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When I was looking for a Digital Camera a few years ago, I read magazine after magazine. Some were far too complex for my needs, some were too cheap and cheerful to convince me that they could do what I wanted them to do. The Kodak kept coming up time and time again in the comparison tables of computer magazines, both in England when I was spending time there, and in France as well, so much so that I was convinced that I should buy one.
I went to town in Plymouth and priced one up and the price was £265 which I thought was a little more expensive than I could manage. I then searched through the net for a better price for the same product and eventually found one at £210, printed out the advert and took it into a price promise shop in Plymouth where they honoured their promise and I got my camera at the cheaper rate.
This was exciting and innovative for me at the time. The camera comes with full, easy to understand instructions, and very soon I was taking pictures of everything in sight. The nice feature about this camera is that is not only takes snaps, but it also has the capacity to zoom. It's description of 2.2 mega pixels did not really mean a lot to me, as I am a technological disaster area, though it was stated that this produced a good 8" x 10" print, and this was good enough for me.
The lens is great for a typical user of a point and click camera, with a focusing range of 0.5 metres to infinity set on normal, and 20-60 centimetres with the close up macro lens in use. The results of zooming into macro mode are splendidly pleasing, for photos of flowers or insects, though for someone who wants perfection, perhaps a more complex camera would be a better idea.
The 8 mb internal memory which holds 12 images was not enough for me. I did not want to run out of space for photographs on long trips, so I upgraded this to 64 mb Sandisk Memory Card, and now find that I can take 265 good quality pictures, or a little less if I use the video feature.
The video feature means that you can actually shoot small videos that can be sent in email, which to me was a great innovation. This meant that my father could wave to my sister in Australia and say hello instead of just writing. I was very pleased with this feature although I must admit that sending emails with an attachment such as this is a slow process. I gave up using this feature after a while because it seemed more of a gimmick than a useful thing. Taking anything more than seconds meant that transmission by email was painful. Another thing that is not too clever is the quality of sound on the videos. It's pretty tacky at best.
Moving on to another feature of this camera, the optional Docking Bay which was included in the price mentioned above made my life easier at the time, having had no experience of transferring photographs to the computer from a camera. Once the software for the camera is installed on the computer, (which was very simple), the Docking bay is plugged into a USB point, and when you place your camera onto the bay and press the button on the front of the bay, your pictures are transferred immediately into a dated file on your computer. What I found after a year or so was that the docking bay was a pretty useless and superfluous item as my printer at that time had a slot for a memory card, and I could transfer pictures without having to use the invasive Kodak software.
The software that came as part of the package is the Kodak Easyshare and I have to admit that I do not like it, compared with my own very good software packages, such as Roxio Suite and Microsofts own Picture It. You could of course order prints on line at the time I purchased the camera, and the prices that Kodak offered were competitive, although nowadays, I question the need for this, since more and more stores offer the same printing service locally.
Features of the camera.
One of the nice things about this camera is the way in which the lens is protected. When you switch the camera off, the zoom retracts, and the cap slides neatly over the lens. The quality of the pictures that I took with the zoom are pretty astounding, although compared to the camera that I use now, limiting to the more adventurous photographer.
The menus are simple to follow and are accessed by clearly marked buttons on the back of the camera, which give menu options on the left hand side of the LCD screen, which really are easy to navigate. Adding time and date stamps is simple. Transferring photos on the cameras own memory to a memory card is easy. choosing the quality of photograph that you wish to take (i.e. Best quality 1800 x 1200, or good at 900 x 600) is a simply process, and here using the Good quality option, the photos are crystal clear, and a whole holiday's worth of photos can be stored on the camera easily.
The buttons on the camera are strong. The options button on the top is in metal and even now after years of ownership has withstood misuse, and has never failed.
Batteries. This really is a sore point with me, as I took the option to buy the Kodak batteries, that were supposed to charge whilst the camera was on the docking bay. Here, time and time again, the camera let me down. I found that switching to good quality AA batteries was the only option, and here if you want to make them last a good amount of time, I would suggest that you use the little screen on the back of the camera sparsely, only looking briefly at your photographs or menus. I found that two good quality batteries last me about three days on holiday which is bad news.
The flash on the camera is a basic built in one and doesn't produce too much red eye, although the software provided does let you modify this if it happens.
Ease of use.
The camera makes the decisions for you. If you are a person who does not have expertise in photography then this probably is a good bet for a camera.
