My Kodak Z950 EASYSHARE digital camera is one of my prized possessions. Hopefully this review will help you decide if the Kodak Z950 is the right camera for you. I find that my Kodak Z950 offers many of the capabilities of a full-fledged SLR camera in a reasonably-sized digital package. In many respects, my little Kodak Z950 even exceeds the capabilities of my Canon EOS Elan 7 35mm SLR film camera. Plus, the Kodak Z950 EASYSHARE doesn’t even require a bulky camera bag. The Kodak Z950 just barely fits into my Vaultz Hard-sided Digital Camera Case.
While the Kodak website and online retailer sites lay out the Kodak Z950’s features perfectly well, this camera review wouldn’t be complete without a quick recap: 12-megapixel resolution, 10x Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon (35mm -350mm) optical zoom lens, 3-inch LCD screen, image stabilization, 10 shooting modes, over 16 scene settings, HD video, and a built in flash. You can store photos in the camera’s 32 MB internal memory or on your own SDHC card.
The Z950 is part of Kodak’s performance line of digital cameras. Despite all the complex capabilities and technical details, the Kodak Z950 EASYSHARE camera straddles the line between point and shoot cameras and serious hobbyist / professional cameras. While you can dive into the deepest most complicated of manual settings with the Kodak Z950, I’ve preferred to ease into those capabilities.
The controls on the Kodak Z950 EasyShare are fairly easy to understand. Like my Canon SureShot Z135 and Canon Elan 7 35mm film cameras, the Kodak Z950 has what Canon calls a “Best Shot Wheel” on top. The mode selection wheel on the Kodak Z950 lets me select from one of the 10 shoot modes. For me, the analog feel of the wheel helps me work with the Kodak Z950 in a more intuitive manner. The zoom is controlled by a control ring around the shutter button. A small joystick on the back of the camera lets you select various manual and scene settings. On the top of the camera, the on-and-off, timer, and flash control are arranged and clearly labeled in a neat row between the mode dial and the shutter button. I have not set shutter and aperture controls manually since they are contained in the menu system and require more knowledge of appropriate settings. The Kodak Z950 is very easy to use in a point-and-shoot manner or when scene selections are made via menu.
In day-to-day use, I typically let the camera make the decisions using the Smart Capture mode. The Kodak Z950 does a great job of assessing lighting conditions and the subject of the photo and selecting an appropriate scene setting automatically. However, I have used scene modes for taking sunsets, beach pictures, night photos, action shots, and panoramic pictures. I have taken hundreds and hundreds of pictures and they have generally turned out great. Every once in a great while the camera will focus on a small item in the foreground when I mean to capture something further in the distance. However, that is an incentive for me to learn more about the manual controls rather than blaming my camera. Most of my photos were so spectacular that I created a calendar and sold it on Lulu and Amazon.
However, the Kodak Z950 EASYSHARE camera is not a completely perfect product. There is room for improvement. First, I wish that the Kodak Z950 used a normal USB cable instead of a Kodak U-8 USB cable. I’ve lost and found my camera cable countless times. Second, I’m not enamored with the Kodak EASYSHARE software. I was used to manipulating my pictures directly in Windows. Third, the camera is supposed to transfer pictures to my PC with one touch of a button and I have to push the button multiple times before the pictures transfer. Finally, I wish I could take lower quality video because my humble Acer Aspire 5515 laptop can’t handle the HD video produced by the Kodak Z950 EASYSHARE camera. I use this in my travels, especially in camping, aside from my ever reliable tactical flashlight amazon.
Overall, I highly recommend the Kodak Z950 EASYSHARE digital camera. The Kodak Z950 camera is simply an amazing piece of hardware and the Kodak Z950 EASYSHARE has allowed me to take my best photos ever!