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2Old4that Mar 13, 2009 7:00 PM

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Would love to read a user's review of the new Kodak Z980.....

ac.smith Mar 14, 2009 12:33 PM

2Old4that wrote:

Would love to read a user's review of the new Kodak Z980.....

So would all of us but that's not going to happen for at least two more weeks. What I'd rather see is Steve's review (hint, hint, Kodak)

A. C.

2Old4that Mar 14, 2009 12:36 PM

ok...I'll keep watching. I did get an email from Kodak to preorder the camera. I've had 2 Kodak cameras and have been pleased with both. (dx4330 and dx7630). Would love to take the leap to a slr but can't afford and justify it right now. This cam looks like it would suffice for my needs and uses.
Thanks for the reply and enjoy your weekend!!

Almar Mar 15, 2009 6:48 PM

Hello, Janice....btw its been many, manyyears since I came across your name. In fact, the only Janice I knew was in my school. Won't say when that was as we girls don't mention our we:roll:.

I have a DX6490 and a P880 and I'm sure that the Z980 will serve the purposes of the non pixel peepers - of which I'm one. I have used a DSLR but the bulk and hassle changing lenses was not justified especially when I print no larger than A4 and prefer my pics on screen. I'll await Steve's review before I buy but I'm sure the Z980 will certainly suit me.

Regards, Alma R.

2Old4that Mar 16, 2009 4:51 PM

Alma.....funny you say that about my name. I have never liked it, and had hoped as I got older, it would fit me a little better. It never has ....but it's what my parents gave me! no fighting it!! :mad:

Alan T Mar 17, 2009 6:29 AM

Janice, Alma,

Have you taken a good look at the Z1012, about which there are a lot of messages in this very forum? I am a former film SLR user, and of 5 prior digicams, and am very pleased with my Z1012is, as I was with my Z712, which I still use occasionally.

I got my Z1012 ludicrously cheaply and quickly from Kodak's own online shop. This was disloyal to my much-loved local camera shop, but for reasons known only to them, they chose to stock the Z1015 instead of the Z1012.

I've studied the spec on the Z980, and I have a few comments about it, which I'll post shortly here in a separate message.

Good hunting!

Alan T Mar 17, 2009 6:38 AM

I've been reading the Z980 spec at...

Has anyone picked up any hints on pricing when the Z980 appears? I find it difficult to see what market they're aiming for.

I'd expect the intended user to be someone like me ( I already own a Z712 and a Z1012), but it has several things in the spec that would worry me and make me want to try it very thoroughly before buying, as I think those two cameras already 'pushed the envelope' quite a long way.

The wide ends of the zoom on my two current Z****is cameras (36 & 33mm) are fine, but I'd quite like the 26mm of the Z980. At present, if I want to go wider I do a panorama, in-camera or later.

The long zoom ends (423 & 396mm) are also fine. I hardly notice the difference between the two cameras in handling, and the user interfaces are very similar. I expected the 10Mpix rather than 7 on the same small size of sensor to be a step too far, but it isn't, and I quite like the extra pixels. Is 12Mpix on the same size sensor too many?

But here, in the Z980 design, they're really stepping boldly. At the long end of the zoom, both the Z712 & Z1012 will produce good shots 'for the record', but they're too soft to produce great works of art. Now, with basically the same design, they're stepping from 12x in the Z712 & Z1012 via 15x in the Z1015 to 24x in the Z980! Who on earth is going to be able to hold a 620mm equiv lens steady at the shutter speeds needed for an f/5 maximum aperture? (See my shots nearby at If you're going to a carrya sturdytripod with you all the time, you may as well get a dSLR!

What attracted me tothe Z712 (I was trying to buy a Z612 at the time), was the small size & weight. It meant I'd have all the flexibility I had with my film SLR & lenses, albeit it with a somewhat diminished image quality, but in a small bag about a third the size of my wife's handbag ('purse'?) that I'd take with me nearly everywhere.

On looking at the specs, I see that the Z980 is about 25mm (an inch) bigger all round than the Z712. It's 90g (3oz) heavier without batteries, but as it's gone to Ni-MH AA power, with batteries that'll be another 69g (2.4oz), making 5.6oz heavier.

The battery change is good, despite the weight, as4 AAs will provide more energy thana single KLIC-8000 Li-ion. Two Li-ion cells would have been better. I find battery life quite limited on the Z1012, with either the KLIC-8000 or rechargeable CR-V3 Li-ion, and always carry fully-charged spares. The longer, faster zoom on the 980 will eat energy.

Incidentally I note that the package includes "Kodak Ni-MH charging solution". If this comes in a bottle it'll really revolutionise photography.

