Kodak gets the big picture

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 March, 2006, 12:00am

If you're on a budget, but looking for a versatile digital camera with a zoom lens, Kodak's new mega-zoom model may fit the bill.

The EasyShare Z650 features a big 10X optical zoom lens from optics specialist Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon, but is priced on par with most consumer digital cameras.

The EasyShare Z650 also features 6.1 megapixel imaging. The combination of high resolution and big zoom lens allows you to not only zoom into your subject from afar, but also lets you zoom further into the scene using the 5X digital zoom function for an impressive maximum image magnification of 50X.

The EasyShare Z650 also features a sizable 6cm LCD display for framing and reviewing photos.

In addition, it's one of the first consumer digital cameras equipped with a live histogram function for more accurate exposure control.

A histogram is a graph that shows you the range of colour tones, from dark to light, in a photo. By adjusting the elements of the histogram, you can boost the accuracy and depth of the colours in your photo, in both the lit and shadowed areas.

The Z650 is targeted at amateur photo enthusiasts, but has advanced settings, such as aperture and shutter speed priority, as well as an extensive selection of preset shooting modes.

There is also in-camera software for immediate photo editing, including red eye reduction, cropping and auto rotation.

There are many mega-zoom digital cameras on the market, but the Easyshare Z650 is one of the most affordable at $2,690.

If you're looking for a good, solid camera with a variety of settings and the option of a big zoom, then the Easyshare Z650 should do the trick.

PROS: 10X optical zoom (up to 50X magnification with 5X digital zoom); 6.1 megapixel resolution; affordable price

CONS: Won't fit in a jacket pocket

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