Kodak EasyShare P880 Digital Camera Review
Testing / Performance
*Kodak markets its Kodak Color Science Chip almost as much as its large LCD screens and its EasyShare Software. The company prides itself in producing digital cameras that capture realistic colors. To test out the P880’s Color Science Chip, we took several shots of the GretagMacbeth color chart and uploaded it into Imatest Imaging Software. The software compares the colors produced by the P880 to those on the original GretagMacbeth chart, which is a chart used by the imaging industry to reference colors. Below is the composite image of the chart modified by Imatest. It shows the Kodak P880’s colors in the outer square. The inner vertical rectangle depicts the original color of the chart; this is what the colors should look like. The inner square contains a computer-corrected version of the ideal, adjusted for exposure.
The degree of error may be difficult to understand quantitatively from the Imatest chart, so the graph below depicts the variance more clearly. In this graph, the squares represent the 24 original colors from the GretagMacbeth chart and the circles represent the corresponding colors produced by the Kodak EasyShare P880. The line connecting the two shapes shows just how much error there is; the longer this line, the more inaccurate that particular color.
The marketing proved to be more than empty hype. The Kodak EasyShare P880 performed well with a strong 8.24 overall color score. Colors look decent, but still remain subtle. They aren’t pastel, but they certainly aren’t over-saturated like many digital cameras automatically make them. The saturation actually ranged from the slightly under-saturated 98 percent at ISO 50 to the slightly over-saturated 101 percent at ISO 100. The mean color error was 7.28, so overall the color palette was not exaggerated that much and should provide nice images with some brilliance.
**Still Life Scene **
Below is a shot of our pastoral still life scene photographed with the Kodak EasyShare P880.
Click on the image above to view a full resolution version (CAUTION: the linked file is very large!)](https://www.reviewed.com/cameras/viewer.php?picture=P880-StillLife-LG.jpg)
Resolution / Sharpness*(3.53)
This Kodak digital camera has a large 1/1.8-inch CCD that touts 8 megapixels. We tested it by shooting an ISO 12233 resolution chart, often used to measure the resolution and sharpness of cameras in the imaging industry. We tested the P880 with several different focal lengths and apertures to achieve the sharpest setting.***
Click on the chart above to view full size image](https://www.reviewed.com/cameras/viewer.php?picture=P880-ResCH-LG.jpg)
At 23.5mm, the P880 produced the strongest results at an aperture of f/4. This was evident in the results produced by Imatest Imaging Software, which assessed the P880’s ability to read shots and create crisp images. The sharpness results are expressed as line widths per picture height (LW/PH), which is a measurement of how many individual black and white alternating lines of equal thickness could be read by the camera in its frame before blurring them together. Traditional measurements are expressed as line pairs per picture height (LP/PH), but this does not allow for the many different sizes of digital image sensors. Thus, we report the resolution in LW/PH to standardize the findings.
The Kodak EasyShare P880 has 8 megapixels, but only provided a resolution of 1627 LW/PH horizontally and 1505 LW/PH vertically. To give some context for these figures, the compact 8 megapixel Olympus Stylus 800 read 1742 LW/PH horizontally and 1715 LW/PH vertically. We certainly expected more from the $599 Kodak P880. This digital camera received a poor 3.53 overall resolution score. The camera hardly over-sharpened at all with just 0.4 percent, which enables more post-capture sharpening to be applied while retaining image quality. The P880 in fact hardly exaggerates anything within the camera: saturation, sharpening, and noise reduction are all kept to a minimum.
**Noise - Auto ISO ***(2.79)
*The automatic ISO range on the Kodak EasyShare P880 is shortened to 50-200 as it is on many compact digital cameras. The P880 also performed like a point-and-shoot digital camera with an overall automatic ISO noise score of 2.79. This is extremely disappointing. While the camera selected an ISO of 150 for our well lit test, the camera’s lower ISOs unfortunately already have lots of noise – as seen in the manual ISO test.
Noise - Manual ISO* (4.36)
*With a 50-400 ISO range at full resolution, the Kodak EasyShare P880 has 800 and 1600 ISO extensions only at the 0.8 megapixel image size. That’s useful for making a nicely exposed index print, but not much else, so we tested the manual ISO options available in full resolution. Below is a chart showing the four ISO settings on the horizontal axis and the corresponding noise on the vertical axis.
There is a steady incline in the noise level on the above chart, which is nice only because of its consistency. But there is a big jump between the 200 and 400 settings. The tradeoff however is that the noise level at ISO 50 is higher than that on most digital cameras. This resulted in a disappointing 4.36 overall manual ISO noise score.
Low Light Performance* (5.5)
*If you intend on taking the Kodak EasyShare P880 out to capture moments from a meteor shower, you should be aware of its low light performance. We photographed the GretagMacbeth color chart at diminishing light levels of 60, 30, 15, and 5 lux. 60 lux is a common light level that can be found in a living room after dusk with the curtains drawn and two soft lamps illuminating the room. The 30 lux level shows what the light from a 40-watt bulb would be. The 15 and 5 lux tests show us how sensitive the Kodak P880’s CCD is and how it reacts to longer exposures.
Below is a chart showing the noise levels garnered from each of the four lux tests. The exposure time in seconds is displayed along the horizontal axis and the noise level is shown on the vertical axis.
A short exposure is used at 60 lux and while it is noisy, it is nothing compared to what is to come. There is a big jump between the quality of the image at that point and the quality resulting from exposures longer by about another half second, where the 30 lux picture was taken. The noise steadily rises and overtakes the picture as well as diminishing color vibrancy and decreasing color balance. The Kodak P880 used a 6-second shutter speed at its longest exposure.
**Speed / Timing **
Start-up to First Shot (7.46)
With a start-up time of 2.54 seconds, the Kodak EasyShare P880 is more reminiscent of less expensive point-and-shoot models in terms of speed. If the P880 wants to compete in the high-end compact segment, a faster start-up time is imperative.
*Shot to Shot (9.54)
*Using a Kodak branded SD card (made by Lexar), we tested the many facets of the continuous shooting mode. The First Burst mode took 7 shots at an average rate of a shot every 0.46 seconds. After those 7 shots, it took a full 30 seconds to write to the card. The Last Burst mode was much slower at 1.5 fps and saved only the last six images. The Exposure Bracketing 3 mode took a shot every 0.55 seconds, while the Exposure Bracketing 5 mode took a shot every 0.66 seconds. At its fastest, the Kodak EasyShare P880 shoots about 2 frames per second – decent for an average compact but not head-turning for an SLR-like camera.
*Shutter to Shot (6.48)
*The shutter lag is barely there if the exposure and focus are locked. However, if you’re shooting on the fly you could be in trouble. The auto focus system is so ridiculously slow that it takes about 1.3 seconds to focus.
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