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Eastman Kodak's "EasyShare" line of digital cameras have consistently impressed me as living up to their name, being one of the most unfailingly easy to use line of digicams out there. With the new EasyShare DX though, Kodak moves beyond pure ease of use although the camera is still very easy to use in full-auto mode to encompass a range of capabilities that allow the DX to satisfy the desires of "enthusiast" photographers as well.
While EasyShare cameras have always had very good color and excellent white balance systems, their lens quality was generally appropriate to the "consumer" market in which they played, and exposure flexibility was generally very limited.
The Kodak EasyShare DX then, comes as a surprise on many fronts, with a 4-megapixel CCD, a high-quality Schneider-Kreuznach 10x optical zoom lens with much lower than average distortion, a capable autofocus system that works down to very low light levels, and an electronic viewfinder system that likewise works very well in dim lighting. Its exposure system spans a range of control from fully automatic to fully manual, and an external flash sync connector permits use with external flash units or even studio strobes.
A high-capacity LiIon rechargeable battery is included in the box with the DX, adding to the value of the package, and providing generous run times. Its rich set of features are more than mere marketing hype too, as the DX held up very well throughout my testing, delivering excellent photos under a wide range of conditions. All in all, the EasyShare DX is easily the best consumer-level digicam Kodak has made to date, and one that will compete very strongly in the popular long-zoom marketplace.
If you're in the market for a very capable long-zoom camera, the EasyShare DX deserves a long, hard look. Kodak's color and white balance technology has long been among the best in the photo industry, but until now has been restricted to either the low end of the consumer market in their EasyShare line , or the very high end of the professional world in their pro SLRs. With the four-megapixel, 10x-zoom EasyShare DX though, Kodak takes a large step toward bringing their excellent color technology to the "enthusiast" market, while still retaining the ease of use the EasyShare line has become famous for.
Quite compact in light of the large lens, the DX has an overall body design similar to a number of other long-zoom digicams on the market, with a generous handgrip on the right-hand side, balancing the large lens on the left. It definitely won't fit into your shirt pocket, but the DX is small enough for larger coat pockets, purses, backpacks, etc. The 4. Perhaps the most exciting feature on the DX is the camera's 10x Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon lens, the equivalent of a mm lens on a 35mm camera the longest zoom available on any EasyShare model.
The all-glass lens has 11 elements in seven groups, with three aspherical elements and lenses made from Extra Low Dispersion ED glass. Aspheric lens elements help produce sharp images from corner to corner, because they can bring light rays originating from the center of the lens and the edges into focus at the same point. ED glass reduces chromatic aberration color fringes around objects at the edges of the field of view. Both technologies are found in higher-end cameras, but relatively few models in the DX's price range incorporate either.
The camera's autofocus mechanism uses a multi-zone system to "find" the primary subject closest to the lens. If you prefer, you can change the AF area to read only the center of the frame through the Record menu. Normal focus ranges from 2. A Macro mode ranges from 4.
There's also a Landscape focus mode that fixes the focal distance at infinity, for distant subjects and scenery. In addition to the 10x optical zoom, the DX also offers as much as 3. Keep in mind though, that digital zoom decreases the overall image quality in direct proportion to the magnification achieved, since it just "stretches" the center pixels of the CCD image.
For composing images, the DX offers a 0. Both displays feature image information and menu screens, and a rear-panel button switches the viewfinder display between the two. The DX's LCD-based viewfinders are also much more usable under low-light conditions than those of most other cameras I've tested. I'm usually not a fan of EVFs, because they're generally useless at low light levels. Many cameras with EVFs can shoot at light levels far below those at which you can actually see what the camera is pointing at!
In contrast, the DX's viewfinder screens remained quite usable down to very low light levels. In my testing, about 16x darker than typical city streetlighting at night. Kodak achieved this exceptional low-light sensitivity through a special CCD design, that can combine the charge from multiple rows of sensor elements to boost sensitivity at the expense of resolution.
This sounds like something you wouldn't want to do, but it turns out that most electronic viewfinders throw away most of the sensor data anyway, to match the limited resolution of the LCD screens. Thus, Kodak's approach gives much greater sensitivity with no apparent loss in resolution on the LCD screens.
