My Kodak EasyShare Max z990

Multi-Page Article
Page 1 – Initial Impression , HDR, Photo Booth, Panorama, Low Light
Page 2 – Film effects , focus , scenes, borders, color tints
Page 3 – Video, SD cards, Batteries, other specs

Film Effects

The film effects that come with this camera have really captured my curiosity. Below are some pictures of a rose bush at our local botanical garden:

“Nostalgic color”[mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,9,200,center]
“Vibrant saturated color”[mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,10,200,center]
“Bright natural color”[mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,8,200,center]
“Lusturous tone and fine grain”
“Dramatic contrast and grain”
“Vintage reddish brown tint”

“Film Effects” are similar to the color settings that were available with my previous EasyShare models. The difference is that you cannot set the default to be your favorite effect. … I personally prefer the more natural look of “Ektachrome”. But every time I turn the dial on my camera or turn my camera off, it resets to “Kodacolor”.

Focus and Scenes

Do you see my friend, the squirrel?

By far, one of the things that has bugged me most about cameras featuring auto-focus is their tendency to auto-focus on the wrong things. I can tell you that I have some excellent pictures of the bars in front of the animals from my daughter’s first trip to the zoo, and an awesome shot of the sand about 5 ft in front of where my daughter was building a sand castle in 2006.


My z990’s first bad auto-focus selection was of the leaves in front of a cute little squirrel that kept peeking over his branch and the odd human taking pictures below.

How far away should I be from my subject?

One thing you should know about the focus modes is which mode you should use for different distances from your subject. Check out the table below. – The “wide” column represents how far away to stand when you are zoomed out. “tele” represents how far back you should be when using the zoom. AF stands for auto focus. Of course, you may find that your actual needs vary depending on how much zoom you are using:

Mode , Distance Sample Pictures
Smart Capture mode / Normal AF 

3.9 ft -infinity (wide – zoom out)

5.9 ft – infinity (tele – zoom in)

[mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,1,200,center] [mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,2,200,center] 3
Macro AF (flower) 

3.9 in – 2.6 ft (wide)

5.9 in – 11.5 ft (tele)

[mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,3,200,center] 3
Super macro 

4 in – 7.9 in

[mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,4,200,center] [mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,5,200,center] [mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,6,200,center]
Anything too far away for other modes
[mudslide:picasa,0,MichelleHestand,5597915430684550033,7,200,center]This is my first “super zoom” camera to consider the moon to be at “infinity” distance. … hmm, I learned something new tonight! 2 3

You set the focus distance!

Does not cover full range. (I cannot do a super-macro type focus in Manual)

Another piece of useful information – The flash will only be useful if you can use it between 1.6 and 29.2 ft away from your subject in wide mode. 5.9 – 14.4 ft when zoomed in (tele).

As requested, here are some people pictures. See notes to see what “mode” was used.

Found a worm while planting a butterfly garden @ the local arboredum.

Found a worm!

kid in bright light


Sunset Silhouette - taken by Kodak Easyshare z990

Sunset Silhouette

I do not have any indoor pictures that I want to post yet. (Don’t really like posting myself.) But I will say that I am very happy with the results I am getting for indoor photography too. My main suggestion: If you are going to use the flash, make sure to put enough distance between camera and subject.

The kid-with-worm picture was taken on a bright morning, just minutes before the sun finished peaking over the trees to cause squinty eyes. (Smart capture)

The white shirt & bluejeans picture came out better than I expected with how bright the evening sun was shining. When zoomed in to 100%, I see that the z990 did a good job of picking up the texture of the white shirt and even the fingernail dirt! (SCN – Portrait, I think)

And the sunset setting  seems to exagerate the golden glow of the sun. There were some very nice blues and a few pinks reflecting on the water when I took the silhouette picture. (SCN – Sunset)


Good night sun.

This sunset picture was taken a little later in the evening than the silhouette one. … It looked much prettier in person, but the z990 did an OK job.


The Kodak z990 comes with 3 border affects. The first, ____, reminds me of the old-timey photo paper in the 1950’s section of my grandma’s photo album. The second is a “film” look, which I love. And last is a plain white border.

