Kodak PIXPRO SL25 Review

Introduction


The popularity of point-and-shoot cameras have slowly dwindled in the last several years due to the emergence of smartphones, partly because of the versatility, convenience, and solid quality they offer with their cameras. However, companies that earned their reputation in the camera space have been investing their time in another emerging area – the smartphone attachable lens. It’s a promising venture that some companies believe will be picking up steam, evident by the models we’ve checked out from Sony, like the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100.

Another company that’s gambling on seeing this new product segment gain steam is Kodak. Similar to Sony’s offering, Kodak’s attachable smartphone lens, the Kodak PIXPRO SL25, aims to broaden things with its 16-megapixel 1/2.3” BSI CMOS sensor and long 25x optical zoom range. Naturally, it requires a smartphone for users to fully reap all the benefits of its features. Surely, its wider features set give the PIXPRO SL25 more versatility, but it needs to produce solid results to make it a potential candidate for serious photographers.

Packaging contains:

  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery
  • AC adapter
  • Wrist strap
  • microUSB cable
  • Quick start guide

Design

It’s an odd looking thing to those not familiar with this kind of product segment, but it’s still pretty bulky in size.

If you haven’t seen an attachable smartphone lens before, then you’ll probably find the Kodak PIXPRO SL25 a bit strange looking at first. Quite simply, it’s just the lens portion of a traditional digital camera – though, it’s quite hefty in size. Indeed, it’s not something that’ll stay discrete in our pockets, but its immense size is due to the 25x lens that’s stuffed into the casing. With such a long range in tow, it’s necessary for the PIXPRO SL25 to flaunt such a hefty package.

Constructed out of sturdy plastic, it doesn’t particularly exude any premium qualities with its design, but rather, it exhibits a somewhat rugged feel. Now, it’s made especially more profound as we hold the thing in our hand, seeing that it’s significantly heavier than the biggest of smartphones – tipping the scales at a heavy 210 grams! We wouldn’t want to drop this straight onto the concrete ground, obviously, but its tough plastic body assures us that it’s resistant enough to endure some minor falls.

Looking around the body of the Kodak PIXPRO SL25, we find its dedicated power button, zoom toggle, and two-level shutter key. Hidden in a compartment on one of its sides, its microUSB port, lithium-ion battery, and microSD card slot are safely tucked away behind a plastic cover. Rounding things out, it features these adjustable clips that can accommodate and keep in place all sorts of smartphones – even phablets like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. There’s also a standard sized mount on its underside to allow us to attach it to a tripod.

At the center of it all is the 16-megapixel 1/2.3” BSI CMOS sensor, which retracts outwards when it’s powered on. Clearly, it has some advantages over the camera sensors in today’s smartphones – such as its wide 25mm field and 12-element lens construction. On the other, though, all of the camera gear in its package doesn’t make it compact. Of course, the PIXPRO SL25 is meant to work hand-in-hand with a smartphone, but it still can be operated independently. However, it’s only able to capture snapshots, with no way to shoot video.



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17 Comments

1. ABAldOPayardu

Posts: 3; Member since: Jan 09, 2015

Joooooohn V please make video review of this, Thanks.

2. cdm283813

Posts: 424; Member since: Jan 10, 2015

Is it me but did Kodak rip off Sony? Or is this a rebranded Sony model?

3. mixedfish

Posts: 1547; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

The Sony one is better: it's cheaper, has NFC, shoots 1080p video and RAW.

4. rsiders

Posts: 1898; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I think the Sony one is more limited in terms of shooting modes but I might be wrong about that.

6. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

I have the QX-100... while it is actually very good, sadly it doesn't save RAW images... However, Sony has already newer models that PhoneArena doesn't even talk about.... QX-1 which is the equivalent of a Professional camera, it features detachable lenses, so you can mount which ever is needed and has a small Xenon Flash similar to the one on RX-100 II.... and the QX-30 something similar to this Kodak, but it is capable of 30x optical Zoom... I would like to see this PIXPRO in person, but I am sufficiently satisfied with my QX-100... it gives incredible pictures, it is sturdy (once it fell to concrete from a mount of a Telescope at around 4 feet / 1.2 mts, and luckily survived without damages)... My only complain is that the PlayMemories software is kind of Generic for Sony cameras, so it doesn't give a lot of features... but at least I am able to control ISO, Shutter Speed, Apperture, EV... and the Superior Auto mode works a lot better than on phones... it detects more than 40 different scenes, and even do auto HDR pics (combining up to 5 shots)... Very happy with it... I even found an app that allows the QX-100 to do TimeLapse... pretty cool.

5. rsiders

Posts: 1898; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

These attachable lens units are pretty cool but it's clear that something of the sort should come with a xenon flash. I think that is the only thing missing as far as I'm concerned. If they can improve on the capture times and add a xenon flash in the next iterations, I think that would make for more opportunities.

7. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

The QX-1 has a small Xenon flash... read my comment above. Also while I agree that flash is the only thing missing from my QX-100, I have managed to learn how to take great pictures in Low Light even with moving subjects... Using Manual mode, and playing around with shutter speeds at High ISO I have got excellent results

15. rsiders

Posts: 1898; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Wow I guess I missed the other ones. Thanks for the heads up and short review on the QX-100. You just about sold me the device.lol But I'm going to check out the QX-1 reviews. I may just get one just for the fun and versatility it could provide.

8. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

16. rsiders

Posts: 1898; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I just checked out this review of the QX1 and I am very impressed. The only negative with the QX1 is that you have to buy a lens to attach to it and for the price of the QX1 and one or two decent lenses, you might as well get a low level DSLR or mid level mirror-less camera like the Sony Alpha 5100 or 6000. I still may get one later though.

9. tokuzumi

Posts: 1843; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

How is the performance when using your phone's screen as a viewfinder? Is there lag like with the first gen sony cameras?

10. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Most of the time I get almost no lag... but there are times (and places) where lag occurs probably due to the quantity of WiFi devices in the vicinity... When that happens it usually goes away after a few seconds, but if it doesn't you can reconnect and most of the time works great... specially outdoors I also learned to take my pictures watching directly at the subject and using only the screen as frame of reference.... this way I now that what I shot is what I wanted and not just some lag moments behind. And just to add, the range that I have been able to operate it remotely with my phone has been easily over 20mts outdoor

11. ArcMhyke

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 21, 2015

PA decided to review this unit? how about Sony First Gen QX10/QX100 and Second Gen QX1/QX30 Attachable Camera? Please do some review too, Sony App and Camera Firmware has grown mature already

13. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Yeah I am dissapointed at PA as well.... they tend to disregard Sony products in general... The QX-100 is very good... Most reviews out there are from when the firmware was very early but Sony released newer versions with more features and capabilities. I have taken almost 3000 pictures already with it and taken it to my trips... it definitely beats carrying a DSLR, and the image quality is similar.

12. robblaser

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 21, 2015

Does anyone tested the max distance at which the smart lens and the smart phone communicate? Thanks

14. buccob

Posts: 2956; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Read comment #10 I don't recall the distance that stops communicating, but I have taking group pictures including me (with phone on my hand) at over 20 meters... Outdoors

17. aipom

Posts: 41; Member since: Feb 10, 2014

No xenon flash ¬¬

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