There’s been a lot of activity in the super-zoom camera market recently, with impressive new models from most of the major manufacturers. Kodak has always been well represented in this area, with its Z-series featuring some pretty good mid-range models, and some even better image-stabilised long zoom models. Today I’m taking a look at one of the more powerful cameras in the series, the EasyShare Z1012 IS, launched this time last year. I know it’s an older camera now but I like to be thorough, and besides, the new Z1015 IS isn’t available for review yet.
The Z1012 is a 10.1-megapixel super-zoom camera bearing a 12x zoom optically stabilised Schneider-Kreuznach f/2.8-4.8 lens and a 2.5-inch 230k LCD monitor. It’s currently towards the top of Kodak’s high-zoom Z series, surpassed in sensor power by only two models, and in zoom range by only one. It currently sells for around £175 from several retailers or for £199 direct from Kodak’s own website.
Kodak has retained the same basic design for its high-end zoom cameras since the launch of the Z series, and the Z1012’s body shape has clear similarities to earlier models, such as the Z700 from 2005, and to more recent designs such as the Z712 IS. The steady evolution of the design has resulted in a sensible if rather plain body. The handgrip is large and comfortable, although it has to be said that the gap between it and the lens barrel is a bit narrow. The handgrip, the rear thumbgrip area, and the lens barrel are all rubberised, providing a secure and comfortable grip, and a certain amount of protection for the internal components. The viewfinder eyepiece is also rubber, which will come as welcome news to anyone who wears glasses.
The bodyshell itself is made of plastic, but it is solidly made with no creaking joints or flexing panels. The only real weak spot is the card hatch cover, which is distinctly flimsy and positioned rather vulnerably right on the corner of the body. If anything on the Z1012 is going to snap off, it’ll be this.