Kodak EasyShare P880

      Photo Review 8

      In summary

      Plenty of enthusiast features plus good picture quality but dynamic range restrictions and image processing artefacts may reduce user satisfaction.Kodak is targeting enthusiast photographers with its 8-megapixel EasyShare P880 camera. Sporting a fast, 5.8x mechanically operated zoom lens with both zoom and focusing rings and a large, bright LCD it provides most of the controls and functions keen photographers require. The angle of view of this lens starts at the equivalent of 24mm in 35mm format, which is wider than most digicams offer and it extends to 140mm, which will suit many users. [ia] . . [more]

      Full review


      Kodak is targeting enthusiast photographers with its 8-megapixel EasyShare P880 camera. Sporting a fast, 5.8x mechanically operated zoom lens with both zoom and focusing rings, plus a large, bright LCD, it provides most of the controls and functions keen photographers require. The angle of view of this lens starts at the equivalent of 24mm in 35mm format, which is wider than most digicams offer, and it extends to 140mm, which will suit many users.

      The P880’s plastic body is well-built and its control layout is logical and easy to use, although the mode dial has 11 settings, including three separate scene modes (Portrait+, Landscape+ and Flower+) with one or two sub-modes. P, A, S and M settings are provided, along with a SCN mode with eight pre-set scenes and a Custom mode for saving frequently-used combinations of settings.

      The right-hand grip will suit users with larger hands but some of the buttons are rather small, although the joystick-driven four-way controller is easy to operate. The camera sports both a pop-up flash and a hot-shoe plus a PC Sync socket for external flash connections. Buttons on the top left panel provide quick access to the AF and digital zoom modes, while those left of the LCD cover the flash, metering, ISO and white balance settings. Four focus modes are provided: auto, macro, infinity and manual and you can use the joystick to move a selected focus point around the screen. Focusing is generally quick and accurate and a bright AF assist light ensures fast autofocusing in dim lighting, although focusing speed is slower. Rotating the manual focus ring in Manual mode displays a bar gauge and enlarges the centre of the screen for focus checking.

      Unlike Kodak’s point-and-shoot models, the P880 has a complex menu system that takes some time to learn and several key functions can only be accessed with considerable toggling. Where direct button access is provided, the relevant focus, flash, metering, ISO, white balance, image size and drive settings are easy to adjust but if you want to swap from RAW to TIFF or JPEG files you must open the second page of the menu and toggle down to the File Type setting, which is cumbersome.

      Images from the test camera were sharp, with a slight softening in the corners of close-up shots and towards the end of the tele-zoom range. Imatest showed overall resolution to be slightly lower than expected. Shots looked sharp and well-resolved but enlargement revealed lower than expected detail resolution. Reducing in-camera sharpness produced an improvement without totally eliminating sharpening artefacts. Shadow noise was detectable in shots taken in bright sunlight, where blocked-up highlights showed the camera to have the limited dynamic range that typifies small-sensor digicams.

      Barrel distortion was obvious at the wide lens setting but pin-cushioning was negligible in tele shots. Imatest detected a low level of lateral chromatic aberration at both the wide and tele lens positions but none in the middle of the zoom range. Digital zoom shots were sharp and well-resolved, thanks largely to the limited amount of enlargement provided. The flash produced insufficient light to illuminate an average room at ISO 100 but managed to do so with the ISO 400 setting.

      Colour accuracy was above average and outdoor shots were bright, with a slightly warm cast that many users would find attractive. White balance performance was excellent, although the auto setting produced a slightly reddish cast that could easily be corrected with editing software. Manual settings were close to spot-on with both incandescent and fluorescent lighting. Exposures taken in dim light were generally clean and noise-free at ISO 100, with comparatively low noise at ISO 400.

      The camera powered-up and shut down relatively quickly and we measured an average capture lag of 0.9 seconds, which reduced to 0.15 seconds with pre-focusing. Unfortunately, it took roughly six seconds to process each JPEG shot, 45 seconds for a RAW file and a minute and 15 seconds for a TIFF image, and the camera locks up during this time (although you can view the subject after a second or two). The burst mode recorded shots at 0.85 second intervals, regardless of resolution, with a burst of 10 images taking just over two minutes to process. [27]





      Image sensor: 7.18 x 5.32mm CCD with 8.3 million photosites (8.0 megapixels effective)
      Lens: Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon f2.8-4.1 zoon (24-140mm equivalent in 35mm format)
      Zoom ratio: 5.8x optical, 2x digital
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 115.8 ø— 97.0 ø— 91.2mm
      Weight: 500g (without battery and card)
      Image formats: Stills – JPEG (Exif 2.21), RAW, TIFF; Movies – QuickTime Motion JPEG (VGA/QVGA at 30fps)
      Shutter speed range: 16-1/4000 second
      Focus system/range: 25-point TTL/hybrid AF; range 5 cm to infinity; super close-up 5-25cm
      Exposure metering/control: Auto, P, A, S and M shooting modes plus Custom, flower, super close-up, landscape (standard and night landscape), portrait (standard, night portrait, anti-shake night portrait) and 8 scene settings
      White balance: Auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, cloudy, open shade, sunset, custom 1-3; click white balance available, white balance compensation available in PASM and C modes
      Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto, slow sync fill flash, fill, off, red-eye reduction with flash, range 0.5 to 4.0m
      ISO range: Auto; ISO 50-1600 selectable in PASM and custom modes (8.0-3.1 MP: 50-400; 0.8 MP: 400-1600)
      Sequence shooting: 2fps for up to 12 standard 8MP JPEG images
      Storage Media: 32 MB internal plus SD/MMC card slot; internal memory holds 2 high-resolution TIFF or RAW files or 6 JPEGs or up to 134 0.8M JPEG images.
      Viewfinder: Electronic with 237K pixels
      LCD monitor: 2.5-inch (6.4cm) indoor/outdoor LCD with adjustable brightness settings
      Power supply: Kodak Li-Ion Rechargeable Digital Camera Battery







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      Rating (out of 10):

      • Build: 8.5
      • Ease of use: 8
      • Image quality: 8
      • OVERALL: 8