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Kodak Easyshare Z981 14 MP Digital Camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 26xWide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens and 3.0-Inch LCD Sreen
Product Description
The new KODAK EASYSHARE Z981 Digital Camera is where creativity and versatility come together. It zooms in faster, wider, and closer than ever, giving you sharp, steady shots you’ll be proud to share. Kodak’s Share Button lets you tag pictures directly from your camera for e-mailing or uploading to YouTube™, FACEBOOK, FLICKR, and KODAK Gallery. And its unique vertical shutter release and detachable grip give you the flexibility to go from horizontal to vertical shots with ease. From dramatic wide angles to the convenience of ultra-zoom, the Z981 delivers extraordinary performance. Outstanding pictures are within your reach – put them out there for everyone to see. Because the real KODAK Moment happens when you share
Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #12593 in Camera & Photo
  • Color: Black
  • Brand: Kodak
  • Model: EasyShare Z981 Black
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 3.35" h x 4.13" w x 4.88" l, 1.19 pounds
  • Display size: 3
  • Product Features
  • 14-megapixel resolution for stunning prints up to 30 x 40 inches
  • 26x optical zoom and 26mm wide-angle lens; 3-inch bright LCD
  • One-button upload to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Kodak Gallery sites, plus e-mail
  • Vertical shutter release, detachable vertical grip; Fast click-to-capture speed (<0.2 sec.)
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
  • Customer Reviews

    Most helpful customer reviews

    734 of 747 people found the following review helpful.
    5Kodak Z981
    By Michael J. Mcmorrow
    I have had my Z981 for two weeks and I have given it a thorough testing. My son is a professional photographer and he told me that I would be disappointed with this camera. I told him that I would give it a real-world test and, if I was disappointed, I would send it back.

    First the cons: 1) The On/Off toggle switch is awkwardly placed. It is almost impossible to turn the camera on (or off) without moving (changing) the Mode dial. 2) The battery compartment is easy to open but very difficult to close and lock (I use my car key to slide it). Also, make sure the camera works once you have locked it. For some reason, this seems to be a problem. 3) A hotshoe and tilting view screen would have been nice but I knew from the specs that I would get neither. 4) The zoom on the back of the camera (rather than on the top) is awkward but I will get use to it. 5) I would have gladly paid an extra $50 to have the camera built out of heavy duty plastic.

    Now the pros: 1) The photo quality is first rate. 2) The zoom is smooth but, keep in mind that in high power, you really need to steady the camera (I use a monopod). 3) The video automatically includes sound (not so with all cameras). 4) The video is very high quality (1280x720) and the optical zoom works in video mode. When playing this video, it fills my entire computer monitor - not just a little window in the middle of the monitor. 5) It uses SD cards. This doesn't sound like much but these are much cheaper than the proprietary cards that some cameras use. 6) It uses AA batteries. Since I travel a lot in the Amazon, built-in (or proprietary) rechargeable batteries are not an option for me. 7) I love having a separate button for all of the different functions. Most cameras have a Function button that you push and then get totally lost in the maze of options, sub-options and sub-sub-options. 8) The price is great. I have never paid less that $600 for a digital camera.

    Bottom line: Great pictures, great high resolution video, 14mp and 26x zoom. It has some quirks but is a great camera at a great price.

    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful.
    5Excellent for the price; great telephoto
    By William R. Drake
    I bought this camera specifically to take hiking in Utah in areas with ancient Native American (Ancestral Puebloan/Anasazi) cliff dwellings, some of which can only be seen at a distance. Its telephoto lens is what most attracted me to it.

    One reviewer, an accomplished photographer, determined that it was hard to get quality prints with this camera. Simplifying his recommendations a little, when he used the "P" [Program] setting and "raw" picture quality (resulting in unprocessed image data, which he would process later), and an ISO of 64 (preferably) or 100, he got his best photos. His assessment of the "fine" picture quality setting was that it was not that fine, hence he went for "raw." He also used "exposure compensation" to adjust brightness. Because of his review, when I was in Utah, I often took photos with the "Auto" setting (which defaults to the "standard" picture quality - although apparently I had it set to "fine" most of the time without realizing it) as well as the "P" setting so I could compare them later. Because I don't trust myself with processing image data, when I used "P", I selected "Fine" for the picture quality rather than "raw." At first, I tried to select 64 or 100 ISO, but I did not always have enough light to do that, and/or I needed a tripod (which I didn't have) to allow for a slower shutter speed without blurring, so I ended up letting the camera chose the ISO, which was not as low as the reviewer recommended. I did not fool with the exposure compensation. I used 14 megapixels for the best quality prints (menu button>capture>picture size>14MP).

