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Kodak EasyShare Z650 review: Kodak EasyShare Z650

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MSRP: $229.95

The Good Full manual exposure controls; 10X optical zoom.

The Bad No image stabilization; noticeable fringing and artifacts; ISO 800 not available at full resolution; no manual white balance or focus; choppy video.

The Bottom Line This budget superzoom's price will garner interest, but the Kodak EasyShare Z650's performance and image quality will ward off enthusiasts.

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6.6 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Image quality 6

You'd expect Kodak to cut some corners with its budget-conscious superzoom, the EasyShare Z650, and you'd be right. Unlike the more expensive Kodak EasyShare Z612, which includes a 12X optical zoom lens with optical image stabilization, the EasyShare Z650 comes with a 10X optical, 38mm-to-380mm (35mm equivalent), f/2.8-to-f/3.7 lens without image stabilization. On the one hand, the fast maximum aperture of the EasyShare Z650's lens makes it useful for low-light shooting, but we expect to find image stabilization on a camera with such a long zoom lens.

One-handed shooting is definitely possible with the prominent, rubber-accented right-hand grip, though we found that our pinkie fingers were left dangling uncomfortably. A rubber ring on the lens barrel provides a perfect left-hand grip, which should help when shooting at longer focal lengths. Dedicated buttons for flash, macro/landscape mode, and drive mode sit atop the grip, along with the shutter button and on/off switch.

All other controls, including the mode dial, are on the camera's back. A small five-way joystick in the middle of the mode dial lets you navigate and select from the easy to navigate menu system. Depending on the mode you choose, the joystick also lets you change camera settings on the LCD, including shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, and ISO. Strangely, program, aperture- and shutter-priority, and manual modes all occupy one spot on the mode dial and can be selected using the LCD in the same manner as the aforementioned settings.

Metering options include multipattern, center weighted, and spot, and they can be tweaked with as much as plus or minus 2EV exposure compensation. Focus can be set to multizone, center-spot, or full auto, but manual focus is not available. As with most of the cameras in Kodak's Z series, sensitivity ranges from ISO 80 to ISO 400, with a boost mode that gives you ISO 800 at a reduced resolution of 1.7 megapixels.

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