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on June 11, 2011
As a mechanical engineer I particularly appreciate good design. This camera is loaded with it. It can be used easily as a "point and shoot" camera, or maually by a more experienced photographer.

The 30X OPTICAL zoom lens is spectacular. Sure, it might not be quite up to SLR standards, but the pictures I get while SLR owners are struggling changing lenses make a big difference. I have been taking photos for decades, and virtually any lens with the name Schneider has always been a good one.

Important to me, since I take lots of photos of kids and animals, is the short time between shutter push and the photo being taken. It adapts well to changing situations.

Many cameras have no eyepiece viewer, and in bright sunlight can hardly be used because the viewing screen appears so dim. Not so with this camera. Although the direct view could be of better quality and include a diopter admustment, it is so much better than trying to compose a photo in the bright sunlight using an almost invisible viewing screen.

I love to do available light photography. I have never seen a camera with such great low light ability. Sometimes it is almost as though it had "night vision." I normally set the camera to the "No flash" setting.

I think this camera might be a little too technical for first time users unless they are willing to get to know the camera and its capabilities as they go.

I read a review of a comparable Canon offering, and they criticized the lens for purple fringing -- NOT a problem with my camera.

I still carry a small "point and shoot" camera, but when I get serious about taking photos, I lean on this camera.

This camera seems to have the ability to do just about anything I want it to, including making HD video.

If you take a photo at the wide angle setting (28mm equivalent) and then take one at the highest telephoto setting (840mm equivalent) you will likely be amazed.

I recommend this camera highly.
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on April 29, 2011
A little background: I have been using Kodak's high-end EasyShares since 2002. I got the EasyShare Max z990 on April 11, 2011. I have been putting this camera to the test for 18 days.

There are a lot of things I love about my z990. But I have had enough disappointments to make me wonder what Kodak was thinking, and to question if this camera is worth its original $300+ price tag.

My first z990 was very buggy. It kept becoming unresponsive for several seconds or even freezing up. It helped to reformat the SD card and internal memory and to reset the camera. But I ended up having to get a replacement. My new z990 works much better!

Things I love:
* Best low-light no-flash pictures I have EVER seen from a digital camera!
* Very nice image quality.
* 1080p video! ... Good image quality. Acceptable sound quality.
* Snap pictures WHILE recording a video! They are lowish quality, but still decent enough for a 4x6 or maybe even a 5x7 print.
* Photobooth is so much fun! I just wish you could use the timer to add an extra 10 seconds before it starts snapping. ... The camera does give you a few seconds to get into position, but sometimes I need a little more.
* My 8 year old LOVES automatic panorama! ... But it can be a bit sensitive if you sweep at the wrong speed or if your subjects are moving. (like tree tops on a windy day)

* Automatic panorama does not always capture the whole image. - Sometimes it saves less than half of the image.
* You cannot set your favorite film effect to be the default. (I prefer more natural colors, but every time I turn the dial or power off my camera, it resets to oversaturated)
* Several vividly colored flowers just won't record right on this camera. Example: I have several rose pictures where you cannot tell where the petals are. It's just a smear of color. Some of my wild flower pictures look solidly colored to the eye, but when I take a picture the edges of the petals are colored perfectly and the centers of the petals are white!
* No standard "menu" button. ... But they did move a lot of the "menu" functionality to "DISP." (display)
* Included charger was VERY slow. 7 hours and my batteries were only half- charged.
* Continuous capture does not meet my expectations. It was the worst setting about freezing up on my first z990. On the new one, it takes about 24 shots before slowing down.
* Ability to shoot nice pictures in low-light conditions makes capturing a silhouette more tricky. I tried several times to catch dark strawberry plants and trees against a dark blue sky. - They came out obviously green and surprisingly detailed!

Other comments:
* Decent battery life - take well over 100 pictures and a few videos between charges. ... Included batteries are 2100mAH. When I use my 2300mAH energizer nimhs, I get well over 200 pictures plus a few videos!
* Batteries do fit a little snug when you try to close the compartment. But not too bad.
* Built in HDR processing is a nice feature, but often accuses you of moving the camera if there is too much movement in the scene. Does not handle moving objects (such as a kid riding a bike) as originally advertised. ... Instead of multiple images of the kid showing up, I just get a few ghostly smears.
* The icons for different modes and affects are bigger, and more detailed. In some ways I like being able to see a sample of what "children" are. But I am not a fan of having to scroll to the next screen to see the rest of the options.

