Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Kodak EASYSHARE Z740 Zoom
- 10X zoom, strong and comfortable, above average image quality
- Poor recovery time, a little flimsy, quite big
With good features and picture quality, it doesn't do much to distinguish itself from the pack, but if you're after a 5 megapixel camera with 10X zoom, you could do a lot worse than this.
Price$ 499.00 (AUD)
Despite being cheaper than its sister model, the Kodak EASYSHARE Z7590 Zoom (both are five megapixel, 10X optical zoom cameras), the EASYSHARE Z740 Zoom appears to be the better model.
Controls are laid out nicely on the back, and everything is easy to access and utilise. This has become standard across most Kodak cameras--with a few glaring exceptions they are incredibly newbie-friendly, and this model is no different. It implements the standard Kodak menu system, which includes explanations of all the main functions.
Image quality was great, although perhaps not up to the usual Kodak standard. Our two complaints with this particular model were that the shots didn't seem to have as much colour differentiation as we have come to expect, and the sharpness was a little lacking in comparison to Kodak's other models. When placed next to other cameras in this category, however, they still come out looking pretty good.
Once again, we tested the camera's shot recovery time and found it wanting. This is the biggest single problem across the Kodak range, and it always detracts from the cameras. Three to four seconds of lag after a shot is not acceptable. Two to three seconds is the standard. This is made worse by the fact that this z740's memory buffer only holds two shots, which means taking more than that in succession will lead to double or triple the write time.
The great array of options the camera presents go some way towards compensation for its slowness. It offers a full customisation mode, throwing control of everything into your hands. This includes things like exposure, shutter speed, aperture, white balance and saturation--all the things you need to tweak your images to perfection, and what you would expect from a high-end, 10X zoom model.
The camera is constructed mostly of plastic but it sits comfortably in the hand and has enough strength in the frame to make it feel sturdy. The grip is comfortable, but the pop-up flash can be a little irritating, getting in the way of your natural hand position.
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