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Although this camera model is a few years old now, it's big zoom and good build quality make it worth considering in the secondhand market.
The best feature of this camera is the 10x zoom. It really does increase versatility and I now wouldn't consider anything less in the future. There are plenty of other features but not all are worthwhile. Things like the macro mode are useful, the optional manual settings are potentially useful, while the digital zoom and fake shutter click are not useful. Fortunately these two can be turned off. Kodak make a big thing of the EasyShare facility for email and printing. I don't need help with those tasks so I've not investigated.
It's difficult to accurately rate battery performance without doing side by side experiments, but it is much better than older cameras I've used, and I'm very satisfied with this aspect. Generally I need to recharge after around 150 pictures / 3 months.
A slight downside is that the battery is a proprietary type. Another problem is that the camera has no AC adaptor. This is really annoying when the battery is flat and you want to download your photos. You have remove the battery, charge it, refit it and reset the camera date before you get at your photos. The camera doesn't give much warning either before the battery runs out of juice.
The camera comes with both Electronic View Finder (EVF) and LCD display. The latter is bright and clear for use in all conditions. I've mixed feelings about the EVF. The advantages over an optical view finder should be that you can see the on-screen displays, and a more accurate representation of what your picture will actually look like. Unfortunately the photos are sometimes darker than the EVF suggests. Also it turns off after a picture, so you can't take another straight away, or even follow the action (really annoying for sport).
The controls are generally easy to use. The camera has a quality feel and fits in the hand quite nicely. Unfortunately it doesn't fit the pocket so well (because it's not thin in any direction).
A pop-up flash means you can be certain it won't go off where flash is not allowed.
The menu system is straightforward, clear and logical, if a little tedious, and controlled by a micro joystick which works well. The mode/on dial soon annoys though. It's stiff, fiddly and you end up going backwards and forwards trying to put it in the right place.
It is easy to review the pictures on camera and I found the magnify facility useful.
I'm not going to comment too much about picture quality as I have little to compare it with, but I have been generally pleased. In ideal conditions you shouldn't have any problems. My main use is on screen, but those I have printed were satisfactory. There is just a bit of graininess and compression issues visible when you zoom in.
The biggest problems I have encountered are common to many digital cameras i.e. they are too slow for capturing the exact moment. By the time you've switched on and the slow focussing settles down (pre-focussing is essential for best results) your subject may have run off. So it's no surprise I've found sports action awkward at best, and taken too many rejects for my liking. I've also found it difficult in poor light with results often blurry.
The JPEG image files take up about 800KB-1MB so you can fit several on the built-in 16MB memory. And of course you can add extra memory to the card slot.
You can record movies (with sound) which I have been impressed with, but again have little to compare with.
I was disappointed my Macs (OS8/9) would not recognize the camera when it was connected, so I had to install some of the software. There was a a slow and buggy installer and a confusing array of similarly named components . (For reference the KODAK Camera Mounter utility is what you really need + a bunch of extensions.) Once connected the camera does not follow normal desktop behaviour. Why can't I just plug in the camera and it appears like any other mass storage device?
The supplied USB lead is a bit fiddly to connect behind a rubber flap. I thought the flap might eventually break off but it's still fine.
An adaptor for a dock is supplied but it useless on it's own.
No camera case is supplied but a Tamrac 5693 works well.
The camera offers several manual settings (except manual focus) but getting the best from these could be tricky without knowing what you are doing. I've not really sussed it out to be honest. I'd look in the instruction manual - if one was supplied! Come on Kodak this really is unforgiveable!
In conclusion this is potentially an excellent camera with useful zoom, good quality build and nice ease of use. But slow speed, nasty software and a poorly thought out accessories set mar the overall package.
This is the best camera i have ever owned, i paid over £200 for it. Im not a professional, i just did a college course and wanted a good point and shoot camera.
I also own a kodak z650 and a canon digital which i have purchased since this one. As a back up, why? i`ll never know
The DX6490 is only 4mega pixel which could put you off. But the quality far out strips the other two. Whether its daylight, night time or action shots this is the one for you. And the price is fantastic. I usually go cruising and take about 1000 shots in a week. I found that if the zoom and flash are not used too often the battery will last all week.
