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Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak Z612
Kodak Z612 Zoom Review
Date: September 1, 2006
Beginner to Serious Amateur
The Kodak EasyShare Z612 Zoom is a digital
camera targeted to beginner and serious amateur
photographers. It has 6.1MP resolution on a 1/2.5
in. CCD image sensor, and an optically image stabilized
Schneider KREUZNACH VARIOGON 35-420mm (35 mm equivalent)
12x optical zoom lens, with a maximum aperture
The Kodak Z612 is primarily a Point & Shoot
digital camera, and its default settings produce
images that are sharp and rich in colours straight
out of the camera. If you do not want to post-process
any images in an image editing software, then
you will like the images that come out already
sharpened and saturated in colours.
We find the overall image quality of the Kodak
Z612 to be good to very good for this category
of digital cameras.
Optical Ultra Zoom
Bring far away subjects up close with the 12x
|35mm, Program, Multi-Pattern,
1/8 sec., F2.8, ISO 80
The Kodak Z612 can focus as close as 12 cm (4.7
in.) which is not very close as far as macro goes,
but the 6.1MP gives you plenty of cropping room.
You can zoom in macro mode, and the closest distance
at full telephoto is 1.2m (3.9 ft).
||WB = Tungsten
As the above two pictures show, the auto white
balance (AWB) indoors under tungsten artificial
light gives a slight pinkish hue; dialing in Tungsten
WB corrects the colours somewhat. The omission
of Manual WB will be missed by more advanced photographers
and is a bit of a mystery considering all the
other manual settings are available. AWB works
very well in natural light.
||ISO 800 [1.1MP]
The Kodak Z612 has 4 (5) ISO settings going from
ISO 80 to ISO 400 (800). The 100%
crops above (area delimited by the white square)
demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds
of 80, 100, 200 and 400. The noise reduction software
seems to work pretty well for the images at all
ISOs are pretty clean. ISO 800 is also available
but only when 1.1MP resolution is selected; noise
is also quite acceptable.
CA is present in everyday high contrast shots.
It's not a problem if you only print 4x6 in.,
but at larger sizes or displayed full size on
screen, you might want to clean it up first in
post-processing. An example is above where the
area delimited by the red square at middle left,
and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right, shows
|35mm, Manual, Multi-Pattern,
16 sec., F8.0, ISO 80
WB=Tungsten, Low Color, Macro, Self-timer
10 sec., Tripod Used
The Kodak Z612 allows the use of a long shutter
speed of up to 16 sec. in Shutter-Priority AE
and Manual modes, therefore allowing nice night
photography. Generally, with CCD image sensors,
noise usually becomes more prominent at slow shutter
I place Bamm-Bamm under my table in the shadows.
I experiment a bit in Manual mode to obtain the
optimum exposure, eventually settling on 16 sec.
at F8.0. I use the 10 sec. self-timer to negate
camera shake. The AF Illuminator light works well
and focus lock is achieved instantly.
The Kodak Z612 allows you to dial in an exposure
compensation from -2 EV to +2 EV, in 0.3 EV, 0.7
EV or 1.0 EV increments (set in MENU).
Other features that help you get that picture:
- First Burst, 2fps, up to 8 pictures: allows
you to take 8 images in rapid sequence. This
is perfect when you are trying to catch a candid
moment or just the right expression.
- Last Burst, 2fps, up to 30 pictures, saves
last 8: allows you to take up to 30 shots but
keeps only the last 8. This is specially useful
for action shots and it allows you to follow
the action (keep the shutter button pressed
down) until the peak moment when the action
is over, you release the shutter release button,
and the last 8 shots are kept. Chances are one
of those 8 shots catches the peak moment.
Overall, the Kodak Z612 is capable of producing
very good image quality for its category and the
images are sharp enough right out of the camera,
with rich and appealing colours. Beginner amateur
photographers will find that they are getting
much more than they've bargained for, with lots
of room to learn and grow.
September 9, 2006 -
Nichole W. wrote to point out that she "noticed
a slight black shade in the upper left hand corners
of some of my pictures" and thought other readers
may want to know about this concerning the Kodak
Since this is a teaching
site as well as a review site, it is a good opportunity
to touch on the subject of "Vignetting."
The vignetting Nichole
is referring to here is exhibited by a gradual
darkening of the image towards the corners, in
the case of the Kodak Z612, it is very slight
and towards the top left corner only. Is vignetting
bad? Certainly, if vignetting is excessive, it
can be a problem in a picture. Take a look at
our photo gallery and you will notice only very
slight vignetting in some of the photos. In some
photos, it's not there; in others, it is hidden
by the subject matter.
Even the best digital
camera and lens can cause vignetting. We do not
think it is a problem on the Kodak Z612, but it
is up to you to decide. Just bear in mind that
just because you do not see vignetting in sample
photos does not mean that the camera/lens does
not produce vignetting: the reviewer may simply
have chosen pictures that do not exhibit them.
Only the very best (and expensive) lens will be
completely free of vignetting (and pin cushion,
and barrel distortion, and chromatic aberrations,
Here are a few links
from professional photographers on vignetting:
Johnston @ The Online Photographer
van Walree, on Vignetting
Wulff @ archiphoto.com
adding vignetting to your photograph!
Forum Discussion on Vignetting
The pictures in the Kodak EasyShare Z612 Zoom
Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of
what the camera is capable of. I have provided
samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality
60/100 in Photoshop Elements) as well as the 2848
× 2144 pixels original size. Click on the
image for the original version.
You can safely assume that most macro shots
and slow shutter speed shots required the use
of a tripod. Any image that is adjusted for levels
in Photoshop has "_adjusted" appended
to the file name (though the original sized image
is, of course, not adjusted). The navigation images
at the top are usually adjusted (levels and sharpening).
I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels.
For those who have their monitor resolution set
to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit
and you should not have to scroll to see the whole
image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels
resolution, start the slide show and then scroll
to the right to position the image within your
screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using
Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode,
and the image should fill your screen nicely.
Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor
display back to normal mode.
To return to this page from the Photo Gallery,
click on the animated graphics of the camera.
Please open and download the original size version
only if you need to and only once
to your hard drive -- and save me some precious