In praise of Kodak’s P880

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Last year I wrote a recommendation for Kodak’s P880 camera after some extensive testing. You can read it at the post linked below:

http://www.soundadviceblog.com/?p=190

I had been looking for a small camera to use for general purpose shooting and for when I don’t want to drag my SLRs around. I recently found a P880 on sale at Ritz Camera for only $239, the last one they had- the display model, at what amounts to more than 50% off. Needless to say I snapped it up and have been using it for the past week. Using it reminded me of what a really unique and special camera it is and with deals on the P880 abounding, it’s a good time for me to talk a little bit more about it. If you are looking for a digital camera and don’t want the size and expense of an SLR, the P880 could be the camera for you.

The P880 is an 8 megapixel camera with an excellent Schneider zoom lens with a mechanical zooming ring and a 24mm equivalent wide angle. Schenider is known for excellent lenses and the P880′s lens is no exception. The mechanical zoom ring makes composition very fast and precise and I find a 24mm wide angle to be much more useful than the 400mm telephoto typically found on ultra-zoom cameras. There is no image stabilization, but you don’t really need it since the camera does not zoom out that far. It has a nice automatic redeye reduction feature that allows you to correct redeye digitally in-camera (a boon to those who print at the store from their memory card) and many manual controls as well as a point-and-shoot modes. An external flash is available as well. You can read more about it on Kodak’s website, linked below.

P880 on Kodak.com

What I like about the P880 is it delivers the goods time after time with little fuss and no disappointment, even with the external flash attached. Lots of compacts have a harsh or cartoony look to the images they produce- but not with this one. Color and contrast are spot on and reminiscent of pro cameras. It is obvious that the people that designed this camera knew what they were doing!

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I recently put my Mini Cooper S on eBay as I have a new car on the way. I used the P880 to do the pictures for the listing. As you can see the photographs are very natural and look good whether in the shade, sun, or photographing the interior. I use the “High Color” setting which gives the images a bit more zing without making them look artificial and oversaturated.

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I’ve seen P880s on sale all over the place for around $300, far under suggested retail of $499. That, my friends, is a bargain for a camera this capable. Best place to look is eBay. I have linked a sample ebay sale below.

 

P880 on ebay

The downside to the P880 is it does not focus and shoot quite as quickly as some of the more recent compact cameras or a digital SLR. If you don’t need blazing response times this camera is sure to satisfy in most every way.

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