The best Kodak cameras span a number of different categories, though all are arguably targeting a similar type of user. Kodak cameras these days have a firm emphasis on fun, with the brand mostly lending its name to knockabout point-and-shoots that are easy for anyone to pick up and use. Some are digital, some are analogue, and some as we’ll see are an interesting mix of both.
The reason we used the slightly tortured construction of ‘lending its name’ in the previous paragraph is because, of course, Kodak doesn’t actually make many of these cameras. The brand makes a habit of licensing its name to other firms, and it’s these companies that make and sell the cameras with the Kodak seal of approval. As such, there’s quite a bit of variety in the range.
We’ve aimed to cover the whole lot in this guide, so we’ve got quite a few sections. First, we have digital bridges and compact cameras. These are the kind of digital cameras that were very popular before the advent of the smartphone, and now most of the major manufacturers have all but abandoned them. Kodak licensee JK Imaging clearly thinks that has left a gap in the market.
Next, we cover instant print cameras, which function like Polaroids, but spit out their instant prints on photo paper rather than film. After that, we have a couple of 35mm film point-and-shoots for those who want to get old-school. And lastly, some cheap disposable cameras if you want to recapture that 90s holiday magic.
Best Kodak cameras: our top picks
Best for zoom
With an impressive 52x optical zoom range in a body that’s much cheaper than buying a mirrorless camera with equivalent lens(es) it's a great option for those who love travel or beginners alike.
Best for beach holidays
Waterproof down to 15m, shockproof against drops of two metres, and generally sealed and dustproofed all over, this capable little compact is designed to be nice and easy to use.
Best for children
ts 1/2.3-inch sensor delivers decent enough images, with pleasingly punchy colors, and the zoom lens is a relatively modest 5x optical unit. It’d potentially make a good gift for a child.
Best Kodak cameras in 2023
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Bridge and compact cameras
Does this qualify as retro? Fifteen-ish years ago, “bridge” style cameras pairing DSLR-esque bodies with fixed superzoom lenses were all the rage – now, most manufacturers have abandoned the bridge camera format. Not Kodak though, with its Kodak PIXPRO AZ528 giving photographers a pretty impressive 52x optical zoom range in a body that’s much cheaper than buying a mirrorless camera with equivalent lens(es). It has essentially the exact same advantages and drawbacks that bridge cameras did in the mid-2000s – a big, useful, one-size-fits-all zoom lens, at the cost of a small 1/2.3-inch sensor and optical softness compared to lenses with lesser focal ranges.
Read our full Kodak PixPro AZ528
Waterproof compacts are another once-popular format that are mostly being retired, with the Kodak PIXPRO WPZ2 flying in the face of the trend. Waterproof down to 15m, shockproof against drops of two metres, and generally sealed and dustproofed all over, this capable little compact is designed to be nice and easy to use. To that end, pretty much all shooting functions are automated, though it does have a useful 4x zoom lens. It’s got a built-in flash, which is generally very handy underwater where light is harder to come by, and the sensor produces decent-looking 16MP images.
Read our full Kodak PixPro WPZ2
Once, the idea of a digital camera you could slip into a pocket was enticing. These days, with everyone carrying a pocket-sized device equipped with a sophisticated camera array, it’s harder to justify the existence of a credit card-sized point-and-shoot like the Kodak Pixpro FZ55 – but evidently, Kodak licensee JK Imaging feels differently. So, this is a standard little compact, the kind you might have brought on a night out in the mid-2000s. Its 1/2.3-inch sensor delivers decent enough images, with pleasingly punchy colors, and the zoom lens is a relatively modest 5x optical unit. It’d potentially make a good gift for a child who has developed an interest in photography, but is a little young for a smartphone.
Read our full Kodak Pixpro FZ55 review
Instant and hybrid instant
While instant print cameras have always been geared towards simplicity, the Kodak Printomatic is about as simple as you can get. There’s no settings control to speak of – there’s not even an LCD screen to review images before or after you take them. You just hope for the best while looking through the little viewfinder, and moments later the camera will spit out a print of what you captured on Kodak’s ZINK photo paper. It’ll also save a copy if you insert a microSD card, though the makers didn’t deign to include one. Or a USB charging cable. Or more than five pieces of ZINK paper. Come on, lads – you have to admit, that’s a bit cheap.
Read our full Kodak Printomatic review
Instant-print cameras are generally known for spitting out images about the size of a credit card, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The Kodak Smile Classic feels like an attempt to make an instant-print camera that’s somewhere close to being a credible alternative to a Polaroid, producing larger prints that are 3.5 x 4.25 inches. The flat design is quite reminiscent of a Polaroid too – it’s clear what they’re going for here. The quality of the prints doesn’t match that of instant film, but the cheap convenience of ZINK paper is undeniable. You can also save photos onto an SD card if you supply your own, and a pop-up viewfinder helps with composition.
Read our full Kodak Smile Classic review
So named for the fact that it sports a 3.5-inch touchscreen, the Kodak Step Touch is an ideal choice for instant print photographers who like to see what they’re going to shoot before they shoot it (the pop-up viewfinders tend to provide little more than a rough approximation). It spits out credit card-sized prints on ZINK paper, and can also save a digital copy to a microSD card. The Step Touch even shoots video in Full HD 1920x1080 resolution, and while it’s tricky to imagine a scenario where you’d want to do so, having it on board certainly doesn't hurt.
Read the full Kodak Step Touch review
Half-frame cameras used to be commonplace – and now, with film and development costs rising, they’re very much back in vogue. The Kodak Ektar H35 (despite the name, it unfortunately doesn’t come with a roll of Ektar color print film) is a point-and-shoot film camera that divides each frame of a roll of 35mm film into two. So, instead of producing 36 images measuring 24x36mm, it’ll produce 72 images measuring 24x18mm. While it can be tricky to remember you’re shooting portrait rather than landscape (the viewfinder provides a helpful portrait-orientation grid), it’s a fun knockabout camera that’s great for getting more value out of your film.
See our full Kodak Ektar H35 review
While it uses a plastic lens just like a disposable camera, the Kodak M35 produces markedly better results from its 31mm optic, and is definitely the superior choice if you plan to do plenty of film shooting. It has fixed exposure settings – you point, you shoot, and that’s more or less it, except you can toggle the flash off and on. The flash is powered by an AAA battery, and it is quite easy to accidentally leave it powered and drain them overnight. Fortunately, the camera doesn’t need power to actually function, so this will only mean you can’t use the flash until you replace the battery.
Disposable cameras are back in vogue nowadays. Go to any music festival and it won’t be long before you spot one, and there’s a good chance it’ll be the Kodak FunSaver. With its distinctive yellow, red and black styling, the FunSaver is a mainstay of holidays and trips. It uses an ISO 800 film stock (one that Kodak doesn’t sell anymore) which gives it plenty of light sensitivity, though there is a built-in flash if you need it. That and the shutter button are the only control you get to exercise over the image – shutter speed and aperture are of course fixed.
A hardier disposable than the flimsy plastic things we’re used to, the Kodak Sport is encased in a rubberised shell that can take a knock or two, also boasting a scratch-resistant lens. What’s more, it’s also rated to be able to go up to 50ft underwater, making it a terrific choice for beach holidays and snorkelling. In other respects, it’s a near-identical proposition to the FunSaver, loaded with the same ISO 800 film and offering the same point-and-shoot experience. Be warned though – there isn’t a flash, so it’s a camera best used in nice, bright daylight.