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Kodak has quietly introduced a new superzoom camera, the Kodak EasyShare Z981, featuring a 26x Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon zoom. The Kodak Z981 appeared in Kodak’s online store without much fanfare, and can also be pre-ordered from Amazon for $329.95. Apart from the 26x zoom lens that spans a focal range of 26-676mm in 35mm equivalency, the other main ingredient of the Z981 is a new, 14-megapixel imager. In most other respects, the Kodak Z981 is not really different from its predecessor the Z980. Just like that camera, the Z981 has a 3” rear screen, can shoot 720p HD video, features Kodak’s exclusive Smart Capture technology, and comes bundled with a detachable vertical grip. It also retains its forebear’s ability to capture raw image data, though Kodak warns that raw image editing is not supported on Mac OS. The flash hot shoe of the Z980 is, apparently, gone. Kodak claims a shutter lag of less than 0.2 seconds foir the Z981, though this is probably without focusing time. Like camera that preceded it, the Kodak EasyShare Z981 runs on AA batteries and comes bundled with four pre-charged Kodak Ni-MH rechargeables.