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Hands-on with the Kodak EasyShare Z1275

The Kodak EasyShare Z1275 brings 12-megapixel compact cameras into the budget market with its chunky battery-powered two-tone styling and 5x optical zoom

There are plenty of 12-megapixel cameras on the market these days, and the Kodak EasyShare Z1275, which just arrived in our office, is one of them. What distinguishes the Z1275 from its competitors is a f/2.8-5.1, 5x Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon optical zoom lens -- and a very affordable price tag.

The two-tone grey and black styling gives the Z1275 a different feel to the usual identikit silver compact. It's not thin, but that's mainly because it gets its juice from AA batteries. Obviously that means you should never run out of power, as batteries can be bought just about anywhere.

The 64mm (2.5-inch) colour display is nowt to write home about, but we like the black buttons. The rear clickpad is square with rounded corners, while even Kodak's signature big red round EasyShare button is oblong. Fancy.

The usual Kodak whistles and bells are present and correct, including 20 scene modes, a favourites mode and panorama stitch function. Image stabilisation is lacking, but we'll see how the Z1275 fares image-wise in our review, which'll be coming down the pipe any day now.

The Kodak EasyShare Z1275 is available now for a very respectable £130. -Rich Trenholm