    Most of the time (not always), pictures taken in Auto had a little richer (better) color than those taken in "P." Sometimes (infrequently) Auto would distort the color, making tan sandstone more pinkish. When I printed my pictures at home (Canon iP3600 printer, Canon software program - from Amazon), and I made 8" x 10" prints of both Auto and "P" pictures, to the naked eye, both types of prints were comparable and very good quality. Even using a magnifier, I could not notice a difference in them. I could not say one type of prints was better than the other. In the end, I was very pleased with the picture quality of all of my pictures, and I don't think the average person would have any problem with them as 8" x 10"s. Perhaps if larger prints were made, I had used all of the photographer/reviewer's recommendations, or I had a discerning eye of a professional photographer, a difference in quality would be apparent??? (You would want a low ISO, and to uses a tripod, for quality large prints.)

    When taking distance shots, with trees, etc., in the foreground, the auto focus was a problem. It tended to focus on the closer object(s) rather than the distant subject that I wanted to be in focus. (I did not get into using manual focus, but doing so might have solved this problem.)

    Because of concerns raised by reviewers about camera movement when the telephoto is extended, I took one reviewer's advice and got a monopod, and a "ball head" for shifting the camera's angle easily. A problem I found was that the ball head was apparently made for tripods with different size threads and would not screw onto the monopod. I tried a second "ball head" as well as a different monopod and had the same result. (On Amazon, for a few dollars you can buy a 1/4" to 3/8" converter which might have solved my problem.) Finally I bought a Canon monopod that came with a ball head attached (Canon Monopod 500 through Amazon), which worked well. In the "field," however, while the monopod kept the camera steadier than were I just standing and holding the camera, with higher magnification, there was still camera movement, especially with a little wind. What I really needed was a tripod (with a ball head). I found that if I was able to sit down, with my feet on the ground and knees up, and my elbows on my knees, I could hold the camera pretty steady - not as steady as would be the case with a tripod, but steadier than with the monopod. Whenever possible, this is what I did for distance shots, and it was sufficient. It was rare that any of my many distance shots were a little blurred (including ones taken with the monopod).

    I used rechargeable batteries, both the Kodak ones that came with the camera and another brand that also made a 15 min. charger, which I purchased. The 15 min. charger seemed to work better, in terms of how long the battery lasted between charges, than the charger that came with the camera. A set of batteries lasted one day (taking a lot of pictures - 150+) to three days. I like that I can use regular AA batteries (or rechargeable batteries) so I don't have to worry about a not being able to use the camera once a special (non standard) rechargeable battery goes dead.

    This camera is amazing in low light situations when not using the flash. I like that it is easy to turn the flash on or off. I also like that the camera takes SD or SDHC memory cards and does not just rely on internal memory. (I tend to use a 4GB SDHC card, which works well. I have read that it can take a little longer for the camera to function with cards with a high GB capacity but I do not know how true that is or what GB is ideal for camera functioning. It will take up to a 32 GB card.) I appreciate that one can easily switch from the electronic view finder to LCD screen and that the LCD screen is pretty large (3"). (I usually used the viewfinder when taking pictures.) I was relieved that all or almost all of what I saw in the viewfinder/LCD screen seemed to appear on the printed photo, in other words little or nothing was lost on the edges. It is also easy to review pictures and to delete ones you don't want.

    Since the camera is a little slower in functioning than some other cameras, it might not be the best for action photos. (One professional review described it as having a 3.6 sec. shot-to-shot time.)

    For far away and close up shots, the lens is remarkable. Sometimes stopping the telephoto where you want it would be challenging (it moves through its range pretty quickly) but this was not a significant problem.

    Opening and closing the little door for the batteries can be a little hard, but I don't consider that a big deal. Using the silver button shutter release when taking vertical shots was a little difficult, and its use made it harder to keep the camera steady. When you are about to turn the camera on, remove the lens cover first, otherwise it will have to warn you the lens cover is on and it takes longer to turn the camera on.

