Shopping for a digital camera today can be mind-boggling. There are dozens to choose from. At first glance, Kodak’s Z950, an ultra-zoom pocket camera, looks like a middle-of-the-road choice. However, with a 10x optical zoom, a Schneider-Krueznach lens, High Def video, manual exposure controls, and an Intelligent “Smart Capture” Auto mode there may be more to this camera than meets the eye. We set out to investigate.
This Kodak camera comes in the typical bright yellow and black Kodak box, as shown in Figure 1.
Inside the box, as shown in Figure 2, you will find the camera, a Li-Ion rechargeable battery, a USB charging cable , a USB AC adapter for the charging cable, a software disk. Not shown in a very small black nylon wrist strap. In the box, you will also find a small 26-page User’s Guide which is written in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
The Z950 is not as small as some digital cameras that we have reviewed. At 4.3" x 2.6" x 1.4" (10.9 x 6.6 x 3.5 cm), and 8.6 ounces (243 grams) it is larger than the Nikon Coolpix S600 , the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500, or the Olympus Stylus Tough 6000. While this Kodak will fit in most shirt pockets, it is sure to cause quite a bulge. It is definitely not an ultra-compact camera, but size-wise, it is comparable to some choices from Panasonic, Canon, and others.
The front of the camera with the lens expanded is shown in Figure 3. The lens automatically expands and contracts and the lens cover opens and closes when the camera is powered on and off.
The Z950 is a no-frills camera that comes only in black. The design is industrial–looking. The body is mostly plastic, but has a fairly sturdy feel. The camera has rounded edges which will help it slide in and out of a case or pocketbook. The area to the right of the lens has a large rubberized grip, which is quite comfortable to hold.