PROS / This camera is very compact and lightweight.
CONS / A short zoom range limits this camera’s versatility.
VERDICT / The Kodak PixPro is a very basic camera in terms of image quality, performance and features. However, it’s still a good choice for those who want to spend very little.
The Kodak PixPro FZ53 is the least expensive camera that we tested, so it’s really for those who are looking to spend the least amount possible. The best point and shoot cameras offer good image quality, a versatile lens and solid features and design. When compared to those, the FZ53 fails to measure up at every turn – not a surprise considering its $80 price point.
First, its image quality is simply not very good. In low light, we found its images to be fuzzy and unclear – almost as if there was no noise reduction at all. In addition to this, the Kodak is the only camera on our lineup that doesn’t have optical image stabilization. Ultimately, this means that the camera’s sensor has to work even harder to produce properly exposed images, resulting in even noisier images. The colors produced by this camera are fairly natural, but they degrade quickly as light fades.
To make matters worse, battery life is far below average at around 200 shots per charge, which means you may need to buy a spare battery. Considering these limitations, we think that this is probably a good camera to keep in your glove compartment or for a gift to a child who wants to get started taking photos.
Since point and shoot camera lenses cannot be interchanged, a versatile one is important. In general, this means long ranges that allow you to zoom in close on a subject, but also zoom out to capture landscapes and architecture. The FZ53, however, offers only a 5x zoom, which greatly limits these abilities but still manages to give you more than you’d get out of a smartphone.
As far as features and camera controls are concerned, the FZ53 has almost nothing. There’s no Wi-Fi, optical image stabilization, screen articulation, viewfinder or really anything else to speak of. You’ll be able to apply scene modes and some effects, but for the most part this camera is best suited to simple automatic shooting.
The Kodak PixPro FZ53 is truly a bare minimum point and shoot camera. There are circumstances in which this can be useful, but we feel that the vast majority of camera seekers would be better off spending more on a more capable camera. If you’re looking for something inexpensive but versatile, check out Nikon’s Coolpix S7000. If price is your only concern, however, the FZ53 is a decent choice.