Kodak EasyShare P880 Digital Camera Review
Auto Mode* (7.0)
*The Auto mode is found in plain green text on the mode dial and is easy to find as it is the only mode on the dial given a color. The options are limited in the Auto mode – as they should be. A truncated menu lets users choose only the picture size, file type, color mode, and whether to include a date stamp on the image. Other settings are automatically controlled. The auto focus system is set to work continuously, which focuses faster but makes a heck of a lot of noise doing it. If shooting in a quiet place, avoid using the Auto mode.
Movie Mode* (8.0)
*The Kodak EasyShare P880 has an excellent movie mode that shoots at great resolution, but the colors look strangely flatter than they do in still images. Resolution can be chosen at 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels; both sizes shoot 30 frames per second. The recording is limited only by the size of the memory card, although users can set the camera to record shorter 5, 10, or 30 second clips. The 5.8x optical zoom lens works in the movie mode as does the auto focus system. The continuous auto focus makes quite a noise, so it is best to avoid using it so it’s not picked up on the video. The audio works well and zooming can be done without audible disruption. Video clips look great except for a slight loss of color vibrancy.
If users wish to extract still images from VGA video, it is possible in the playback mode. The pictures can only be printed at a 2 x 3-inch size; making them any larger would result in serious degradation of the image. The playback mode also yields welcome editing features such as Trim, Cut, Split, Merge, Fast Forward, and Rewind. All in all, the movie mode on the Kodak EasyShare P880 is one of its best features.
Drive / Burst Mode*(6.25)
*The Kodak EasyShare P880 has more burst modes than most comparable models. The specs indicate that the P880 can shoot 2 frames per second for up to 12 images (standard JPEG at full resolution) in the First Burst mode. The Last Burst mode shoots at the same rate, but shoots for as long as the shutter release button is held down and saves only the last 6 images. There are two exposure bracketing modes. Some models take one picture and save it at different exposure levels, but the Kodak EasyShare P880 actually takes different pictures at different exposure levels. Exposure Bracketing 3 takes three shots at intervals of 1/3, 2/3, or 1 exposure value. The Exposure Bracketing 5 mode shoots five shots at the same intervals but takes just a bit longer.
The final burst mode option is the Time Lapse Burst Mode. Users can select intervals from 10 seconds to 24 hours and set the camera to shoot at those intervals for 2-99 images. This can be used to capture long-term projects like building construction or the slow motion of clouds or tides. This mode is also useful for spying on siblings who sit unawares in front of the Kodak P880. During long intervals, the P880 turns on by itself, grabs the shot, and turns off within a space of only a few seconds.
*Reviewing images on the Kodak EasyShare P880 is easier than recording them. There are several ways to view pictures: by pressing the Review button, sneaking a peek in the Quickview mode, and accessing the Favorites position on the power switch.
The Review mode is the camera’s full playback station. Holding the navigational toggle to one side or another scrolls through thumbnails of the pictures quickly. Full frames can be viewed as well and even magnified up to 10x. Shooting data, histograms, and highlight clipping can also be seen when individual pictures are viewed. In the playback mode, users can sort photos into albums (although you have to connect to a computer to import album names for some reason), protect selected images, copy pictures, reduce the red-eye effect, crop, and resize images. Users can also create JPEGs and TIFFs from RAW files. Slide shows can be viewed in the Review mode as well.
The Quickview option can be set to display the latest recorded image for five seconds or the mode can be disabled entirely in the setup menu. When an image is displayed for five seconds, users have just that long to delete it or tag it as a picture to email later or file as a Favorite.
The Favorites are stored on the camera’s internal memory and can be viewed by turning the power switch to the icon of the photo album with a heart in it. This is basically a designated spot for slide shows. It is certainly easier to access this way. Instead of turning the camera on, pressing the Review button, pressing the Menu button, scrolling though the menu to the Slideshow option, and then scrolling to the play option, users can simply switch to the Favorites mode and play directly from its menu. Users can view pictures individually, in the multi-up thumbnail mode, and in slide shows.
Overall, the Kodak P880’s playback mode is very thorough and provides more editing options than most digital cameras – compact and SLR alike.
Custom Image Presets*(7.0)
*A few of the Kodak EasyShare P880’s scene modes are located directly on the mode dial, but most are located within the Scene position on the mode dial. Portrait, Landscape, and Flower modes are located directly on the dial with icons. These icons also access sub-modes. For instance, the Portrait mode can also access the Night Portrait and Anti-Shake Night Portrait modes. The Landscape and Night Landscape modes are selectable when the dial is turned to an icon of a mountain. Flower and Super Close-up modes are available via the third scene icon. The other eight scenes can only be found in the Scene menu. Sports, Sunset, Backlight, Candlelight, Text/Document, Manner/Museum, Snow, and Beach are available. As users scroll through these modes in the custom image preset menu, there is a live view that shows how the exposure changes as the selection is changed. This is handy for picking just the right mode.
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