Kodak Pixpro AZ901 Bridge Camera Review
It feels very strange that bridge cameras are still a thing in 2018, especially when the cheaper end of the DSLR spectrum are becoming so good to begin your photography journey. But bridge cameras are generally bought for their super zoom lenses, which is why I think the Kodak Pixpro AZ901, with its 90x optical zoom exists. Not that photos are able to be taken well at the far end, and even though the camera has some image stabilisation, it’s still impossible to hold the camera still. For those zoomy images, you’re going to need some kind of tripod.
So, the Kodak Pixpro AZ901 is a brand new bridge camera to come from one of the world’s oldest photography company. It packs a 20 megapixel CMOS sensor with five frames per second burst shooting which is pretty nice for a bridge. There’s a nice big screen on the back as well as an EVF screen for sunny days. The camera can also capture full 1080p video too and can be connected to your Android or iOS device.
Taking a look at the body, if we work our way from front to back, you’ll probably notice that this camera looks like most other bridge or even DSLR cameras out there. On top you will find a pop up flash, the power button, the dial to program your camera, the zoom flicker and shooting buttons as well as a couple of extras to activate continuous shooting as well +/- 3EV exposure compensation.
On the back is very similar, with access to the menu, a scroll wheel to make selections while inside said menu and the preview button. The wheel also opens up some quick selection like macro settings, auto focusing and whether the flash needs to be used at all. Your thumb will naturally land by the video recording button. There’s also a three inch articulating screen too so if you don’t want to use the viewfinder, or are shooting video, it’s very useful to have. All in all, this camera is very comfortable to hold.
One interesting trait to the Kodak AZ901 is the Smart feature it has for the zoom ring on the lens. If the camera is in aperture priority mode, then the zoom ring acts as a controller to change the aperture, same with shutter speed in shutter priority, and so on. One problem though on the zoom ring is how loose it actually feels, bringing to light the plasticy cheap feel this camera unfortunately gives off. But saying that, the dials feel very solid, and button presses are firm to the touch too. So it may just be my unit, or the lens ring at that.
I do however have some mixed feelings on the images that are produced using the Kodak AZ901. While the colours produced are absolutely fantastic, and really show off Kodak’s capability in this department, the lens can suffer from edge blurring on certain shots. It’s far more noticable on landscape photographs, as chances are you’ll be firing at the widest focal length. But for every day photos, or portraits where you’d probably be zooming in, the edge blurring is kept to a minimum. Even though I am primarily a prime lens shooter, the zoom capabilities work really well and are suitable for even the most lazy of photographers who do not want to move while taking photos. Having the ability to shoot in RAW also means you can add a pinch of post production to these images too.
While daylight images turn out to be very nice, this camera takes a turn for the worse when you attempt to take photos in low lighting situations, or even at night. There’s a very modest ISO selection which ranges between ISO100 and ISO3200, but you get noise introduced into your photos at around ISO800, which is pretty low considering some higher end cameras like the Sony A7SII handles noise phenomenally, albeit at a huge increase in price.
So overall, the Kodak AZ901 isn’t a bad camera. For what it’s worth, it’s very good for people wanting to start their photography journey without having to mess around with the capabilites of extra lenses. The biggest issue is the fact it is so expensive. The camera can be found online for around £500 and for that you could be looking at a mid range DSLR from Canon or Nikon. I’m not sure why someone would go for one of these at that price rather than jumping into the DSLR market. Let us know in the comments what you would do. For more information, you can visit the Kodak website.