. The SP-500 adds a panorama stitching mode, voice memos, and is powered by AA batteries. It retails for $379.  *
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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2
* – This model has an optically stabilized 12x zoom lens that is compatible with conversion lenses. The 6-megapixel Sony H2 has full manual functionality, but no custom modes or settings. In fact, the H2 has bare bones manual offerings. It has a manual white balance mode, but no white balance compensation. It has three standard metering options and no selectable spot metering. It has a relatively slow 1.3 fps burst mode and no exposure bracketing. To its credit, though, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2 has a much better ISO range that extends up to 1000. It also has a bigger shutter speed range from 30-1/1000th of a second. There is a function guide that explains what modes do and how large each image size can actually print. The SLR-shaped H2 has poor resolution on its viewfinder and equally awful viewing options on its LCD screen. The screen measures only 2 inches and has, even worse, only 85,000 pixels. The digital camera runs on AA batteries and requires a Memory Stick Duo card rather than the Kodak’s more common SD format. The Sony model even goes so far as to require a Memory Stick Pro Duo card (more expensive, of course) to capture video at a full 30 fps. The Sony H2 has limited manual options, but is easier to use and retails for $399.  **Who It’s For***Point-and-Shooters* – Don’t be fooled by the Kodak EasyShare name; the P850 doesn’t have the same target audience as its C-series of point-and-shoot cameras. This camera offers more control and less ease of use, so these consumers will want to look elsewhere.  *Budget Consumers* – With a retail price of $299, consumers may almost forget that the P850 takes marginal pictures.  *Gadget Freaks* – These consumers won’t be impressed with this model. Their interest might be piqued by the image stabilization system, but even that is becoming a standard feature nowadays.  *Manual Control Freaks* – To its credit, the Kodak EasyShare P850 has plenty of manual controls. Not only can users adjust the shutter speed and aperture, but they can tweak the white balance to resemble almost any color and can save custom settings to three modes.  *Pros/ Serious Hobbyists* – The specifications make this a candidate for a backup model, but the quality of the pictures doesn’t merit a spot in the camera bag for these elite photographers.

 

 **Conclusion**On the spec sheet, this digital camera looks great. It has a 12x optically stabilized Schneider-Kreuznach zoom lens, full manual controls and custom modes, a built-in flash unit and a hot shoe, and a 2.5-inch LCD screen. Granted, many of its components on the SLR-shaped body are very nice. The 5.1-megapixel Kodak EasyShare P850 has a large cushy viewfinder with resolution that is better than most of its competitors. Its stabilization system keeps video looking smooth even when utilizing the long lens while recording. There are lots of movie editing features that allow users to save only what they want. The list of great features coupled with the low $299 price tag does sound very inviting. But are you buying the specs or the pictures that will come from the camera? If beautiful pictures are desired, pass up this model. Even with all the manual modes and components, the Kodak EasyShare P850 skimps on its inner workings. The color reproduction isn’t up to par with compact models – and this is supposed to be the Performance series! There is noticeable shutter lag and the built-in flash casts an eerily uneven light that is reminiscent of the Blair Witch Project’s now infamous cover shot. Overall, the P850 can take decent pictures in bright light but its indoor shots are just as scary and amateur looking as the Blair Witch's cover art.

**Specs Table **

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Emily Raymond

Emily Raymond

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