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Despite the fact that it was one of the pioneers of digital photography, co-producing the world’s first digital SLR as long ago as 1994, it always seemed to me that up until around 2002 Kodak appeared not to be taking consumer digital photography at all seriously.
Corporate policy seemed to be that digital was a passing fad, and that people would eventually come back to film photography. What non-professional digital cameras Kodak did make at the time were low-grade plastic toys compared to the products being sold by rival companies.
However some time around 2002, coinciding with the launch of the first of its LS-series of stylish compacts, there seemed to be a major change in the Kodak philosophy. From then onward it embraced digital photography, even ceasing production of all its film cameras, while its digital cameras steadily improved in quality.
The Kodak camera range now consists of 21 models divided between four different series. There is the high-performance P series including the excellent P712, six models in the stylish V series, three super-zoom models in the Z series, and no less than ten models in the point-and-shoot C series. At the top of the C series is this, the C875.
This is a deceptive camera. At first glance it looks like any other point-and-shoot zoom compact, but that simple appearance disguises what is actually a surprisingly high-spec device. It has a strong all-metal body with a good ergonomic design, an 8-megapixel CCD, a decently fast f2.8 – f/4.4 Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 5x zoom lens with a focal length equivalent to 37 – 185mm, a high resolution 2.5in LCD monitor and a full range of manual exposure controls. In fact if you look around there isn’t another camera on the market that can match it. The closest equivalent is probably the Canon PowerShot A630, but that is made of plastic and only has a 4x zoom lens. It also costs around £170, while the C875 is widely available for under £125.
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