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One unusual feature of the Z1012 is its battery. It is supplied with a high capacity rechargeable Lithium-ion CRV3 cell, a type which I have not seen before. This means it can also use a non-rechargeable CRV3, or two AA batteries, which could come in handy if you forget to take your battery charger on holiday.
In terms of its major features however, the Z1012 looks a bit mediocre by current standards. With most recent super-zoom cameras sporting 18x or even 20x zoom lenses, the 12x zoom lens on the Kodak looks a bit weak. The 2.5-inch monitor also looks a bit small on a camera of this size.
The Z1012 has a full range of manual options, with program, aperture and shutter priority and full manual exposure, as well as manual focus. The shutter speed range is a bit limited, from 16 seconds to 1/1000th in 1/3EV steps, but the aperture range of f/2.8 to f/8.0 is fairly normal. Manual exposure adjustments, or quick ISO and exposure compensation adjustment in program mode, are carried out via a simple thumbwheel, which is very quick and intuitive. I’m not too impressed by the manual focus function however. Although it’s easy enough to operate, it is slow and awkward and the monitor screen is simply not sharp enough for accurate focusing, even with the automatic magnification.
Kodak’s optical image stabilisation system works quite well, enabling shake-free hand held shooting at shutter speeds as low as 1/8th of a second at wide angle, although it doesn’t seem to cope as well at longer zoom ranges. At full zoom I was still seeing blur from camera shake at shutter speeds of 1/100th of a second, which is only two stops below the recommended shutter speed for 400mm.
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