A rather plain design belies the true power of Kodak's C875. This robust 8 megapixel advanced camera captures excellent pictures and has a well rounded feature set. It had a few minor image quality issues, and the design could use a little work, but overall this is a wonderful all purpose camera and offers some of the best value for money in this category.
- Sharp pictures, Great colour, Robust features
- Some oversharpening, Design a little flimsy
For this price, the Kodak C875 is a great bargain. It isn't as good as some of the high end advanced units from Canon or Olympus, but it more than does the job and offers a well rounded package that will satisfy a wide variety of users.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Image quality is the area where the C875 stands out. While it wasn't amazing in every regard, for a camera with this price tag the results were quite impressive. Scoring 1566 in Imatest's sharpness test, the 8 megapixel sensor captured some beautifully crisp pictures that were as sharp as those taken using more expensive, high-end compacts from Olympus and Canon. Edges were smooth and there was no visible softness to our shots. In fact, as Imatest revealed, if anything the shots were a little too sharp. With an oversharpening score of 17.4%, the C875's shots were a little sharper than we like to see. Most cameras score lower than this, and while it isn't as bad as some we have seen, it was noticeable in our pictures. This was particularly evident in our outdoors shots, where some of the leaves had a slightly unrealistic look about them.
However, like most low-end cameras, the C875 was let down a little by chromatic aberration. Imatest awarded it a score of .123% in this test, which is about what we expected for a camera in this price range. It lead to some noticeable blurring towards the edges of our shots, but wasn't particularly evident until we enlarged them.
In our colour test the camera performed considerably better, scoring a very nice 7.8, which is slightly lower than most of the competition. The chief problem colours were, as usual, red and blue. Most other shades were extremely accurate, with the grayscale spectrum being nearly spot on. The oversaturation of blue and red, particularly blue, is noticeable in our block colour shots.
The C875's noise performance wasn't quite as good as its colour or sharpness results, but was reasonable nonetheless. With a score of .61%, it is a little behind the pack, but again this isn't a huge issue unless you really enlarge your shots. There was visible graininess in some of our outdoors shots, but it was fine, white noise and wasn't too problematic. The good news is that this camera scales really well at higher ISO settings. At ISO 800, it only scored .81%, which is an excellent result. However, at these higher ISO settings we did notice a slight degradation in clarity, with some visible fringing and blurring present. The noise reduction algorithm appears to have a negative impact on sharpness, and so while shots at higher sensitivities are exceptionally noise-free, you'll have to decide if it's worth the trade-off.
Aside from ISO sensitivities up to 800, the C875 offers a reasonable feature set for a camera in this price range. More adept photographers will appreciate the manual modes (aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual mode), although they are quite limited. Shutter speeds extend from 8 seconds to 1/1000th of a second, and aperture settings from f/2.8 to f/7.1 are available. Kodak has packed in a 5x optical zoom lens, which is a useful addition, but we missed the ability to manually set white balance (you are forced to use one of the five preset modes). For beginners there are 21 scene modes, as well as a video mode that shoots at 30 frames per second at 640x480.
The burst mode was quite speedy, running at three frames per second, however the rest of the camera's performance was slightly slower. With .09 seconds of shutter lag, a 2.6 second power-up time and 1.6 seconds between shots, it is on par with the competition.
Our major complaint with this unit is its design; it has the same flimsy plastic construction as many of its Kodak siblings. The C875 doesn't feel nearly as solid as many other competing models, and the dull silver motif looks uninspiring to say the least. It has a simple control layout with a function wheel and directional pad, however the function wheel is very poorly mounted and extremely difficult to use. It is positioned right in the middle, rather than towards one of the camera's edges, meaning you have to change your grip completely to use it. Bizarrely, it is also serrated, and digs into your fingers when you attempt to turn it.
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