But the battery is rechargable which is such a positive because i also own an olympus which was eating batteries like no tomorrow. Not very cost effective at £5.00 a pack i can tell you.
Im not a professional but would recommend this because its so easy to use. Put in on auto and point and shot, fantastic pictures, i am a bit of a computer geek and edit and play with my photos in adobe cs3 so i love the quality, i guarentee you will not be disappointed as i was when i bought the superior z650 which isnt nealy as good.
Many years ago, I had one of the basic Kodak DX3600 Digital Cameras, and I was very impressed with the quality of the pictures, the ease of use, and the overall thought that went into the design. Little by little, I have been educating my husband on all things technical and about a year ago, he pinched my camera, and seems always to have it with him because it is so versatile and basically simple. The time came when I wanted a camera that offered more than the bog standard one, and my choice was within the Kodak range simply because the reliability of the smaller camera had pursuaded me that Kodak have much to offer at a reasonable price and handling it in the shop and comparing it with other models within my price range pursuaded me that this was the best choice.
WHAT THIS CAMERA OFFERS
Upon opening the packaging, what you are faced with are the following :
The camera itself which is much more professional looking than the original series of easyshare cameras were, and although bulkier, was not uncomfortable or cumbersome to use, and fit nicely into my hand.
NOW LETS TALK ABOUT SPECIFICATIONS AND HOW THEY AFFECT THE USER.
To use this camera, and to produce pictures on your computer, you require Windows 98 upwards, with a 64 MB minimum. This also works with Mackintoshes, although I have no experience of it working with one.
You need a USB port, and a colour monitor of 16 or 24 bit is recommended at 800-600 pixels. Confusing stuff for a new person, although the standard monitors with computers these days cater up to those specifications easily, and you can check by right clicking on your desk top, taking the curser down to properties, and then clicking the settings tab on your computer to see what resolution your monitor is using.
On this camera, you have four settings of the kind of quality you want for your prints. This is important because if for example you just want to take quick snapshots, if you set the camera to email quality, you can take more pictures than if you set it to enlargement quality. If you really want to take pictures that will print at enlargement size, then the setting must be changed to 4.2 mega pixels for a superb print. I liked this feature because the standard basic Kodak that I used to use only had limited quality settings, and here the choice is varied between email quality pictures, medium quality, normal sized print quality and enlargement quality, so the results are flexible dependent upon your needs.
For example, email pictures are clear to the eye, although not very good for printing. The setting that I use the most is the second setting which is ideal for good quality prints because I don't want wishy washy photographs. When I take real close up work of flowers and wildlife, then I up the setting for the enlargement setting so that the sharpness is amazing. One setback here is that when you use the zoom, the camera does judder and you do need a steady hand.
The zoom lens on this camera is better than the buck standard one on the old Kodak.
30X total zoom
10X optical zoom,(35 mm equivalent: 38-380 mm)
3.0X Advanced Digital Zoom
What that means is that the control you have over distant pictures is equal to that of traditional cameras and as photography was always one of my hobbies, this was important to me. I also liked the fact that I could have manual control of the camera as well as automatic, which means that I can take night time shots of fireworks without the flash deciding to ruin the picture, or catch moments indoors at dusk without the whole exposure being ruined by the automatic settings that were not set for artistic photographs, but more for buck standard ones.
The screen on this camera is sharp and clear although I have to admit, I am usually too busy looking through the viewfinder to use it that much. It is exceptionally handy though to check your photos for clarity so that you get a second chance to take another if you foul up.
I wasn't that impressed with the flash on this camera which is functional but a little disappointing, as the place in which it is mounted means that sometimes your extra attachments actually get in the way, and when using them, I tend to opt for an external flash, although here, there is no hot shoe attachment which means you need a cable attachable flash which is rather cumbersome.
COLOURS AT COMMAND.
Kodak took their standard camera, and went ten stages further with this one. There are settings where you can chose whether you take colour photographs, sepia, sharp, standard or soft photographs and I tried the different settings the first day I had the camera to see what the differences were and once you familiarise yourself with the cameras functions, this colour setting becomes an easy manipulation, and the results superb. With time, I have found that the various settings are more a novelty than a necessity and tend to stick to standard photos these days.
