Amateur Photographer verdict

For $99 the Kodak PixPro FZ45 is one of the cheapest new cameras available, and if you do want something better, then you’ll need to look at the used market.
  • Easy to use
  • Compact
  • Cheap
  • Uses AA batteries
  • Small screen
  • Average image quality
  • MicroUSB connection

The Kodak PixPro FZ45 is one of Kodak’s cheapest digital compact cameras available, and one of very few point and shoot cameras still available. It’s also one of very few that takes AA batteries.  

Kodak PixPro FZ45 in red. Photo JW/AP

Kodak PixPro FZ45 Key Features: 

  • 16MP 1/2.3inch CMOS sensor
  • 4x optical zoom, f/3.0-6.6, 27-108mm equivalent 
  • 2.7inch screen 
  • FullHD 30p video recording 
  • 2x AA batteries 
  • P, M, Auto, Scene modes 
  • Panoramic mode 
  • $99 / £95 available in white, black, red 

Features, Handling and Design 

The original Kodak Eastman company no longer make compact cameras, and the Kodak PixPro cameras are made under licence by JK Imaging Ltd. This has been the arrangement since 2013, and has resulted in a wide range of compact cameras, from the budget FZ45, all the way up to super zoom bridge cameras with the Kodak PixPro AZ405 featuring a 40x optical zoom lens.  

Kodak PixPro FZ45 in red. Photo JW/AP

Over the years, we’ve seen that there are very few manufacturers left making compact digital cameras, especially at the budget end of the market.

Sure, there are still some cameras available, such as the OM System Tough TG-7 (£499), Sony ZV-1 Mark II (£649), Ricoh GR IIIx (£999), and Fujifilm X100VI (£1599), but as you can see these are between 5x and 16x more expensive than the Kodak PixPro FZ45. 

This leaves Kodak as one of the few remaining main-brand companies making new budget compact cameras, with the FZ45 being the cheapest Kodak digital camera available.

The PixPro FZ45 has a 4x optical zoom lens, which starts with a wide-angle 27mm equivalent, and zooms all the way to 108mm at the telephoto end. The aperture isn’t the brightest, starting at f/3.0, and becomes much smaller at the telephoto end where the aperture is f/6.6.  

Kodak PixPro FZ45 in red. Photo JW/AP

The overall design of the compact camera is simple, and the compact size and rounded corners make it look quite cute, particularly in red or white colour options. The camera is very easy to take with you anywhere you go, thanks to the compact size (93.0 x 60.2 x 28.7mm) and light weight of just 117g.

Kodak PixPro FZ45 in red. Photo JW/AP

The top of the camera gives you three easy to use buttons, with an on/off button, a video button and the shutter release button. On the back is the 2.7inch screen, the zoom control, playback, mode and menu buttons, as well as a 4-way controller with middle SET button. The 4-way controller (D-pad) gives shortcuts to Display, Macro, Flash and Delete/Self-timer.

Kodak PixPro FZ45 battery and memory card compartment. Photo JW/AP

On the side is a MicroUSB socket, and underneath is the tripod socket, as well as the battery and memory card compartment. The camera comes with 2x AA batteries in the box, although these are Alkaline batteries. If you want rechargeable batteries you’ll need to buy these separately.  

You can switch the mode by pressing the mode button and scrolling through the different settings. You’ll find Auto, Program, and surprisingly there’s even a Manual mode, letting you adjust the aperture, shutter and ISO speeds manually.

The Kodak PixPro FZ45 are relatively easy to use. Photo JW/AP

Scene modes include Auto, Night, Pet mode, Snow, Party, Sport, Night portrait, Portrait, Children, Landscape, Sunset, Fireworks, Beach, and Anti-shake. There’s also a panoramic mode, as well as a face beautifier mode. There is no built-in Wi-Fi, and no built-in Bluetooth, so to get the images off the camera you can use a card reader, or connect the camera to your computer using the provided USB cable. 

Performance and Image Quality

Kodak PixPro FZ45 wide-angle zoom. Photo JW/AP
KODAK PIXPRO FZ45 · f/10.4 · 1/85s · 4.9mm · ISO100

On sunny days, in good weather, you get nice looking photos with good enough colour. Noise is clearly visible in the majority of photos, but if you’re viewing them online, or sharing them on social media, then this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.  

Kodak PixPro FZ45 full telephoto zoom. Photo JW/AP
KODAK PIXPRO FZ45 · f/6.6 · 1/420s · 19.6mm · ISO100

Dynamic range is relatively low, and the camera struggles with scenes with a big difference in brightness levels, for example when the sun or other bright object is in the frame.  

Kodak PixPro FZ45 countryside photo. Photo Joshua Waller
KODAK PIXPRO FZ45 · f/4.2 · 1/85s · 9.4mm · ISO100

There is an HDR (High Dynamic Range) option where the camera will take 3 shots at different exposures, and combine them in camera, however, this reduces the resolution down to 8MP and it’s a slow process both to take the photos, and then wait for the images to be combined.  

Close-up photo using the macro mode. Photo JW
KODAK PIXPRO FZ45 · f/3 · 1/17s · 4.9mm · ISO611

The macro mode lets you focus as close as 5cm away from the front of the lens, when the lens is at the wide-angle end, and results can be quite good.

The built-in flash gives good results. Photo JW
KODAK PIXPRO FZ45 · f/3.7 · 1/34s · 7.6mm · ISO200

Video – You can record FullHD video at 30fps, and when recording you can also use the optical zoom lens if needed, although the noise picked up from the lens mechanism is quite noticeable. There’s also an option to record VGA video at 120fps.  

Value for money 

The Kodak PixPro FZ45 is available for $99 / £95, and if you’re in the UK, then Jessops stock all colour options, including red, black and white. There are very few other compact digital cameras available from main brands at this price point. We’d recommend you avoid the AgfaPhoto Realishot DC8200 though, and if you don’t want the FZ45, then why not have a look at some classic second-hand digital cameras, or have a look at some vintage digicams

Kodak PixPro FZ45 Verdict

If you want a budget compact camera, and don’t want to go for a second-hand camera, then the Kodak PixPro FZ45 is the cheapest branded camera available. For the price, under $100, the PixPro FZ45 gives reasonable results, and can be a fun take-anywhere camera where you don’t have to worry too much.  

Kodak PixPro FZ45 group photo with flash. Photo JW
KODAK PIXPRO FZ45 · f/3 · 1/34s · 4.9mm · ISO200

It also offers the convenience of AA batteries, which will be welcome to some. There’s also a real Xenon flash, which gives you great results when out and about, with a nostalgic look that is difficult to recreate with a smartphone LED flash. 

If you want an easy to use, compact, point and shoot camera, without having to spend too much money, then the Kodak PixPro FZ45 is a good option, particularly at this price point. However, if you want a step up in image quality, then you should be able to find some great second hand options.

Amateur Photographer 3.5 stars

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