Overall, after having had this camera for approximately 5 years, I would say it's a darned good one. I use it now as a back-up camera because I wanted more complexity than this camera offered, although must admit that for ease of function, I do tend to grab this one if I need photos of day to day things. It's a neat little camera, well built and certainly worthy of thought for the novice, as I was at the time of purchasing it and the good news is that it has come down in price since the time I purchased it to a reasonable level of just under the two hundred pound mark and is also available cheaper than that second hand on Amazon, though I would suggest buying new, so that the makers guarantee is in place, as Kodak do take their responsibilities seriously.
Want a point and click ? Buy it.
Want complexity look at Kodak's more expensive range.
Because of my job I require a Digital Camera that can take close up pictures of small objects. Before buying this Kodak model I had owned another Cheaper Kodak model (£170.00) which did not do what I required or took take decent pictures. I put this down to the fact it was a cheap model. After saving up some cash I had £300.00 to buy a new camera with. Upto now I had using two Fuji film cameras off friends one model which cost £150.00 and one that cost £200.00, both of these cameras did what I needed and produced some stunning pictures. Since I had £300.00 in my pocket and both these cameras where cheaper I was positive that new £300 camera would be brilliant. So went to my nearest Curries for a gander at new cameras. At curries the majority of the Cameras where Kodak and there where no Fuji film cameras. I called over one of the staff and asked "whats the best camera I can get for £300 that will take pictures of small objects". I was then told that the Kodak DX6300 was the best camera with in my price range. I didn't like the look of the camera as it looked very bulky but it did have an internal memory card and a docking station which interested me as I am always on the move. It also did 2.2 Mega pixels which was a lot better then any of the Fuji film models I had used so I presumed this would be better for the photos I required. Once I got my new purchase I decided to take it for a test run and it failed. When on close up mode it had no zoom unlike the cheaper Fuji film cameras. They photos where blurry and very unprofessional. I also tried it for taking photos of friends and everyday things and yet again the quality of photos where poor compared to a Fuji film. Since then I have swapped my £300 Kodak camera for a cheaper Fuji film camera and I am now getting the quality of photo that I require.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am a bit thick when it comes to electronics. I absolutely hate having to read the instructions before I can get to work with anything. I am not a fan of reading (apart from op's on dooyoo of course!) and don't appreciate having to read a novel before I can play with a beloved new toy. When I bought my mobile phone I had to get my husband to read the instructions and then tell me what to do, call me lazy but I just can't be bothered. That's what prompted me to go for the Kodak DX3600. In fact all of the Kodak cameras that I looked at seemed extremely easy to operate but this is the one that stood out above the rest. Before I begin to tell you more about this wonderful piece of technology let me tell you that I am a complete novice when it comes to photography. I did not buy the camera for business or any kind of venture, it was purely and simply to take good quality photographs of my friends and family. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ \\\\\ PRIOR TO PURCHASE ///// I read around in some magazines, mainly the 'Which' magazine to try and find out what would be important in my choice of digital camera. I knew that for a good quality camera it wouldn't be cheep. It was important to do some research before making a purchase. There are certain things to consider and before you go looking around I would urge you to think about your needs and what the main use of your camera is going to be. What would you like it to do? How much do you want to pay? Now, one of the most important things to consider is the quality of picture you wish to produce. This is where you look at the 'Pixel' quality, i.e. the higher the Pixel resolution on the camera the higher the picture quality. You will see many cameras rated by this. It will say something along the lines of 800 X 600 pixels for lower quality cameras or on the higher quality ones you will b
e looking at anything from 1.3 mega pixels. The DX3600 has 2.2 mega pixels, which tells you this will be good enough to print 8 X 10 inch prints. The standard thought seems to be that if you will be printing photographs either on your home PC or through a developer you need to buy at least a 1.3 mega pixel camera. If you simply want to set up a web page or put up a family album online then a lower quality one will do. Personally I would rather pay that bit extra and get a camera that will do both. Surely one of the benefits of digital photography is being able to manipulate the pictures and print them yourself. You need to consider your budget and how much you are prepared to pay for this luxury. For the same amount of money you will be able to buy a top of the range conventional camera where the picture quality could far exceed that of a digital one. Digital cameras have definitely improved but be prepared to pay. They are coming down in price and are therefore more affordable. Do you want to simply take still photographs or would you like the facility of recording short movies? The DX3600 also gives you this option although the quality of the moving images will be of far less quality than of your average camcorder. You will get sound and it can be a useful little feature for that unexpected display that you just have to capture in its full glory. Another handy feature is to be able to view the images you have just taken on an LCD display. This feature is also good for when you need to hold the camera in the air and take a pot shot. You can look through the display instead of the viewfinder and hold the camera higher up. This will of course add to the cost but I wouldn't have purchased a camera without one. With the higher quality cameras like the DX3600 you will have the opportunity to view the picture you have just taken and delete it if its not up to scratch. As every picture you take reduces the memory left available this can save cloggin
