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Wildlife Camera » Kodak Z980 zooms like a ’scope

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Smart finch is getting bigger »

Kodak Z980 zooms like a ’scope

6 January 2009


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kodak z980

The latest Kodak superzoom has a lens so l-o-n-g that most wildlifers can hardly believe such an amazing chunk of glass could reach the market at an affordable price. It stretches out from wide-angle to 24X – more like a telescope than a telephoto — with a specification which would have seemed like fantasy only a couple of years ago.

The Kodak Z980 was revealed to the world earlier this year in a series of leaks and bungled Press releases, but despite its muddled arrival on the scene, it has proved to be a big step forward for the long-lens enthusiast.

The only early criticism seems to be of its appearance, one commentator suggesting that the price of $399 should include a paper bag to put over its head. Apart from that (and who cares?) it is creating all the right waves.
The Kodak Press release says:  Featuring a wealth of power and versatility, the Z980 digital camera offers a 26 mm wide-angle, professional quality, 24X image stabilised optical zoom lens, a vertical shutter release and a hot shoe, all at an affordable price.
The Z980 enables serious photographers to easily handle both long-distance and wide-angle shots, and boasts Kodak’s innovative Smart Capture feature, which adjusts the camera’s settings to deliver brilliant images automatically.
 “The Z980 is an ideal camera for photographers looking to do more and get more from their digital camera,” said Kodak’s Matthew Yarrow: “The versatile lens, combined with our exclusive Smart Capture feature, lets consumers shoot great pictures in any setting -  from daylight to night or from close-ups to landscapes, the camera makes adjustments automatically.”
 The new Kodak Z980 Digital Camera offers:
· Kodak’s exclusive Smart Capture feature, which analyses scenes and adjusts camera settings to deliver beautiful pictures more often;
· 26 mm wide angle/24X Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon image stabilised optical zoom lens;
· HD picture and video capture;
· Vertical shutter release and detachable vertical grip, for greater comfort and control when shooting scenes vertically;
· Hot shoe for the optional Kodak P20 flash;
· 12 MP for prints up to 30”x40”;
· Bright and detail-rich 3-inch indoor/outdoor colour display;
· Compatible with Kodak wi-fi memory cards and SDHC/SD memory cards.

Update, 7th January:

It’s difficult to keep up. The zoom wars are speeding up. No sooner had Kodak entered the fray with the 24X Z980 (above) than Olympus released details of their SP-590UZ, which has a 26X optical zoom (that’s 26-676mm in old money) and can file 10 shots per second.  We’re looking forward to testing that one too.
 


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