Kodak EasyShare 14MP Digital Camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 26x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens and 3.0 Inch LCD Z981

Kodak EasyShare Z981 14MP Digital Camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 26x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens and 3.0 Inch LCD

Kodak EasyShare Z981 14MP Digital Camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 26x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens and 3.0 Inch LCD Rating:
List Price: $299.00
Sale Price: $199.99
Availability: unspecified

Product Description

The new KODAK EASYSHARE Z981 Digital Camera is where creativity and versatility come together. It zooms in faster, wider, and closer than ever, giving you sharp, steady shots you’ll be proud to share. Kodak’s Share Button lets you tag pictures directly from your camera for e-mailing or uploading to YouTube™, FACEBOOK, FLICKR, and KODAK Gallery. And its unique vertical shutter release and detachable grip give you the flexibility to go from horizontal to vertical shots with ease. From dramatic wide angles to the convenience of ultra-zoom, the Z981 delivers extraordinary performance. Outstanding pictures are within your reach – put them out there for everyone to see. Because the real KODAK Moment happens when you share


  • 14-megapixel resolution for stunning prints up to 30 x 40 inches
  • 26x optical zoom and 26mm wide-angle lens; 3-inch bright LCD
  • One-button upload to YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, and Kodak Gallery sites, plus e-mail
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

Kodak EasyShare Z981 14MP Digital Camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 26x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens and 3.0 Inch LCD out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 953 user reviews
Eastman Kodak Company Kodak EasyShare Z981 14MP Digital Camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 26x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens and 3.0 Inch LCD The new KODAK EASYSHARE Z981 Digital Camera is where creativity and versatility come together. It zooms in faster, wider, and closer than ever, giving you sharp, steady shots you’ll be proud to share. Kodak’s Share Button lets you tag pictures directly from your camera for e-mailing or uploading to YouTube™, FACEBOOK, FLICKR, and KODAK Gallery. And its unique vertical shutter release and detachable grip give you the flexibility to go from horizontal to vertical shots with ease. From dramatic wide angles to the convenience of ultra-zoom, the Z981 delivers extraordinary performance. Outstanding pictures are within your reach – put them out there for everyone to see. Because the real KODAK Moment happens when you share $299.00 http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51zYCvVDL0L._SL160_.jpg

10 Responses to “Kodak EasyShare 14MP Digital Camera with Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 26x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom Lens and 3.0 Inch LCD Z981”

  1. Sara-s Says:


    I have used the Kodak Z740 for several years. It is a great camera and it was going to take a lot for me to upgrade. The Z981 has exactly the added features I wanted. It has anti-shake technology, a higher zoom than the Z 740 and still runs on AA batteries. It also takes panoramic pictures, which I really like.

    It is a little bigger and heaver than my old camera, but ONLY a little. So, even with the zoom lens fully extended, I have no trouble holding it steadily. It is comfortable in my hands and I like the ergonomics. The buttons are easy to press, while I am looking through the viewfinder. Through its entire range, from wide angle, to 26x zoom, its pictures are crisp.

    Some reviewers have said that the battery door is hard to close. It is a bit difficult, but I am a middle-aged woman and can close it with just my hands. So I do not consider this a problem.

    It is not hard to start taking good pictures with this camera. But it does quite a lot, so I do recommend reading the extended user manual on line. I took some shots of water drops coming from a garden hose, to test the burst mode. They came out crystal clear.

    I am very happy with this purchase. I can’t wait to get out and do some nature photography.

