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Kodak EasyShare Z981: A Digital Camera Review

written by: SparkKD•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 5/24/2010
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This article is a review of the Kodak EasyShare Z981 digital camera, which is Kodak's latest superzoom camera. This review will help camera buyers who are considering buying a superzoom digital camera.

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    Introduction

    The Kodak EasyShare Z981 digital camera is one of the recent superzooms from Kodak and is the successor to the Kodak EasyShare Z980 digital camera.

    Some of the key differences between the Z981 and the Z980 are:

    • 26X zoom as against 24X
    • 14 megapixels as against 12 megapixels
    • absence of a hot shoe for attaching an external flash unit
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    Features

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    The salient features of the Kodak EasyShare Z981 digital camera include:

    • 14 Megapixel Camera Resolution
    • 26X Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon Optical Zoom Lens (Equivalent focal length of 26–676 mm in 35mm parlance)
    • A fast (f/2.8–f/5.0) wide-angle lens
    • Kodak’s Share button
    • Vertical Shutter Release with a detachable grip

    Some other features of the camera include:

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    Performance

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    Kodak's Share ButtonKodak EasyShare Z981 Digital Camera - Front 

    This provides the ability to tag and share photos across websites such as YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Kodak Gallery sites. Further, this can be used in conjunction with the face detection feature as follows - the face detection works on 5 faces at a time, and the camera can be programmed to automatically tag 20 specific people based on face detection. This enables quick tagging and easy upload of photographs on YouTube, Flickr, etc.

    SuperZoom Performance

    The Kodak EasyShare Z981 features a whopping 26X zoom which is 2x more than most other superzooms. The inbuilt image stabilization ensures crisp images even at longer ranges. However, a tripod is recommended to ensure shake-free images at the long zoom ranges.

    Vertical Shutter ReleaseKodak EasyShare Z981 Digital Camera - Back 

    The vertical shutter release button is especially useful while taking photographs in a portrait orientation. Most cameras are better suited to take photographs in the landscape orientation and this uncommon but thoughtful feature makes vertical shooting a breeze with the Kodak EasyShare Z981.

    Image Quality

    In terms of image quality, the output from the Z981 is about average for a digital camera in this range. There is significant image noise at higher ISO and images produced by the Z981 are not the best in terms of color.

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    Price to Value

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    In order to understand the price to value proposition which the Kodak EasyShare Z981 digital camera offers, let us evaluate its pros and cons.

    Kodak EasyShare Z981 Digital Camera - Pros

    • 26X Zoom (2X more than its predecessor, the Z980 which had 24x zoom)
    • 14 Megapixel (2MP more than its predecessor, the Z980 which had 12 megapixels)
    • Vertical Shutter Release Button
    • Kodak "Share" button
    • Affordable Pricing

    Kodak EasyShare Z981 Digital Camera - Cons

    • No Flash Shoe for attaching an external flash. This forces you to depend on the in-camera flash at all times.
    • The camera runs on NiMH AA batteries and exhausts the batteries very quickly.

    Taking the above pros and cons into consideration, the Kodak EasyShare Z981 digital camera offers a good price to value proposition for a superzoom camera.

    Click here to purchase the Kodak EasyShare Z981 from Amazon.com.

    At the time of writing this article, the Kodak EasyShare Z981 was priced at about $285 which is significantly lower than other superzoom cameras from Nikon and Canon.