Kodak Z650 Review
Kodak Z650 Operation
Like other Kodak's EasyShare digicams, the Z650 has a very user-friendly interface. The full range of available exposure control options gives users a lot of flexibility, while the camera's automatic systems do an excellent job of capturing good-looking photos. The LCD menu system is short and simple to navigate, and the plain-English descriptions of menu items are a welcome change from the too-common cryptic icons on so many other cameras. A Mode dial changes camera modes quickly, and a plain-English description of each flashes briefly on the LCD screen to make operation straightforward for even rank beginners. Given the simple interface and limited controls, you should be able to snap images right away, with hardly a glance at the manual. More advanced functions shouldn't take more than a half an hour or so to master.
Depending on the exposure mode, the Kodak Z650's LCD display shows the center autofocus area along with currently-selected options for image size/quality, macro and flash mode, the number of images of the current size and quality that can be stored in the remaining space on the memory card. In Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual modes, the LCD display also includes shooting mode, aperture, shutter, ISO, flash exposure compensation, and exposure compensation settings. A live histogram is also displayed in Record mode for evaluating exposure. Pressing the Information button once in a record mode cancels the information display, while a second press brings it back. The same display is available in the EVF, and you can switch between the two viewfinders simply by pressing the EVF/LCD button.
In Review (playback) mode, you can use the Kodak Z650's Zoom lever to zoom in or out on an image, with a maximum enlargement of 8x. A thumbnail display of the images (called "Multi-Up") is also available, through the camera's Review menu. The Info button offers a more detailed information display, reporting the set exposure variables for the current image. The normal Review display reports the image number, and any shared settings information.
Kodak Z650 Modes and Menus
Favorites Mode: An album icon with a heart on its cover indicates this mode on the Power/Mode switch on top of the camera. In this mode, any images that have been designated as "favorites" are displayed after the camera has synched with the computer.
Video Mode: The first mode on the Mode dial, Movie mode is indicated by a movie camera icon. In this mode, you can record 640 x 480 or 320 x 240-pixel resolution movies with sound, at 11 or 20 frames per second.
PASM Mode: Marked on the Mode dial as "PASM," this mode provides access to the Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes.
Scene Mode: The letters "SCN" indicate this mode on the Mode dial, which offers 17 preset shooting modes. Available "scenes" are Children, Party, Beach, Flower, Fireworks, Snow, Backlight, Close-up, Night Portrait, Landscape, Night Landscape, Manner/Museum, Text, Self-Portrait.
Auto Mode: Marked with a camera icon and the word "Auto," this mode is best for most average shooting conditions. Exposure is automatically controlled, but a small selection of user options is available through the Record menu.
Sports Mode: This mode is indicated by a figure in action on the Mode dial. Here, the camera employs a faster shutter speed to "freeze" moving subjects.
Portrait Mode: The traditional portrait symbol (a woman's head) marks this mode on the Mode dial. The camera uses a larger aperture setting to capture a sharp subject in front of a blurred background.
Night Mode: A person and star icon on the Mode dial indicates this mode, which uses slower shutter speeds for darker settings. A tripod is definitely recommended.
Playback Mode: Accessed by pressing the Review button, this mode lets you review captured images and movies, as well as manage files.
Record Menu: The following menu items appear whenever the Menu button is pressed in any Record mode. However, not all menu options are available in all modes.
- Picture Size: Sets the resolution for still images. Choices are 6.0 MP (2,832 x 2,128 pixels), 5.3 MP 3:2 (2,832 x 1,888 pixels), 4.0 MP (2,304 x 1,728 pixels), 3.1 MP (2,048 x 1,536 pixels), or 1.7 MP (1,496 x 1,122 pixels).
- Video Size: (Movie mode only.) Sets the video resolution to 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels.
- White Balance: Sets the color balance to Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, or Open Shade settings.
- Exposure Metering: Sets the camera's metering mode as Multi-Pattern, Center-Weighted, or Center-Spot.
- Focus Zone: Controls where the camera's AF system determines focus from. Choices are Multi-Zone and Center-Zone.
- AF Control: Sets the autofocus to Continuous or Single mode.
- Color Mode: Allows you to record images in High, Natural, or Low Color, or in Black and White or Sepia tones.
- Sharpness: Controls the in-camera sharpening, with options of High, Normal, or Low.
- Reset to Default: Resets all camera settings to their defaults.
- Set Album (Still): The Kodak Z650 lets you set up albums through its interface software on a computer. If albums have been set up and downloaded to the camera, you can associate images with an album as they are recorded.
- Image Storage: Dictates where images are stored, either in the 32MB internal memory or SD card. If Auto is selected, the camera automatically stores images to a memory card if one is present.
- Setup Menu: Displays the following Setup options:
- Return: Returns to the previous menu display.
- Quickview: Turns Quickview on or off. Quickview automatically displays the most recently captured image, with options to delete or Share.
- Adv. Digital Zoom: Controls how digital zoom is accessed. The Continuous setting allows you to seamlessly zoom from the optical zoom range into the digital range. "Pause" tells the camera to pause between ranges. "None" disables digital zoom altogether.
- Print Warning: If activated, this feature turns the zoom slider red if the zoom is too much to render an acceptable 4x6-inch print.
- Sound Themes: Designates the camera's operating sounds. Choices are Shutter Only, Default, Classical, Jazz, and Sci-Fi. (All sounds are disabled in the camera's Manner scene mode.)
- Sound Volume: Sets the volume to Low, Medium, or High, or turns sound off.
- Mode Description: If enabled, displays a description of each camera mode on the LCD monitor when first accessed.
- Auto Power Off: Sets the period of inactivity that must pass before the camera shuts itself off. Choices are 1, 3, 5, or 10 minutes.
- Date & Time: Sets the camera's internal clock and calendar.
- Video Out: Specifies PAL or NTSC as the Video Out signal.
- Orientation Sensor: Controls the camera's orientation sensor, which detects when the camera is held vertically. Vertical-format images captured when the Orientation Sensor is enabled are rotated to their correct orientation on-screen when they're played back.)
- Red Eye Preflash: Toggles the preflash on or off.
- Date Stamp: Turns the date stamp function on or off, which records the date over the image. You can choose from a selection of date formats as well.
- Video Date Display: Like the Date Stamp option above, imprints the date and time on video files, with a choice of display formats.
- Language: Sets the menu language to one of nine languages.
- Format: Formats the SD memory card or internal memory.
- About: Displays the camera's firmware information.
- Album: Adds images to an image album, created on a computer with the camera's interface software.
- Crop: Using the Zoom Lever to enlarge or reduce a cropping area and the joystick to position it on an image, this option lets you crop the active image.
- Slide Show: Enables a slide show of captured images, with user-adjustable intervals between images.
- Multi-Up: Enables a index display of images on the memory card or stored in the internal memory.
- Copy: Copies files from the internal memory to the SD card, or the reverse.
- Protect: Write-protects the displayed image, preventing it from being accidentally erased or manipulated (except via memory or card formatting). Also removes protection.
- Image Storage: Selects between the internal memory or the SD card for image storage.
- Setup Menu: Displays the same settings as under the Record menu.
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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.