Overall I like this camera and will probably keep it. But the color quality is disappointing compared to my z1012.

By the way ... Kodak told me there will be NO remote for this camera. They said it was a bug for them to list it on their site. ... You might want to look into that.
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on May 21, 2011
Low light pics are really amazing with this camera. I took a pic in my family room taken at 8:30 at night in smart mode with no flash and the room lit by only the light coming through the doorway from the kitchen and the TV. While I realize you wouldn't want to take pics of people at the shutter speed selected by smart mode (.3), the pic came out with the room appearing as though it was 2 pm on a sunny day.

Some reviews have said you can't save settings when you shut off the camera but that is not completely true. If you shoot in PASM modes it will save your settings in those modes even if you switch modes or shut off the camera. While it may not save settings in "scenes" and special features (like shooting fireworks or sunsets) those are preset anyway as soon as you dial to them.

I am no photo expert but the menus seem very intuitive and easy to navigate.

The main reason I bought this camera is that it gives me a lot of versatility with its zoom and low light capacity. I hate flash photography and I like a lot of sports and outdoor action shots of family and friends.

The zoom is 30X optical while in smart mode and another 5x digital zoom when shooting in PASM modes (which allow you to override a host of presets that you can't do (except to shut off the flash) in smart mode. Though you cannot zoom manually, the toggle for the zoom is on a ring surrounding the shutter button and very easy to use without taking your eyes off the subject of your pictures. It responds instantly and does not require you to zoom in and out to get where you want like my old digital camera (Sony Cybershot DSC-S70).

Very little lag between pushing the shutter button and the pic being taken imo, especially in low light where you'd expect the camera to think about it for a while before shooting. As for complaints that you have to wait until the preview pic goes away you can easily overcome that by pushing the shutter button half way which clears the screen and allows you to take another pic right away.

One other thing. I would never buy a camera without a view finder in addition to the lcd screen and the z990, besides having a very bright 3" lcd which is excellent, has an EVR (electronic view finder) with all the same info you get on the lcd and which is very useful in bright sun when you cannot see the lcd. If you want to use the EVR instead you just hit a button to the top left of the lcd and the lcd turns off and the EVR on.

Though I am no expert at photography I have taken thousands of pics over the years with my trusty Konica Autoreflex TC SLR and my Sony point and shoot. But from what I can see this new Kodak offering beats them by far. I really think I am going to enjoy this camera.
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on June 15, 2011
I wanted a superzoom camera. We have four other compact digitals in the family, all Canons. When I researched various super zoom models and compared images, I started to take notice of the clarity of the images and the colors from this Kodak Z990. The more I read about it the more I liked what I heard. It was sample images is what sold me.

Because of an old Chinon CP7m film camera I have, I know of their association with then purchase of Chinon in 1997. Chinon was a pioneer in digital photography and Kodak has endless experience in color so while they are not known for high end cameras any more, they sure have a solid history in the camera business both film and digital. I had no qualms considering a Kodak camera.

The Z990 from Amazon arrived fast and worked fine right out of the box. The controls are intuitive presuming you've had some digital camera experience. It came with pre-charged rechargeable batteries and a charger. The display is huge and bright. One reason we have Canon compact digital camers is they were among the last to offer a viewfinder. I find these very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight when the back screen is difficult or impossible to see. This Kodak Z990 has viewfinder that displays the exact same inforrmation and details as the big screen on back does! There is a single button that switches it back and forth from one to another...a fantastic feature. You also have single button access to start shooting videos, or to change to burst shooting mode, macro focus, and to activate the multiple types of self-timer modes it has.

I snapped perhaps 30 photos in full auto mode in the back yard. My intention was to see some shots in the easiest to use mode on the computer screen before I would read the manual and dig into the camera deeper. I also shot the same images with a Canon SD1100. When I put the test photos on the computer screen (I was using FastStone Image Viewer)and started looking at them, I was thrilled with the results and the comparisons. The little Canon is a flawless compact with very few unusable shots and great color rendition. The Kodak immediately proved to be the same way. Few wasted shots and great color. We have another neighborhood starting about 90 yards behind us across a creek. I took a number of shots with both cameras at things like their mail boxes, cars license plates, etc. at a distance. The benefit of the big telephoto lens on the Kodak was immediately obvious as you would expect, BUT what was not expected was the clarity of the images! The image stabilization in the Kodak is great and the focus and clarity of the long shots was fanastic. Straight across the board the Kodak produced superior quality images. I realize I was comparing a sub compact 8MP camera to a super zoom 12MP camera, but the benefit is quite obvious, which is why I bought this one... for those occassions where I want even BETTER pictures.

