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Kodak EasyShare Z950
Back in July I reviewed the Kodak EasyShare Z915, a reasonably-priced compact zoom camera featuring a 10x zoom lens and a 10-megapixel sensor. Despite its AA-powered bulk and slightly clunky appearance it was a pretty decent cameras and very good value for money, so it's not too surprising that Kodak has followed it with another compact zoom, although a rather more sleek and sophisticated offering, today's review camera the EasyShare Z950.
Priced at a competitive £199.99 from Kodak's own website, but available for under £180 is you shop around online, the Z950 is aimed at the buyer who really wants a Panasonic TZ7 but can't afford it. The specification is impressive for the price. It features the same compact 10x zoom lens, equivalent to 35-350mm, as the Z915, but with a higher resolution 12-megapixel 1/2.33-inch CCD sensor and a larger three-inch 230k LCD monitor. It has much the same range of features and options as the Z912, but crucially adds the now obligatory HD video recording.
The Z950 has a much more compact-looking body than the Z915. It's made of plastic of course, but build quality is reasonably good apart from a few creaky joins when squeezed, and a battery hatch with no lock. It lacks the flash turret of the earlier model, making it a little less tall, although in fact it is actually a couple of millimetres wider and pretty much the same thickness. It's a bit lighter though, thanks to the presence of a lithium-ion rechargeable battery instead of the two AA cells powering the Z915. The body shape is nice and comfortable to hold thanks to a hand-grip on the front and a shaped thumb-grip on the back, both of which are rubber-coated for extra grip. The controls are simple and accessible, with fairly large buttons. This is worth considering if you have limited manual dexterity.