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Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak Z740
Kodak Z740 Zoom Review
Date: April 26, 2005
Beginner to Serious Amateur
HANDLING & FEEL
38mm, Program, Multi-Pattern, 1/750 sec., F5.6
and ISO 80
The Kodak EasyShare Z740 Zoom is a very
well designed and ergonomic medium compact digital
camera. It has a good sized and comfortable handgrip,
with a non-slip rubber strip for extra safety.
Construction is solid with a clean and organized
feel. Its dimensions are 97.6W x 77.5H x 72D mm
(3.8W x 3.1H x 2.8D in.), and it weighs 287g (10.1
The lens is a KODAK RETINAR Aspheric All Glass
Lens with a 35-mm equivalent focal length of 38-380mm.
For a 10x optical zoom digital camera, the Kodak
Z740 is quite compact and light, though it won't
quite fit in your coat pocket (especially if you
screw on the lens hood). Kodak provides a neck
strap. The lens extends about 3.3 cm (1.25 in.)
when powered off, and 5 cm (2 in.) when powered
on. Zooming does not increase or decrease this
Kodak provides a lens hood/adapter attachment
as standard. The lens hood/adapter screws on smoothly,
and the extension now becomes 6 cm (2.5 in.).
The lens hood is a great addition because it prevents
glare on the pictures, and it also protects the
extending lens since the lens hood is slightly
deeper than the lens at full extension. The lens
hood also functions as an adapter for mounting
filters. The lens barrel with the lens hood attached
provides a natural secure holding place for the
A lens cap (with retainer string) is also standard
and snaps either on the lens (without lens hood
on) or on the lens hood. The retainer string is
long enough to prevent damage to the lens mechanism
should you inadvertently switch on the camera
with the lens cap still on the lens.
The control buttons are spaced away from one
another so you don't inadvertently press the wrong
one. In fact, all of the buttons are positioned
in a common sense way and are where you would
expect them to be. No hunting for a button in
some obscure and illogical place.
On the top of the camera, besides the shutter
release button, are the Drive, Macro and Flash
buttons. I'm glad I don't have to go into the
Menu to access those functions, and wish more
camera manufacturers would follow this example
and be less menu-bound.
The shutter release button requires a somewhat
strong press, and if you are taking sequence shots,
you need to exert a little effort to keep the
shutter release depressed or the sequence stops.
The power switch is of the sliding type with
three positions: Favorites, OFF, ON. The switch
clicks positively into each position so there
is no risk of going past one into the other by
mistake. Startup is about 3 sec. and there is
no practical shutter/AF lag, except at the telephoto
end range when the AF can hunt sometimes, depending
on the subject, for a full sec. Anticipating is
key here, and the Last 4 sequence function should
An Open Flash button is on the left side of the
flash. A note about the pop-up flash: it pops
up whenever you switch the camera on and there
is no way to disable that behaviour. I guess it's
a good safety measure for beginner photographers
so that the flash is up and ready to fire if the
light situation warrants it. Since I prefer to
control when to use flash, I find myself putting
my left thumb on the flash whenever I switch the
camera on and pressing the flash back close right
away. The tell-tale click of the flash opening
and closing means you cannot be as inconspicous
as you would like sometimes.
At the back of the camera, the Zoom toggle lever
is thumb activated. I personally find it a bit
on the small side and too far left with not too
much room to activate the wide-angle end. If you
have large hands and fingers, you may want to
check this out yourself at the store first.
Instead of a traditional Mode Dial at the top
of the camera, the Kodak Z740 has instead a cool
translucent knob. The Mode Dial has markings that
glow a pleasant green when selected, making it
easy to read in the dark.
I stare at the back of the camera for a full
minute wondering where the four way arrow keys
went. There are none and I rake my brain trying
to figure out how to scroll among the pictures.
Then it dawns on me that the small button in the
middle of the Mode Dial is a mini joystick. You
need a few seconds practice before quickly feeling
like a game pro maneuvering up, down, left, right
to select a choice, and clicking down to OK your
choice. It's an elegant implementation that will
appeal to all the gamers among us, and those not
used to using a joystick should feel at ease with
just a few seconds practice.
[As you can see, we rarely break open the User
Guide when we are reviewing a digital camera.
Our philosophy in this matter is that if you have
to consult the manual to perform a common function,
there is something wrong in the design of the
user interface. Later, we will read through the
User Guide to see if there are any functions we
have not covered in the review. The Kodak Z740
user interface passes with a top A+ grade.]
