Kodak EasyShare C875 camera

The Kodak EasyShare C875 costs just $200, but it packs many features. It takes 8-megapixel shots and has a long, 5X optical zoom lens. You get a large, bright 2.5-inch LCD screen and numerous scene modes to help you quickly choose the right setting for your particular subject and lighting condition.

The included software—together with Kodak’s EasyShare Gallery Web site—simplifies the process of e-mailing and sharing images. The C875 comes with an adapter plate that can connect the camera to Kodak’s optional $50 EasyShare Camera Dock for charging the battery and performing one-touch uploading of photos to your Mac. The adapter also lets you dock the camera to Kodak snapshot printers.

The conveniently arranged controls work well, and the screen displays plenty of explanatory messages as you use the controls. However, the thumb-operated joystick for navigating menus and making on-screen selections can be difficult to get used to. On the plus side, a built-in orientation sensor automatically rotates images from portrait to landscape and back again, so they appear in the correct layout on the LCD panel.

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 testing, the exposure and contrast of both a still-life shot and a flash photo of a mannequin looked well balanced, with bright and accurate colors. There was little distortion, although several test shots could have been sharper. Overall, the C875 earned average scores for image quality from a jury.

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 oxy-alkaline batteries, but these lasted a paltry 73 shots in battery tests. The camera can also run on a CRV3 lithium battery or on rechargeable AA cells.

Performance

Image Quality Good
Battery Life Poor

Scale = Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor

Specifications

Resolution 8 megapixels
Zoom/Focal Length (35mm equivalent) 5x/37-185mm
Battery Type AA; rechargable AA; CRV3 lithium
Media Slots Secure Digital (1)
Size (wxhxd) 3.6 x 2.5 x 1.4
Weight (oz.) 6.2

How we tested: The image-quality rating of the camera is based upon a panel of judges’ opinions in five categories: exposure, color, sharpness, distortion, and overall. Battery life testers follow a precise script, including shots with and without flash, until the battery dies.—Tested in conjunction with the PC World Test Center

Macworld’s buying advice

The Kodak EasyShare C875 is a good, inexpensive camera. First-time digital photographers will find it easy to learn, and its more advanced features will give them room to grow over time.

[ Paul Jasper is a technology consultant and freelance writer in San Francisco. ]

Kodak EasyShare C875
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