Kodak EasyShare C875
At a Glance
Kodak EasyShare C875 Compact Camera
This point-and-shoot is easy to use, has a long zoom, and offers many features, but battery life is short.
The Kodak EasyShare C875 costs just $200 (as of February 15, 2007) but packs many features into an easy-to-use camera. It takes 8-megapixel shots and has a long (5X) zoom lens. You get a large, bright 2.5-inch LCD and 16 scene modes to help you quickly choose the right setting for the particular subject and lighting conditions you're dealing with.
The included software--together with Kodak's EasyShare Gallery Web site--simplifies e-mailing and sharing images. The C875 comes with an adapter plate that connects the camera to Kodak's optional, $50 EasyShare Camera Dock for charging the battery and performing one-touch uploading of photos to your PC. The adapter also lets you dock the camera to one of Kodak's snapshot printers, such as the $130 EasyShare Printer Dock Series 3.
The conveniently arranged controls generally work well, and the screen displays plenty of explanatory messages as you use the controls. However, the thumb-operated joystick that you must use to navigate menus and make on-screen selections can be fiddly. A built-in orientation sensor lets the camera automatically rotate portraits so that they appear the right way up on the LCD. Several of the C875's advanced features will appeal to experienced photographers. When the mode dial is in the PASM position, you can choose from among program, aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and full manual modes, though this does add a step to the more common practice of making the mode options available on the mode dial. In addition, you can use exposure bracketing to ensure optimal balance between shadows and highlights. A histogram display provides exposure feedback while you compose your shot, and a custom mode lets you save your favorite manual settings.
In our tests, the exposure and contrast of both our still-life shot and our flash photo of a mannequin looked well balanced, with bright and accurate colors. We saw little distortion in our resolution chart, though several of our test shots could have been sharper. Overall, the C875 earned average scores for image quality.
The C875 comes with 32MB of internal storage and an SD Card slot, but no bundled memory card. The box does include a pair of AA alkaline batteries, but these lasted a paltry 73 shots in our battery tests. The camera can run on a CRV3 lithium battery or on rechargeable AA cells, as well.
The Kodak EasyShare C875 is a good, inexpensive camera. First-time digital photographers will find it easy to learn on, and its more advanced features will give them room to grow over time.