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Kodak EasyShare P880

Kodak re-enters the enthusiast market with a great 8-megapixel offering

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Page 3:Design

Review First Posted: 11/23/2005

Design

Shaped like a compact 35mm film camera, the Kodak EasyShare P880 is a more serious offering at the high end of the EasyShare line. The P880 offers a full-auto mode and preset Scene exposure modes for fast point-and-shoot operation in common situations, but goes much further by offering the full range of automatic and manual exposure modes as well. The all-black camera body features light-weight plastic panels and a healthy selection of control buttons and dials. Weighing in at 20.3 ounces (574 grams) with the battery and memory card loaded, the Kodak P880 measures 4.5 x 3.8 x 3.6 inches (116 x 97 x 91 millimeters). While the camera is a small handful, it's still relatively compact considering its 5.8x optical zoom lens. A neck/shoulder strap comes with the camera, and I'd recommend picking up a small camera case for travel, since the camera will be a tough fit, even for larger coat pockets.

The front of the Kodak P880 is dominated by the lens, which features rubberized focus and zoom rings for quick adjustment. (The zoom control is mechanically coupled, and so is very rapid and precise. The focus adjustment is of the fly-by-wire type, and so less responsive.) A removable, plastic lens cap protects the lens when not in use, and can be tethered to the camera body to prevent it from being lost. The P880 also comes with a lens hood, to help block bothersome glare. Just above the lens is what looks like an autofocus sensor, suggesting a hybrid IR/contrast detection AF system. A small LED for the self-timer and AF assist illumination is tucked between the lens and handgrip. (People with larger hands may need to take care not to block the AF-assist light.) The Kodak P880 features a good-sized handgrip, with a rubbery rib on its front that helps make it easy to grip. The grip seems like an excellent size compromise, as its fairly comfortable for people with a wide range of hand sizes. Also visible from the front of the camera is the pop-up flash, when released into its operating position.

The right side of the camera (as viewed from behind) features one of the shoulder strap eyelets, as well as the memory compartment. A sliding, plastic door protects the SD/MMC memory card slot, and slides toward the rear of the camera before opening.

On the opposite side of the camera are the Flash PC socket, and the A/V Out / Digital input and DC in jacks, each covered by a flexible soft plastic flap that swings out of the way for easier access. The camera's speaker is also on this side of the camera, as well as the second shoulder strap eyelet. Also visible in this view are the rubberized focus and zoom rings that surround the lens barrel.

The P880's top panel holds several camera controls, including the Shutter button and Power dial, Exposure Mode dial, microphone, and Program, Drive, Focus, and Magnify buttons. The external flash hot shoe crowns the camera's top panel, just behind the pop-up flash compartment, and features a removable, sliding plastic cover to protect the contacts when not in use.

The remaining camera controls are located on the back panel, along with the LCD monitor and electronic optical viewfinder (EVF) eyepiece. A diopter adjustment dial on the left side of the eyepiece adjusts the view for eyeglass wearers, and a soft rubber eyecup cushions glasses (in addition to blocking bright light). The left side of the back panel features the EVF/LCD, Flash, Metering, ISO, and WB buttons, with the Information, Review, AE/AF Lock, Delete, Menu, and Share buttons arranged on the right. A Command dial and Set button in the top right corner provide access to a wide range of camera settings, as does the joystick-like multi-controller below it.

The bottom panel of the P880 holds the battery compartment, tripod socket and a jack for connecting to Kodak EasyShare camera and printer docks. The tripod mount is off center from the lens, but far enough from the battery compartment to allow for quick changes when connected to a tripod.

 

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