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Kodak Z 915
The front of the camera has the regular look of a basic consumer camera. It features a 10x optical lens with an aperture range of F3.5 - F4.8. and a sensor resolution of 10 megapixels. The camera runs on the regular 2xAA batteries so constant travelers can be at ease as they can buy replacements at just about any store.
It has mode dial for changing the camera modes and to its right is the shutter button. Just above the selection dial, is a small on/off button. The zoom lever is a flimsy plastic knob surrounding the shutter button which feels really bad. Next to the shutter button are three shortcut buttons for flash, macro and self timer.
At the facing side of the camera, we have the 2.5 inch LCD screen. Even with a pixel count of 230,000 dots, the image quality on the display doesn’t look that good. Just next to the LCD are four buttons placed vertically — Delete, Basic settings, Information and Play button. Next to these buttons is the 4 way navigation console with the ‘Ok’ button in the center. The 4 way navigation console doesn’t have any short cuts assigned to it as seen in other cameras. It’s just for basic navigation use for basic and manual settings, etc.
With the basic functionality of Scene selection, targeted for the point and shoot audience, the Z 915 also features the Manual, Program, Aperture and Shutter settings.It’s good that Kodak has included the Manual (aperture and shutter) settings in the camera because this way a new and aspiring photographer will get the basic idea of shooting using a regular point and shoot camera.
In the Z 915, The Scene Selection has various modes - High ISO, Portrait, Night Portrait, Landscape, Night landscape, Flower (macro), Sunset, Backlight, Candlelight, Manner/Museum, Text, Beach, Snow, Fireworks, Children, Self portrait, Stage. Since we already know, these modes are preset combinations of aperture and shutter settings to give the best result according to the place, person or event. But having an option manual aperture and shutter settings, users will want to try if they can get a better picture.
The Smart Capture is preposterous. It recognizes only two modes (Macro and Landscape) and uses these two modes for any and every shot. Night and Night landscape mode can show up in broad daylight too. This will cause some irritation to the point and shoot users as they are bound not to get a clear picture. Now knowing the Smart capture is not up the mark, I put the camera to test by using the various Scene Selection presets and ISO test.
Starting off with the first preset itself on the Scene Selection, the Portrait mode. The Portrait mode is described on the camera as ‘use for full frame photos of people and other subjects’. The portrait mode did Auto Focus properly on the face, but after processing the actual result, the face wasn’t properly in focus.
Pictures taken on landscape mode are saturated. Sharpness is off but it does tend to keep a bit of detailing intact. The exposure is just a bit high, but nothing to complain about. The sports mode is pretty impressive. The picture is processed almost instantly and you can easily get the results you require.
The camera tends to saturate the colors almost in every mode and the Macro test confirmed this. The red in the image below lack any detail due to over-saturation. This has been a problem we've always noticed with Kodak cameras; in order to make the pictures more appealing to the lay man, they tend to over-saturate colors at the cost of image detail.
While conducting the ISO test, I noticed that the white balance was a bit on the cooler side, which was surprising, as normally it showed warmer tones on outdoor shots. Either ways, the auto white balance was a bit off. That said the camera didn't do too bad in the ISO tests. ISO 800 images showed some missing details, but the black levels seemed fine and the images seemed very usable. Obviously, the camera choked on ISO 1600.
I did mention before that a camera working on 2xAA batteries is good for constant travelers, but the camera drains out the batteries very fast. I was able to get roughly 60-65 pictures with a 4 minute video, which is quite bad. The camera takes 1.9 seconds (approx) to start up and 2.6 sec (approx) to shutdown.
The camera might be appealing on first. 10 megapixel resolution and 10x optical zoom selling at Rs – 11,999 (MRP) and manual settings for aperture and shutter speed, will defiantly attract buyers. Overall, the camera did appeal to me in the start, it had a lot of potential. The 10x optical zoom will defiantly be its USP, but on viewing the results and judging the camera by the same, the Z 915 was disappointing. The Z 915 loses more points for having a poor battery life.
- Dimensions: 90 x 64 x 39 mm
- Weight (inc. batteries): 194 g
- LCD display: 2.5’ 230,000 dots
- Resolution: 10 megapixels
- Aperture range: F3.5 - F4.8
- Shutter speed: 8 – 1/1200 sec
- Optical Zoom: 10x
- ISO sensitivity: Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
- Flash: Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye reduction, off
- Self Timer: 2 or 10 sec
- Movie Recording: 640 x 480, 320 x 240, 30 fps
- Storage types: SD/SDHC card
- MRP: Rs 11,999
- MOP: Rs 10,999