    Overall, this is a very good camera that is lightweight for its size and relatively inexpensive. If you want a camera with an amazing telephoto, and very adequate picture quality for the non-professional, this one is a very good choice.

    41 of 42 people found the following review helpful.
    5Fascinating Beautiful Pictures!
    By Chad
    I am not a photography person...but after buying this camera, I might become one!

    My photography-taking ability has always been limited to taking pictures of my cats or myself for facebook. I am not an authority on cameras at all.

    However, I am a beginner and if you look at the pictures I uploaded here you will see just what a complete novice can do with this camera!

    The specs sounded very good to me and camera-people I know seemed impressed so I was willing to spend (for me) a hefty amount for this beauty. I tested it out at night (as soon as I got it) and was genuinely amazed at the quality of the pictures.

    So lets start with the negatives:

    - Kodak does not seem to be very interested in teaching their customers how to actually use their products! The little book that comes with it basically identifies all the little buttons but in no way tells you how to use them, how to combine them or what picture quality will come from said combinations or uses. It focuses mostly on the Sharing ability (which for me is useless...I will not blindly upload my entire inventory of photos onto facebook. I prefer to view, study and select them myself thank you)
    - The extended guide online is mostly more of the same. I was hoping for a "if you do this you will get this picture" etc. Unfortunately the guide merely describes some technical specs about each feature but unless you know what those specs mean - its not very helpful. There is even an interactive guide...that repeats the same info but does not tell you what to do with that information.
    - The link given in the book also takes you to Kodak's general search forum and you then have to search for your camera's stuff which is not very clear.
    - When you plug the camera into your computer it obsessively wants you to sign up for the share option. It doesn't give you the option to opt out. You have to manually close it out each time which annoys me. I like that you are so excited about your addons...but I should be able to choose it myself.

    The Camera itself:
    - The negative things so far seem to be the sophistication of the camera itself. It is easy to get lost in the features. I stumbled upon the pictures I took while flipping through options until I got it right. It is very learn-as-you-go.
    - I wish it would be more clear how fast the shutter speed/flash is with different options. Sometimes the shutter speed is wicked fast and sometimes it takes a moment while the camera focuses. It just depends on what function you take the picture in.
    - When it comes out of the box it has a stupid little noise for every action. You can turn them all off.
    - If you are not used to this level of detail you may get a rude awakening the first time you do a self-pic. Oy. I had no idea. Remember...this camera picks up EVERY DETAIL...the fuzziness of older/cheaper cameras may have been a blessing in disguise for some of us. Just sayin.

    Negative things other reviewers have said:
    - "Its too hard to close the battery case." Its a tad tough...not difficult. I honestly don't know what all the kvetching is about. It closes tight - which is a positive.
    - "The picture review takes too long in between pictures." The camera has several fast-picture options if you are trying to capture several things at once - otherwise the time lag isn't noticeable. If you touch any button on the camera it immediately returns to the picture-taking mode so if you push the shutter down slightly it will set up instantly for the next picture.
    - "Its too noisy when it focuses." I didn't notice that at all.
    - "The on-off button is too close to the select button." This is just silly. I have big hands and you just have to be paying attention. If you do happen to move the circle - just put it back.

    Positives:
    - Amazingly clear and sharp pictures. When it focuses the pictures come out with details I never noticed on the item itself. I blows my mind everytime I get a good a picture just how fantastic it is. It almost cheapens all the picture art I see because now I can reproduce all of it!
    - While it takes some figuring out, once you get the button pattern down it is amazing how quickly you can go from taking a sky shot to capturing the tip of a small flower.
    - The flash at night makes it look like mid-day. Everything shows up with no color distortion.
    - The design allows you to securely feel the camera while aiming at things. It doesn't feel like its about to slip from your hands.
    - The shutter speed is so helpful. While reading reviews I kept scanning for this detail. Every other camera I have ever had took like 30 seconds to take a picture and my cats would always move by the time I got it to take. This camera really snaps quickly. Even when it lags due to focusing in some of the modes it is still very fast. Also if you click the shutter several times it will queue it up and take them immediately after.
    - It really feels like there are a million things to do with this camera and I love exploring the options. It really is not limited at all.

    Tip
    - Turn it to macro (the little flower button) while in the M mode (on the wheel) and pour some water on a small plant and get in close...its breathtaking.

    I am a big fan of detailed pictures of small things. I love shadows and angles and I always hated that my other cameras limited this. I really feel like this camera opens up doors to what I can now do.

