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Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak Z612
Kodak Z612 Zoom Review
Date: September 1, 2006
Beginner to Serious Amateur
Tuesday, August 11, 2006 - Here's what I receive
in the box:
- EasyShare Z612 Zoom
- No memory card [though I received a 256MB
High Speed SD card for review]
- Shoulder Strap
- Lens Cap and retainer string
- Li-ion Kodak Rechargeable Battery KLIC-8000
3.7V 1600 mAh
- Li-ion Rapid Battery Charger K8500
- Custom Camera Insert for optional printer
- Interface Cables: A/V; USB
- Instruction Manuals: Basic Manual; Quick Start
- Software CD: EasyShare software 5.2
I also received for review:
- the optional EasyShare Photo Printer 500
- Kodak color cartridge and photo paper sample
pack (10 sheets)
Coming right after reviewing a rather large Digital
SLR camera, the Kodak EasyShare Z612 Zoom
looks positively small for a 12x optical zoom
digital camera. It is also quite light.
The Kodak Z612 looks cool, both figuratively
and literally. Its design looks out of the ordinary,
even somewhat futuristic. If you love silver as
a colour, you might love this camera because it
is basically all-silver (even to the lens cap!)
with chrome accents.
The exciting feature this camera sports that
other Kodak ultrazoom digital cameras in the EasyShare
High Zoom Series do not is, of course, the optical
image stabilizer that accompanies the 12x optical
zoom. This allows you to handhold the camera at
the long end of the zoom with more confidence
that camera shake will be reduced or eliminated.
It also helps reduce or eliminate camera shake
when handholding the camera and using slow shutter
I always like to see a digital camera with full
exposure flexibility. This allows the whole family
to use the camera. The beginner can use the AUTO
and Scene modes, while the more advanced phorographer
can select from Program AE, Aperture-Priority,
Shutter-Priority and full Manual modes [PASM].
I also like the PASM implementation using the
Jog Dial, but you'll have to try it yourself.
One feature inexplicably missing is Manual White
A small petpeeve of mine with most cameras that
have a lens cap is that the eyelet on the lens
cap is invariably on the left side [viewed from
the front] so that the retainer string has to
go around the lens to attach to the right side
of the neck strap [again, viewing the camera from
the front]. Attaching on the left side gets the
hanging lens cap irritatingly in the way of your
fingers holding the handgrip. Well, the Kodak
lens cap is one of the few that gets it right:
the eyelet is on the right side. Zero irritation.
We usually complain of tiny control buttons on
ultracompact digital cameras that are difficult
to press in. On the Kodak Z612, they are tiny,
but because they are high enough outside the body,
it is quite easy to push them.
I was at first a bit concerned to see that the
handgrip did not include a non-slip rubber texture.
Instead, there is a shiny chrome strip into which
you can literally see your reflection! That strip
goes from the top of the handgrip, all the way
down the handgrip, and a bit underneath. It looks
cool as far as the design goes. Fortunately, in
normal use, I have not felt the handgrip to be
The Drive Mode allows you to take 8 pictures
at 2fps [First Burst] or take 30 pictures at 2fps
but saves only the last 8 [Last Burst].
You would use First Burst if you know what to
expect in the action sequence (e.g. a golfer swinging
his/her golf club).
The Last Burst is interesting because it allows
you to start taking pictures as the action gets
close to what you really want to catch, say, a
basket ball going through the hoop, a soccer player
shooting at the goal, or a diver entering the
water. When you press the shutter button, the
camera will start recording up to 30 images at
2fps and when you release the shutter button [because
the action is completed], the last 8 images are
saved. This allows you to catch the precise moment
of the most interesting part of the action.
The shutter speed range is 16 sec. - 1/1000 sec.
which allows you to take nice night shots as well
as freeze action shots. Note that in AUTO, Program
AE and Aperture-Priority modes, the shutter speed
range is only 1/8-1/1000 sec. The full range is
available only in Shutter-Priority and Manual
modes. Noise reduction works very well even at
the long shutter speeds.
I also received an optional Photo Printer 500
for this review. One word describes the Kodak
EasyShare Z612 and Photo Printer 500 combo: SIMPLE
(as in easy to use). Together, you get a complete
camera and printer system with One-Touch printing
and One-Touch transfer. Read the Kodak
Photo Printer 500 Review.
EasyShare Software 184.108.40.206
The EasyShare Software 5 is easy to install and
use. Anyone [even if you do not own a Kodak digital
camera] can download it for free. If you are running
an older version, you can download the most recent
one from Kodak's
The default transfer directory on Windows XP
is the "My Pictures" directory on the
C: drive in Documents and Settings. I much prefer
to create a new directory under a name of my own
choosing so I can easily find the pictures when
I need to. You set this directory in: Tools -
Preferences... - Transfer - Browse.
If you use the EasyShare Software to edit your
photos, be aware that the default image compression
is set to less than the highest quality possible.
So the pictures you edit and save will be of less
quality than the original one. [Always save using
a different name so you don't muck up the original
picture.] This is all right if that's what you
want. But if you want the highest quality, go
to: Tools - Preferences... - General tab - select
Large File/High Quality JPEG compression.
The EDIT function allows you to Crop, Rotate,
remove Red Eye, auto Enhance, Scene Balance (exposure,
shadow, highlight), Color Balance (pseudo WB correction),
apply various Scene Effects (B&W, Sepia Tone,
Forest, Scenic, Portrait, Sunset), and apply Fun
Effects (Spotlight, Coloring Book, Cartoon, Fisheye).
Of the Fun Effects, Coloring Book removes all
colours and make a black ink outline, and Cartoon
is similar but retains the colours.
You can also burn selected images to a CD or
The one improvement suggestion I would have liked
to see is more detailed EXIF info.
The Kodak EasyShare Z612 Zoom bundled
with the Photo Printer 500 makes for an
easy to use camera and printer combo. The Kodak
Z612 is a true P&S digital camera that gives
well exposed, vivid and sharpened images straight
out of the camera. The Photo Printer 500 printer
is really One-Touch easy to operate, and will
allow you to print beautiful 4x6 in. prints in
the convenience of your home.