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Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak Z740
Kodak Z740 Zoom Review
Date: April 26, 2005
Beginner to Serious Amateur
Tuesday, Apr 16, 2005 - Here's what I receive
in the box:
- EasyShare Z740 Zoom
- Shoulder Strap
- Lens Cap and retainer string
- Lens Hood/Adapter
- Ni-MH rechargeable battery pack
- 24V AC Adapter
- Custom Camera Insert
- Interface Cables: A/V; USB
- EasyShare Printer Dock Series 3
- Kodak color cartridge and photo paper sample
pack (10 sheets)
- Welcome Kit
- Instruction Manuals: Basic Manual; Quick Start
- Software CDs: EasyShare software with printer
Wow! Digital camera and printer in one
package. And not just any starter camera. The
Kodak EasyShare Z740 Zoom features 5 megapixel
resolution, 10x optical zoom, and full exposure
flexibility. Beginner amateur photographers will
find the Kodak Z740's Auto mode and 17 Scene Modes
attractive and easy-to-use, and serious amateur
phorographers on a budget will find the Kodak
Z740 a rather flexible and complete system with
Program, Aperture-Priority, Shutter-Priority and
full Manual modes.
I received the camera plus printer bundle for
this review. One word describes the Kodak EasyShare
Z740 and Printer Dock Series 3 combo: SIMPLE (as
in easy to use). If you are looking for a complete
camera and printer system for One-Touch printing
and One-Touch transfer, believe the ad, for it
is really that simple to use and operate.
Everything is Plug & Play: plug in the power
cord to the printer, place the camera insert on
top of the printer, dock the camera, and a single
press of the Print button prints your photos directly
from the camera to the printer. No need to even
turn on your computer.
To transfer images from your camera to your PC,
connect the printer to the PC using the Printer-to-PC
USB cable (note: there is no Camera-to-PC USB
cable included, so you need to use the Printer
Dock; they are different USB cables and the printer
one will not fit the camera connector), press
the Transfer button, and your images are automatically
transferred and indexed to your PC.
Kodak could have equipped the Z740 with Auto
mode only. But surprise, surprise from the maker
of easy-to-use digital cameras: The Kodak Z740
is choke-full of features serious amateur photographers
look for. More, Kodak has succeeded in implementing
them so that the most common functions are available
without going to the menu. Kudos to Kodak.
I specially like the way that Exposure Mode,
Exposure Compensation, and ISO are quickly and
ingeniously selected using the mini joystick.
Dedicated buttons: self-timer and drive; macro
or infinity; flash.
The Kodak Z740 uses the SecureDigital (SD) memory
card and comes with 32MB of internal memory. In
the EasyShare Software 4, and with the camera
docked, you can specify the amount of internal
memory to reserve for Favorites, a sort of digital
picture wallet. This memory is substracted from
the 32MB internal memory and the rest can be used
for recording pictures.
32MB internal memory should hold about 19 5MP
images; a 256MB SD card saves up to 157 5MP images.
A memory card is a one-time buy, so buy as large
a size as you can afford. There is really no sense
in jiggling a number of these tiny cards around
-- easy to damage and lose -- better just leave
one 256MB or 512Mb in the camera.
A lens shade protects from glare, provides a
handy place for the left hand to hold, and allows
the use of optional polarizer, neutral density
filter and wide-angle conversion lens (0.7x, equivalent
to 26.6mm). [Note: information correct as of writing;
please verify with Kodak as to current availability.]
Burst modes: first burst 2fps up to 4 pictures
(I got 5) -- use this to capture candid shots
or to increase your chance of getting a sharp
image at slow shutter speed; last burst 2fps up
to 4 pictures (last 4 out of 30) -- use this when
you are following an action and want to capture
the sequence leading up to the last shot. Just
be sure to keep your finger well pressed on the
shutter release button; I find that it's easy
to let go too quickly before you've captured the
shots you wanted. Thankfully, there is no black
out of image during sequence shooting so you can
follow the action.
Here is how I set the Kodak Z740:
4.4 MP (3:2)
Black & White
|Advanced Digital Zoom
|Auto Power Off
Note that if you are new to photography, you
may want to set Mode Description (SETUP MENU)
to ON. This displays a short and useful description
as you select a mode.
