Kodak EasyShare P712 Megazoom digital compact camera
There was a time when the Megazoom digital compact camera could claim a large market share. Obviously the only alternative was an expensive digital SLR camera and a just as pricey tele-lens. Those days definitely seem over, now that manufacturers like Nikon (Nikon D40) and Olympus (E-500 kit) offer very affordable SLR cameras. The difference has thus diminished, and the step to a SLR camera has become more attractive, and easier to make. Since Kodak doesn't produce DSLR cameras anymore, the Megazoom segment probably won't be pulled as easily as with DSLR manufacturers, so we will encounter more Kodak cameras like the P712.
Kodak P712 - 12x stabilized optic zoom range
The main power of the Kodak EasyShare P712 camera is its large optical zoom range combined with an optical image stabilizer. These two form a strong combination and allow all-round photography for entry-level digital photographers. The compact size and the design provide a good feel and ease of use. The camera is light enough to take with you anywhere. The 2.5-inch LCD screen is comfortable for judging pictures or to watch with others. Next to the monitor the Kodak P712 comes equipped with a high-resolution electronic viewfinder that replaces the optical viewfinder without effort. The viewfinder has a high refreshment rate of 60 fps, thus avoiding shaky images. The rubber ring around the ocular is comfortable to photographers with glasses.
Kodak EasyShare P712 - 7 Megapixel resolution
The 7 Megapixel resolution is more than enough to enable the creative photographer to edit his pictures, cropping and printing enlargements. The many settings, next to the automatic control, make the Kodak EasyShare P712 suitable for a wide range of users. The beginning photographer can also grow and transfer from automatic to semi-automatic. The built-in guide lends a hand. Colour reproduction has not been overdone, and there's no mention of too much saturation. Next to that the camera can handle the many different light sources of our world well. The quality of the white balance is absolutely outstanding.
Kodak EasyShare P712 digital camera - Disadvantages
Still I have some remarks when it comes to the camera. Speed is one such issue; starting up and closing down the camera is agonizingly slow. On top of that, zooming from wide-angle to tele-lens takes its fair share of time, the accuracy of deciding the composition is tricky and the sweep one has to make with the zoom button is fairly long. Added to that; the difficult focus in twilight conditions, like in living rooms, then the total sum is negative and I must conclude Kodak has lost a few points there. When it comes to ISO and noise values I am not pleased either. One can really expect a camera that is presented as an alternative to DSLR to first have its ISO values of a remarkable level, but also that it is more expanded than 64-400. 800 ISO is selectable, but it causes the resolution to be reduced to 1.2 Megapixels instantly. That it can be different is proven by the competition, where high ISO is also available at higher resolutions. Besides that, there is too much noise. Especially 400 ISO is so much a subject to noise that it clearly diminishes quality.
Kodak EasyShare P712 Test conclusion
As such I have mixed feelings about the Kodak P712 test. On one hand there is the ease of a compact design, great optical range and handy image stabilization, and it provides much user-friendliness. On the other hand there is the disappointing quality of the ISO and the limited ISO range, as well as the, sometimes slow, reaction speed of the camera. It makes me feel as if Kodak eased their way out at these points. Had it been so that the competition showed the same images I would have been milder in my judgment. But with the current technology and hardware/software quality a lot more is possible, and that is where Kodak fails. The Kodak EasyShare P712 is an attractive camera for the every day shots of the beginning photographer. The Kodak EasyShare P712 may certainly not be seen as the alternative to a digital SLR camera. The difference between them is just too big.
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Kodak EasyShare P712 - Large buffer
The Kodak P712 Megazoom camera has a reasonably large buffer so you can easily work with JPEG format files. The maximum JPEG format size is around 4.9MB. The Kodak EasyShare P712 also supports TIFF and RAW format, but that immediately ends the quick processing of large numbers. A TIFF format uses about 22MB in its highest resolution, and RAW still takes a good 13.1MB for each shot. Such large files require a great amount of calculating power from the internal image processor, but also from the memory card. A flash memory card with a quick reading/writing speed is advisable.
Kodak EasyShare P712 - 512MB storage capacity
To effectively and accurately test a camera, I always use a SanDisk memory card, and in case of the Kodak EasyShare P712 I used beside the Extreme III SD also the SanDisk Ultra II Plus 2GB which is easily useable for the camera. My advice is to have at least 512MB storage capacity so you can record a reasonable amount of high resolution JPEG images during vacations. Those wanting to do a lot of RAW format photography would be wise to acquire a 2GB card immediately.
Considering 512MB storage capacity:
RAW - 3072 x 2304 pixels - 13.1MB - 40 pictures
TIFF - 3072x2304 pixels - 23MB - 24 pictures
TIFF - 3072 x 2048 pixels - 22MB - 27 pictures
TIFF - 2592 x 1944 pixels - 16MB - 33 pictures
TIFF - 2048x1536 pixels - 9.8MB - 54 pictures
TIFF - 1280 x 960 pixels - 390KB - 137 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 3072 x 2304 pixels - 4.9MB - 107 pictures
JPEG - Standard - 3072 x 2304 pixels - 2.9MB - 184 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 3072 x 2304 pixels - 1.9MB - 283 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 3072 x 2048 pixels - 4.5MB - 120 pictures
JPEG - Standard - 3072 x 2048 pixels - 2.6MB - 206 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 3072 x 2048 pixels - 1.7MB - 317 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 2592 x 1944 pixels - 3.5MB - 150 pictures
JPEG - Standard - 2592 x 1944 pixels - 2.1MB - 257 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 2592 x 1944 pixels - 1.4MB - 392 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 2048x1536 pixels - 2.2MB - 238 pictures
JPEG - Standard - 2048x1536 pixels - 1.3 MB - 403 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 2048x1536 pixels - 0.9MB - 616 pictures
JPEG - Fine - 1280 x 960 pixels - 0.9MB - 582 pictures
JPEG - Standard - 1280 x 960 pixels - 0.6MB - 952 pictures
JPEG - Normal - 1280 x 960 pixels - 0.4MB - 1429 pictures
Video - 640x480 pixels - 9 min 12 sec
Video - 320x240 pixels - 15 min 14 sec