The first thing that you look for in any decent semi professional Camera is its Optical zoom and the lens size – the optical zoom allows you to take pictures of object that is farther from you without reducing the number of effective pixel. The bigger lens size lets more light enter into the CMOS sensor bringing you better quality even in low light condition.
At $99 the Kodak’s PIXPRO AZ501-BK is no short of stunning with its 50 Megapixel optical zoom – something we have rarely seen in entry level cameras. Its 1/2.3″ CCD sensor is not the best, but is good enough for most medium light shoot session, and when, augmented with the Flash, is great with almost all shooting condition.
The build quality of the Kodak – PIXPRO AZ501-BK is great, the extra weight and the grip area on the right side of the camera helps minimizing the motion blurs. And if you do accidentally shake a bit, the in built optical image stabilization ensures that the picture quality is not too bad.
Resolution and Picture Quality
At 4608 x 3456, this 16.5 Megapixel is an overkill for sharing images on facebook, but it does a nice job if you wish to keep the pictures memorable for longer time.
If you occasionally wish to shoot video – it is not bad. You can record videos at 720p resolution and its length will be limited by the amount of storage in the SD Card you have. It looks like the video quality has occasional blurs, which is resulted potentially from the fact that the camera does not refocus as you change its zoom or move it to a different point while shooting video. The best way to shoot video will be to not move the camera or zoom the lens while shooting.
Battery and Charging
Kodak has done a good job to include a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery and the charger. All you need to worry about is to carry the AC charger with you when you plan to shoot for longer duration. For a single session, a fully charged battery is good enough, provided, you do not keep the LCD viewfinder lit for longer duration of time.
Buy Extra SD Card
The inbuilt 8MB storage is not good enough, except when you want to shoot few very low resolution pictures. You will do yourself a good favor by purchasing 8 GB or more SD Card, which should be good enough for pictures. If you plan to shoot lots of videos you can get bigger size SD Cards, but 8 GB is good enough for most cases.