  2. Joseph Hummrich Says:


    I’ve been shopping around trying to decide between the Nikon P100 and another Olympus. I was even considering going DSLR but frankly I don’t need another expensive hobby. Let me just say that the Z981 is AWESOME and performs better than I expected. I like to think that I’m very hard on electronics and I won’t keep something if I have any issues with it. In fact I’m on my 3rd 2010 TV right now because of various issues I’ve had with them. Anyway, we’re talking about the camera here: The pictures have beautiful color. The zoom is unbelievable and the image stabilization is outstanding. I have an extremely shaky hand and it corrects this for me without a problem. Video quality is fabulous as well but this would be my only complaint… The auto focus motor and zoom motor can be heard fairly well if you’re in a normal setting. I’m not docking the camera any points for this because it’s not a video camera. It’s a mega zoom camera and it does that part quite well. I’ve heard complaints about the battery compartment but I really don’t have any issues with it at all. It’s definitely a tight fit but it’s not a frustrating fit at all. The camera can be a tad slow at processing between shots but if you get a faster SDHC card the time is greatly reduced and a joy to work with. The price can’t be touched for what you’re getting here and I would have gladly paid the full $329 after using this camera for a week. Kodak uses .KDC file format for raw and unfortunately I can’t find a good windows plugin so I’m forced to use the Easyshare software for RAW images. That’s not a big deal for me because the JPG in full detail is simply amazing. 14mp pictures come in around 7.5mb compared to 25mb for the raw. I just don’t see how anyone can argue with the quality of the pictures this camera takes and the incredible Zoom functionality. Even at full zoom you can crop a picture without losing (visible) detail. I can’t say it enough, this camera is incredibly perfect for someone who wants to take amazing pictures without going with a $800 DSLR. I’d be very curious to see side by side comparison shots with any entry to mid level DSLR vs. this camera because I just can’t see it getting much better. I will be posting user pics later. One of a golf ball up close, a falcon on the light post outside and some flowers. I almost forgot… The macro and super macro modes are phenomenal. If you’re on the fence, go for it! You won’t be disappointed.

  3. Mercedes L. Johnmeyer Says:


    I have only owned Kodak cameras, and the Z981 is an upgrade for me from the Z1485 and the Z712, both of which I loved. What sold me on the Z981 however, was the 26x zoom. My Z712 had a 12x zoom, which was great, and the Z1485 was only a 5x, but it’s small and pocket sized…great for throwing in my purse. Now, be advised…I am NOT a professional photographer (or anywhere near one). I am a stay-at-home-mom who has a slight obsession with cameras, but just cannot bring herself to take the SLR plunge. I take daily photos of my son, and of course, family trips/vacations. That said, this camera may be a bit much for your everyday Joe just wanting to take pictures of the family, since this IS pretty large and quite bulky to to carry around once it’s in a case…though I certainly don’t mind.

    In my trials with this camera, I have found only a couple things that I’m not completely happy with. That main one is the battery compartment. While easy to open (just slide the tab and it pops open), it’s darn near IMPOSSIBLE to close. I have to use a small screwdriver to slide the tab over once the batteries are in place. Also, when taking video, if you zoom in, it takes a few seconds for the focus to right itself, which may not seem like a big deal, but 5 seconds can be a long time on a short video clip.

    As for everything else…I’m thrilled. While the on/off switch may be in an awkward place for some people, it’s located in the same spot on the Z712, so I was already used to that. All the dial settings are very easy to use, and when you switch to each one, there’s a brief explanation on what conditions you would use that particular setting for. Of course, my favorite is the ‘Children playing in sunlight’ setting. I can take crisp, clear pics of my boy while he’s running around, and not have to worry about them being blurry, or dark. Also, (and one of the most important things, at least for me), the click-to-capture speed is VERY fast. When I push that button, it takes the picture…and I can take multiple pictures, one right after the other, with no delay.

    The Share feature is also very neat. I’ll admit, I’m still getting comfortable with using the App, but it’s coming a little easier to me now. You’ll have to download the Share App to your computer if you wish to use this feature. It’ll take about 10 minutes to set it up. I think the main reason I love Kodak so much is their user friendly approach to picture taking…it’s why they’re the only brand of camera I’ve ever used. The Kodak EasyShare program is SIMPLE to use, and a great place to store or alter your pictures. Their cameras (even one as advanced as this particular model) are very easy to get the hang of after a bit of practice. If you’re at all interested in this camera, I say go for it. I’m VERY pleased with mine, however, as I said, it may be a little much for the casual picture taker.