I usually set Orientation Sensor (SETUP MENU)
to OFF because I don't like the camera switching
the orientation on me as I turn the camera to
portrait or landscape mode. If you like this feature,
especially in reviewing images, set it to ON.
There is a "Start Here" poster that
gets you going fast; a Z740 User Guide and a Printer
Dock 3 User Manual. The User Manuals are printed
on cheap newspaper paper but very clear and legible.
The print size is also refreshingly large enough
to read at arm's length.
hanging in air (held in place by magnet at top)
117mm, Manual, Multi-Pattern, 1 sec., F5.6, and
ISO 80, Flash
The "ghost" image of the stand is a
reflection on the frosted glass behind the globe
EasyShare Software 4
The EasyShare Software 4 is easy to install and
use. You might have to download the latest version
from the Kodak website. Be aware that it does
take a while to install; after you reboot, it
will run for a while more to set up your Favorites
folder. Just wait, let it run and do its job.
It's a wonderful program and highly recommended.
Make sure you install the EasyShare Software
before you do any transfer. Why? Because the defaults
may not be what you want. For example, where do
you want your images to be saved? The default
is Windows XP "My Pictures" directory
on the C: drive in Documents and Settings. I much
prefer to create a new directory in D: drive 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.) 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 one improvement suggestion I would have liked
to see is more detailed EXIF info.
Printing On The Printer Dock Series 3
The label reads "One touch to real Kodak
photos" and so I place the camera on the
printer, select the picture I want to print (use
the left arrow and right arrow on the printer,
not the mini joystick on the camera), and press
the Print Button. A beautiful borderless 4x6 in.
colour photo is printed in 4 passes: one each
for yellow, red, blue, then a clear coat of KODAK
XTRALIFE lamination to make the print waterproof
and durable, all in about 1 min 45 sec. Snap out
the two edges and voila -- a borderless 4x6 in.
colour print in less than 2 min.
There no easier way to print your own 4x6 in.
prints at home. It is more expensive than having
your prints at a Wal-Mart, but nothig beats the
convenience of printing at home -- especially
when it is that easy. The Printer Dock Series
3 is itself plug & play: plug in the printer,
put the camera insert on top, place the camera
on the insert -- and you're ready to print at
the touch on a button.
It takes me some fiddling at first to figure
out how to put paper into the removable paper
tray: grab the clear plastic cover at the rounded
edges and gently but firmly slide the cover out.
Then lift to insert paper, close cover and slide
the tray (do not slide cover back) into the printer.
To insert the colour cartridge, open the cover
on the right side of the printer and insert the
cartridge label side up smoothly in. If necessary,
tighten the roll of film slightly first before
inserting the cartridge. It's really very simple.
Make sure you have enough clearance (about 5
in. / 13 cm) on the other side of the printer
since that is where the paper will slide out temporarily
before being run through the printer again. In
all, you'd need roughly about 1ft 6in. by 9in.
(or, 46 x 23 cm) desk space for the printer.
Note that when the paper is brought into the
printer during the first pass, it sits there for
about 30 secs before the actual printing starts.
For one touch transfer to your PC, just plug
in the USB cable into th printer and PC. The cable
is about 56in. (142 cm) long. The USB connector
at the printer end has a specific shape so ensure
you match the shape and do not damage any of the
pins. It should always go in smoothly, without
When you place the camera onto the printer dock,
the camera turns on automatically and displays
the last image taken. You must then use the left
and right arrow keys on the printer to select
the image you desire to print; you cannot use
the joystick on the camera. After some time of
inactivity, the camera's LCD turns off automatically.
To print again, just press the any of the arrow
The Printer Dock also doubles as a battery charger
and will recharge your camera's NiMH rechargeable
batteries when the camera is docked. Three green
diodes give an indication of how much the battery
is recharged. It can take from 2hrs to 8hrs to
recharge the batteries, so overnight recharging
The Kodak EasyShare Z740 Zoom bundled
with the Printer Dock Series 3 is one of
the easiest to use camera and printer combo available.
The Kodak Z740 is a true P&S digital camera
that gives well exposed, vivid and sharpened images
straight out of the camera. The Printer Dock Series
3 printer is really One-Touch easy to operate,
and will allow you to print beautiful 4x6 in.
prints in the convenience of your home.