24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Amazing value: good camera,
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This review is from: Kodak EasyShare Z990 12 MP Digital Camera with 30x Optical Zoom, HD Video Capture and 3.0-Inch LCD (Camera)
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.