  4. Sam M. Houston Says:


    First Impressions

    When the camera arrived, I opened it immediately. My general test for items of this ilk is this: can I mostly operate it, i.e., use the basic features, without looking at the manual. The Kodak Z981 is very intuitive and I was snapping, viewing and deleting pictures in a matter of minutes. For me, the camera layout is very logical.

    I’m a real estate appraiser and I appraise a lot of rural properties, so the high zoom feature is an important consideration. To test this feature, I stepped outside, went to full zoom on a tree 50 yards away, and snapped a picture. The stabilization feature worked great, and in the LCD display I could see the alligator bark features of the ponderosa.

    Since I was on my way out to drive a few comparables, I decided I would give the camera a field test. Installing the camera strap was not as straightforward, so I tucked my tail between my legs and looked at the manual. After several aborted attempts, (spatial relationships are not my forte) I had the strap and lens cap installed. The manual provides one drawing and virtually no narrative, so for me it was a trial and error process.

    Out in the field, i.e., the neighborhood, I started photographing homes. At one home the camera would not turn on. However, I’d read a number of reviews and was aware of the battery compartment lock issue. I opened, closed, and relocked the battery door and the camera worked again, and I never had a reoccurrence of this problem.

    After taking my final photo, the eighth picture, I receive a message that the camera was out of memory. I was aware that the camera has 64 MB of internal memory and uses an SD card for most of the storage. Still, I’d determined that at maximum resolution the internal memory could store about eight pictures. My SD card was shipped separately and did not arrive until the next day.

    At the office, I downloaded the pictures, inserted them into the report, and compared them with photos from my old Olympus ultra zoom. The appraisal software that I use has an algorithm that pares down the picture’s file size for use in the report; otherwise, the file size of the report would be unmanageable. And here’s the thing, the Kodak pictures were significantly better, even in the pared down state.

    For the most part, the only pictures I take are job related, which probably total 7,500 photos a year. While I do a lot of shooting, I’m not a shutterbug. That is, I know nothing about things like picture noise, saturation, and the other arcane words I’ve read in camera reviews. I only know what I think looks good in my reports, and the Kodak photos look great.

    What Others Said

    A number of reviews have been critical of the camera’s plastic construction, layout, the use of AA batteries rather than a more powerful proprietary battery, and the locking feature. Here are my views on these issues:

    1. Plastic Construction – To me the camera is solid and with its zoom feature is rather weighty. I would hate to have more weight around my neck just to have metal construction.

    2. Layout – The layout is different than my old camera, still I did not find any feature untenable. In a short period of time, I’m sure anyone can adjust to the layout.

    3. AA Batteries – I would never own a camera with proprietary batteries. If I forget to recharge my batteries, and midway through an inspection my camera goes dark, I can be up and running again in less than five minutes with off-the-shelf AA backup batteries. One thing I liked a lot is the big LCD display. It helps me frame a so-called “keeper” without any subsequent editing. The one thing I noticed is that the big display uses battery power at a much greater rate. There are low-power display options that mitigate this issue somewhat.

    4. Locking Feature – This complaint is real. In the first hour of use, some minor camera jostling loosened the connection of one or more of the batteries, which caused the camera to turn off. I opened and closed the battery lid and the camera worked again. Many of the electronic miracles that grace our everyday lives have their own special idiosyncrasies. The real question is the frequency of abnormality. If it happens once a month or less, I’d probably put up with it; however, once a week would be completely unacceptable.

    The difficulty with locking the battery door is also real. It requires some degree of adroitness and strength. I’m very purposeful in determining the way something works best, and I never discovered a technique that would work consistently. This could be a real pain, if one uses a card reader rather then connecting the camera to the computer. This is because the SD card is in the battery compartment.