I then dug into the manual and started to come across some of the great features this camera has.
Here are a few, some you may have not read on even professional reviews:
- To capture a video (720 or 1080) press one button and start shooting. WHILE you are shooting a video, just press the shutter to also capture STILL shots at the same time. Even if you miss a few shots, you can still campture stills out of the video INSIDE THE CAMERA as you are viewing your video. The stills are high enough resolution fo yield good quality 4x6 prints.
- Remember the old Kodak film lineup? Kodacolor film had great, bright, realistic color. Kodachrome slide film was more saturated color. Ektachrome slide film had even more color saturation? You can select those same color renditions (in addition to B&W and sepia tone) to shoot with. A great concept and a clever leveraging of the Kodak brands of old.
- You can add borders to photos while you are reviewing the photo inside the camera.
- For RAW format images, you select which images you want to store in RAW format while you are reviewing them... you don't have to select RAW format before you start shooting. The only thing is RAW cannot be saved from shots done in full auto mode...but the P "program" mode sure seems nearly identical to full auto anyway!
- It has and HDR mode on the dial. In this mode the camera takes two photos with different exposure settings and then merges them into ONE image with a superior exposure for you automatically. Brilliant!
- Rather than changing to S (shutter proiority mode) to capture faster moving objects, there is already a SPORT mode on the dial that you can quickly change to for the same purpose.
- If you shoot a video but have some un-needed footage ate the beginning or end it is not a problem. You can edit the front end or back end off the video in the camera! There are also stereo microphones for the videos
- The SCENE modes not only function well but they are easy to access, just turn the dial to SCN, select your mode, and start shooting. With easy of access I will use them more.
- The whole camera feels great in my hands and seems very well built. The on/off switch is nice and hefty and one should be able to operate it even with gloves on. Once on, the indicator light comes on and it is also the light that indicates where your main mode dial is positioned.
- The screen on back is bigh and bright and the buttons and arrow switch is easy to use and understand. There is also a roller /button swithc for your thumb that controls things like changing you shutter speed when in P (program) mode.
- If you leave your memory card out and start shooting saving the shots to the internal memory, when you insert the memory card it asks you if you want to transfer all the internal images to the memory card. Very nice. Also, when you modify a photo inside the camera (RAW, cropping) it has, so far, asked if you want to save BOTH the before and after image.

- I shot some photos of a red rose in the back yard and on two of the shots, the sensor seemed to be "dazzled" by all the red. With this one flower the shots were oversaturated and the pedals were indistinguishable. I took similar close up shots of other red flowers out back and there was no problem. NOTE - I bought my daughter a mid-range Nikon compact for her birthday in October. Twenty test shots into it and she felt bad to tell me that so many shots were not in focus. Then we took a picture of our kitchen and the "biscuit" appliances looked pure yellow. It REPEATEDLY could not capture those tan colors correctly. Overall the Kodak does fantastic with colors. I only mention the Nikon because it taught me that a more impressive name brand does not guaranty anything.

- About 200 shots into practicing with this Kodak Z990, I was shooting some closeups and the zoom button simply stopped responding. I re-thought my settings and looked at everything and there was no reason for it. I then turned the dial to other modes and it worked and then stopped responding again. I shut it off then looked at some of the photos, when I turned it back on it was fine. My Palm PDA and eReader and laptop and netbook all have reset buttons for when those devices may "get confused" as well. It has not re-occurred but hope it doesn't happen very often or I could start missing shots.


Yes, I would recommend this camera to anyone who wants the big lens without the SLR hassles. Be careful as this Z990 camera is quite different from the previous Z981 model. I believe it even has a completely different type of image sensor.

At $280+, the Kodak Z990 is a spectacular value. I would have gladly paid another $100 or even more for the features, the lens, the very effective image stabilization and the incredible image quality.
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on April 29, 2011
I got this camera three weeks ago and have been shooting pictures like crazy! The price is right on the camera and it has some wonderful features and a fantastic lens and image quality. Low light is fantastic and with features like sweeping horizontal and vertical panoramic imaging is a winner. I like how Kodak put in emulations for the old Kodak films like Kodachrome, Tri-max and a lot others.

