Kodak EasyShare P880 Digital Camera Review
*The large, squat Schneider-Kreuznach zoom lens dominates the front of the EasyShare P880. It’s an "SLR-like" lens, with two large rings for focus and zoom. The zoom ring is more forward, and covered with rubber. The focus ring is hard plastic, and narrower than the zoom ring. In general, the P880 seems to take its styling cues from Canon's EOS series of SLRs, with very streamlined curves and not many corners or edges.
The EasyShare P880 features a viewfinder hump that includes a pop-up flash on top and a pair of small lenses looking forward. They're part of the auto focus system. The lenses are part of an external system, which works with the more standard through-the-lens system. A small auto focus assist light sits flush with the surface of the camera, between the lens and the handgrip. Toward the bottom of the camera, between the grip and the lens, there's a prominent badge noting the P880’s 8 megapixel resolution.
The grip is accented with a strip of gray metal and rubber running down its front, from the beveled control surrounding the shutter release. The Kodak nameplate appears on the viewfinder hump, but in general, the camera’s styling is quite restrained.
*The 2.5-inch LCD dominates the back of the P880, though the electronic viewfinder duplicates its functions. High on the upper left of the camera is a button to switch between the LCD and the viewfinder display. A viewfinder diopter adjustment dial is on the side of the viewfinder. Below that, along the left side of the LCD, is a column of buttons for direct access to shooting controls. They control, from top to bottom: flash mode, metering pattern, ISO, and white balance. Each brings up a menu on the LCD.
To the right of the viewfinder, the EasyShare P880 sports an "i" (for "information") button, which brings up the histogram and indicators about various settings in shooting or review mode.
The review button is below that, to the right of the LCD. The four-way controller is below that. The four-way controller is an odd thing – rather than a ring that can be pressed in four different spots, this controller is a whole button that can be nudged side-to-side or up and down. It can also be pressed straight in.
Below that, the delete button, the menu button, and Kodak’s distinctive "Share" button are spread near the bottom of the camera.
At the top right of the P880’s back, there’s a control dial that’s set up for the thumb to turn. Below the dial, there’s a set button, and the two work in conjunction. Below that, there’s an auto focus and exposure lock button.
Left Side* (7.0)
*There’s a wide strap lug on the left side of the EasyShare P880, with a PC flash sync terminal below. The terminal is protected by a rubber cap. There’s a speaker grill below that, and a red badge advertising the P880's zoom range. A door below that reveals an A/V-USB terminal and a socket for an external power supply.
Right Side* (7.0)
*The right side of the EasyShare P880 makes up the greater part of the right-hand grip, so it’s smooth. It’s also flat, which is too bad – a nice bulge would have made it a more comfortable grip. The strap lug protrudes very high on the side, but it still gets in the way of my grip. Grip styles and sizes are personal however, so your mileage may vary. Lower down and toward the back, the SD media card door sits flush with the camera's surface.
*Two buttons, one to actuate auto focus and the other to control the digital zoom, are to the left of the viewfinder hump. There's a hot shoe for Kodak’s dedicated flash on top of the hump. The mode dial is next, just to the right of the viewfinder. The microphone is close by, between the mode dial and the drive button. The program button, which can be set to directly access a menu function, is far to the right. The shutter release, which is a large chrome disk, is set forward on the grip. The P880’s on/off switch encircles the shutter release on a beveled slant. The switch has a third position to switch the camera to Favorites mode, which allows the P880 to act as a digital photo album.
*The EasyShare P880’s tripod socket is to the left on the bottom of the camera, and not centered under the lens. That is too bad for those who use tripods frequently; having the socket off-center means that the camera shifts more as it’s pivoted. The center of the camera, where the tripod socket should be, is taken up by Kodak’s dock connector, a small, multi-pin terminal which connects with both printers and docks, and via USB to PCs. The battery compartment is inside the grip, and a door with a strong, positive latch reveals it via the camera bottom. The lithium-ion cell is small, and easy to load into the camera.
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