    The Deal Killer

    Ultimately, I had to return the camera. I was almost willing to compromise on a number of issues until I discovered Kodak’s protocol for numbering the files. The camera starts numbering the files on the SD card from 000_001.jpeg to presumably 999_999.jpeg. Even if the SD card is reformatted, the number continues from the last picture taken. However, after formatting the SD card and/or the internal memory, the picture number displayed on the LCD screen restarts with “1.”

    In short, there is absolutely no correlation between the number displayed on the LCD screen and the number recorded on the SD card, and this absolutely, positively does not work for me; there is no room for compromise here. If I’m out in the desert of Eastern Oregon appraising 160 acres of vacant land, I need a number method of documenting each picture, since one stretch of sagebrush looks about the same as the next.

    When I discovered the numbering issue, I seriously dug into the manual, since I was sure there was something that I had missed. Next, I contacted technical support somewhere in the Middle East, and after some discussion in making sure the tech person understood the issue, I was put on hold while he kibitzed with his supervisor. When he came back on the line, he assured me that this is how the camera works, and there is no way to change it.

    As an explanation, he said it was designed this way so that it is impossible to write over a previously downloaded picture. It was in a tone like he was almost warning me of this peril. Since there were the typical language problems of understanding each other, I decided to not discuss separate file folders and subdirectories.

    I noticed that Kodak has designed a lot of features that assist one with file sharing, tagging, transferring, etc. for the cyber-challenged. I work with a lot of seniors on computer issues, and I think their major weakness is file management. So for this type of user, the camera file system is a good feature. It’s just too bad that Kodak didn’t provide other options. I’m now considering the Olympus SP-590UZ. Since the act of looking for a camera, computer, cell phone, etc. is the fun part, let the games begin.

  5. S. H. Yeaman Says:


    I am experienced with digital SLRs but wanted this with greater distance range. It is intuitive, produces terrific clear pictures with little noise, many features with a great price. You can’t miss with this camera!

  6. Dungeon Master Says:


    I’ve had this camera 2 weeks now and truely love the thing. I read in a review somewhere else that one user thought that the camera color was over saturated. Saturation is adjustable on this camera, but here’s the neat part, and you have to have been shooting kodak film for a long time to appreciate this, but I pulled out some old Kodachrome transparencies from the good ole days and the color saturation of thia camera reminds me of the results you would get from kodachrome. Awesome!!! You have to be old school to appreciate this perhaps, but keep in mind their are two saturation settings on this camera.

    What I don’t like is the need to manually switch the camera from horizonal to vertical. A proximity sensor would have been nice. Forgetting this issue has cost me some shots I really hate I missed. I also agree with the people who don’t like the location and for me, the function of the power switch. It should be easier to reach and on should be on and off should be off. There was plenty of room to do this.

    I do like the feel of the camera with the vertical grip. This camera is a keeper and I would recommend it to anyone wanting a super camera. Oh yeah, thanks for the view finder, I use it on every shot. it frames better an has fewer distractions. I said enough, I’m going out and shoot some pixels.

  7. Ryan Encarnacion Says:


    My wife and I finally decided to upgrade from our point and shoot camera. We wanted to get a camera that would take great pictures of our 10 month old son. We consulted my wife’s sister who owns a Nikon D700. Of course she suggested that we purchase a Nikon D5000, or at least the the D3000. I am so glad that we purchased this camera which is far less complicated and in my opinion took just as incredible pictures as the more expensive DSLR cameras.

    We’ve had the camera for about a week now and have had a chance to load the pictures we took from our trip to Vegas onto our computer. Boy are the pics STUNNING. We were able to take over 900 pictures on a 8 GB HC memory card(which also includes more than a few videos). The pics on the computer come out in 420 dpi and the clarity is jut amazing. Portrait pics of my son (especially the ones taken in black & white) come out looking like they were taken by a professional photographer (something we could not get from our point and shoot). The batteries lasted us the whole weekend, and when they finally did need to be recharged, it only took about an hour to get a full charge.