I love the very high resolution 1080p video and for a extra $10 you can get a remote control to control both photo and video shoot and viewing.

The 12mp BSI image sensor really comes threw with great pictures. I like how it has a built in micro HDMI port so you can hook it up to your TV and see a slide or or watch the 1080p video.

This camera puts other superzoom to shame with its power and cost, i have talked with other people that do not like the images coming off of the other big name camera manufactures. Just because it has a big name does not make it better, remember Kodak was the first to make SLR's so they know how to make a great camera.

Try this camera you will love it!!!! I am going to buy my sister one for her birthday, i love it so much!.
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on November 30, 2011
(This review will be updated) I bought the camera bundle at Amazon because the price was so good (229). The included SD card is the Kodak "High-speed 100x" 8gb card, which is a class 6. It does pretty decent on photos, but on burst, I will probably try and buy a class 10 card. Also, while 8gb will give you 1,000 photos at fine jpeg compression (and less in RAW), it only affords you about 29 minutes in HD 1080 video. So, keep these things in mind of your needs and what card you'll want to use.
The camera body is plastic, with a strip of smooth non-slip rubber on the grip. Some peopele say it feels cheap, but no more so than their previous incarnations. I was shocked at how *light* this camera is! Even with the batteries, the size of this camera seems to justify a much heavier weight, but it isn't! I call this a plus, with a small minus. The minus being that the place where you attach a tripod is just plastic; no metal. That could suck in the long run :(. I had no issue with the battery door at all, and I have extremely small hands. I like that it has a 2-step process to make sure the battery compartment never accidentally opens.

Make sure you format the card before use, and after you do a firmware update. For some reason, burst mode photos were taking *forever* to process, and it was locking up the camera. After a format of the card on my computer (as suggested by Kodak help), and reinserting, it was about 30 seconds of processing after burst modes. Much better. Again, I'll be looking into a higher class of SDHC card, though. Overall, though, I've never really had much use for it, and it seems rather unimpressive on this camera. If you're buying to use burst mode ALOT and with large amounts of photos, this is not your camera, and you probably have to find something more expensive.
The kit comes with the 4 batteries that comes with the camera, as well as a retail pack of 4 more rechargeable AA's. They're 2100mah, 1.2v. The suckiness is: they must have been half dead by the time they got here. Pre-charged my patooty! Initially the camera recognized they had some charge, but quickly showed them in the red. Both sets. Sucky.
Luckily, the camera comes with a charger, which says it can take 11.5 hours to fully recharge these batteries. Ugh. I see Sanyo Eneloops are in my future (they're good batteries with a shorter charge time with their included charger). I will update on performance once the Kodaks are charged.

I immediately upgraded the firmware from the 1.01 to kodak's latest: 1.12. It was a single update, on the Kodak website, and took all of 2 minutes. Super easy.

I ran through the functions, and particuarly enjoyed playing with the super macro.. it's so awesome to get tiny, tiny things (my keyboard keys are alot dirtier than I ever realized! LOL). Sports mode does not seem overly faster than the smart picture mode, and was a little bit of a dissapoint. I was hoping for better than my old Kodak, an 812 IS. The photos are, of course, beautiful, and do seem to pick up the warmer hues well, just like every kodak digital I've owned. Video seemed smoother than my old one (better frame rate?) but about the same visual quality.
The big suprise was low-light situations. Pictures indoors with crappy lighting look really good! Even without flash, so long as your subject and your hands are still, it's like mid-day! Good plus, Kodak! Red eye also seems to be down quite a bit.
I will update once I get a chance to test night scenes, and see if the low-light situations are consistently better there than previous generations of kodak cameras.
The continuous autofocus has a neat feature where if a person or child moves, it follows them! Very cool. Not always correct the first time though, and you can change it. Picture taking speed is super fast if you half-click the shutter button and get your target in frame first. Good results, every time that way. Honestly, in most situations, you can just use the "red camera" option on the wheel, which is Kodak's Auto. It does really good in adjusting for light, situations, etc. It's pretty impressive, and I could see a basic family or around-the-house user never having to leave this option, and getting great photos. Back-to-back photos aren't too bad either. They may be a tad bit slower than my older camera, but not enough for me to really say for sure. Probably the same speed, it's just the review of the photo you just took isn't an option; you must look at it. You can press the shutter button half way to keep moving tho.
HDR will need a tripod. Seriously. There is no way you can be still enough with your hands to do this function. Just the vibrations from my small child running past the heavy table the camera was sitting on was enough for the camera to balk and refuse to take the pic, using HDR on a super macro.

