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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!
There is nothing more frustrating, or disappointing, than going along to collect your eagerly anticipated pictures from your camera film developer only to be told that you put your film in wrong and all you have for your time and effort is 24 blank shots of blackness, nothing, nil, zero, void. Especially upsetting when you were looking forward to a mass of prints of your childs first birthday party, or your holiday adventures, or family get togethers. In an instant all those permanent reminders are gone, wiped out, never to be relived. The funny shot you took of Granny sleeping with her dentures half in and half out, the before and after pictures of Dad having his head shaved for charity, the dog cocking his leg up against Uncle Bill, that sort of thing can never be recaptured (unless the dog can be encouraged to cooperate!). Some things can only ever be caught on camera once and then the moment is lost forever, especially at expensive occasions such as weddings and foreign holidays. Take as another example my grandmother who took her old camera when she went away to visit her new grandson and came home devastated, film was blank, no photos, the film was not put in properly. No pictures of baby, no pictures of baby with a proud granny, 800 miles is a long way to go to have these photos taken again. Stupid camera. So what is the answer to this problem? Getting the man in the camera shop to put your film in for you perhaps? Mmm, maybe, but not very convenient if you need to put a new film in and you are in the middle of Dartmoor. Or how about a disposable camera? You simply buy the whole unit, film in situ, for around the £10 mark, point and click. Simple. But very expensive when you consider it can cost another £9 or so for developing as well. Around £20 for 24 pictures? Work it out... not good value per photo is it? I’ve bought a couple of these in the past for kids to take on school trips but would never consider them for day-to-day
long term use. So when my old camera frustrated me beyond what I could bear I had a look around at my options. I was so fed up of pulling out a length of film, lining up the holes, winding it on a bit, closing the back of the camera up and winding on some more, keeping everything crossed that the film has not sprung back or come off the cog wheels (I’m sure they have a more technical name than that but I’m just a novice here!). I would just hope that it hadn’t all gone horribly wrong and the film had become a jumbled up spaghetti inside. I expect there are people who find the whole procedure as simple as simple could be but I thought it was fiddly, slow and problematic. So I bought a new one. I like to call my new camera suitable for the photographically ignorant. I know that photography can be quite a complicated subject but for normal day to day usage for the average snap taker I don’t think you could go wrong with the Kodak Advantix C650 zoom camera. This camera takes advantage of the new technology of the Advanced Photo System, or APS as it’s commonly known, a system which has really impressed me. So what exactly is APS and why has it revolutionised the way I take my photos? The main feature for me is the ability I now have to take a varying size of photo. I am able to choose from 3 different sizes, classic - compact pictures measuring 102 x 152mm, I use this size for close up shots mainly when I don’t want to incorporate much background, then there is the group shot or H, this is the usual size for me, good size for most shots of people, animals, etc, measuring 102 x 178mm. But my favourite size is the panorama option, measuring 102 x 254mm, this size is fantastic for capturing shots of views, scenery and large groups of people, for example at weddings or kids Christmas plays. It is not a format that you would use often unless you were on holiday in a stunning environment where you woul
d want to capture loads of large vistas of scenery, or maybe you are a very popular person who is invited to a lot of weddings and parties. It is certainly a useful facility to have on those types of occasions when a normal 6x4 shot would not do justice. Choosing your picture size is really the only thought needed when using this camera, for example, taking a close up shot of a small child blowing bubbles would not be effective if using the panorama setting, and likewise a picture of Sydney Harbour taken from the top of the bridge would be amazing in panorama but too restrictive in compact mode. I always keep mine set at H as this is suitable for the majority of my photography (which usually consists of my kids with cheesy grins and my kids with cheesy grins holding their guinea pigs..!.) So what other benefits are there with the APS system? The film has to be a definite advantage, this camera uses special APS film only, a neat little cartridge which slots simply into the film chamber. It really is that simple, open the film chamber door, pop in the film - it can only fit in one way so you can’t possibly put it in wrong, even in the dark. Shut the film door and that is it. As soon as that door closes it initiates the auto film advance, a lot of whirring in layman's terms! The frame counter shows you how many pictures you can take, either 25 or 40 depending on the film you purchase, I tend to buy 25’s as I am not patient enough to wait for a 40 to be filled! A 40 is generally better value for money if you take a lot of photos, it is only marginally more expensive to buy and have purchased. When the film is completed and you take it out of the camera (very easy, the camera automatically rewinds, then you open the door and take it out) you will see 4 indicators on the film cartridge, one symbol indicates that the film is unexposed (a circle), partially exposed (a half-moon, this is useful if you only want to take a
