I’ve been riding my bike a lot this summer. From where I live, in just a few minutes I can be on country roads among Indiana cornfields. Even though I’m a dedicated city boy, I really love the peaceful, quiet rides through rural southeastern Boone County.
I also love my old Kodak EasyShare Z730 on a sunny day. It delivers great, punchy color. I hadn’t shot it in some time, so I charged its battery and stuck it in the little bag that hangs off my bike’s seat springs. I made these images on a bunch of rides in late July and early August.
I did bring all of these into Photoshop to tweak them to my liking. Most of them just got a hit of the automatic correction button in the RAW editor and then some manual tweaking of the settings from there.
If I have one complaint about the Z730 it’s that it will randomly make an image too blue or too green. A little Photoshoppery can usually fix that.
One evening when we got another of the beautiful sunsets we enjoy here on the edge of Zionsville, I got the Z730 from the bike to see how it rendered the colors in this available light. The Z730’s maximum ISO is 800, but it’s mighty, mighty noisy there. I shot at ISO 400, which for this photo gave me f/3.4 at 1/45 sec. In the image straight out of the camera, the dark areas were more exposed and quite noisy. I fixed that in Photoshop by increasing the black level to blank them out. I also deepened the dusky colors a bit.
I’m pleased that my Z730 still works, although it shows some signs of age. Its fiddly power/mode switch feels harder to work than in years gone by. Also, the little clip that holds down the battery broke. The battery door still works, and when it’s closed the battery makes good contact. But open that door, and the battery pops out and the camera resets to original settings. That includes date and time, which means unless you set them the camera thinks it’s January 1, 2005, and puts that into image EXIFs.
This Z730 would probably be in worse shape, but it got just a few years of workhorse use before I retired it in favor of the Canon PowerShot S80 and then the PowerShot S95 that I still shoot today.
I shoot this camera only every couple three years. It’s hardly enough to justify owning it, as I want to own just cameras I use regularly. But every time I do use it, I’m glad I did. There’s just something about the color the Kodak digital cameras delivered that cameras from other makers couldn’t match.
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