printer-friendly reviews are for non-commercial use only
DCRP Review: Kodak
EasyShare Z1085 IS
by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: August 20, 2008
Last Updated: August 20, 2008
The Kodak EasyShare Z1085 IS ($249) is a fairly compact camera with a 10 Megapixel CCD, 5X optical zoom lens with image stabilization, 2.5" LCD display, and a high definition movie mode. And, like all Kodak cameras, it's very easy to use.
The EasyShare Z1085 IS has a less expensive sibling, known as the Z1285 ($199). The main difference between the two is that the Z1285 has a higher resolution sensor instead of image stabilization.
Is the EasyShare Z1085 a good choice for an inexpensive, mid-zoom camera? Find out now in our review!
What's in the Box?
The EasyShare Z1085 IS has an average bundle. Inside the box you'll find:
As is the case with most cameras these days, the EasyShare Z1085 has built-in memory in lieu of a bundled memory card. The Z1085 has 32MB of built-in memory (of which only 21MB can be used for photo storage), which holds just five photos at the highest quality setting. Thus, you'll want to get a large memory card, and fast. The Z1085 supports SD and SDHC cards, and I suggest a 1 or 2GB card to start with. Buying a high speed card is a good idea, though you don't need to go overboard.
The camera can be powered by several types of battery. In the box you'll find a non-rechargeable CR-V3 lithium battery, which will take around 400 photos before it runs out of juice. The camera can also use AA lithium batteries, but Kodak insists that alkaline and NiMH cells will NOT work. If you want an environmentally friendly power option (read: something you can recharge), you'll have to use the KLIC-8000 battery pack. This li-ion battery packs a strong 5.9 Wh of energy, which is quite good. Here's how that translates into battery life:
Thanks to strong performances from several models on the list above, the EasyShare Z1085's battery life ends up below average in its class. You can get better numbers out of the camera if you use a lithium CR-V3 battery like the one included with the camera, but keep in mind that once it's out of juice, it goes into the trash (or preferably, the recycling bin). The only rechargeable option is the KLIC-8000, which costs at least $22, and requires the purchase of an external charger (which is another $30).
As with most compact cameras, the EasyShare Z1085 has a built-in lens cover, so there's no clunky lens cap to deal with.
There are a number of accessories available for the Z1085 IS. One of them is a video cable, which Kodak never seems to bundle with the camera anymore (grrr). Here's what you can buy for your camera:
Not the world's most exciting list of accessories (there are no add-on lenses available), and I'm still peeved about the video cable, but there you go.
EasyShare 6.0 for Mac OS X
The Z1085 comes with Kodak's EasyShare 6 software for both Mac and Windows. As is often the case, the Windows version (6.4) is superior to the Mac version (6.0) of the software, offering full integration with the EasyShare Gallery photo sharing website.
The main screen in EasyShare is where you'll organize your photos after they've been imported from the camera. You can view your photos by date taken, and you can create both regular and "smart" albums as well.
On this screen you can also view your photos in a slideshow, edit or rotate them (see below), get exposure data, burn them to a CD or DVD, or even upload them to the Kodak EasyShare Gallery for printing and sharing. You can also e-mail them (directly or via a website) and print them in numerous ways.
EasyShare 6.0 for Mac OS X
On the edit screen you've got a bunch of nice tools for fixing up your photos. They include rotation, cropping, "instant enhancement", redeye reduction, brightness and contrast, color, exposure, and instant black & white or sepia conversion. For some edits, you can split the screen (see above) so you can see a "before and after" view of your proposed changes. The Windows version adds a few other "fun effects", as well as the ability to create greeting cards.
Documentation is really a mixed bag. Kodak's writes very easy-to-read product manuals, but they only include a short "User Guide" in the box with the camera, which has just 22 pages of actual content. If you want the full manual, you have to go to Kodak's website and download it. That manual reveals a lot more information, though it's still not very detailed.
Look and Feel
The EasyShare Z1085 is a camera that straddles the border between compact and midsize. It's made of a mix of plastic and metal, and it feels quite solid, especially considering its price tag. The only thing that feels a bit cheap is the mode dial, but I don't think it's going to break off or anything like that.
Ergonomics are decent, with the most important controls within easy reach of your fingers. The power button is a bit hard to find, and the buttons on the back of the camera are cluttered and small.
Now, here's a look at how the EasyShare Z1085 IS compares to other cameras in its class in terms of size and weight: