Kodak P712 Review

 
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Kodak P712 Performance

Digital cameras in general, and long-zoom models in particular, often aren't as responsive as film-based cameras. The technology is getting much better in this respect, but many long-zoom cameras are sluggish in their focusing, with long shutter delays. The Kodak P712 uses a "Hybrid" autofocus system that delivers dramatically better shutter response at the wide-angle end of the zoom range, and better than average performance at the telephoto end. Here are the results of our performance testing of the P712.

Timing and Performance

Very good performance overall, though slow to average speed in some cases.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
3.3 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy. A little slow, but not bad for a long zoom.
Shutdown
3.3 - 5.5 seconds, depending on zoom position
How long it takes to retract lens.
Buffer clearing time
15 seconds*
(After 10 large/fine shots in single-shot mode)
Worst case buffer clearing time*. -- This is the worst-case delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Like many cameras, the P712 won't retract its lens and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
0.8 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
4.7 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
0.9 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.14 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.71 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.086 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Continuous AF
0.15 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects
Manual focus
0.14 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.37 seconds;
10 frames total;
15 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length of 10 shots.
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.40 seconds;
14 seconds to clear* after more than 30 shots
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.
Early shutter
penalty?
No, but LCD viewfinder stays blank between shots (rather annoying)
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.90 second (1.11 frames per second);
8 frames total;
15 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.89 second (1.12 frames per second);
> 30 frames;
13 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Flash recycling
5.5 seconds
Flash at maximum output; allows shot before flash finishes charging
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
671 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

The Kodak EasyShare P712 Zoom's overall performance is pretty good here, though its start-up time is a bit slow at 3.3 seconds. (Not unusual for cameras with long-ratio zoom lenses.) Shutter lag at wide angle zoom settings is very impressive, at 0.14 second, and telephoto results are pretty good as well, albeit quite a bit longer. "Prefocus" times (half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure) are quite fast, with a shutter delay of only 0.086 second. Shot-to-shot cycle times are also better than average, at about 1.37 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera captures as many as 10 frames at this rate before having to wait for the memory card to catch up. Continuous-mode speed is on the slower side though, at just over one frame/second, for up to eight large/fine shots in succession. Flash recycling time is about average at 5.5 seconds, very good considering the P712's fairly powerful flash. Connected to a computer, download speeds are fast enough to negate a separate card reader, but still on the slower side of average. Bottom line, the P712 Zoom is responsive when it comes to straight up shooting, though its Continuous mode speed is a little slow. Still, the P712 performs well, especially considering its super speedy shutter lag time at wide angle and when prefocused. Combined with its long image-stabilized zoom lens, this makes the P712 a good choice for sports and other distant action.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Moderate battery life with the custom rechargeable LiIon battery.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
LiIon rechargeable battery, LCD on 210-290

The Kodak EasyShare P712 Zoom uses a single custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power. Though a fully charged battery provides moderate runtimes, we strongly recommend picking up a spare pack and keeping it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings. (See our battery shootout page for information on actual measured capacities of various NiMH brands and capacity markings.)

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The P712 Zoom accepts SD/MMC cards, though no card is included; 28MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
28MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal Basic TIFF RAW
3,072 x 2,304 Images 6 10 16 1 2
File Size 4.9 MB 2.9 MB 1.9 MB 22 MB 13.1 MB
2,592 x 1,944 Images 8 15 23 2 -
File Size 3.5 MB 2.1 MB 1.4 MB 16 MB -
2,048 x 1,536 Images 14 23 36 3 -
File Size 2.2 MB 1.3 MB 864 KB 9.8 MB -
1,280 x 960 Images 34 56 85 8 -
File Size 915 KB 559 KB 373 KB 3.9 KB -

We strongly recommend buying at least a 128MB card, preferably a 256MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.

 

Kodak P712

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