    We absolutely love the high-speed burst feature. We used the feature while taken pics of the Fountains at the Bellagio. It’s fun to hold down the left or right button while viewing taken pics on the 3 inch lcd, it almost looked like we were watching a slow motion video of the fountains. Even though it was night time, the pictures still came out incredible (again something you can’t get on a point and shoot)

    There are a lot more options I have to play with to familiarize myself more with the camera. Like any guy, I have not read the manual at all yet. This speaks volumes for this camera. Its easy to take amazing pictures without having to take classes or read an outrages manual. I recommend this camera to anyone who is wanting to take better pictures without having to spend an entire paycheck to do so.

  8. N. Burger Says:


    I am very impresed by this camera: it is easy to use and takes great pictures! I wanted a long zoom and am not disappointed. You do not seem to be able to turn off the quick view even though the manual says you can but if you press the shutter button part-way the quick view will end and you can take another picture very quickly. I took some pictures at full telephoto on a very windy day and they came out fantastic because of the image stabilization. I also took a short video on the same day and tried to hold the camera steady in my hands and you can see it move around so the image stabilization on the stills is excellent. The video quality was also excellent.

  9. Michael J. Mcmorrow Says:


    I have had my Z981 for two weeks and I have given it a thorough testing. My son is a professional photographer and he told me that I would be disappointed with this camera. I told him that I would give it a real-world test and, if I was disappointed, I would send it back.

    First the cons: 1) The On/Off toggle switch is awkwardly placed. It is almost impossible to turn the camera on (or off) without moving (changing) the Mode dial. 2) The battery compartment is easy to open but very difficult to close and lock (I use my car key to slide it). Also, make sure the camera works once you have locked it. For some reason, this seems to be a problem. 3) A hotshoe and tilting view screen would have been nice but I knew from the specs that I would get neither. 4) The zoom on the back of the camera (rather than on the top) is awkward but I will get use to it. 5) I would have gladly paid an extra $50 to have the camera built out of heavy duty plastic.

    Now the pros: 1) The photo quality is first rate. 2) The zoom is smooth but, keep in mind that in high power, you really need to steady the camera (I use a monopod). 3) The video automatically includes sound (not so with all cameras). 4) The video is very high quality (1280×720) and the optical zoom works in video mode. When playing this video, it fills my entire computer monitor – not just a little window in the middle of the monitor. 5) It uses SD cards. This doesn’t sound like much but these are much cheaper than the proprietary cards that some cameras use. 6) It uses AA batteries. Since I travel a lot in the Amazon, built-in (or proprietary) rechargeable batteries are not an option for me. 7) I love having a separate button for all of the different functions. Most cameras have a Function button that you push and then get totally lost in the maze of options, sub-options and sub-sub-options. 8) The price is great. I have never paid less that $600 for a digital camera.

    Bottom line: Great pictures, great high resolution video, 14mp and 26x zoom. It has some quirks but is a great camera at a great price.

  10. donny Says:


    I got this as an upgrade to my z612. I haven’t used it much yet, but so far I love it! The zoom is fantastic and so is the flash.

    I zoomed into a table in a room that was 20 feet away and dark. The flash lit the entire image and worked great!FROM 20 FEET AWAY!

    Image stabilization is great and so is image quality. I am very happy with the speed of the camera. Much faster than the z612 and I really like to burst feature (1 per second or 8 per second (might be 9 there)).

    No problems with the battery compartment opening. It is tight, but do you want it too loose?

    They seemed to have dumbed down settings on this camera also. Only those that effect the mode for shooting you are in are available to change. So in automatic mode very limited settings for the camera are accessible, but in other modes you can access quality and more.

    Two things I don’t like: 1. I had to print the “real” manual from a download. I want a small manual from kodak to keep with me in case I have to look something up. They have an onboard help system, but I want a manual.

    Also, the on/off switch is very close to the mode dial. It is usable, but my z612 had some more space and was easier to access.

    Overall, I am very pleased.

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