Kodak announces new high-zoom EasyShare Z1012 IS

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In a midnight announcement, Kodak made public the next continuation model in its high-zoom Z lineup, the Kodak EasyShare Z1012 IS.

Building on the basic package put forward by the Z812 IS and visually nearly identical to its predecessor, the new model features 10 megapixels of resolution, a 12x (36-432mm equivalent) optical zoom, and image stabilization. Preliminary discussions with Kodak in advance of the official announcement suggested that this camera will continue the markedly quick press-to-capture times seen in the 812.

Kodak’s Smart Capture system shows up on this model as well. Emphasizing limited user input, the Smart Capture system automatically combines several technologies – including face detection and backlight correction – into a single auto-evaluative shooting mode that should appeal to novice users, especially. The full range of manual control modes also find their way onto the Z1012.

The Z1012 also utilizes Kodak’s PerfectTouch scene balance processing, correcting exposure issues at the RAW-file level – after capture, but before JPEG conversion.

As with all of Kodak’s recent announcements, HD capture and output are buzz words with the Z1012 IS as well. An optional accessory HD dock facilitates easy still-shot viewing on HDTVs.

Amid lots of somewhat annonymous, generally lackluster models, we were favorably impressed by the Z812’s price/performance ratio, with quick response and a nice long zoom largely making up for average image quality all around. While it’s hardly a major update, the Z1012 IS looks to continue strongly in this tradition, continuing to be a good choice and a great bargain in the ultra-zoom market.

The Z1012 IS will retail for $299, and per Kodak, is expected in stores in the first half of 2008. No further detail on release dates was provided.

As is often the case with PMA announcements, we’re still awaiting detailed specs from Kodak, but we’ll update them when we receive them.

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