Most people have cell phones that include a built-in camera. Unfortunately, these built-in cameras often have limited resolution and zoom capability along with less than stellar image quality. For those ready for a dedicated digital camera, the Kodak EasyShare Z915 is worth considering.
The most compelling feature of the Z915 is simply the quality of the images it can capture. The camera can capture images up to 10 megapixels resolution for extraordinarily sharp pictures. However, to capture more pictures in the same amount of storage space, you can choose from a variety of resolutions including 10.0, 8.9, 7.5, 5.0, or 3.1 megapixels.
Like most digital cameras, the Z915 stores images on Secure Digital (SD) cards (supporting a maximum of 32GB), but if you fill up your SD card or forget to put one in, the camera includes built-in 32MB of memory that allows you to capture approximately four 10 megapixel images before running out of space. This built-in memory can be handy, but its small size limits it to occasional or emergency use.
Beyond its 10 megapixel maximum resolution, the camera also offers 10x optical zoom. Cheaper digital cameras often offer digital zoom where the camera artificially enlarges an image at the sacrifice of grainier images. As a result, digital zoom is less desirable than optical zoom. No matter how far away an object might appear, this camera’s optical zoom lets you zero in on that image, making it perfect for capturing long-distance images such as a girl playing on a soccer field or an elephant roaming around in a zoo enclosure.
Of course, capturing high-quality images is useless if the camera takes too long to record an image between the time you press the shutter release and the time the camera actually captures an image. Fortunately, the Z915’s picture-capture speed is less than 0.3 seconds, which insures that you’ll capture the precise image you want, even moving images such as a child riding a bicycle or someone jumping off a diving board.
To further improve your pictures, the camera offers optical image stabilization so if your hand shakes slightly while taking a picture, you won’t wind up with a blurry image of a potentially great shot. To insure that you capture the right image, you can capture video (640 by 480 resolution at 30 frames per second) along with accompanying audio. This video quality won’t be as sharp as individual pictures, but it may be sufficient for occasional use. However, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to rely on this camera to record video exclusively.
One nice feature is the camera’s ability to use two ordinary AA batteries instead of a proprietary rechargeable one. This gives you the ability to buy replacement batteries anywhere while traveling. Just toss a bunch of spare AA batteries in your pocket and you’ll never risk running out of power ever again.
The camera includes a USB cable for transferring images to a computer along with Kodak’s EasyShare software for both Windows and Mac OS X. (The EasyShare software is a PowerPC program, which means Intel-based macs will run the program in emulation mode.) The EasyShare program allows for simple editing and enhancing of pictures, similar to iPhoto.
The zoom feature is particularly impressive as these two below photographs show. Notice the level of detail that allows you to zoom in and capture minute details of an image. Such zoom capability lets you capture images far away in sharp detail and clarity without physically getting near your subject.
Given its inexpensive price and variety of features, the Z915 camera is a perfect choice for casual photographers who demand quality combined with ease of use. You won’t mistake this camera for a professional camera, but the quality of its captured images can still rival the best that more expensive cameras might take.
You can grab one here for $184.
- Uses ordinary AA batteries
- Includes 32MB built-in memory
- 10x optical zoom
- 0.3 second click-to-capture speed
- Camera can’t accept additional lenses
- 32MB built-in memory can only store a handful of 10 megapixel images
- EasyShare software not a Universal Binary file for Mac OS X