certain number of pictures and need to get them developed), fully exposed (a cross) and when you have the film processed the final symbol is highlighted (square). Easy peasy. Useful if you have a pile of cartridges and you don’t know if you have had them developed yet, just check the symbol. You could never tell with the other type of cartridges. One useful feature is the automatic date and time imprinting on the back of your photos, handy if you have a poor memory or cupboards full of prints. Also useful for future generations who stumble upon your photography in the attic in years to come.... did they really wear that back in 2002!?! How old fashioned is that?!?! Ever had one image on top of another? That’s annoying. Doesn’t happen with this camera due to its double exposure protection. No more pictures of someone riding a horse superimposed onto an image of someone windsurfing. I have a collection of very ghostly images of people in the same photo who have never actually met each other, very odd. And for the real photographic nitwit there is a safety feature which prevents you from opening the film chamber door before the film is completely rewound. Been there, done that, but not with this new camera. Could it be that this camera is completely fool-proof? It seems that it just might be! What other features does it have to make life easier? A low battery indicator so you know when to replace the lithium battery (they last about 2 years so no need to panic there..) Sleep mode - if you accidentally leave your camera on for more than 3 minutes without taking a photo, the camera very cleverly has a snooze, this saves your battery power. Smart. Automatic focus and flash - pretty standard now, but still very useful. Zoom lens - this is my first zoom camera and I wonder now how I lived without this function. Wonderful for those close up shots and for things far a
way, I took a photo of a hot air balloon using zoom and it came out brilliantly. Red eye reduction - to prevent those ghastly pictures of loved ones who end up looking like something out of a horror movie! Self-timer - for when you want to be in the action in front of the camera, a nice facility for when you are on your honeymoon and you don’t want to trust strangers with your camera! Just prop the camera up, set the self-timer button, join your partner and wait for the little light. And just hope you can get to your camera before a thief runs off with it. If you want to get more complicated you can play around with the other flash modes, infinity focus and night view mode, but I haven’t found the need to use any of these yet, the standard settings seem to produce perfect pictures every time so why fiddle? Overall it is easy to use, nice to look at in silver and grey tones, light to carry at only 195g, small enough to fit in your pocket (unless you have very small pockets), and extremely reliable. The photos it produces are high quality and the different sizes of print add to the interest and variety of shots you can take. Now for the technical stuff courtesy of the good people at Kodak!......... Film type: Kodak Advantix film for colour and black and white pictures (I have used films other than Kodak but they are certainly the best, although Boots is comparable) Lens: 24 - 48 mm, hybrid aspheric zoom lens (?????) Focus System: 70 zones AF (lost me there I’m afraid.....) Focus Range: Wide/Tele: 0.6 m to infinity (To infinity.... and beyond!!!! Sorry, too much Toy Story.....) Viewfinder: Real image with C, H, P format display Film Speed: DXIX (ISO) 50 - 1600 for colour and black and white films Flash Unit: Built in/pop up, Kodak Sensalite Flash Flash Range: ISO 200 wide: 0.6 - 8.2 m, Tele: 0.6 - 4.3m Apertures:
f/4.5 - f/8.6 (another ????????) Shutter: Programmed electronic shutter, 1/5 to 1/360 seconds (sounds pretty quick to me!) Power Source: One 3 v lithium battery - Kodak K123 LA battery or equivalent ( I use Sanyo ones and they are fine) Dimensions: 114 x 64 x 34 mm (teeny) Weight: 195g (weeny) Happy Snapping! :)
I bought this camera almost a year ago, after hearing everybody ranting on about APS camera and how easy they are to use and load. Well I was expecting my first child and wanted a good camera for taking pictures of her. This particular one puts a date and time stamp on the back which is a must for your baby photos, it enables you to work out their exact age at the tme of the photo. It also has a self timer which I've used a couple of times, but don't make the same mistake that I did - I pressed the self timer button, got into the pose with my daughter and waited, and waited and waited! Frightened to move incase it went off, well eventually I realised that you have to press the take photo button too!! It has the opportunity to take photos in the three formats although I generally only use the classic. It also produces an index print which makes life much easier when ordering re-prints. The panoramic would come in handy on holiday though. It's so easy to use, you can use auto focus or do it yourself and it has anti-red eye which too is a bonus. To load the film you just drop it in and shut the door. My camera came with 3 films, a carry case, battery and a memory case (this holds your films and index prints) I would certainly recommend this camera to you.