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)
Annoyances * 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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