Kodak EasyShare Z5010 (Black) review:

Kodak EasyShare Z5010 (Black)

Design and features
The Z5010 is fairly generic-looking in matte black with some silver trim around the lens barrel, but it is clean and simple. The body is all plastic save for a rubberized texture on the hand grip and metal lens surround. On top is the shooting-mode dial with a spring-loaded power switch, along with the shutter release and buttons for flash, macro, and self-timer/continuous options.

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On back there's a decent 3-inch LCD, but no electronic viewfinder, which can make the lens more difficult to keep steady when zoomed in. Down the right side of the LCD are Delete, Menu, Info/Help, and Playback buttons. To the right of those are Kodak's Share button and a directional pad for navigating menus and browsing photos and movies.

The Share button allows you to quickly tag photos and movies for posting to Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, and other sharing sites in addition to directly sending them to e-mail addresses or compatible Kodak digital photo frames. Tag what you want and then connect the camera by USB to a computer, and the built-in software handles the rest. At least it will once you've installed it on your computer and entered all of your account information.

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The batteries and SD card slot are in the base of the right-hand grip under a locking door. The four AA-size batteries and the lens give the camera a nice heft that helps you keep it still when shooting. Battery life isn't great, though. Even using the NiMH rechargeable batteries that came with my review camera, it didn't reach its CIPA-rated 300 shot count. To be fair, using the zoom lens a lot and shooting movies drains the battery faster. But, if you're going to be shooting for the day using alkaline batteries, you'd be wise to bring spares.

General shooting options Kodak EasyShare Z5010
ISO sensitivity (full resolution) Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White balance Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Open Shade
Recording modes Smart Capture Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Night landscape, Sport, Program, Manual, Panorama, Scene, Video
Focus modes Multi AF, Center AF, Face Priority AF
Metering modes Face Priority, Multi, Center
Color effects High Color, Natural Color, Low Color, Black & White, Sepia
Burst mode shot limit (full resolution) Eight shots

As with most entry-level cameras, the Z5010 is pretty much a fully automatic point-and-shoot camera with its reliable Smart Capture scene recognition mode as well as 11 scene modes for things like flowers, sunsets, and backlit subjects.

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If you want to take a little more control, there is a Program mode in which you can change white balance, ISO, focus, exposure, and metering, and a Manual mode that adds control over shutter speed and aperture. Kodak makes it pretty easy to change the settings, too, by laying them out in a bar at the bottom of the LCD. There are no settings for manual white balance or manual focus, though.

Conclusion: Recommended with reservations
The Kodak EasyShare Z5010 is more than likely the last Kodak camera I'll review, at least until someone decides to license the brand. Like all of the EasyShare models I've reviewed before it, the Z5010 is an excellent value with nice features and simple operation. Unfortunately, to go with its low price, the quality of the camera and its pictures aren't the greatest. But if you're a casual photographer who makes small prints and shares photos online, and wants a long lens and a camera that uses AA batteries for power, I'd pick one up before it's gone.

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