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Why did we buy it
Around 10 years ago, before the advent of the smart phone, we were growing tired of the cost of getting camera film developed and decided to treat ourselves to a new digital camera. We begun with taking pictures with a super cheap half megapixel webcam that could be used independently, but the photos came out with a sort of blurred effect all around the edges, much like looking through the bottom of a glass.
Off to the shops
So we went searching for a decent digital camera. We were looking for a fairly high megapixel level as we had begun building a business website and needed some decent photos for it. Our local large hypermarket had a range of cameras on offer, and this Kodak Easyshare DX6440 stood out as the best.
Price and technical details
What did it cost us? well we are talking 10 years ago here, but I'm pretty sure we paid around 140 pounds. Todays price?? well, I'm not even sure if it's still available new. A quick internet search shows Amazon.co.uk have them second hand from $35, Ebay. co.uk with a starting price of five pounds, and Overstock.com have this model new for 169 pounds (but currently out of stock).
At the time, 4 megapixels was a pretty good quality camera for amateurs like us, and we thought if you can't trust Kodak , who can you trust?
We were also tempted by the 4 X optical zoom offered, which we had read was a much more important feature than digital zoom ( which it also has). We knew less about such things as the Schneider Kreuznach lens and the Easyshare facility, selling points that just went over our head entirely, but hey!...I never said we were experts.
What is it like to use
The camera is quite chunky (3.5cm x 11cm x 6.5cm) and reasonably heavy (280 g with batteries) by today's standards, but to us these were good things as my husband has large builder's hands and we both found this camera comfortable to hold steady and get a good grip on.
The camera has an easy to understand selection wheel to the left under the old-school viewfinder offering a variety of settings including video, auto, sport, landscape, portrait, night , close up and manual. We mainly use the auto function which will include a flash in poorer light conditions, but we have found the night function and video useful as well ( NB; there is no flash in video mode)
In the centre of the function wheel there is a toggle button for navigating the menu function or reviewing the pictures. this toggle is also used for turning on or off the 2" screen/electronic view finder.
To the left of this screen there are also the delete button for unwanted photos and the Easyshare button which is used in conjunction with a Kodak Photo Printer, which we never invested in.
To the right of the screen there is a simple toggle button to choose wide screen/ telescopic which basically brings the optical zoom into play, followed by the digital zoom if more zoom is needed.
Below this is the menu button which brings up various options on the screen such a date and time stamp, album, orientation sensor, set up, colour/BW, picture quality, exposure compensation, image storage. And the review button to see the photos that have been taken.
On the top of the camera there is a large shutter button to take the photo, conveniently located on the right hand side ( sorry all you lefties out there), and two smaller buttons; one to activate the flash; and the other a timer so that the photographer can run round and be in the photo (remember this was before anyone had thought of selfies!!)
To the front of the camera the lens, flash, physical viewfinder and anti red-eye are all located on the left , giving a large unused area on the right for fingers to hold the camera really steady, which I find particularly necessary when taking photos in night time mode. Although the camera takes a good night photo, the exposure time in this setting is very long and this is made easier when I can get a good grip on the camera and then rest my elbow somewhere.
So any Downsides
Just one, it is heavy on the batteries ( it takes two AA) largely because of the telescopic lens that is deployed each time the camera is switched on. But we learnt by trial and error and eventually purchased good quality Nimh rechargable batteries and had no more problem. The last time we used this camera was earlier this month on our trip down to see the poppies at the Tower of London, and we took 191 photos with and without flash (although mostly without the screen) on one set of batteries, still with juice enough to review our pictures on the journey home.
This has been a great little camera. We have been very happy with our purchase overall, and feel that we have more than had our money's worth. It has been user friendly, reliable and convenient.
It has always taken consistently good photos (sometimes despite the skill of the photographer) and we have thousands of memories stored forever on our hard drive thanks to this little machine.
To capture the pictures we generally use either 1Gb or 2Gb SD card which slots easily into the side of the camera and can be removed easily to slot into the card reader of our computer. It is then a simple process to drag-and-drop the stored photos directly to wherever we want them.
We had, in fact retired this camera some time ago, when we both bought decent mobiles with cameras attached, but it was ressurected for our son's wedding earlier this year, after probably four years in a drawer and it worked just fine. We had two incidences of the shutter only half opening giving a letter box effect to a couple of photos, but this is more than likely due to dust from poor storage.
I have been using Kodak Dx6440 for 2 months and I have taken 400+ photos with it. There is no single shot that is blurry or washed with flash. Schneider-Kreuznach lens is a very very big advantage, it yields superb image quality. The camera is brilliantly engineered and produced. Everything that I did not mention in disadvantages section is plain perfect, believe me. It has many shooting alternatives including PAS (semi-manual, aperture or shutter priority) for enthusiasts. Eventhough I am one of these, the Auto setting is so perfect that I did not use the PAS selection other than experimenting. Kodak dx6440 is commanded by the wheel and joystick. If you examine the back of the camera, you will see hoe handy it is. The biggest negative side of the camera is that you cannot choose what format you would like to save your images. No TIFF or RAW mode. A I mention in the disadvantages section, the flip doors are very weak and I must admit that I don't want to open them in case of a crack. Made on purpose to make you buy the Kodak docks I suppose. However Kodak guys were quite succesful in this manner, I am planning to buy a printer dock. BATTERY USAGE: If you use LCD monitor all the time, than you will have a huge problem with the batteries. However I bought a GP 2000 mah battery set and a quick charger. These beauties can power the camera so efficiently that I filled the whole 256 mb Secure card with photos and videos without a need for replacement.