The camera has the feature of being able to take movies. When you mention movies, you imagine long film, however, this is a secondary feature of the camera, and will depend upon how much space you have on your card. I used this to film my father waving to my sister. He was very ill and my sister in Australia would never see him again. I sent the snippet through to her although I must confess it took time to send !
The film making bit is more of a novelty than a serious option. I have filmed the birth of a baby, that moment that was very special to the couple, although only moments rather than minutes, because as I say its more of a novelty of catching moments in time, with sound as well, which is pretty amazing.
The camera has many features, probably too many to put into list form, although the ones I have mentioned are the main ones when considering a purchase. The lens has been improved greatly from previous models, and the features that are now available such a colour changing, and also a set of picture settings, i.e. close up, automatic, sport, night time pictures, etc. is a huge improvement on the old camera.
Kodak have also improved their battery life which pleases me since the kodak rechargeable batteries on the old camera did not work for very long at all. Here, they supply you with a separate battery charger which is a good idea, as you will need to have your batteries at the ready. The docking station, which is an additional feature that can be purchased is simple to use, although I question the efficiency of the docking station to charge the batteries. This really did prove inefficient and very costly at around 85 GBP at the time, and was an error on my part because although it ties in with the software supplied (Easyshare), I do not like the software and found it invasive, and preferred to use my own software. Transferring photographs was made easier for me anyway by the purchase of my combination printer that has a slot to take the memory card.
The 16MB memory was not sufficient for me. I upped this to 64MB which cost me an extra £70 but it means that I can take almost 350 pictures of second setting standard, i.e. a little better than email standard, and around 150 Good quality pictures which is more than enough. For those upgrading from other Cameras who are concerned about their Memory card compatability, this camera uses Sandisk Memory cards.
I also liked the fact that there was an adaptor tube available to add your own filters. This is inexpensive, but adds to the enjoyment of using the camera, giving it a more professional feel, enabling the user to add 55mm attachments to the lens such as lenses and filters.
The menus are easy to follow on the little screen at the back of the camera, and the delete section is easy when you find that the odd photo is not up to scratch.
Price : £239 plus extra for the memory card.
Superb, full of explanation backed up by the CD provided with the camera.
Camera Dock for easy transfer of photographs.
Extra Li-Ion battery charger although I have one supplied with the camera.
Kodak Fast Battery charger for battery charging on the move.
64-512MB Memory cards (SD)
Multi Media 128 MB Card
8 in 1 and 6 in 1 card readers
Multi Card Reader/ Multi media card reader.
0.7x wide angle lens,lens adaptor and filter.
Camera Case, Tripod, Lens Pen.
I hate resorting to lists although the accessories that are available are important to those wishing to make a buying decision.
Kodak have worked hard on this camera, and have produced a camera for the non professional that gives all the specifications that a person who is fussy about their photographs would expect. Their build is good. This is a solid camera, their guarantee is one year, and their back up is superb on the Kodak site. The camera size is not clumsy, although feels comfortable and more solid than their previous series and weighing in at just over 12 ounces, this is not a heavy camera, though heavier than its predecessors. I like the looks of the camera, it looks professional and the designers have put a lot of work and research into making it better than it was. Okay, those professionals out there may not be that impressed and may prefer more expensive alternatives, although for the semi professional amongst us, this camera is not only adequate but acceptable as an alternative to cameras that are simply point and click.
At the time I bought my first Kodak, it was difficult to imagine that the camera needed additional features, because it seemed so complete, although since purchasing this camera, I would say that technology will always improve with time, and this camera is no exception to that rule.
Having owned the camera now for two years, there are very few problems, and the results are consistently good, though I would not recommend purchase of the docking bay or use of the Kodak software, preferring Roxio or even the PictureIt supplied with my computer.
With it's mixture of pre-set modes and ability to manually change settings, this camera will please both the novice and the proffessional photographer for it's price.
I bought mine a year ago, and I have been more than saticfied with the quality of the camera. to give you an idea of how this camera performs, here are a few examples of the extremes of which I have used this camera.
I have used my camera at an International Air Show where there has been fast moving aircraft, and have been able to get some very nice shots. (even without a tripod!!)
