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Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak Z740
Kodak Z740 Zoom Review
Date: April 26, 2005
Beginner to Serious Amateur
The Kodak EasyShare Z740 Zoom is a digital
camera targeted to beginner and serious amateur
photographers. It has 5.0 megapixel resolution
on a 1/2.5 in. CCD image sensor, and a Kodak Retinar
38-380mm (35 mm equivalent) 10x optical zoom lens,
with a maximum aperture of F2.8(W)-F3.7(T). This
ultra zoom digital camera is rich in features
and one of the easiest and most enjoyable we've
The Kodak Z740 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
Z740 to be very good for this category of digital
Optical Ultra Zoom
Bring far away subjects up close with the 10x
|38mm, Program, Multi-Pattern,
1/30 sec., F2.8, ISO 140
Macro, Tripod used
The Kodak Z740 can focus as close as 12 cm (4.7
in.) which is not very close as far as macro goes,
but the 5MP 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 to real white. AWB works
very well in natural light.
Indoors (Low Color)
||AWB (Low Color)
As I specified above, the Kodak Z740 comes set
by default for vivid colours (which it terms as
"Natural Color" in the Menu under Color
Mode). We select "Low Color" and take
the AWB indoors picture again. The pink hue is
now practically removed.
Similarly, if you find that you'd rather sharpen
the images yourself, go into the Menu and set
Sharpness to "Low" instead of the default
It's great that the Kodak Z740 does not lock
you into one all auto mode, but gives you the
flexibility to take control if you so wish.
The Kodak Z740 has 4 ISO settings going from
ISO 80 to ISO 400. The 100%
crops above (area delimited by the white square)
demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds
of 80, 100, 200 and 400. At ISO 80, noise is under
control (though you might be able to see some
of it when viewing the image at full size); you
will not see any noise when printing at 4x6 in.
on the Printer Dock Series 3 printer or when viewing
the image at standard monitor size of 800x600
pixels or even 1024x768 pixels. At ISO 100, noise
becomes visible, but the images are still very
usable. At ISO 200 and 400, noise is quite visible
as blotches of colour.
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
corner delimited by the red square at top left,
and reproduced at 100% crop at top right, shows
|128mm, Manual, Multi-Pattern,
8 sec., F7.1, ISO 80
AWB, Macro, Self-timer, Tripod Used
The Kodak Z740 allows the use of a long shutter
speed of up to 8 sec. in Manual mode, therefore
allowing night photography. Generally, with CCD
image sensors, noise usually becomes more prominent
at slow shutter speeds.
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 8 sec.
at F7.1. I use the 10 sec. self-timer to negate
camera shake. At first I had a hard time obtaining
focus lock; then, I noticed that the AF Illuminator
light was only shining on the right side of Bamm-Bamm's
face, away from the AF frame on the LCD. Puzzled,
I removed the lens hood -- and the AF Illuminator
now bathed the whole face. Focus lock was then
So, if you opt to use the lens hood, be conscious
of the fact that it will partially block the AF
In fact, AF works fast with no practical lag,
except at full telephoto when, depending on the
subject matter, it can sometimes take up to 1
sec. to lock -- you would need to anticipate the
action at max. telephoto.
AF is precise even in complete darkness: the
AF Illuminator works well, and the LCD even gains
up a bit (in colour, though very gainy) permitting
you to more or less see what you are photographing.
Pictures I took in complete darkness (with flash)
came out sharp.
The Kodak Z740 allows you to dial in an exposure
compensation from -2 EV to +2 EV, in 0.5 EV increments.
Now, the industry standard is usually 0.3 EV increments,
and I find that 0.5 EV is too big a jump in either
direction. Where I just wanted to give a little
more exposure, I sometimes get overexposure. Overexposure
is something you want to avoid with this camera
because highlights tend to get blown.
The Kodak Z740 is a great outdoors camera, and
very good indoors camera with the onboard flash;
just do be careful not to shine the AF Illuminator
light into people's eyes (especially children
Other features that help you get that picture:
- First Burst, 2fps, up to 4 pictures (though
I was able to get 5): allows you to take 5 images
in sequence. This is perfect when you are trying
to catch a candid moment or just the right expression.
- Last Burst, 2fps, up to 4 pictures: allows
you to take up to 30 shots but keeps only the
last 4. 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 you release the shutter
release button and the last 4 shots are kept.
Chances are one of these 4 shots caught the
Overall, the Kodak Z740 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.
The pictures in the Kodak EasyShare Z740 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 5MP
2576 x 1932 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