Kodak P712 Review

 
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Kodak P712 Optics

As noted elsewhere in this review, the loooong 12x zoom lens is a big part of the appeal of the Kodak P712. The lens also incorporates an optical image stabilizer, which greatly reduces the effect of minor jiggles when hand-holding the camera at long telephoto focal lengths. The value of image stabilization in long zoom lenses is hard to overstate. Without it, you'd need pretty bright sunlight to avoid blurred images at maximum telephoto. With it, you can shoot under lower lighting and still get sharp images. Read below for the details, we found the Kodak P712's lens did a pretty good job in most respects.

Lens

Zoom
A generous 12x optical zoom range, with excellent performance. Digital zoom also performs quite well.

36mm 432mm 5x Digital Zoom

The Kodak EasyShare P712 Zoom covers the equivalent of a 36-432mm range, outstanding among consumer digital cameras. Results were quite good at wide angle, though some corner softness and coma distortion were present. The camera's 5x digital zoom also performed well, as far as digital zoom goes, with lots of fine detail visible. If you need to really get close to distant subjects, the P712 will do an excellent job.

Macro
An average-sized macro area with good detail and resolution. Flash performs pretty well, despite somewhat uneven coverage.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Kodak EasyShare P712 Zoom's macro setting performed pretty well, capturing an average-sized minimum area of 3.50 x 2.63 inches (89 x 67 millimeters). Detail and resolution were both very good, though there's quite a bit of image noise obscuring finer details throughout the frame. There's also a small amount of softening in the corners from the lens, though the effect isn't very strong. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) Though slightly uneven, with a bright reflection on the brooch, flash results are actually not too bad here (just a little dim). Though external lighting produces more even coverage, the P712's flash proves somewhat usable up close.

Distortion
Moderate barrel distortion at wide angle, no distortion at all at telephoto.

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto). The Kodak EasyShare P712 Zoom's 0.8% barrel distortion at wide angle is about average among the cameras we've tested, although still visually evident when you look at it's images. At the telephoto end, I couldn't find so much as a full pixel (or even a half, for that matter) of any distortion at all. Considering the very long zoom ratio of the P712's lens, its distortion levels are much better than average.

Barrel distortion at 36mm is 0.8%
Pincushion at 432mm is less than 0.0%

Chromatic aberration
High, very noticeable effect on images at edges, not uncommon among long zooms.

Wide: high and bright,
top left @ 200%
Wide: quite bright,
top right @ 200%
Tele: high and bright,
top left @200%
Tele: very bright,
top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is rather high at both wide angle and telephoto, showing about 11-12 pixels of very bright coloration on either side of the target lines. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.) The effect is pretty noticeable in several of our test shots, and unfortunately is often a factor in cameras with very long-ratio zoom lenses. Even allowing for that though, the levels of CA at the ends of the P712's zoom range are quite high.

Corner Sharpness
Moderate softening in the corners of the frame.

Wide: A little soft in the
corners (upper right)
Wide: Sharper at center
Tele: Soft in the
corners (upper right)
Tele: Slightly soft at center

The Kodak EasyShare P712 Zoom produced soft corners in a few shots. At wide angle, corners were only slightly soft, compared to the center of the frame. At telephoto, corners showed more blurring compared to the center, though details at the center were slightly soft as well. That said, the blurring in the corners is less than we often see in very long-ratio zoom lenses.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Excellent accuracy with both the EVF and LCD monitor.

36mm eq., EVF 432mm eq., EVF
36mm eq., LCD 432mm eq., LCD

The Kodak EasyShare P712 Zoom's electronic optical viewfinder (EVF) and LCD monitor produced identical results here (not surprising since they're essentially the same view), with right about 100% accuracy at both zoom settings. Excellent results.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Kodak EasyShare P712 Photo Gallery.

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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