The cameras Macro function is another which has impressed me over the last year, been able to take some photographs of the insect world which resulted in outstanding quality photographs.
I was sat at the back row at Sheffield Arena during a Queen and Paul Rodgers 2005 concert and was able to take decent quality shots and still be able to recognise the artist on the photograph... these particular photographs did not as you migh imaine have any noise (speckles) spoiling the quality of image due to the conditions. (I could actually see the band better on the photographs than I could myself at the concert!)
I would really recommend this camera to anyone wanting an easy to use.. all around camerea, well worth the money.
The DX6490 is one of many camera's in the easyshare range by Kodak.
Whilst it may look like a large, bulky camera, its not actually that big, and fits ok in my hand. It is certainly not a credit card camera, but you dont expect to get something with a TEN times optical zoom in a small package do you?
The camera looks like a SLR camera, but it is just a normal digital camera, in the "prosumer" range. Sporting a reasonable 4 megapixels, its not the top of the league but it produces more than acceptable results.
You can get the full specs on the camera from any online store, or even kodaks website, so I wont bore you with a long list, just what I like and dislike about the camera.
The camera seems fairly well built.
It can take a external flash, via a pc-sync lead.
The external flash is rated upto 500v, so you can use
pretty much any flash on it, unlike most digital cameras which
would go up in smoke if you plugged in a 300v flash gun....
*** Nice large, clear, bright LCD display screen ****
Makes the camera a joy to use, no squinting to see tiny displays, its nice and easy.
There is also a EVF (electronic viewfinder) which is like the viewfinder on SLR cameras. A almost true what you see is what you get viewfinder. I say almost, because its not done with mirrors like in a normal SLR, this is actually a TINY lcd screen hidden inside the viewfinder (it even has a eye sensor so it knows when you are looking through it, but for some reason you still have to press the EVF button to switch from screen to EVF)
**** Simple to use controls ****
I instinctively just knew how to use most features on the camera, a refreshing change from some models that require a lot of head scratching to do basic tasks.
*****Manual control of most features****
(shutter, aperture, etc)
So if the auto mode just doesnt cut it, you are able to fine tune the camera to get the best results. Auto does fine for most jobs though, never had a problem with it yet. (there are also sports, night and portrait modes available)
**** Add on lenses / filters ****
One really nice feature is the ability to add a low cost adapter tube, this screws over the existing lens and allows you to use addon 55mm filters, lenses and accessories. Just like a real camera :)
The flash is obsured slightly if you use the addon's, so I would recommend the use of a external flash if you go this route. Due to not having a hot shoe, the external flash will have to be plugged in the pc-sync lead, and mounted on a adapter through the tripod socket.
This uses a proprietary li-ion battery, but cheap alternatives are available, but its up to you if you want to take the risk with a unknown manufacturer battery.
Overall with Battery life, no problems with this at all, it lasts a long time on the supplied li-ion battery, even using the display.
I have had other cameras go flat in minutes, this lasts into the hundreds of shots range, before going flat.
Easy to charge and transfer pics, just sit it on the camera dock (make sure you get one with the camera!) and charges the camera automatically. Pics are transfered either automatically, or at the press of a button on the dock.
I like the availablility of a printer dock for printing photographs straight from the camera, but I also have the printer dock in the dislike section for a good reason!
*** The lens ****
10 times optical, built in high quality make lens.
Fantastic zoom lens, 10 times optical zoom lets you get really close to the subject, but it has a tiny flaw, see the dislike section.
*** Movies ***
Simple to use movie mode, whilst not great resolution, its fun, and handy to have. It even records sound!
*** Storage **
It can take high capacity memory cards without a problem, I put a 1gig SD card in mine, and it works fine.
*** Built in Flash ***
Pop up flash - ideal as you KNOW for SURE that the flash wont fire when you dont want it to. If the flash is "down" it wont fire!
Not much to dislike really, but here are my main observations!
The optional printer dock, whilst a nice idea, is way to expensive to use, the consumables work out very expensive. It is a LOT cheaper to just take your memory card down to boots or jessops and get them printed professionally.
The optical zoom lens lacks a electronic image stabiliser, so at full zoom, you really need steady hands!
