Kodak EasyShare P850


      In summary

      The P850 is the first of Kodak’s new series of ‘Performance’ digicams and the first model with a 12x optical zoom lens. Made by Schneider-Kreuznach, this lens includes an optical image stabiliser and has a threaded mount for fitting optional wide and tele converter lenses or a lens filter. The lens is reasonably fast (f2.8 at the wide position and f3.7 for tele) and covers a focal length range equivalent to 36-432mm in 35mm format. . . [more]

      Full review


      Rating (out of 10):Build: 8.0Ease of use: 8.0Image quality: 8.0Value for money: 8.0

      The P850 is the first of Kodak’s new series of ‘Performance’ digicams and the first model with a 12x optical zoom lens. Made by Schneider-Kreuznach, this lens includes an optical image stabiliser and has a threaded mount for fitting optional wide and tele converter lenses or a lens filter/filter adapter. Most of the functions keen photographers want are provided. The top panel sports a mode dial with auto, P, A, S and M settings, plus scene and movie modes, and three Custom memories for storing frequently-used camera settings. Buttons access sub menus controlling focus, flash, drive, program and metering, and the pop-up flash has a hot-shoe for accessory flash units.

      Most of the rear panel is occupied by the large LCD monitor, above which is an electronic viewfinder with a firm rubber surround. To the right sit the zoom lever, status and review buttons, command dial, set button, AE/AF lock, arrow ring and joystick and Delete, Menu and Share buttons.

      The menu button accesses one or two pages of shooting menus (depending on the shooting mode) and a set-up menu. The layout of the menu is non-intuitive and we would have liked more direct access to key settings like image size and quality. Five picture size settings are provided, along with three JPEG compression ratios. You can capture images in JPEG, TIFF or RAW format; there are 16 pre-set scene modes (including a neat ‘self-portrait’ setting) and capture ‘TV quality’ movie clips with sound.

      The camera comes with 32MB of internal memory plus SD/MMC card slot, and you’ll need a high-capacity card to shoot video or record images in RAW or TIFF format because RAW files are typically around 7.5MB in size, while TIFF files are close to 15 MB. Fourteen seconds of VGA video will fill the internal memory, while a 512MB card will hold just over three and a half minutes!

      On test, the P850 produced very sharp-looking pictures with vibrant colours and elevated contrast and saturation. The image stabilisation system was very effective, allowing the digital zoom to be used without a tripod. The resulting shots were outstanding for the degree of magnification. Close-up performance was also impressive, although best results were obtained with the wide lens setting.

      Long exposures at night were clean and noise free to ISO 400, with obvious noise and loss of sharpness visible at ISO 800. Flash performance was also good, although there was a tendency towards over-exposure at ISO 400. The white balance produced acceptable colour in all lighting conditions.

      Imatest showed overall camera resolution to be good – but not as good as test shots suggested. Some chromatic aberration was detected in most shots, although whether this would be visible in prints up to A4 size is debatable. Capture lag averaged 0.6 seconds, reducing to 0.2 seconds with pre-focusing and the burst mode recorded images at half-second intervals. It took just under three seconds to power-up the camera and extend the lens and the same time to shut down.[26]





      Image sensor: 5.34 x 4.01mm CCD with 5.1 million photosites (5.0 megapixels effective)
      Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach 6-72mm f2.8-3.7 stabilised zoom (36-432mm in 35mm format)
      Zoom ratio: 12x optical, up to 3.3x digital
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 108.0 x 84.2 x 72.0mm
      Weight: 403g (without battery and card)
      Image formats: Stills – JPEF (Exif 2.2), TIFF, RAW; Movies – QuickTime Motion JPEG (VGA/QVGA at 30 fps)
      Shutter speed range: ½-1/1000 sec. (to 16 sec in S mode).
      Focus system/range: Hybrid TTL AF with centre-weighted and multi-pattern modes and 25 selectable zones; range 10 cm to infinity; macro 10-90 cm.
      Exposure metering/control: Multi-pattern, centre-weighted and centre-spot metering, Auto, P, A, S and M plus 16 scene modes.
      White balance: Auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, cloudy, open shade, sunset, Click WB (x3).
      Flash modes/ GN/range (ISO auto): Auto, red-eye reduction, slow front sync, off; GN 11; range 0.9-4.7 m. Hot shoe for external flash.
      ISO range: Auto, ISO 50-400 in half-step increments (ISO 800 at 1.2 MP resolution)
      Sequence shooting: First, Last and Time-lapse; minimum 2.3 fps.
      Storage Media: 32 MB internal memory plus SD/MMC card slot. Internal memory holds 9 high-resolution images.
      Viewfinder: Colour EVF with 237,000 pixels
      LCD monitor: 2.5-inch colour hybrid LCD with 115,000 pixels
      Power supply: KLIC 5001 rechargeable lithium-ion battery






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