g up your memory with unwanted photographs. \\\\\ MAKING YOUR PURCHASE ///// OK, so you've decided that you want a good quality camera that will allow you to reproduce prints that are more than likely going to be printed on your home PC and printer. You want one that's easy to use and has an LCD display so that you can view your pictures immediately. You can then get rid of any rubbish without going to the expense of producing photos that you simply don't want. You're a lazy sod (like me) and want to start taking photos as soon as you get home. You are prepared to read the instructions for the most advanced features but in your own good time. You like the idea of having a movie facility just in case you catch someone in a compromising position that a still photo just wouldn't do justice to. You're a bit heavy handed and need something sturdy, just in case you drop it and you want something big enough so that it doesn't hide amongst everything else in your handbag. You tell all this to the sales assistant and they proceed to get out a couple of cameras that fit the bill. They ask you if there is anything else that you consider important. Now I don't know about you but what I hated previously was having to start to connect all the leads and mess about with software to upload the photos. Go on! Tell them! Ok, "Actually I would like something that is easy for me to upload the pictures and keep connected to the PC so I don't have to keep getting on my hands and knees every 2 minutes" "No problem, we have just the thing, a Kodak DX3600" says the sales assistant and proceeds to give you a demonstration of the camera. \\\\\ HOW TO USE THE CAMERA ///// The assistant first shows you how to load the batteries. You slide open the cover on the bottom of the camera to reveal two Kodak rechargeable batteries. They are NI-MH 1.2 volt x 2. They aren't like any you
have ever seen before as they like two AA batteries but are joined together. They can only go in the camera one way so there is no chance of you loading them upside down! You ask about the battery life and how to recharge them. The assistant explains how easy this is. With the DX3600 comes a docking station; this has more than one use. When the camera is placed in the docking station and it is connected to a mains supply it recharges the batteries. It sits there nice and tidy and initially there is a little red light. When the batteries are fully charged the light turns green, easy peasy. The battery life depends on the features you use. If you use the LCD display a lot they will run down very quickly. She tells you not to do this all the time and to close the lens when not in use. It will close down automatically after a set period of time if you forget. How useful! You ask if you can get a feel for the camera and take a few shots and the sales assistant agrees. It does feel quite heavy but at least its sturdy. It's not the smallest of cameras either; you have seen digital ones smaller and lighter. In spite of this you quite like the feel of this and the ease of use as you start to navigate through the menu system. You can see that the symbols are easy to understand and you manage to guess at some of the functions without even asking! You take a picture and view it on the LCD display; you are quite amazed at the picture quality and the fact that a little symbol comes up straight away to ask if you want to 'bin' the photo. As it wasn't very interesting, you do, so you proceed with the on screen instructions and delete the photograph. You tell the assistant that although you will be printing pictures on your PC you want to load some on a website as well. She proceeds to tell you that you have the option of choosing the quality of your prints. The higher the quality the more memory they take so you will get fewer photos. You can adjust
this for each picture you take so that you're not wasting valuable memory on pictures that are going to be sent via email or posted on line. As you are not fully aware of how the camera stores its data you ask. The sales assistant is more than happy to tell you that the camera has a built in 8MB memory. 8MB what, you say? Can you please explain? Well, the more MB the higher the memory and the more pictures you can take and store, bearing in mind that the quality of photos you set your camera to take will all have a bearing on this. For example on the 'best' setting you will be able to store 8 photos. It tells you this on the LCD screen, which is very handy. If you change the setting to 'good' you can then get 33 photos, quite a big difference. The answer to this problem if you wish to take all your pictures on the best possible setting is to buy an additional memory card. Hang on a minute! I thought you said this had internal memory? "Well it does", says the sales assistant but you can also buy what is called a compact flash card to insert in to the camera. There is a little slot for the card to go in and it's easy to install. You can buy anything from 8MB right up to 128MB and beyond. This will enable you to store lots of pictures and it will always use the internal memory first. Fantastic! You are happy that the camera has all the features you need but what about uploading the pictures to your PC? \\\\\ UPLOADING IMAGES ///// Kodak seems to have thought of everything. The sales assistant pops underneath the counter as if to bring up by magic a gadget that she called a docking station, you were expecting a space ship to come and land on it at any moment but without further ado she placed the camera neatly in the station. There was one button on the front of the station and the LED display to show that it was switched on and that the batteries were charging (remember I said earlier that every tim