    The price is unbeatable. Period.

    See all 359 customer reviews...
    Editorial Reviews

    From the Manufacturer

    Bring your world closer for everyone to see. The Kodak EasyShare Z981 digital camera is where creativity and versatility come together. It zooms in faster, wider, and closer than ever, giving you sharp, steady shots you'll be proud to share. Kodak's Share button lets you tag pictures directly from your camera for uploading to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Kodak Gallery sites, plus e-mail too. And its unique vertical shutter release and detachable grip give you the flexibility to go from horizontal to vertical shots with ease. From dramatic wide angles to the convenience of ultra-zoom, the Z981 delivers extraordinary performance.

    Kodak EasyShare highlights
    Kodak EasyShare Z981 Highlights

    Sharing your life just got simpler
    With Kodak's Share button, uploading your pictures is amazingly simple.
    • Snap your picture
    • Press the Share button and tag it to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Kodak Gallery sites, plus e-mail too
    • Connect your camera to your computer, and with Kodak's Share button app, your pictures are automatically uploaded
    • Your pictures and videos are automatically transferred to your computer
    Kodak EasyShare Software The complete solution for transferring, online sharing, e-mailing, organizing, editing, and creative printing of your pictures.
    • Organize your pictures with your own tags, star ratings, and date and time stamps, then use the search feature to quickly find any picture in your collection
    • Edit your pictures with ease--select from a variety of simple tools that reduce red-eye, improve lighting, remove wrinkles and blemishes, and add text
    • Create photo projects online or at home--choose from hundreds of templates and designs to create album pages, cards, invitations and much more
    • Plus, manually upload to YouTube, Facebook, Flick, and Kodak Gallery sites, and e-mail too
    Vertical shutter release
    • Shoot vertically and horizontally with the convenient vertical shutter release
    • Detachable vertical grip (included) provides maximum comfort while shooting vertically
    Powerful 26x optical zoom lens The 26x Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon optical zoom lens (35 mm equivalent: 26-676 mm) zooms in even faster and closer to deliver crisp, steady shots for extraordinary creative performance.

    Fast (f/2.8-f/5.0) 26mm wide-angle lens
    Capture dramatic shots in tight quarters or in front of spectacular landscapes

    Image stabilization
    • Capture sharp, steady shots when shooting at long zoom ranges
    • Image stabilization automatically minimizes camera shake to deliver sharper pictures
    Kodak EasyShare highlights
    Amazing quality prints with 14 MP
    • 14 MP means you can make stunning prints up to 30 x 40 inches (76 x 102 cm)
    • More megapixels means you can crop and enlarge and still have great picture quality
    • However you choose to print--at home, at retail, or online--trust Kodak for picture quality that's truly exceptional and for memories that will last
    Fast click-to-capture speed
    >0.2 sec. picture-capture speed means you can capture that challenging action shot without delay

    Kodak's Smart Capture feature
    Take better pictures than ever before. Kodak's innovative Smart Capture feature adjusts camera settings for great pictures in just about any environment--automatically.
    • Intelligent scene detection--detects and analyzes scene conditions
    • Intelligent capture control--automatically sets camera settings including exposure, focus and ISO for clear, sharp pictures even in low light and challenging situations
    • Intelligent image processing--reduces noise and clears up dark shadows for vibrant, crisp details and true-to-life colors
    HD picture capture
    • Capture beautiful HD pictures in 16:9 format
    • View your pictures in high definition on an HDTV or other HD devices
    Kodak EasyShare highlights
    HD video capture
    • Capture HD-quality video
    • Capture more video while using less memory with MPEG-4 compression
    • Print multiple frames on a 4 x 6-inch (10 x 15 cm) print
    • Save single frames and e-mail family and friends
    • Mark special spots in your video with video bookmarking
    Kodak Theatre HD Player (optional device)
    Give your pictures the life they deserve. With the Kodak Theatre HD Player, you can relive your memories on your big screen HDTV in stunning high-definition.
    • Enjoy your new pictures and videos on your HDTV instantly, right from your camera's memory card
    • Access pictures from your PC, camera, and online photo sharing sites, wirelessly
    • Wirelessly send and receive pictures with Kodak's Picture Mail feature
    • Create slideshows to your favorite songs
    • Experience YouTube like never before--videos are brilliantly displayed on your HDTV
    • Access Internet radio, podcasts and other web content on your HDTV
    Be in control with sophisticated camera features

