Final Thoughts and Conclusion
Despite my overall positive opinions on the Kodak PIXPRO SL25 Smart Lens, the were at least two take-aways worth mentioning.
On the unavoidable side, there was noticeable latency between what the SL25 is looking at and what you see on the viewfinder through the app, depending on where you were at the time. Where competing wifi traffic was at a low to moderate level, the latency or lag of image streaming remained at a negligible and manageable level. You had little to no trouble lining up your shots. Trying the SL25 and phone combo in an area with plenty of competing wifi and Bluetooth signals however, produced more noticeable lag. You find yourself pointing at an object to then wait 2 full seconds for the viewfinder to catch up and show you what it was looking at. Two seconds may not seem like a lot of time, but it poses a problem to people who are trying to time their shots. This is unavoidable when you use wifi for device streaming. You’re natural susceptible to wireless interference.
Another take-away was more of a pestering quirk. The SL25’s sounds played loudly as you focused, using beeps, and as you took pictures, with simulated “snapshot” sounds. It’s not an issue for the bulk of scenarios where you would want to take shots or videos. However, it can become an obnoxious distraction when you are in a setting that merits quieter image capturing, In a quiet setting, everyone will turn to you as you beep and “click” about with your SL25. You cannot turn offthese simulated sounds and the “click” snapshot sound actually plays louder than the real “clicks” from many DSLR’s I’ve heard. If you’re outdoors or in an area with some hustle and bustle, this is obviously not a problem.
Being an owner of a now-defunct Sony Cyber-Shot QX10, I had a point of comparison a while before I started my adventure with the Kodak PIXPRO SL25 Smart Lens for this review. The QX10 works almost exactly the same way using wifi, a free app, your phone, and a clamp for holding onto your phone. Although Sony made a 25X variant of this device, my QX10 only went up to 10X zoom and had no OIS capabilities. (Then of course, Sony stopped supporting it.)
At least I got to see how such a device is “done right” with the SL25. In a scenario where competing wireless signal affects your shot-timing, OIS is a must. Combine that with a powerful 25X zoom that didn’t disappoint, and the Kodak PIXPRO SL25 Smart Lens becomes a winner in my book.
At $300, you pretty much must have a need for each of these before I’d whole-heartily suggest you diving into the Kodak PIXPRO SL25 Smart Lens: deep zoom, remote control, and high portability. Otherwise, I’d point you at just buying a full camera. For me, using this device to cover conventions is something I would prefer over logging around a bulky DSLR, any day. If you know what you need and it matches the 3 needs above, then the Kodak PIXPRO SL25 Smart Lens is a product you should absolutely consider.
More shots I took at Toy Fair 2016 at the Javitz Center in New York.
† Loaner review unit provided by Kodak.