e the camera is placed in the station it charges the batteries) Once the software for the camera was installed and the camera was placed in the station you connect it to your PC with a standard USB lead. You then simply press the button and it automatically begins the loading process. It opens the software for you; you don't need to do anything. All the pictures you have taken will appear on screen. It's then up to you to decide which you want to save. You simply click save and it will do it for you. The camera doesn't automatically delete the photos once you have uploaded them; you have to do this manually. You remember that your friend has one of these cameras and you ask if you can place the camera in any docking station. She tells you that as long as it is one for the DX3600 you can take the camera to your friends and put the pictures that she wants directly on to her PC, another brilliant feature. You can also buy the docking station separately should you break it at any point in the future. If this happens in the meantime you can load your pictures directly to the PC without the station, so don't panic. So, you think you can successfully manage to load the pictures and view them on your PC. You don't want to just keep them there however, you want to print them and put them in an album. \\\\\ PRINTING THE PICTURES ///// This is the moment you have all been waiting for, will the pictures be dull or grainy and of the same quality as your old camera? The sales assistant can help you no more apart from show you a couple of photos that they had taken. You were happy with what she showed you but the proof would be in the pudding (or the printing in this case) you decided to take the plunge and buy the camera. It had all the features you wanted and more besides and you found it easy to use. All the way home you were taking snaps of everything; it's a good job the batteries were already charged. You rushed in
though the front door and had it connected to your PC in minutes. You pressed the one and only button you needed to on the docking station and you picked a couple of favourite snaps. PRINT! Now as you were expecting to buy a digital camera you made sure you had a decent printer and ink, as surely this would be just as important. You also made sure that you had some nice glossy photographic paper. A friend of yours used Print and Go by Imagepro and you had bought some of this. Hey presto! As if by magic the photo appeared from your printer. You were amazed at the quality. You had printed on a full A4 sheet and it virtually covered the page. There were no lines, no red eye (because you used the red eye reduction feature) and the image was true to colour. You were convinced you had made the right decision in choosing this camera. You wanted to try one last thing today and that was to upload an image of yourself on to dooyoo. You were on your own and wondered how you would be able to do this. You got out the quick start guide as this was about as much as you could digest and read how to use the self-timer. Easy yet again, you struck your pose and the camera took the photo a few seconds later. You needed to get a close up so you used the 6X zoom, impressive or what! You uploaded this with no problems and decided that you were so very impressed with this camera. You were also happy that there wasn't a big instruction book to read through. There was the quick start guide for the basics and a CD Rom with the full instructions on. You would be happy to spend some time discovering all about this camera. \\\\\ CONCLUSION ///// You were very impressed with its many functions and ease of use. The print quality was fantastic even when you took your compact flash card to Asda and had some prints done there. The only let down is the battery life. You like using the LCD display and it drains the batteries. You have found
that quite a lot of AA batteries, which you can use in the camera, aren't strong enough to power it. You now make sure that the camera sits in the dock whenever you're not using it to keep it topped up. You have bought an additional compact flash card as if you want to get them printed at Asda for example you have to insert the card in to a machine. You cannot do this with the internal memory. You would recommend this camera to your friends and have taken a look at the Kodak.com website where they sell many accessories for it. You have bought a bag to protect it and you intend to make further purchases in the future. WHAT! WHAT! You want to know how much it cost? How much did you pay for this luxury? £299.00 for it at Dixon's and they are currently the same price on the Kodak website, another bargain!
I recently bought this camera for my company and of course I took out on a test drive for a weekend. The camera is so easy to use, the controls are intuitive and logical. It really is a point and click camera but with the added advantage of being able to junk those snaps that just aren't right. One of the features which Kodak don't really shout about is the video mode. Other cameras I have looked at can give give you short bursts of video but this wee beast can shoot video with sound to the limit of the memory. (The camera reports nearly 5 mins with the 64mB memory card I was using!) The resolution is only about 320x240, but hey - if I wanted to shoot movies I'd use a camcorder! These little clipits are ideal for catching those moments that a picture can't, just enough that your friends don't cringe when you mention they might want a look. Downloading the pictures is so easy a child could do it. The software installed on my Windows 2000 machine first time with no hiccups. Its just a simple case of plugging the camera onto its charger, hooking in the USB cable and pressing the button on the base unit. The software loads automatically and starts downloading your pictures straight away. The pictures are stored as JPEG and the movies as APPLE Quicktime MOV files. Kodak supply this really easy to use browser, it comes with some basic picture editing functions like brightness, colour and red eye correction. It also has some effects like Sepia / Black & White conversion. The best feature of the software is the slideshow, it plays back all your pictures / movies so you can show off your entire catalogue with ease. The only problem I found was it was a little slow to move around the thumbnails once I had all 170+ photos / movies of the weekend loaded. I am contemplating buying a camera myself and having trawled many photography shops / websites, I still haven't found anything that compares for the money, even fro
m Kodak. It looks like this will be the camera for me.