My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic so some 50 years later I’m feeling a little nostalgic to get my hands on another Kodak. Admittedly this one bears little resemblance to the one that got me hooked on photography all those years ago but I have to say that’s all to the good.
The Pixpro AZ 652 is a comprehensive piece of kit, ideal for travelling and falling into the ‘bridge’ category of cameras. While it’s chunkier than a compact it’s light, comfortable and well balanced to use. The Pixpro boasts much of what you would expect from a DSLR and in particular, that includes the ability to shoot in both RAW and JPEG, an option that may tempt the most serious of DSLR users. The capable 20mg sensor is paired with an impressive 65x optical zoom lens which is equivalent to 24-1560 mm. The likes of which on a DSLR would take up most of my economy baggage allowance.
As is the norm with even the simplest of digital cameras nowadays, the Pixpro has a host of features including 21 different modes, designed to optimise any scene you may be shooting, from landscape to macro from sport to portrait. There is even a more curious cat and dog face recognition mode! Wi-Fi is also there to enable you to easily share your images. 1080p HD video is available and a very useful 3-inch fold out articulating LCD screen means you can shoot at almost any angle with ease.
I was particularly impressed with the 3 modes that emulate the characteristics of Kodak’s most iconic old films Ektachrome, Kodacolour and Kodachrome. Using these modes can be particularly endearing for street scenes and landscapes. While the number of shooting options can be daunting, once you find your way through the shortcuts these modes ensure that optimum focusing, speed and f stops are easily selected allowing you to concentrate on the composition of the image.
While the lens has a staggering range, there is a downside. With a maximum f stop of 2.9 dropping down to f6.7 at the extended range and a maximum ISO of 3200, there is a bit of an issue with grain in low light. The built-in flash is adequate but this lens really comes into its own outdoors and the benefits more than outweigh any low light shortfalls.
Focusing was fast and accurate and the image stabiliser worked well keeping the image acceptably sharp, even at the extended end of the 65x zoom. The lithium battery performed well although I would never depend on just one while travelling.
So, if you’re thinking of upgrading your dated Kodak Instamatic and planning a trip, particularly involving not too accessible wildlife you could do a lot worse than invest in the Kodak Pixpro AZ652, and it will barely make a dent in your baggage allowance!
Tell me more about the Kodak Pixpro AZ 652
The Kodak Pixpro is a more than capable bridge camera, bridging that gap between high-end compact and a full-blown DSLR.
Available from Amazon from £279 (at the time of writing)