No hotshoe, so an external flash needs to be on a big bulky adapter...
The autopower feature does not fully turn the camera off, so its possible to leave it on and flatten the battery.
There have been no firmware upgrades released for this camera, ever. Will there ever be?
The movie mode does not allow use of zoom at all when recording.
The movie mode also records the sound of the autofocus system whirring away.
There is no raw, uncompressed option for files. You probably wont need one, as the pics look great as they are, but its always nice to have the option.
Flash sensor is partially blocked by external lenses/filter tube if used.
Picture settings, are not saved in automode if you turn off, a real pain sometimes. Would like to be able to default to natural colour rather than saturated for example. But this needs to be set each time you switch on.
If you can get this camera for a good price, its a really nice camera, easy to use, long battery life, great zoom, and the ability to add on lenses or filters is amazing for a camera this price.
It is approaching the end of its marketing life now, so kodak will be letting this get cheaper and cheaper. Some great bargains can be had if you shop around. Many people on various forums love this camera, its certainly the best one I have had so far.
Be careful buying from overseas on ebay though, you may get a USA power lead, it may not come in perfect condition, and you will need a receipt for warranty purposes.
Finally, dont let the fact its only 4mega pixels put you off, this is enough to do great quality prints, even respectable larger ones. You can get higher megapixel camera's but seeing as most people just put pictures on the internet, all you are doing is resizing them to fit on screen, and throwing away all those extra megapixels.
Unless you are a pro, that needs large format prints, a 4 mega pixel camera should be more than enough.
Do noy pay any more than £300 for this item. some supliers are up pricing it because it is top of the line in the 'Easyshare' group. The thing I found awkward was to discern exactly what you got and what you needed. In the box is - Software, Camera, Neckstrap, doccumentation, Battery, Bty Charger, Lens Cap, USB Cable, TV Cable and thats it. You will need to get - extra memory [internal is only 16mb and you will loose photo's on Bty change unless you have MM Card.] I recommend a 256 mb minimum. This will give you 98 top notch quality photo's and 8 mins of video +sound. Also you will need a bag to keep it in and protect in transit etc. You might get a second Bty as a spare but that should be later on. You realy won't need it to start the one provided gives a long use and charges fast [less than 3 hrs if not fully discharged] The best size bag for it is a Tamrac 5963. This camera is superb! Low level light capability is astounding. The Zoom cabability makes life so much more interesting. Functionality is more than enough to keep the modest beginer occupied endlessly and for the more advanced, opporunities to experiment. It really is multi functional. It is also excellent for the 'snapper'. The programed functions ensure a good photo every time and control for the more adventurous produces 'expected results'. For the money - this is good value and I have definately not been disappointed. The size is right, the weight is right and the LCD screen and program presentation intuitive. All function controls are easily located and opperated. It feels like a mini SLR. The only concern I have is for those who want to download the photo's often. I strongly recommend getting a MM card reader rather than keep attaching the camera to the PC to download. This could cause excessive wera and tear on the camera usb connection. A card reader is less than £20 and will offset this possibility. I do not recommend ge
tting the Easyshare Dock for charging and transfer of photo's. It's twice the price of a card reader and offers no further advantages. The printer dock is another matter. I love this camera and IMO beats its competitors. The fact that there is no Manual Focus helps rather than hinders as some think. I doubt whether a manual focus ability would add to the performance at all. there is a multi zone focus capability which removes the necessity for manual focus.
