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Old Jan 22, 2011, 6:34 PM   #1
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Default Kodak Z981 discontinued?

Hi everyone. I've been lurking around for a while and decided to register. I've been coming to Steve's Digicams off and on for a long time now. I use it as my main source for stuff like this.

Anyway, I have been looking at superzooms for quite a while now. Actually, I've been doing it off and on for like three years now. I thought I had settled on the Z981, but wasn't ready at the time. At the time Amazon had it for about $180. That was back during the holidays. Well, they have not had it in stock since. I really only want to order from Amazon or NewEgg, but NewEgg doesn't have it either. NewEgg had it around the time Amazon did for $180, but when it went out of stock (and when it showed up back in stock) it skyrocketed to $289. I don't want to do a "fulfilled by Amazon" thing, either. My budget is really around $200. I know it doesn't leave much room, but from my reading in this price range the Z981 is the preferred choice. Since Amazon (or NewEgg) hasn't had it in a while, I have been wondering if it has been discontinued?
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 11:23 PM   #2
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Jay-

Yes, when Kodak announced their new EasyShare Max at the CES show, the Z981 was discontinued. In that price range your best option is to consider the Panasonic FZ35 which is nearing the end of its run. Amazon now has it at $239.95, but 10 days ago it was down to $219.95. So you can see the price does float a bit.

The FZ35 has had great reviews and is very much a loved camera by thousands of users. As the remaining inventory of FZ35's is being sold out, the price has seemed to rise and fall based on the remaining inventory.

We have a large and active group of Panasonic FZ35 users in our Panasonic P+S Folder.There you will find lots of help and sharing of photo tips on the FZ35. The other option is to purchase a used Z981 on E-Bay or a used camera outlet.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 9:16 AM   #3
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Thanks for the help! With it being out of stock so long I feared as much. I do like the Panasonic, though. Both of them actually (the FZ35 and FZ40). A few years ago I was all set to get the FZ28 until plans changed. My current camera is a Canon SD1100. I want something that can zoom in closer than a couple feet. I'm looking for a camera that can take good shots of birds and the occasional moon shot. Decent video quality is needed, too, since I don't have a dedicated video camera. I don't take video that often to warrant the need for a separate video camera. I've been looking at hundreds of pictures from different cameras on Flickr. I've watched video reviews on YouTube and read all sorts of reviews, too. I have looked at the Panasonic forum here, and was really impressed with the photos posted. I might just sit back and watch the FZ40 to see how its price will change, too. Thanks again!
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 6:42 PM   #4
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It has been discontinued with the Kodak MAX announcement, you can get brand NIB Z981s off Ebay for 160 right now, and when the MAX comes out, I wouldn't be surprised if the price dropped again.

Hold out for a Z981, the prices are falling like rocks.

I have yet to spend more than $100 on any of mine, (Z650/P850/P880/Z980).

With your $200 budget, you can get the Z981 for around $100-120 if you're willing to wait for a good deal, and then have lots of money left over.
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Old Jan 25, 2011, 11:21 AM   #5
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I hadn't really gave eBay much consideration. eBay makes me nervous somewhat. I'm not sure I trust it enough to actually order through it. Thanks, though!
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Old Jan 25, 2011, 11:48 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by JayC_783 View Post
I hadn't really gave eBay much consideration. eBay makes me nervous somewhat. I'm not sure I trust it enough to actually order through it. Thanks, though!
ebay is ok as long as you pay using paypal, they have resolution center that will go to bat for you in the event of a dispute.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 10:06 AM   #7
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Just bought this camera for my wife for Christmas form Kodak.They discounted the camera by $100.Figured it was being discontinued and sure enough it was with the new Max coming out.

I plan on getting the new Max and will be selling my existing Z980 which is in great shape.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 11:37 PM   #8
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I love my z981, and wish we had bought another one for my friend who was on the fence at christmas...and now can't find one...well, there will always be the 'next' model. As much as I do love it, I would like to see some of the new ones out...there are a couple of things I do not like about mine...major one is not being able to use a filter or lens shade or hood on it, no threads, etc. The battery type is also not so hot...AA. I would rather use an info lithium...
There are a ton of cameras to try and test drive if possible at a dealer.
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Old Feb 19, 2011, 2:42 PM   #9
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Lisa-

Amazon has the Z981 in stock at $200.00.

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Old Feb 19, 2011, 5:42 PM   #10
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I've been checking up on the Z981 at Amazon. After much thought I think I am going to pass on it. I'm keeping an eye on the new one around the corner: the Z990. So far, on screen at least, it looks promising. I want to read some reviews when it comes out. If it appears to be good I'll wait a while for the price to drop a bit because I'm cheap. If it turns out to be a flop I'll keep looking, I guess.

I would actually like a camera that uses AA batteries. I really like the FZ40, however, that chipped proprietary battery is really putting a wrinkle on things. I just can't get around that. The battery is really expensive at $60-70 with what seems like few places that carry it. I plan on keeping whatever camera I get for quite a while, and I don't want to be forced to get a certain battery. Additionally, if they stop making the battery I need I'm hosed. That last bit could apply to any of the proprietary lithium-ion batteries, chipped or not. At least with the unchipped ones, though, there is a chance you could get a third party brand.
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