I'm really interested in all of the manual features (PASM modes) for future photography learning, but was upset that there was no histogram! WTH! I followed the extended guide instructions.. no histogram showing! I used the Kodak website's chat help feature, and found out why: it's automatically turned off in the settings under UI. You have to turn that on before a histogram will show for you. Hmm... you'd think the manual would tell you that, and save the company some time with people contacting help. Ah well. At least it's there now.

Another con is the lens cap. No, the lens cap is not bad. It doesn't pop off randomly like on my 812 (but I wish they'd make one that screws on already!). But the camera throws a hissy if you turn on the camera while the cap is on, and you cannot review photos or video unless it's off. So much so, that if you dont act within like a minute, it just turns the camera off. This is probably an energy saving feature in case of accidental bumps.

The package did not include a cd of software, and I was kind of wondering why not... until I tested out the usb cord. As soon as I hook up the camera, it immediately wants me to load the kodak software, which is apparently imbedded into the camera itself! Which is pretty cool: as long as you have the camera, you have the easyshare software. However, for those of us who hate that slow software, it is annoying that you cannot see the SD card unless you load the software. So, the only way to avoid the easyshare software is to take out the sd card (which is sharing space in the battery compartment) and load the pics via card reader. Not a big deal, but it's an annoyance.

Also.. no DC power input anymore; it's all usb. Supposedly, it has a function to charge batteries using usb, but I don't know for certain. Regardless, it'd probably take forever to do that via usb anyway. Stick with rechargeables.

Other reviewers mentioned the strap quality and difficulty in attaching to the camera. The attachment is explained in a picture on the extended manual (online). It even has it's own section in the index! :) The strap quality is not professional, but a tad bit better than my old Kodaks had. Not bad, not great, and it's free. Fine with me!

So, overall.. I say this is a good addition to the Kodak family, but has a few initial quirks, and for those of us who are used to older models, it will take a little more adjustment, with new buttons and a different zoom function. But overall? I am already digging it, even with the dissapointing burst mode, and the so-so sports mode. There are some awesome new toys built in (HDR, ability to light paint at night, super macro, etc). I can't wait to try it out tomorrow out in the outdoors and get a feel for what it can really do. Updates to come, and hopefully pictures!!

Btw.. Amazon: awesome as usual. Bought this camera bundle direct from on Cyber Monday, delivered on Wednesday using Standard shipping! Woohoo!

*update: dec 01, 2011* - As I'm taking photos, I'm really annoyed by how yellowy they look, even changing color settings. However, upon loading to my pc, the colors are just as I see them with my naked eye, so if you notice this too, look at them again on your pc before you consider deleting in camera. I think the display, during photo review, is showing yellows and reds a little strongly. Also, after some time trying to get photos of my daughter running around on a sugar high: sports mode is working pretty good! Sometimes the auto mode doesnt get fast enough to keep up with her, *especially* using zoom. I've also noticed a little sluggishness after taking and deleting alot of photos. Again, I wonder if a faster card helps. I do notice, however, that battery power seems directly related to camera performance; it really, really preferrs full batteries. So far, it is sucking battery power, but the charger that came with it is a "dumb charger", so I dont really know how full my batteries are getting, and I don't dare leave them on a charger overnight not knowing. So, I cannot fault the batteries just yet until I can get a charger that tells me they're fully charged. I played around with the HDR and macro functions last night, and got some really pretty pics of my christmas tree lights and an ornament. HDR is tricky, because it balks with any movement. And HDR+ super macro?? Not worth the fight. I have only gotten this camera to do it twice out of probably 50+ tries. I think I can deal tho ;) (I uploaded some pics using HDR on my christmas tree lights)

