Kodak Easyshare Max Z990 review
A great choice if your budget is limited, the Z990 is easy to use and produces great photos
The name may sound a little low-end, but this camera’s specifications are up there with the best: the Kodak EasyShare Max Z990 has a 30x zoom, a 12-megapixel sensor, RAW capture and 1080p Full HD video recording.
The area where it looks deficient is its pixel count, but a lower resolution can be a good thing, especially since the sensor is the same size as its competitors. Each photo receptor receives more light, which should lead to better quality photos, particularly in low light.
The theory wasn’t borne out in tests, as shots looked blotchy in dim light. However, in better conditions, the Z990 produced excellent shots that wouldn’t embarrass cameras costing £100 more.
The 28-840mm lens has some barrel distortion at the wide end of the zoom but with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, plenty of light gets in. At the telephoto end images look crisp, and in good light the optical stabilisation works to reduce shake. Video performance wasn’t as impressive: colours were fine, as was sharpness, but highlights were blown out and shadows lacked detail.
The Z990 is easy to use, too. Controls have been kept to a minimum and common settings are a few clicks away. There are separate shutter and video-recording buttons, plus command and jog dials. You can tag photos to upload to Facebook, Flickr and the Kodak Gallery, and we liked thoughtful touches like the prompt to transfer images when you insert an SD card.
There are also fun features, including HDR and both manual and sweep panorama modes, but none were particularly successful in our tests.
But with full manual control and RAW capture, it would be churlish to come down too hard on these shortcomings, as the Z990 is undoubtedly good value.
|Price ex VAT||£212|
|Price inc VAT||£254|
|Features & Design||5|
|Value for Money||5|
|Camera megapixel rating||12.0mp|
|Camera screen size||3.0in|
|Camera optical zoom range||30x|
|Camera maximum resolution||4,000 x 3,000|
Weight and dimensions
|Dimensions||124 x 105 x 91mm (WDH)|
|Battery type included||NiMH|
|Aperture range||f2.8 - f5.6|
|Camera minimum focus distance||0.01m|
|Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent)||28|
|Longest focal length (35mm equivalent)||840|
|Minimum (fastest) shutter speed||1/2,000|
|Maximum (slowest) shutter speed||16s|
|Bulb exposure mode?||no|
|RAW recording mode?||yes|
|Exposure compensation range||+/- 2EV|
|ISO range||125 - 6400|
|Selectable white balance settings?||yes|
|Manual/user preset white balane?||no|
|Progam auto mode?||yes|
|Shutter priority mode?||yes|
|Aperture priority mode?||yes|
|Fully auto mode?||yes|
|Burst frame rate||60.0fps|
|Data connector type||Micro-USB|
Manual, software and accessories
|Full printed manual?||no|
|Accessories supplied||Neck strap, wrist strap, mains charger, USB cable|