Here is the first border affect, which reminds me of the 1950’s section of my grandmother’s photo album. I took the original picture in sepia color to add to the vintage look. … All it’s missing is a date stamp on the bottom border 🙂

Multi-Page Article
Page 1 – Initial Impression , HDR, Photo Booth, Panorama, Low Light
Page 2 – Film effects , focus , scenes, borders, color tints
Page 3 – Video, SD cards, Batteries, other specs

Pages: 1 2 3


  1. Joyce on December 26, 2011 at 5:58 PM

    Hi…I just received one of these cameras for Christmas, but cannot get the video to record for longer than 15 seconds! I would like it to be able to record for up to 45 minutes or at least 5 minutes for a song….have you figured this out? Joyce

    • Michelle on February 1, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      I apologize for the delay in responding. There is no trick to getting more than 15 seconds of recording time. It sounds like your camera is buggy. I am not sure how well it will hold up for 45 minute recordings, but I know I have done several that were over 10 minutes. I suggest exchanging it for another z990.

  2. jim on December 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    Owners of the Z990, go to the Kodak site and download the latest firmware (1.2) and you will see a nice improvement on write speed (to the SD card) and no more laggy menu selections. This cam (and especially at the $200. range) is a must have. I compared ISO images at 100 to 400 against the Canon SX30 and Nikon P500 and the Kodak images were much cleaner. Have captured some very nice shots at full focal length too..tripod or bracing needed. It’s a great carry any where and any situation camera..and low light images are impressive for a p&s cam.

  3. EVELYN on January 3, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Has anyone used the Eye-Fi Pro X2

    with their Z990?

  4. Dan on January 6, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    Costco is selling the 990 for $199.99
    Have you found a good program for reading the RAW files?
    How do you set the camera to use the RAW format?
    I was looking at a Canon SX40 but with the Kodak now selling for $199.99 I might just go with it and save $149.00

  5. Paula on February 10, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    I went to Kodak’s web site but the only firmware update I see is 1.12. Can anyone tell me if this is the one I need to use or if there is really a 1.2?

  6. tim on February 25, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    Am I able to use the flash while recording a video? Sometimes I record videos in the house at night and the lighting isn’t good. Help….

    • Michelle on April 9, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      No. I have only seen that ability on dedicated video cameras. … This camera definitely does better in sunlight for video, but I have had decent results in the house too with just the light in the ceiling. I also have a light that was originally purchased for a reptile cage. It can be clamped on to tables and things. Sometimes I use it when I need extra light other than the flash.

  7. ronald.c.lee-harris on August 16, 2012 at 2:36 AM

    greetings…can see this camera is going to test the wisdom…paid$170;25 a.u. for one last night…will the kodak bargain capture some pictures with out fuss?…there seem’s to be quite a few photographers willing to save the extra and perservere…time will!…thank you for all your comments they along with others will help…regards…r/c.

  8. Patrick on January 16, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    I was looking at getting a refurb one on ebay for $136 but found it at Office Max for $149.99 new with free shipping. I’ve barely used it but was disapointed when I found out that my Photoplus X4 would not open the raw files. I got a free trail of Corel Paintshop Pro X5 and I am please to say not only did it open the z990 raw files but I liked the program so much I bought it ($39.99 at Amazon). I paid the extra $10 for the Ultimate version which comes with tons of cool extra filters and effects. I’m really looking forward to getting out and using it as soon as the weather warms up a little. My other cameras are a Kodak z650 and a Pentax ist DL digital SLR. This z990 fits nicely between the two.

  9. wayne on February 16, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    What is the best setting for capturing a fast swimmer in motion in the door pool. I used sports mode, and M mode (higher T, small A 2.8, and higher ISO), it doesn’t work well.

  10. Thru Da Roof on February 25, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    Thanks for all of the information, a lot of this answered questions I have been inquisitive about. I wanted to know if anyone found out if we can use an external microphone on the z990. I would like to know if I can hook up an additional monitor to the camera for video.

  11. Thru Da Roof on February 25, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    Michelle sometimes if you are at the end of your memory it will automatically stop. I have recorded two hour events without interruption, except to change batteries.

  12. Thru Da Roof on February 25, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    How chane we change the aperture on z990

Leave a Comment