In the Setup Menu, you can specify whether you
want to see the picture you have just taken for
about 3-4 secs or to stay in Record mode right
away. A separate Review button on the back of
the camera takes you into review. A touch on the
shutter release button puts the camera immediately
into record mode again.
Though I usually like to view the picture I have
just taken, I find that I like it better on the
Kodak Z740 with the review feature turned off
(Menu - Setup - Quickview = OFF) especially when
I need to take one picture after another. It makes
for a faster shot-to-shot response. I can easily
view a picture by simply pressing the Review button.
The LCD monitor is 4.6 cm (1.8 in.), high resolution
with a good refresh rate. It gains up slightly
in low light (but very grainy) and there is an
AF Assist Illuminator to help gain focus in low
light situations. I like the refresh rate, too.
Even in bright sunlight, you can see the image
on the LCD (like you are looking through sunglasses).
I miss a swivel LCD, especially for macro photography.
The viewfinder is electronic (EVF) and you switch
between the LCD monitor and EVF by pressing the
EVF/LCD button that is conveniently positioned
right between the viewfinder and LCD. The EVF
is high resolution at 201K. Note that in low-light,
images in the EVF has a yellow tint and look very
grainy. I guess this is better than not being
able to see anything in low-light.
Here is the screen of the Kodak Z740. It tells
you at a glance the mode you've selected on the
Mode Dial: Flash off, 5MP resolution, space for
approx. 157 images left, ISO 80, and exposure
mode PASM (stands for Program Auto, Aperture-Priority,
Shutter-Priority, and full Manual). The exposure
mode currently selected is Manual, aperture is
f2.8, shutter speed is 1/3 sec. and exposure compensation
is -2.5 EV.
You are probably wondering, How can there be
4 exposure modes using just one "PASM"
setting on the Mode Dial? Simple. Kodak has designed
a very intuitive and user-friendly user interface
that you navigate using the mini joystick. See
the Up-Down arrows along the bottom part of the
screen (currently poised over the shutter speed
of 1/3 sec.)? Move the mini joystick left and
right to select which setting you want to change.
For example, to change the exposure mode, use
the mini joystick to move the arrows left to the
"M" and then move the mini-joystick
up and down to select between P, A, S, or M. Then
move the arrows to one of the other settings (from
left to right: aperture, shutter speed, exposure
compensation) to select a different value. It's
really fast and intuitive -- beats having to go
back to the Mode Dial to select another exposure
mode. This is by far the best user interface I've
See the -2.5 in red? That's the exposure compensation
value. I am currently in Manual mode, and the
camera is telling me that at my chosen aperture
of f2.8 and shutter speed of 1/3 sec., I am going
to be -2.5EV underexposed. It makes using full
Manual as easy as simply dialing in a new value
for either the aperture, shutter speed, or both,
until the exposure compensation reads "0".
Bingo, perfect exposure! This simple user interface
makes you look like a pro at setting exposure,
and you will never be afraid of using Manual mode
In P mode, simply leave the arrows poised over
the exposure compensation value, then you can
easily dial in an exposure compensation up or
The Kodak Z740 has 14 scene modes accessible
from the Menu (Landscape, Night Landscape, Manner/Museum,
Text, Self Portrait, Children, Party, Beach, Flower,
Fireworks, Snow, Backlight, Close Up, Night Portrait)
plus 3 more directly on the Mode Dial (Sport,
To access a scene mode from the Menu, rotate
the Mode Dial to SCN and use the mini joystick
to select the appropriate one. If you take too
long to make a selection and the menu disappears;
simply press the mini joystick to bring it back
At the bottom of the camera, the battery compartment
is spring loaded and clicks positively open and
shut; it feels pretty safe and there's no danger
of inadvertently opening the battery compartment
Another feature that Kodak gets right is the
tripod socket that is: 1) metal and 2) centered
inline with the lens, permitting easy panorama
on a tripod.
The Kodak Z740 is the first camera with the new
IMAGELINK standard which allows different brand
cameras to dock in each other's docking station.
The Kodak EasyShare Z740 Zoom is a true
Point-and-Shoot digital camera with a comfortable
handling and very well designed user interface.
It is fast in operation with no practical shutter
lag at the wide-angle focal length range, and
its user-friendly design makes it easy to take
good pictures with zero frustration.