Kodak EasyShare P880 Digital Camera Review
*The Kodak EasyShare P880 has some expensive features on it: 8 megapixels, a 2.5-inch LCD screen, a wide Schneider-Kreuznach optical zoom lens, and RAW file shooting. However, even these expensive features have their downsides. Kodak advertises 8 megapixels, but the P880 still didn’t fare well in our resolution testing. The 2.5-inch LCD screen is nicely sized but has inadequate resolution with only 115,000 pixels. The 24-140mm equivalent zoom lens has a great wide angle, but its maximum f/4.1 telephoto aperture is sub-par. It seems like with every positive aspect of the P880, there is a negative aspect to counterbalance it – which in the end leaves the Kodak EasyShare P880 an average digital camera. Well, not quite. Its above average price of $599 is what ultimately pushes the P880 from an average value to a poor one.
*Kodak EasyShare P850 –*The other digital camera in Kodak’s relatively new Performance Series is the 5.1 megapixel EasyShare P850. This model has less resolution and more zoom with its 12x optical zoom lens. The Kodak P850 has an optical image stabilization system that nicely complements the movie mode and keeps pictures from blurring. The bodies of the Performance Series cameras look very similar, but there are less dedicated buttons on the P850. Still, both the P880 and P850 have the same 2.5-inch LCD screen, hot shoe, and SLR shape. The Kodak EasyShare P850 also shares the same manual and priority modes as well as auto focus and movie modes. The P850 can shoot RAW files and like the P880 they cannot be edited on Macintosh systems. The Kodak EasyShare P850 has 32 MB of internal memory and retails for $499.
Fujifilm FinePix S9000 – This digital camera has a similar SLR-like shape and a Fujinon lens that does not detach. The 10.7x optical zoom lens has zoom and focus rings on it and functions like the one on the Kodak P880. The Fujifilm S9000 has 9 megapixels on a 1/1.6-inch CCD. This digital camera performed well during testing and offered images that looked great in low light, producing little noise. The S9000 has similar manual and priority modes and also has a movie mode that allows the optical zoom lens to be used. Unfortunately, there is no image stabilization. One of the more distinguishing features of this FinePix is its LCD monitor. The screen is only 1.8 inches, but it folds out from the camera body and tilts up and down for better viewing with a tripod. This camera also accepts both CompactFlash and xD-Picture cards. The Fujifilm FinePix S9000 runs on AA batteries and retails for $699.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 – This 8 megapixel digital camera also has a compact SLR shape with a 12x optical zoom lens. The Panasonic has a similarly sized 1/1.8-inch CCD and a smaller 2-inch screen, but has 235,000 pixels on that screen. This LCD monitor is like the Fujifilm S9000’s; it folds outward from the camera body and tilts upward and downward. The Leica zoom lens on the FZ30 extends much farther than that of the Kodak, and also offers focus and zoom rings. The zoom lens can be used in the movie mode, but it makes an audible noise. Optical image stabilization is also available on the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30. The FZ30 shoots in JPEG, TIFF, and RAW like the Kodak, and produces a lot of noise like the Kodak. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30 retails for $699.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1 – This digital camera is SLR-shaped but borrows many components from compact models, much like the Kodak EasyShare P880 does. The Sony H1 has less resolution at 5.1 megapixels on a smaller 1/2.4-inch CCD, but has a much longer 12x optical zoom lens. The H1 has manual and priority modes and includes 7 scene modes in its palette. As the lead camera in Sony’s Enthusiast line of digital cameras, the Cyber-shot H1 combines great color performance with manual functionality. The resultant pictures have fairly low noise – much less than the Kodak P880's pictures. The Sony H1 has a 30-1/1000th shutter speed and similar apertures of f/2.8 - f/8. It has a similarly disappointing 2.5-inch LCD screen with 115,000 pixels. Optical image stabilization and 32 MB of internal memory sweeten the deal. This easy to use digital camera runs on AA batteries and uses Sony Memory Stick Media. It retails for $499.
**Who It’s For **
*Point-and-Shooters – *The Kodak P880 could be a great gift for previous EasyShare users looking to upgrade to a more capable camera. The strong auto and scene modes and impressive video capture make the P880 a versatile option for beginners who really want to build their skills with one digital camera.
Budget Consumers – For consumers who don’t quite have the cash for a bigger DSLR but still get the urge to shoot in RAW format with 8 megapixels, the Kodak EasyShare P880 provides the option just below the low-end DSLRs and just above the high-end compacts at its $599 retail price.
*Gadget Freaks – *This type of consumer will be attracted by the gadgets the P880 can come with. There are all kinds of optional gadgets to hook onto this camera, but unfortunately for the true gadget lover, they all revolve quite literally around still image capture. No WiFi or touch screen here.
Manual Control Freaks – With a fully manual mode as well as priority modes, these consumers will be satisfied. Custom menus and manual white balance are the icing on the cake for manual control freaks.
Pros / Serious Hobbyists – With manual functionality, conversion lens compatibility, and plenty of features in a compact DSLR-shaped body, the Kodak P880 could be the tool the budding serious hobbyist needs.
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