Monday, July 9, 2007

Fauxtokina 2007: Kodak speculation and predictions

Kodak DSLRs

  • They left the professional business years ago. Some people are wondering whether they would attempt to enter the consumer market, or whether they are perhaps waiting for the prices to drop well under $500 or find another DSLR partner for a rebranding partnership. I would not expect anything DSLR-wise from Kodak.
  • History: The last two, the DSLR/C and DSLR/N were announced at PMA 2004, while the DCS-14N at Photokina 2002 may have been the one that doomed Kodak Professional DSLRs. As you may recall, Kodak tried to steal the thunder from Canon's 1Ds, and by rushing the announcement and subsequently the release, the camera got a really bad reputation that hurt not only its sales, but sales of the /n and /c and along with the "fixes" of the 14n.

    Kodak non-DSLRs
  • advanced? The last Kodak to make an impression to the avid forum users and enthusiasts was the P880, a camera that picked up momentum over time. Introducedin August 2005, it featured a zoom lens that started at 24mm wide, with an 8mp 1/1.8" sensor. Kodak usually tried their hand at this level every couple of years, so it would be interesting to see if they will try to revive and enhance this model. But I hope they dont just stick the 12mp sensor in it and that's it. But even that would be better than nothing (I guess). Without DSLRs, and with the prosumer market currently being left wide open by the traditional manufacturers, Kodak has an opportunity to make some waves. Will they take it?
  • Long Zooms Kodak's long zooms are in a sort of a three tier line-up. All of them are of course using 1/2.5" sensors. The top is the P-branded models, the P712 (7mp, 12x, IS, June 2006) replaced the P850 (5mp, 12x, IS, August 2005). One would expect a new P-series with the 8mp sensor in the fall of 2007... In the middle, the Z-series with IS, the Z712-IS at PMA 2007 (7mp, 12x, IS) and before that the Z612-IS (6mp, 12x, IS) at PMA 2006. One year separation between them, so expect a follow-up at PMA 2008, unless Kodak is in a hurry... And finally the entry-level of their long zooms, without IS, and with 10x lenses, the latest being the ZD710 (7mp, June 2007), which followed the Z710 (7mp, Photokina 2006), and Z650 (6mp, CES 2006), Z7590 (5mp, PMA 2005), and Z740 )5mp, CES 2005). Expect new ones here in 2008, not 2007.
  • midrange The Z885 (8mp, 1/1.8", 5x, March 2007) was a transfer of said camera from the C-series (C875) which apparently Kodak is retiring. A good attempt by Kodak at the low priced mid-range. But this wasn't alone. In June 2007 a 12mp version came to be, the Z1275, using a 12mp 1/1.72" sensor. Let the megapixels games begin. Give these two, I do not expect anything else here from Kodak.
  • dual lens/dual CCD The one and only combined 10x dual lens/dual CCD combo was the V610 (6mp, April 2006). The ones with a 23mm lens and a conventional 3x lens were: V705 (7mp, August 2006), and V570 (6mp, CES 2006). So will any of these get updated? It's a reasonable question to ask! And I do not have a guess right now! Too close to call as they say :)
  • V-series Kodak is not shy about jumping to 1/1.8" sensors, and the V1003 and V803 (CES 2007) used 10mp and 8mp sensors respectively. The previous V was the V603 (6mp, PMA 2006), and a few more in May 2005... One should expect these to get refreshed at CES 2008, but a 12mp version may come earlier to satisfy the megapixel hunger of marketing people and gadgeteers.
  • M-series New series that made its debut in June 2007 with four similar cameras (M883, M783, M853, M753) using 1/2.5" 7mp and 8mp sensors, with plastic vs metal body being a diffentiator. Nothing new til 2008 I would assume.
  • C-series With Kodak's announcement of leaving the low-end we should presume that the C613, C763 (PMA 2007) and C653 (CES 2007) were the last of the C-series. This is further supported by the changing of the name of the C875 to Z885. The C875 (8mp, 1/1.8", August 2006) was Kodak's latest attempt at the affordable mid-range AA-based zoom, getting a reasonably good review by dpreview. This was probably the most "exciting" C-series since its inception!

    What to expect from Kodak in the rest of 2007? (pure speculation!)
  • New 8mp 1/2.5" P-series 12x zoom with IS, a dual-lens/dual-ccd model? A P880 follow up?
  • Predicted names of speculated models: V1203, P812 IS, Z812 IS, P1280


    Anonymous said...


    I'm looking to buy the Kodak Z885 and I see brand new ones on sale at ebay for the buy-it-now price of $140 including shipping. This is the cheapest I could find. Are there any better deals?

    escapist adventurer

    1001 noisy cameras said...

    Thank you for your question. From what I recall, I haven't seen that camera lower than the price you mentioned. But there are many retailer outfits out there, so I can't tell for sure. It's definitely a good value for money.