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The Kodak EasyShare Z981 digital camera is based around the combination of a 14 megapixel CCD image sensor, and a Schneider-Kreuznach branded 26x optical zoom lens offering focal lengths from a 26mm wide angle to a 676mm telephoto. Kodak's specs do state that the Z981 includes image stabilization - important, given that whopping zoom lens - but unfortunately don't list the mechanism used (or indeed, whether it is hardware stabilization). Maximum apertures range from F2.8 at wide angle to F5.0 at telephoto.

The EasyShare Z981 includes an electronic viewfinder of unspecified size and resolution, as well as a 3.0" LCD display whch dominates the rear of the camera. The Z981 can store images on either SD or SDHC cards, and also includes 64MB of built-in memory. Power comes courtesy of four AA NiMH batteries, which are generously included in the product bundle along with a charger.

Kodak's EasyShare Z981 includes the company's face detection technology, capable of detecting up to five faces in a scene. In addition, the face recognition function can be programmed to automatically recognize the faces of twenty specific individuals, who can then be automatically tagged when their face is detected in an image, allowing quick location of their photos in-camera or in software that can read the tags. Other features of the camera include 30 frames-per-second 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) high-definition video capture with stereo sound, ISO sensitivity to 1,600 max. at full resolution, and program / aperture priority / shutter priority / manual shooting modes.

The Kodak EasyShare Z981 is priced at around $330. Availability information had not been announced at press time.