Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Review

Sunday, 4 August 2013
An industry leader since 1888, Kodak continues to offer simple, easy-to-use cameras and photo accessories for customers all over the world. The company stays on the cutting edge with an abundance of new products and processes that make photography more useful, enjoyable and convenient than ever before.

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 is a bridge camera with a 36x optical zoom lens, available for a very affordable price.

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 was announced in July 2013, one of the new Astro Zoom cameras from Kodak and has a 36x optical zoom lens, zooming all the way to a 864 mm equivalent.

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Features:

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 has a 16.15 megapixel CCD sensor and 36x optical zoom lens which is a 35mm equivalent of 24-864mm, with optical image stabilisation to reduce the effects of camera shake. The lens also has a minimum focus of 5cm when shooting wide for macro shots.

There is an auto mode which adjusts the camera settings automatically, as well as PSAM modes for more control. You'll also find a panorama mode as well as a number of scene modes. There are also a number of digital filters (including vivid, sepia, vignetting and more) as well as the option to record HDR images where the camera combines three shots. The videos are recorded in 720p HD with optical zoom available and you can apply one of three digital filters, vivid, sepia or black and white.

Key Features :

  • 16.15 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 36x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 24-864mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 460k dot LCD screen
  • Full manual controls
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 80-3200
  • 5cm minimum focusing distance
  • HDR mode
  • 180ยบ panorama mode
  • Filter effects

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Handling

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 has the look and feel of a small DSLR, although it wouldn't really be small enough to carry in your pocket. The grip is rubberized to help you to hold the camera, with a rubberized patch on the rear for your right thumb.

There is a mode dial on the top, this gives access to PSAM and auto modes, as well as panorama and face beautifier modes. The top has the zoom rocker and shutter release and also has buttons for continuous shooting, on / off, and movie record. The flash also has a button to pop it up.

On the rear the i button gives access to the filters, there are also menu, playback, display and exposure compensation buttons, the latter gives access to ISO, aperture and shutter speed, depending on the mode you're using. Lastly, there is a d-pad with a set button in the middle. The directional buttons can be used to access focus, macro, flash and self-timer.

The menu system is fairly easy to navigate, but one or two things are a little different to most cameras - access of shutter speed and aperture settings via the exposure compensation, as well as using the set button to change the white balance. The 3.0 inch screen has a decent 460k dot resolution and is easy to see in bright light.

Battery life is rated at quite a low 200 shots according to CIPA test results. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

The camera is a little slow between shots, but doesn't get slower when using the flash. Continuous shooting is fairly quick. When shooting HDR's it is nearer the 0.6 fps, but is quick enough to shoot handheld.

Shutter Response

0.35 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response

0.5 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response

1.05 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo

2.8 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash

3.2 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash

3.2 secs
Continuous Shooting

3.3 fps
Continuous Shooting - 3 shots

0.6 fps

Lens Performance:

Detail is decent in the centre of the images but are significantly softer in the corners. Purple fringing is an issue in contrasting areas of the pictures. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, which allows for a good macro shot.

ISO Noise Performance:

Noise is low at ISO 80 and 100, but even at ISO 200 a little detail is lost in places. This loss of detail worsens at ISO 400, meaning the images are slightly soft. Image quality becomes quite poor at ISO 800, particularly in contrasting areas, with even worse image quality at ISO 1600 and is therefore best avoided. You can shoot at ISO 3200 but image size is limited to just 4 megapixels.

White Balance Performance:

Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) takes a picture with a very slight orange cast, with the incandescent preset performing well. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB and fluorescent preset both perform well.

Value For Money:

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 is available for £189.99. Other similar bridge cameras include the Pentax X-5 with 26x zoom at £164.99, Fujfilm FinePix S4800 with 30x zoom at £139.00, Sony CyberShot H200 with 26x zoom at £147.83 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 with 35x optical zoom. If you have a bigger budget, you can get the Canon PowerShot SX50 at £349.00 and Fujifilm FinePix SL1000 at £269.95 which both have 50x optical zoom, or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 which has 60x optical zoom at £369.00.

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Verdict:

The Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 is going to suit someone who wants lots of optical zoom, but isn't too fussed about image quality being good enough for large prints. If you prefer sharing your images on Facebook instead, image quality is good enough, particularly as color reproduction is good. Noise is an issue from ISO 200 upwards, so shooting in good light or with the flash is useful, the battery life is also disappointing. But for the amount of zoom available and full manual controls, the AZ361 is worth its price - especially as you can also shoot HDR images using the camera handheld.

Kodak PIXPRO AZ361 Specifications:

Max Aperture
f/2.9 - f/5.7
35mm equivalent
24mm - 864mm
Optical Zoom
Image Sensor
CCD pixels
16.15Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)
Pixels (H)
Sensor Type
Sensor Size
1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)
No Data
Sensor Size (height)
No Data
Aspect Ratio
·         4:3
·         3:2
·         16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor
Screen resolution
460k dots
Touch Screen
Min Focus
Focusing modes
·         Autofocus
·         Spot
·         Face Detection
·         AF Tracking
·         Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest
Shutter speeds longest
Exp modes
·         Program
·         Aperture-Priority
·         Shutter-Priority
·         Manual
·         Scene modes
·         A
·         Centre-weighted - Average
·         Multi Pattern
·         Spot
ISO sensitivity
80 - 3200
White balance
·         Auto
·         Manual
·         Outdoors/Daylight
·         Cloudy
·         Incandescent
·         Fluorescent
Exposure Comp
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting
No Data
Movie mode
Video Resolution
·         1280x720 720p
Video FPS
Stereo Sound
Optical Zoom with Video
Other Features
Image Stabilisation
Card Type
·         SD
·         SDHC
File Type
·         JPG
Power Source
Battery Type
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery LB-060
CIPA Rating
Box Contents
Box Contents
Rechargeable Li-ion battery, lens cap with strap, quick start guide, warranty card, service card, neck strap, USB cable, AC adapter and CD-ROM