So the Z980 will be the size & weight of a lady's large handbag, and it'llneed to be very cheap to compete withother superzooms that are more upmarket (but not necessarily much better) than the Z1012 etc., and more importantly some of thevery good value budget dSLRs.

I lookforward very much tohandlinga Z980 somewhere, sometime, but I very much doubt whether I'll be buying one. But I live in hope. Maybe it's a miracle lens.

2Old4that Mar 17, 2009 7:58 AM

I got an offer from Kodak to "pre-order, last week, and the price was 399.00 and free shipping....offer was available thru 3/30/09

ac.smith Mar 17, 2009 11:33 AM


I find your comments interesting so I thought I'd add my take on the Z980. First the price, the US web site lists the 980 at $399.95.$400 istoo much considering the Pany FZ28 is currently selling at US $300. Even $350 puts the camera over what I think is Kodak's most likely market although I might bite at that price and I'd readily take the plunge for a Kodak refurb at $300.

I'm not a W/A fanatic and frankly thosewho continually harp in photo forums about not having anything wider than 35mm in the Z series have tried my patience. I have absolutely needed something wider than 35mm once since having my Z612 and I met the requirement with a two-shot pano. One other time it would have been handy to have something wider but I accommodated by changing my approach. I guess I'm pleased that Kodak started the lens at 26mm equiv. since that should appease (read shut up) the W/A folks.

Those who say I've never tried W/AI'd point out that in my film days my 35 SLR set included 21, 35, 50, 105, 135, 180, 250 and 400mm lenses. I shot one series with the 21, never used the 35, the 50s through 250 extensively and the 400 way more than the 21. I had 25, 50, 85 and 135 for my rangefinder 35 and in this case I did use the 25 because it made a very unobtrusive package for workingcrowds. A 25 on an SLR would not have served the same purpose. My half-frame SLR lens range went from 28-560mm equiv. and my lens usage pattern matched my full-frame SLR pattern. My medium format system went from 35mm equiv. to 115mm equiv. with the most heavily used lenses being 50mm and 85mm equiv.

Evaluating telephoto performance is a bit problematical. Most of us, when we check out the tele chose targets 1/4 to 1/2 miles away (400-800 meters). At that distance atmospherics play a large part in contrast and resolution. At those distances all telephotos exhibit softness compared to closer shots. I have found my Z612 soft under those condition (and softer yet with the S-K 1.4 tcon) but when I use max telephoto at 50 to 125 yards (45-115 meters), as in my airshow photos,the Z612 has contrast/resolution comparable its performance at shorter focal lengths. A goodlesson in telephoto performanceis Steve's photos of the bronze seal above Hayes mausoleum. Your Z1012 with its 1/2.33 10MP sensor beats my Z612 with its 1/2.5 sensor 6MP sensor. Whether or not a 12MP 1/2.33 sensor is too much as of a stretch I can't guess. If the Z980 equals the IQ of my Z612 with the S-K 1.4 attached then it will be OK.

I'm not making an issue of f/5 aperture. That's only 1/3 stop slower than the f/4.8 we have now. Under the conditions that I typically use max tele I can still handhold with 1/3 stop slower shutter speed.

I find the hot shoe permittinguse of the P20 flash very compelling. If I could buy the camera for $300 then that's 2/3s of the way to a P20. Better yet I'd find a bundle of a Z980 and a P20 for $400 very close to becoming a "need":-)

Now the issue that rules out a Z1012 for me but makes the Z980 workable. Shooting the airshow I frequently can shoot 3-4 photos on a high-speed pass and 5-6 photos on an aerobatic pass. The issue is buffer size which Kodak did not increase from the Z612 through the Z1012. My Z612 can shoot 8 shots before the files have to be written to the card. The numbers for the rest of the series are 6 - Z712, 5 - Z812, 2 - Z1012 and back to6 for the Z980. Six works for me, two is a no go.

In all, except for price the Z980 looks tempting to me. Kodak Forum watchers (Ron/Mike), send one to Steve's for evaluation (and to digitalversus as well).

A. C.

Alan T Mar 17, 2009 11:40 AM

2Old4that wrote:

...the price was 399.00 and free shipping....offer was available thru 3/30/09
Thanks for the info.

The Z1012is in still on Kodak's online shop (UK version) at 166.37 ukpounds all-in (less than I paid), so unless you're sure you want the ultimate 620mm equiv. superduperzoom, and can hold it still, and will often use 1/2000s manual shutter speed, I'd suggest you at least consider the cheaper Z1012 option, which has a mere 10Mpix, but that's still rather a lot on such a small sensor.


On the other hand, if you go for it, you could delight us all with an early review. Good luck, whatever you get. If you get the Z980, please be sure to show us the results!

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