Kodak's clever low-light readout system used for the viewfinder system also pays dividends in low-light focusing. Using the same technique of combining data from multiple rows of pixels, the DX can focus accurately in very dark conditions. Actually, the pixel-combining technique is only part of the story with the 's autofocus system: It's actually a hybrid system, using a passive IR focusing element positioned above the lens, in addition to the usual contrast-detection processing using data collected from the CCD.
The passive infrared focusing sensor can operate in complete darkness, and is faster than contrast-detection processing under any light level. In the DX, the passive AF system gets the lens into the approximate focusing range quickly, and then the contrast-detect system takes over from there for the final tweaks. While the only focused with average speed in my tests under normal room illumination, the dual-mode AF system again seemed to produce real benefits under low-light conditions.
Although readers should note that I only found good low-light focusing performance on my evaluation unit of the when the camera's flash was popped up. With the flash down, low-light focusing was limited to one foot-candle or more, about the level of typical city streetlighting at night. The DX offers a full range of exposure control, from the point-and-shoot style of Auto mode to full manual exposure control. While Auto mode is best for general photography, the remaining preset modes help with special shooting situations such as night shots in the city or the winning goal of a soccer game.
In Sports mode, the camera's exposure system is biased toward faster shutter speeds to "freeze" action. Portrait mode favors large lens apertures to reduce depth of field, capturing a sharp subject in front of a slightly blurred background.
Night mode optimizes the camera for darker portraits and other night scenes, combining the flash with shutter speeds as long as a half-second to let more light into the image from the surroundings.
This brightens the background in flash shots, making for more natural-looking night photos. You can cancel the flash in Night mode too, for those times when you want to shoot with just the available light. Program mode keeps the camera in charge of both aperture and shutter speed, while Aperture and Shutter Priority modes let you control one exposure variable while the camera selects the other. Manual mode provides complete exposure control, with the user able to set both aperture and shutter speed.
To access exposure times longer than a half-second, you need to work in either shutter-priority or Manual mode. The DX employs a Multi-Pattern metering system by default, which bases the exposure on a number of light readings taken throughout the frame.
Also available are Center-Weighted and Center-Spot modes. Each full EV unit of adjustment represents a factor of two increase or decrease in the exposure. White balance options include Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, and Fluorescent settings, which take advantage of Kodak's proprietary Color Science technology to achieve an accurate color balance under most lighting.
In my testing, I've found the accuracy and flexibility of Kodak's auto white balance system to be second to none. ISO is adjustable to 80, , , , or equivalents, with an Auto setting as well, that automatically adjusts ISO over a range of The DX also offers a handful of color shooting options Saturated, Neutral, Sepia, and Black and White , as well as a sharpness adjustment.
The built-in, pop-up flash is effective from 2. Also included on the DX is a PC-sync socket for connecting a more powerful external flash unit another first in the EasyShare line. In addition to its still photography options, the DX also offers a Movie recording mode for capturing moving images with sound at x pixels, at approximately 24 frames per second.
Recording stops and starts with a full, brief press of the Shutter button, but if you hold the button down for more than a second or two, the camera will automatically stop recording when you let it back up again. As you record, the duration of the movie appears in a running counter on the LCD display. Maximum movie lengths depend on the amount of memory space available, as recording is limited only by available memory space.
Although there is a menu option available that restricts movie length to 5, 15, or 30 seconds, handy for movies recorded with the self-timer. A Burst photography mode lets you capture as many as six frames in rapid succession approximately three frames per second while you hold down the Shutter button.
The six-frame maximum burst length applies regardless of resolution, but may be further limited if there isn't enough space on the memory card or the camera's internal memory to store a full sequence.
A second Self-Timer mode provides a delay between the time the Shutter button is pressed and when the shutter actually opens, so you can get into your own shots. The DX is compatible with Kodak's EasyShare camera and printer docks, which offer hassle-free image downloading and printing. With Kodak's Picture software installed on your computer and the computer connected to the dock, you simply put the camera into the dock and press the Connect button on the dock to download images.
The dock station also serves as an AC adapter and in-camera battery charger. I highly recommend picking up at least a 64 megabyte card right away, given the camera's 2, x 1,pixel maximum image size.
