The Hardware

The front of the camera is shown in Figure 4. The built-in flash is at the top. Just below that are three holes for the microphone. To the other side of the lens is the self-timer/video/AF assist light.

Kodak EasyShare Z950 Digital Camera ReviewFigure 4: The front of the camera.

Most of the camera’s controls are on the top of the camera, as shown in Figure 5. At the left is the Mode dial with icons for Smart Capture, a sport scene mode, a panorama mode, other scene modes, a program auto mode, aperture priority, shutter priority, manual mode, and a video mode. Just to the right of the mode dial is the power/charging status light.

Next to that is the on/off button which is slightly recessed. You have to press your finger quite hard to press this button. We often found ourselves using a finger nail to complete the press. Next to the on/off button are the flash button and the self-timer/burst button. Both of these are slightly raised and easier to press.

Kodak EasyShare Z950 Digital Camera ReviewFigure 5: The top of the camera.

On the right side of the top of the camera is the shutter button. The shutter button is encircled by a zoom control which has an easy-to-use tab that controls the zoom. Both the shutter button and the encircling zoom ring are shiny black. We found this easier to use than many other Kodak cameras that have a rocker-type switch for the zoom. Unfortunately, the zoom control is plastic. Although it is fairly responsive, it feels a bit flimsy.

On the back of the camera, shown in Figure 6, is a large, 3 inch LCD screen. Although we loved the size of the screen, we felt that it lacked the clarity found in many competitors’ cameras. To be honest, the screen always looked just a tad bit muddy and a tad bit blue. This is a minor irritation to those of us who look at a lot of digital camera screens. Many end users will find this quite acceptable. One big plus is that the LCD screen is pretty clear even in bright sunlight.

Kodak EasyShare Z950Figure 6: The back of the Z950.

The buttons are arranged in a different pattern than most digital camera. There are four rectangular buttons are arranged in a vertical line. This gives the controls a very clean look. Yet, each button is slightly raised in the middle, making them easy to use. The top button is the Delete button. Below that are the Menu button, Info button, and Review (Play) button. Each of these has different functionality depending on whether you are in the Capture mode or the Playback mode.

Each button has an icon next to it that represents its function. While the icons for the menu, info, and play buttons all seemed logically representative, the delete icon looks like a pot with a cover. We may have missed the real meaning, but this in no way represented “delete” to us.

Next to the vertical row of buttons is the speaker and below that is a four-way joystick which you use to make choices of on-screen options. The center control is pressed to confirm your choice. Below the rocker is the Share button. The Share button marks images for printing or uploading them to a PC when using the EasyShare software that is included with the camera.


Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.