    Kodak EasyShare highlights
    Enhanced creative control
    • Responsive performance, including fast power up, shot-to-shot and click-to-capture
    • RAW file format for full creative flexibility
    Program auto, aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual modes
    • Program mode (P)--camera sets optimal shutter speed and aperture combination
    • Aperture priority mode (A)--you choose aperture, the camera sets shutter speed
    • Shutter priority mode (S)--you choose shutter speed, the camera sets aperture
    • Manual mode (M)--you choose both the aperture and shutter speed
    Manual controls
    • Exposure compensation: +- 2.0 EV in +-1/3 EV step increments
    • Aperture: f/2.8-f/5.0
    • Shutter speed: 16-1/2000 sec.
    • ISO equivalents: (automatic), 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 64002
    • Auto focus: TTL imager AF system
    • Exposure metering: multi-pattern, center-weighted, center-spot
    • White balance: auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, open shade
    • Flash mode: auto, off, fill, red-eye reduction
    Multiple scene modes
    • Portrait modes: portrait, night portrait, backlight, self
    • Landscape modes: landscape, night landscape, fireworks
    • Bright scene modes: sport, beach, snow
    • Action modes: sport, children
    • Close-up modes: flower
    • Text/Documents mode: get sharp text when photographing documents
    • Manner/Museum mode: use when sound or flash are not desired
    5 color modes
    • High color
    • Low color
    • Natural color
    • Black and white
    • Sepia
    Kodak EasyShare highlights
    Losing track of your favorite faces is a thing of the past with Kodak's Face Recognition feature
    • Find, organize, and share your pictures easily
    • Camera automatically recognizes up to 20 pre-tagged faces so you can easily locate and share them later
    • Recognizes up to five faces in a single image
    • Name tags carry over to your favorite photo management software for easy searching
    Relive moments and share pictures on the back of your camera
    The 3-inch bright LCD features Kodak Color Science Technology for brighter, more vibrant details.

    Taking great pictures is just the beginning
    The Z981 is more than just a powerful zoom camera. With features like multimedia slideshow, text and favorite tags, and HD video, it gives you the control to take the shots you envision, and the flexibility to do more with them later on.

    Multimedia slideshow
    Tell your story your way using the multimedia slideshow feature.
    • Turn your pictures into a creative multimedia slideshow right from your camera
    • Set the mood when you choose from pre-loaded sound themes to accompany your slideshow
    • Insert creative transitions and bring your pictures to life
    Kodak EasyShare highlights
    Kodak PERFECT TOUCH Technology
    Make your pictures as vivid as the moment you took them. Print better, brighter pictures using Kodak PERFECT TOUCH Technology in PASM modes.
    • Make better, brighter pictures
    • Relive your memories in richer detail
    • Clear up dark shadows to reveal more smiles
    High ISO mode
    • Capture the details in low light conditions and fast action situations with a powerful, high ISO (up to 64002)
    • Faster shutter speeds mean you can capture scenes in low light and fast action
    • The camera automatically selects from ISO 64 to ISO 3200 based on lighting conditions
    • ISO 3200 and 6400 available at 3.1 MP setting and less in PASM modes
    On-camera picture-enhancing features
    • Easily capture and create great shots with features such as on-camera cropping, blurry picture alert, and digital red-eye reduction
    • Panorama stitch mode combines up to three shots into one large picture on-camera
    • Verify the exposure of your picture using the histogram feature on live view, quick view, and review
    Shoot video with ease
    • Record continuous HD video (1280 x 720) at 30 fps or VGA video (640 x 480) at 30 fps with stereo sound and on-camera editing
    • Video print options include 1, 4, 9, and 16-up prints
    • Save single frames and e-mail to family and friends
    Internal memory plus
    • Don't miss a shot if your memory card becomes full--switch to in-camera memory quickly, thanks to the internal memory plus feature
    • 64 MB of internal memory and SD/SDHC card compatibility lets you start shooting right out of the box
    Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and charger
    Always be prepared with the power of the included Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and charger

    What's in the Box
    • Kodak EasyShare Z981 Digital Camera
    • Detachable vertical grip
    • (4) Kodak Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Digital Camera Battery AA
    • USB cable
    • Lens cap with strap
    • Neck strap
    • User guide