*Dec 4th* I finally got some outdoor time with the camera, in adverse weather to boot! I was impressed how I got such beautiful pics of my daughter playing in rain/snow, and you could see her clearly as well as the snow and rain drops! Very impressed. Some looked as good as pro. I also did some video, and was very happy with that, except at the end of one, the focus went out for no apparent reason. Admittedly, it was trying to follow a fast toddler zooming all over the yard, with rain and snow, so I could see how autofocus could get confused. I even accidentally took a couple pics during the video, and was suprised at how good they looked. I would have never figured pics during video would come out nice and clear like that (they're certainly not 12mp, but they could probably get you a good 4x6 print okay).
I am a little annoyed at how slow the cameras software runs at times, tho. I really hope they continue releasing updates until it's as solid as it should be. Sometimes, it gets hung up and I have to change settings to get zoom functions back. Not a deal killer, but annoying. The lens, the colors, and the photos are still awesome quality, but it does feel like maybe they ran the camera out a little too quickly, and they still have a few quirks to get out of the system. This will be my 3rd or 4th generation Kodak, tho, and I know from my history with them that they usually do good work with updates and issues, so my 4 stars stand: great camera, but a few annoying quirks with the on board software/processing.
I hope to upload more pics later on.

*Dec 15th* Highly impressed by the low-light photo taking ability. Took photos at an indoor event, and was able to zoom 60ft+, without flash, and got fantastic photos. I dont believe I used the flash for the entire evening, and every photo came out clear! Software still glitchy at times, but is becoming second nature to work around the blips. Low-light abilities are so good, flash is sometimes detrimental, and creates washed out photos. Which is fine.. better battery life without it anyway, and no loss in indoor photo quality. Speaking of battery life.. I discovered my batteries are fine. The warning system just jumps the gun. I took photos and video and whatnots *hours* after the battery symbol went red, and still had battery to spare (one set the whole event, 160+ photos, in camera deletes, and 2 or 3 HD videos). I have a La Crosse BC-500 charger now, and it works much better and much more reliably than the included kodak charger.

*dec 19th* The new class 10 card seems to help. I took a couple videos, and the processing time was significantly faster!
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on November 20, 2011
I looked at many digital cameras online and read many reviews before making this purchase (thanks to everyone who takes the time to post - it really helps!). I purchased this camera because we had a kodak digital camera in the past and really enjoyed it before it broke. It was VERY easy to use (intuitive design and menus), rugged, and accepts many different kinds of batteries (important for us because we live and work in Africa). We decided on this camera partly because of the batteries, but also because we needed an optical viewfinder and many digital cameras have only the backside viewfinder, which is hard to see in bright light situations. The camera is still easy to use and understand, but there is a HUGE delay between the time you press the shutter and when the camera takes the picture. I have missed hundreds of candid photos because of this. Perhaps someone out there has a solution for this (I will re-read the users guide and see if there is a way out of this)? In the meantime, it makes the camera almost useless for my purposes, and quite a frustrating photographic experience. Sorry Kodak! I wanted to love it, but it is driving me nuts.
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on June 30, 2011
The most important thing for me is the picture quality and here the 990 shines. Kodak color is more natural than in previous models. The contrast and sharpness defaults are pretty much on the button, although for me sharpness benefits by going up a notch. There is plenty of detail; the files seem less compressed than in the past models. RAW is problematic because of slow writing speed and lack of a good converter. Adobe Elements defaults are way off, so you have to fiddle a lot to get proper balance. Kodak's in-camera RAW to jpeg conversion is clumsy as is its Easyshare conversion, plus both strip the exif information. Irfanview is very good in so many ways (superior RAW image quality to Adobe Elements) but strips exif information in jpeg conversion. Fortunately the native jpeg from the camera is excellent and there is little reason to use RAW except to fine tune exposure and white balance.

Ergonomics could stand fine tuning. I do not like the horizontal menu overlay when you chose the more information display. The more information display choice brings up the menu and there is too much information; it leaves little room to see the image. The old system was superior--no information or limited information under display. Complete menu was another separate choice. Another thing I do not like is the inability to turn off the immediate review of a picture. Slows down the camera and uses battery power.

Battery life is very good. Normal jpeg operation is speedy enough (would be speedier without the instant review). Control layout and operation are easy and logical, require little learning. The zoom is awesome (but you do have to steady yourself to avoid blur). The macro and super macro are excellent, although, again, a steady hand is required to avoid blur. Low light capabilities are much improved over previous models. The flash is particularly potent but does not gear down enough in macros, so go back a bit for macros with flash and then crop.

