On my travels and wanders there are so many times I see something, want to photograph it, and wish I could get closer yet practically I cannot. With this in mind it was a joy to be asked to try out the Kodak PixPro AZ901. A bridge camera that covers all manner of daily uses, from wider angle landscape to zooming in on the little things world far away.
For the price point the Kodak Pixpro Astro Zoom AZ901 has a huge zoom capability with an image quality that is more than adequate for majority of consumers. For the most people travelling or people wanting to zoom, the huge professional and costly kits and lenses to enable these kind of shots do cost a small fortune. Let me show you some of the figures before I show you some examples of what can be achieved with this camera.
In the old days, when photography with film started to take off, the main cameras used what is known as 35mm focal length. It is also considered close to how wide we see the world with our own eyes. Considered even today as the optimum focal length (or zoom length you could say). That is why camera lenses and zoom cameras use that starting point to show how wide or how much zoom you can get with their kit. Under 35 mm means wider angle and over 35 mm means the more zoomed in and narrower angle you can get.
Well, consider this AZ901 starts at the wide end (no zoom) at 22 mm wide and at full zoom it equivalent to 1980 mm then you can see how it packs for both worlds, quite wide angle landscapes, plus one heck of a zoom! Bear in mind also that all the zoom is optical, no digital zoom at any point and thus keeping a lot of image quality.
Here is an example of what I mean. Please note, to avoid any misguidance, all examples in this post are JPEGS straight from the camera with no editing or cropping at all.
I was sat in a garden, watching the birds feeding on a feeder. If I even dare try get closer with my phone or other camera to hand I would have scared them all away immediately. Here is where I was sat in relation to the feeder and using the camera at full width (zoomed out)
Great! a shot of the garden with no way at all to even crop to the birds without a mess of a photo. Now let us get that zoom going, and….
And all done without having to move from my coffee in the sun, without scrambling for a change of lens etc 🙂
Here is another example. I was walking along the River and way over the other side I could see some horses grazing. Now then the choices are endless. I could take in a wide angle scene looking over the river, little horses, way, way way in the distance (you can just see them at camera fully wide, middle of photo):
Or, fully zoomed in 90x I could get one of those horses, in detail, grazing on the grass:
That is certainly some optical zoom.
Yet another example to show how far this zoom can enrich your creativity from far away. Back in the garden at wide lens:
Then you see the tree in the pic above? I zoomed in to one single berry like this:
Of course, the uses spread beyond sitting in the garden. With that much zoom the world is your oyster so they say, or even beyond the world. I had to try it with the moon of course! I simply set it upon a strong tripod and opened the zoom some way out, not even all the way, and got my camera settings where I wanted them (post on how to take moon shots and settings coming soon). And:
I can imagine, personally, if I had used the camera’s RAW capability and some editing how this first attempt with this camera would look. I was impressed to be honest.
I must go into now some of the specs you may look for and limits either way I found to this camera.
Sensor – 1/2.3” BSI CMOS
Effective Megapixels – 20 MP
Wireless Control – Use from your mobile phone via app or transfer the photo you just took to your phone for sharing to social media or friends and family.
Shutter speeds – 1/2000 – 30 Seconds
Preset modes including Sunset, fireworks, portrait, hand held, snow plus detection of face, cat, dog or more. Again, tested with the cat quite a bit away, lazing on the shed roof.
I would say as an everyday bridge camera this is packed with all you would need and lots more thanks to that super long optical zoom!
Personally the only time I found any limitations for my needs was noise above ISO 800 (in darker or night shots) and noise if I wanted to get ultra creative with plenty of editing. This is also where the price point would jump considerably if I would want these capabilities, plus a big backpack even on the smallest walks, for all the lenses needed.
In the Kodak range this is just the tip of the iceberg, there are plenty of choices to be made, from all manner of zoom cameras, pocket cameras, action cameras and more.
I find that for anyone who is a hobbyist and would like to take some photos that they thought were beyond their reach in price should take a look at the Kodak Pixpro range and if you want mega zoom capabilities for sharing on the net etc then the Kodak Pixpro AZ901 would be a great priced choice or even a super gift!