For power, the DX uses a single lithium-ion battery pack, which comes with the camera, providing plenty of capacity for longer excursions. Worst-case run time is about 2 hours and 42 minutes, longer than usual among digicams I've tested. The necessary battery charger also accompanies the camera, but I strongly recommend picking up a second battery and keeping it freshly charged at all times.
The camera also comes with a video cable for viewing images on a television set, and a USB cable for high-speed connection to a computer without the camera dock. Recommendation The DX's 10x optical zoom lens, full manual exposure control, and available point-and-shoot operation make it well suited for novices and experienced amateurs alike.
The camera continues with Kodak's very user-friendly interface and uncomplicated menu layout, and the varying levels of exposure control allow novice users to gradually step up control as they learn more about photography.
Like Kodak's other EasyShare cameras, when combined with the accessory camera dock, the DX is one of the easiest to use cameras on the market. That said, the DX also has plenty to offer more advanced users, with options up to and including fully manual exposure control, an excellent lens, and a sync terminal for use with external flash units. All in all, an excellent choice in a long-zoom digicam, regardless of a user's experience level.
Compact and reasonably small in size even with its large 10x zoom lens , the DX measures 3. The DX's all-plastic body keeps it fairly light weight as well, at A neck strap is included for easier toting, which you'll doubtless want to use absent a large enough pocket to hold it. While fairly compact, the DX is still large enough for a good-sized handgrip, and fits into the hand well, the weight of the grip balancing the lens nicely.
A plastic lens cap clamps onto the lens for protection, and features a small tether to attach it to the camera body and prevent it from being lost. In a nice touch, the lens cap rides out with the lens, so you don't have to worry about straining the lens mechanism if you turn on the camera with the lens cap still in place.
In addition to the handgrip covered with a soft, rubbery coating to provide a more comfortable and secure grip , the front panel also holds a tiny microphone, a Command dial used for exposure adjustment, and a window above the lens that shields the light and autofocus sensors, self-timer lamp, and video recording indicator. Just above the compartment is one of the neck strap attachments. The opposite side of the camera features the external flash PC-sync socket, beneath a flexible, rubber flap.
Next to this is the other neck strap attachment. Kodak makes good use of the DX's top panel real estate, which features the Shutter, Flash, Focus, and Drive buttons, as well as the pop-up flash release button and a small speaker. Also on top of the camera is the pop-up flash compartment itself. The rest of the camera controls are on the rear panel, along with the electronic optical viewfinder EVF and LCD monitor.
A series of raised bumps in the upper right corner provides a thumb grip, reinforcing the front handgrip. Above the thumb grip is the zoom switch.
Kodak Easyshare Dx6490 Users Guide Urg_00167
Eastman Kodak's "EasyShare" line of digital cameras have consistently impressed me as living up to their name, being one of the most unfailingly easy to use line of digicams out there. With the new EasyShare DX though, Kodak moves beyond pure ease of use although the camera is still very easy to use in full-auto mode to encompass a range of capabilities that allow the DX to satisfy the desires of "enthusiast" photographers as well. While EasyShare cameras have always had very good color and excellent white balance systems, their lens quality was generally appropriate to the "consumer" market in which they played, and exposure flexibility was generally very limited. The Kodak EasyShare DX then, comes as a surprise on many fronts, with a 4-megapixel CCD, a high-quality Schneider-Kreuznach 10x optical zoom lens with much lower than average distortion, a capable autofocus system that works down to very low light levels, and an electronic viewfinder system that likewise works very well in dim lighting. Its exposure system spans a range of control from fully automatic to fully manual, and an external flash sync connector permits use with external flash units or even studio strobes. A high-capacity LiIon rechargeable battery is included in the box with the DX, adding to the value of the package, and providing generous run times.
Kodak DX6490 Digital Camera User Manual
Kodak EasyShare. For interactive tutorials, www. Eastman Kodak Compan y. Roches ter , New Yo rk P roduct Ov er view. OK butt on Pre ss ;. T op and B ottom Views.
Kodak EASYSHARE DX6490 user manual
Quick Links. Download this manual. Kodak EasyShare. Table of Contents.