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I’ve had this camera for about 4 years – it was a Christmas present, and l would guess as makes and models change this camera probably isn’t produced anymore. Although whilst checking out www.pricerunner.co.uk when searching for the price I did see that on Ebay you can start a bid on one for £1!!! BARGAIN! When the camera was bought for me it cost in and around £50-£60. I in fact got a new APS camera from my mum for Christmas (although l cant write about it yet – lve taken one snap!) and l can write this without fear of offending her as l know she doesn’t visit these websites or any for that matter, but l think l will be sticking to using my old one as the new one don’t have a zoom lens!
So the Kodak Advantix C650 – what is it?
It’s an APS camera – that is a point and shoot camera with an Advanced Photographic System. When these first arrived on the scene they were thought to be very costly in terms of film purchase or development. The prices have reduced considerably. That l will get on to later.
What’s so great about APS?
Well over the conventional 35mm cameras APS has 2 added advantages that l can see:
· Film loading
That is there is a little chamber – similar to that of a battery slot for you to pop your APS film into. You can’t really get it wrong either – there’s only one way for the film to slot in. So no more fiddling around with rolls of film, exposing it to too much light and ruining the shots of that really special day for ever! We’ve all been there!
· Picture Size
With APS system cameras the budding photographer has the choice of 3 picture sizes: - Classic or standard print size (C) - Wide- Angle print size (H) - Panoramic print size (P) These photograph sizes can be chosen through the film roll, and help enhance the quality of your picture taking – i.e. if you are taking a sweeping picturesque shot of a natural phenomena the panoramic shot is great.
So on to the camera.
It’s a boxy camera – sturdy, not some minute piece of equipment that fits in the palm of your hand! It is silver in colour with a zoom lens range of 24-48 mm and 2x optical zoom ability. There’s an inbuilt flash, which you can have on various settings from off to the most popular auto flash choice. The camera has a red eye reduction setting, and a nighttime flash setting also. These are once chosen displayed on the little panel found at the top of the camera.
There’s a chamber for the lithium cr123a battery- these cost around £6 and l tend to buy one once a year (and l use my camera a lot) from any supermarket. The battery simply snaps in and out of its slot and there are instructions printed on the inside of the chamber so it is inserted correctly. On the display panel on the top of the camera – you will find when your battery life is low it will tell you. Another nifty feature is that of sleep – that is leaving your camera on but idle for a few minutes and it automatically knocks off to save on battery life.
Your film has its own private chamber, which lives at the bottom of the camera – there’s an open/close button, which opens the chamber lid, and you pop in your film. Now APS film was once around £10 to buy – thankfully this has reduced and you can pick up a packet of 3, 25 shot film for around the £10 mark. I do tend to prefer buying a 40 shot film – for the simple price you are maybe paying an extra quid on the film price, but when development kicks in it costs no more than a 25 shot film would.
As an aside developing an APS film does cost more than tradition film development – l have on occasion come home from holiday and gone to Jessops (who in my opinion produce the best photographic quality pictures) with 3 films to develop and spend £30 for the pleasure! You are looking at around £10 for 1-hour development, and around £6 for overnight. One a positive note, it used to be should you have a mixture of panoramic shots in your film this would have incurred extra costs – thankfully now this is no more and all have one standard price. I do choose Jessops – they give a 40 shot film included with in the development price and their development of your pictures are top class – they will even hand sort the photos for an addition £1. You also can choose between a matt or gloss finish – dependent on your preference.
Back to the camera….
The view finder situated on the back of the camera next to the on/off button – pretty standard although should you change frame shots from Classic to Panoramic your view finder will do likewise and show you the shot in full glory. This in turn leads on to using the zoom function – how did l cope without zoom (sorry mum!) It’s a very easy to use swivel button – move to the left for far away objects to focus on and to the right for close up – simple!
The display panel on top of the camera which l have referred to on occasion is simple to decipher. A rectangular box with lots of useful information – it will display your time and date for you, the number of shots you have left (this camera counts down the shots), your battery availability (if it is flashing get a new one!) the flash mode selected, self timer count down, or if the red eye reduction mode is on.
Self timer – is exactly that – say you and your other half are alone on some scenic spot and you want a shot of both of you – hit self timer line up the shot and jump in front of the camera – snap! You will know when the camera is about to snap when a red dot on the front starts to flash – at this point smile this is the cameras way of saying Cheese!
It is from the top of the camera you can set the date and time in whichever format you feel most comfortable with. Now you will need a pencil or the like to push the buttons – this is actually a safety feature as such – so when the camera is in use you aren’t change the date/time details without your prior knowledge.
The camera comes with a hand strap to secure it to you when you’re out snapping. I would note that if you have big hands it may be a bit tight – so it could be better. Also the protect case it came with is crap. A Velcro fastener, which does not sit tight – my new camera l, got this Christmas has a padded belt strapping case – so it’s better in that respect!
I love this camera – it has served me well, for the last 4 years it has been on every holiday, special night out, and family occasion. Photographic print quality up until recently has been fantastic – lots of glossy defined prints. Perhaps with age and use this is now fading slight and there is slight light seepage, but in general it has been great. In the pack when l received it there was a Kodak film, battery and photo frame in the package – the frame a chrome effect one was definitely a nice touch.
There must be a new Kodak Advantix model on the market now, and if l were to purchase a new one, based on the results of the C650 l would have no problem picking it off the shelf!