Kodak Easyshare P712 Review
Review Date: September 1st 2006
Like a few other camera companies, Kodak doesn't have a DSLR camera in its current line-up. Instead, it offers bridge-style cameras like the Kodak P712. With a massive 12x zoom lens covering 36-432mm, optical image stabilization system, 7 megapixel sensor, RAW file format, hot-shoe flash connector and 2.5 inch LCD screen, the Kodak P712 tries to provide everything that you would find in a DSLR. The Kodak P712 also offers the added benefits of image preview on the LCD screen, the avoidance of dust problems via the fixed lens, advanced video modes and built-in panorama stitching. All of this is available for around �350, which is nearly as much as a Nikon D50 with a standard kit lens. So does the Kodak Easyshare P712 offer enough features, and perhaps more crucially good enough performance, to rival an entry-level DSLR like the D50? Read our latest review to discover the answer.
The Kodak Easyshare P712 has a 7.4 megapixel, 1/2.5 inch CCD that delivers 7.1 effective megapixels. There are a range of image sizes (3072 � 2304, 3072 � 2048, 2592 � 1944, 2048 � 1536, 1280 � 960). Images can be recorded as either Fine, Standard or Basic quality JPEGs, and there are also RAW and TIFF formats. The camera's 12x Schneider Kreuznach optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 36-432mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 5x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. An optical image stabilizer is available with 2 different modes. The camera is supplied with 32Mb built-in memory and also supports the SD Memory Card and MultiMedia Card formats.
The Kodak Easyshare P712 offers Auto and Program exposure modes plus 17 different scene modes (portrait, self-portrait, sport, party, landscape, night portrait, night landscape, snow, beach, text/document, flower, sunset, candlelight, backlight, manner/museum, fireworks, panorama). More advanced shutter priority, aperture priority and manual exposure modes are also available. The maximum aperture is f2.8 (wide) – f3.7 (tele), and the shutter speed range is 16 secs. – 1/1000th sec. There are 9 ISO speeds ranging from 64 to 400 and an Auto option. There are 6 different White Balance presets to choose from (daylight, cloudy, open shade, sunset, tungsten, fluorescent), plus an Auto setting, Custom setting and White Balance Compensation (blue/red bias and magenta/green bias, �7 stops). The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 1 in 1/3 EV steps and auto-bracketing is available.
The Kodak Easyshare P712 has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (2 secs. or 10 secs.), time lapse (10 sec.�24 hr intervals, 2�99 images) and 2 different Continuous modes - first burst (approx. 1.6 fps up to 14 frames at standard JPEG), and last burst (appox.1.6 fps last 5 frames at standard JPEG). There are 4 different colour effects available (high color, natural color, low color, sepia, black and white) and you can alter contrast and sharpness. The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 10cms at the wide-angle lens setting. The camera offers single or continuous auto-focus and you can choose from Normal, Manual, Landscape or Macro focus, plus there is an AE/AF lock button. The exposure metering system is multi-pattern, center-weighted, center spot, or a selectable zone (25 zones). The built-in flash offers 5 different modes (auto, fill, red-eye, slow sync (front, front-red-eye, rear), off) and has a guide number of 11. The range is 0.9�4.7m at wide-angle and 2.0�3.6m at telephoto. There is a hot-shoe flash connector for the optional Kodak P20 Zoom Flash.
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor or the electronic viewfinder. The Kodak Easyshare P712 has a 2.5 inch TFT LCD Display which has 115,000 pixels. It also has an electronic viewfinder which also has 237,000 pixels. The Kodak P712 can record movies at 640x480 or 320 x 240 pixels, both at 30 fps with sound. Video is recorded in the Quicktime with audio format. The length of the video is only limited by the size of the memory card that you are using. A histogram is available in both shooting and playback modes. The Kodak Easyshare P712 supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0.
The Kodak Easyshare P712's dimensions are 108 (W) � 84.2 (H) � 72 (D) mm, and it weighs 400g with the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion Battery Pack, which has an approximate CIPA battery life of 270 shots. There is a metal tripod mount in the centre of the bottom of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery, Rapid Battery Charger, USB and audio/video cables, Neck strap, Lens cap with strap, KODAK EASYSHARE Software, Getting Started Kit and a Custom camera insert for the optional camera and printer docks. Note that you can only store 6 images at the highest quality JPEG setting on the 32Mb internal memory. You will therefore need to invest in some more memory cards to store your images on.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Kodak Easyshare P712 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.