The Z990 panorama maker works better than the previous versions on older Kodak cameras. The scan type panorama maker is a bit tricky to use. I have used the video function and am very pleased with the visual and sound quality. I have as yet to try out the HD picture function. I am very pleased with the camera. For those who might be interested in the camera, I invite you to look at my gallery of Z990 images on pbase (tgaf galleries) to see for yourself if it meets your requirements image-wise. There is a variety of macro and zoom shots and everything in between. There are lots of flower shots that show off the color and detail of the camera. I hope you like them. [...]
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on September 12, 2011
Used it extensively this summer for vacation, event, talent show, sports (some weakness here) and casual shots. Did two slideshows with video clips using a Mac. Bought this camera mainly after reading the Photography Blog review. I had outgrown my point and shoot and really wanted a SLR class digital camera but that was not in the budget this year. The camera worked well and all these conditions.

What I liked: it's low light performance was especially notable, I did attach monopod to steady the camera during a talent show, used the live performance mode; stills and video clips in the low light were surprisingly good for such a low cost unit. Also I was pleased with the flash shots, many look surprising natural. Unlike some of the reviews; I had good results with the panorama feature. It took a little practice to figure out but now it's a snap (I think the firmware update helped). It's well made, took a fall but work fine afterwards. The image quality is excellent, I toned it down to 6 MP for most of my shooting. Of course the 30X zoom to wide-angle lens is amazing; the built-in camera steadying helped when zoomed out but keep a tripod handy.

The batteries last long enough but keep an extra set on hand. Bought extra rechargeable to charge. I really like that it uses standard AA, so in a pinch they are easy to buy. Note that he standard disposable batteries do not last long as the rechargeable.

Areas for improvement: The computer/digital processing of images can easily bog down the camera. For example; if your shooting video there will be a delay immediately following. Three to six second delay before you can start shooting photos. Also a noticeable delay after using the rapid-shot option in "sports" mode feature; I would not recommended extended use of rapid-shot due to delays and I even had to reboot the device a few times. With that in mind; I do get great video and sports (mode) shots, but with some effort. If you need it be ready instantly for a lot of your photography (Sports); you should consider a different camera. Hopefully Kodak will address this in a future firmware update.

Overall the camera exceeds my expectations, especially when I consider I paid about $250 from Amazon. Picture quality is top notch. Low light performance is very good; better than the other "bridge cameras" I have looked at much higher cost. I have gotten amazing sports action shots with the above mentioned caveats. To understand and make full use of the vast number of features - and use them correctly - I spent a fair amount of time with both the PDF manual and Kodak website. There are some quirks with the interface and settings, so give your yourself a little time to get accustomed. There is a small printed manual that is helpful but it cover just the basic functions. Have fun.

Tip: download and install the firmware update from Kodak. Lots of improvements. I think that was fixed the Panorama issues some users were having.
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I like bridge cameras because most of what I'm doing with my camera is taking photographs of birds and scenery or taking up close shots of crafts and beadwork for my webpage. A bridge camera offers me flexibility without having to use a lot of expensive lenses and other equipment. This one does well for the craft and food photos, not as well for the distances I need for good bird photos.

What I love about this camera-

Great low light photographs! I don't keep my light box set up and sometimes I just want a quick photo for a project. This camera takes the best photographs I've seen of my crafts in my dimly lit computer room. I don't have to set up lights or use the flash.

Fast focus on moving targets- I tested this feature on performers at a fair recently. I was very impressed with how well it captured the motion.

Image stabilization- it works very well with this camera even when it's fully zoomed.

Size- For all these features, it's a fairly compact camera. My previous bridge camera was a lot bulkier.

Fantastic focus for macro photos of crafts, it's my new go-to camera for beadwork and other hobby things.

What I dislike about it-

Sometimes it doesn't auto-focus well, there seems to be a spot in the 4-5 range if you're trying to zoom in for a good closeup on something you can't get closer to, and if you're trying to focus on something that's a couple hundred feet away, it doesn't do nearly as well as my HS-10.

Colors can be a little too saturated which makes an almost illustrated effect on things at a certain distance. This is a plus for some people, but I don't like it.

Memory card placement- this is a minor quibble, but still annoying. I keep dropping batteries getting the memory card out. I prefer a separate slot for memory card.

In the package, it comes with 4 AA rechargable batteries and the matching value charger for them. It's intuitive and easy to learn how to use it.
It does feel more like a point and shoot than a bridge camera because it doesn't operate manually the same way that an SLR or my HS10 does.
Recommended for people who don't want to have to learn a lot about photography but still want to take nice photos. It's a great camera for hobbyists who want clear, macro shots of their crafts and hobbies.
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