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Kodak Advantix C650 Zoom camera
Member Name: nursingstudent
Kodak Advantix C650 Zoom camera
Date: 20/08/02, updated on 20/08/02 (396 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to use, Small and compact, Fool proof
Disadvantages: Yet to find a disadvantage!
So what is the answer to this problem? Getting the man in the camera shop to put your film in for you perhaps? Mmm, maybe, but not very convenient if you need to put a new film in and you are in the middle of Dartmoor. Or how about a disposable camera? You simply buy the whole unit, film in situ, for around the £10 mark, point and click. Simple. But very expensive when you consider it can cost another £9 or so for developing as well. Around £20 for 24 pictures? Work it out... not good value per photo is it? I’ve bought a couple of these in the past for kids to take on school trips but would never consider them for day-to-day
long term use.
So when my old camera frustrated me beyond what I could bear I had a look around at my options. I was so fed up of pulling out a length of film, lining up the holes, winding it on a bit, closing the back of the camera up and winding on some more, keeping everything crossed that the film has not sprung back or come off the cog wheels (I’m sure they have a more technical name than that but I’m just a novice here!). I would just hope that it hadn’t all gone horribly wrong and the film had become a jumbled up spaghetti inside. I expect there are people who find the whole procedure as simple as simple could be but I thought it was fiddly, slow and problematic. So I bought a new one.
I like to call my new camera suitable for the photographically ignorant. I know that photography can be quite a complicated subject but for normal day to day usage for the average snap taker I don’t think you could go wrong with the Kodak Advantix C650 zoom camera. This camera takes advantage of the new technology of the Advanced Photo System, or APS as it’s commonly known, a system which has really impressed me. So what exactly is APS and why has it revolutionised the way I take my photos?
The main feature for me is the ability I now have to take a varying size of photo. I am able to choose from 3 different sizes, classic - compact pictures measuring 102 x 152mm, I use this size for close up shots mainly when I don’t want to incorporate much background, then there is the group shot or H, this is the usual size for me, good size for most shots of people, animals, etc, measuring 102 x 178mm. But my favourite size is the panorama option, measuring 102 x 254mm, this size is fantastic for capturing shots of views, scenery and large groups of people, for example at weddings or kids Christmas plays. It is not a format that you would use often unless you were on holiday in a stunning environment where you woul
d want to capture loads of large vistas of scenery, or maybe you are a very popular person who is invited to a lot of weddings and parties. It is certainly a useful facility to have on those types of occasions when a normal 6x4 shot would not do justice.
Choosing your picture size is really the only thought needed when using this camera, for example, taking a close up shot of a small child blowing bubbles would not be effective if using the panorama setting, and likewise a picture of Sydney Harbour taken from the top of the bridge would be amazing in panorama but too restrictive in compact mode. I always keep mine set at H as this is suitable for the majority of my photography (which usually consists of my kids with cheesy grins and my kids with cheesy grins holding their guinea pigs..!.)
So what other benefits are there with the APS system? The film has to be a definite advantage, this camera uses special APS film only, a neat little cartridge which slots simply into the film chamber. It really is that simple, open the film chamber door, pop in the film - it can only fit in one way so you can’t possibly put it in wrong, even in the dark. Shut the film door and that is it. As soon as that door closes it initiates the auto film advance, a lot of whirring in layman's terms! The frame counter shows you how many pictures you can take, either 25 or 40 depending on the film you purchase, I tend to buy 25’s as I am not patient enough to wait for a 40 to be filled! A 40 is generally better value for money if you take a lot of photos, it is only marginally more expensive to buy and have purchased.
When the film is completed and you take it out of the camera (very easy, the camera automatically rewinds, then you open the door and take it out) you will see 4 indicators on the film cartridge, one symbol indicates that the film is unexposed (a circle), partially exposed (a half-moon, this is useful if you only want to take a
certain number of pictures and need to get them developed), fully exposed (a cross) and when you have the film processed the final symbol is highlighted (square). Easy peasy. Useful if you have a pile of cartridges and you don’t know if you have had them developed yet, just check the symbol. You could never tell with the other type of cartridges.
One useful feature is the automatic date and time imprinting on the back of your photos, handy if you have a poor memory or cupboards full of prints. Also useful for future generations who stumble upon your photography in the attic in years to come.... did they really wear that back in 2002!?! How old fashioned is that?!?!
Ever had one image on top of another? That’s annoying. Doesn’t happen with this camera due to its double exposure protection. No more pictures of someone riding a horse superimposed onto an image of someone windsurfing. I have a collection of very ghostly images of people in the same photo who have never actually met each other, very odd.
And for the real photographic nitwit there is a safety feature which prevents you from opening the film chamber door before the film is completely rewound. Been there, done that, but not with this new camera. Could it be that this camera is completely fool-proof? It seems that it just might be!
What other features does it have to make life easier?
A low battery indicator so you know when to replace the lithium battery (they last about 2 years so no need to panic there..)
Sleep mode - if you accidentally leave your camera on for more than 3 minutes without taking a photo, the camera very cleverly has a snooze, this saves your battery power. Smart.
Automatic focus and flash - pretty standard now, but still very useful.
Zoom lens - this is my first zoom camera and I wonder now how I lived without this function. Wonderful for those close up shots and for things far a
way, I took a photo of a hot air balloon using zoom and it came out brilliantly.
Red eye reduction - to prevent those ghastly pictures of loved ones who end up looking like something out of a horror movie!
Self-timer - for when you want to be in the action in front of the camera, a nice facility for when you are on your honeymoon and you don’t want to trust strangers with your camera! Just prop the camera up, set the self-timer button, join your partner and wait for the little light. And just hope you can get to your camera before a thief runs off with it.
If you want to get more complicated you can play around with the other flash modes, infinity focus and night view mode, but I haven’t found the need to use any of these yet, the standard settings seem to produce perfect pictures every time so why fiddle?
Overall it is easy to use, nice to look at in silver and grey tones, light to carry at only 195g, small enough to fit in your pocket (unless you have very small pockets), and extremely reliable. The photos it produces are high quality and the different sizes of print add to the interest and variety of shots you can take.
Now for the technical stuff courtesy of the good people at Kodak!.........
Film type: Kodak Advantix film for colour and black and white pictures (I have used films other than Kodak but they are certainly the best, although Boots is comparable)
Lens: 24 - 48 mm, hybrid aspheric zoom lens (?????)
Focus System: 70 zones AF (lost me there I’m afraid.....)
Focus Range: Wide/Tele: 0.6 m to infinity (To infinity.... and beyond!!!! Sorry, too much Toy Story.....)
Viewfinder: Real image with C, H, P format display
Film Speed: DXIX (ISO) 50 - 1600 for colour and black and white films
Flash Unit: Built in/pop up, Kodak Sensalite Flash
Flash Range: ISO 200 wide: 0.6 - 8.2 m, Tele: 0.6 - 4.3m
f/4.5 - f/8.6 (another ????????)
Shutter: Programmed electronic shutter, 1/5 to 1/360 seconds (sounds pretty quick to me!)
Power Source: One 3 v lithium battery - Kodak K123 LA battery or equivalent ( I use Sanyo ones and they are fine)
Dimensions: 114 x 64 x 34 mm (teeny)
Weight: 195g (weeny)
Happy Snapping! :)
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