I have owned this camera since December, and I've found it to be a very nice piece of photographic equipment. When my camera arrived, this is what was in the box: The camera Neck Strap Interface Cables: USB and Video Lens Cap Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery English Instruction Manual / User's Guide Software CD: Easyshare Software 3.1, User's Guide on CD Battery life of the provided Lithium Ion battery is great, as you'd expect from a brand new battery. Also, since the battery is the Li-Ion type, it's not going to be detrimental to recharge the camera at regular intervals to ensure there's always a decent change there for you to use, when you need it. The neck strap is a very practical item, since the camera is too large to be held in a pocket. A hand strap would have been a good idea, however. The provided user guide is decent, it's well illustrated. The font size they decided to use hwoever, is questionable (it's rather small), however if this is a problem for you, they do provide a CD containing the docs, that you can of course view at an enlarged size. The Kodak boasts a fair few features that set it apart from its rivals. The control buttons are well places, we've got a large 2.2 inch LCD panel, the menu system is clear and easy to use and the jog dial (shall explain later) that allows me to change exposure settings while concentrating on the picture. Another function that makes the DX6490 stand out, the LCD panal is usable in low light! If you've ever used a digital camera before, you'll soon notice that as soon as you come to take a picture in the dark, you cna't see a single thing on the LCD screen
. The DX6490 overcomes this by detecting the low light, and switching to a B&W image, which is clearer and easier to see, though more grainy. When I tried this camera out, I decided to test the camera out on the higher ISO settings of 400 and 800 (since, it was getting dark). I was pleasently supprised to find that my images were sharp and clear, though pixelated as you'd expect at higher ISOs. I was also able to try out the moview mode, which can record movies with sound at 320 x 240 pixels. The maximum duration for a movie is limited only by the free space remaining on your chosed SD memory card, or indeed the camera's own 16Mb memory. At the back of the camera, is the mode dial, which has an elevated notch at just the right place, so that it may be easily rotated using the thumb of the right hand. As another touch of class (and quite possibly a feature to aid ease of use), the different selections are illuminated, making it nice and easy to see your selection. What would have been perfect, is if the power switch to the camera was located on its own button, so that you did not lose your exposure settings each time you turned off the camera. Incase you're wondering, as yet, I've never accidently changed the settings or turned the camera off/on by inadvertently turning the wheel. Operation is fast, and in well lit situations, there's negligible shutter lag. There's a cery slight lag in low light situations. Startup time for the camera is around 3 seconds. The zoom toggle (up to 10x optical zoom) is moved to the left in to engage wide angle, and to the right to engage telephoto. You hold it there to engage the zoom mechanism, which takes about three seconds to move from wide-angle to full telephoto. The LCD is nice and large at 2.2 inches, and is very clear at 153k pixel
s resolution. You don't have to strain to make out what the menu is telling you, which is nice. There's even a diopter correction function, that is supposed to improve clarity of the screen for those who wear glasses, though I could not test this, since I don't wear glasses. The DX6490 has a jog dial at the front of the hand grip, which takes a bit of getting usedto. This dial is used by a combination of rotating, and pressing it. It's worth noting that this dial is mostly used in PASM mode. When PASM is selected on the previously mentioned mode dial, the exposure mode defaults to Programmed Auto (P). For example, if the down arrow is pointing at the exposure mode setting, pressing it will allow you to then rotate the Jog Dial to select from Programmed Auto (P), Aperture-Priority (A), Shutter-Priority (S), and full Manual (M). Press the Jog Dial again to accept the selected exposure mode. The exposure mode will remain set even when you turn off the camera and turn it back on (so long as you don't remove the battery in the mean time). Once you've set the exposure mode, you can rotate the jog dial to, say, the exposure compensation setting. Press the dial and rotate it to select positive or negative exposure compensation. It sounds complicated, but it really isn't! This camera does arrive with some basic software to get you started, of which the isntallation is straightforward providing you accept all the default settings, which let's face it, MOST of us do. The Kodak Easyshare software allows you to perform common, basic functions of image editing. For example, removing red eyes, adjusting brightness/contrast, rotate, or even giving the photo +/- exposure compensation. There's a
lso a few fun features, such as applying an effect that will make your picture look like a cartoon. It allows you to view a slide show of your images, burn them to CD, email, and order prints online (via Kodak, obviously!). In other words, the DX 6490 and the Easyshare software may be all you need to successfully switch to digital! If you're jsut starting out in digital photography, and are looking for an easy to use, high quality digital camera that takes very good pictures, then you should certainly include the DX6490 on your wishlist.
I'd wanted a digital camera for years, but couldn't really justify buying one because I could usually borrow one from work. So when I changed jobs, this semed the obvious thing to buy with the cash from my leaving gift. I'd been looking for weeks and decided that the best I could afford was a Fuji Finepix until we made a short trip abroad on a budget airline. We say the camera in Dixons at Stanstead airport and the purchase of a magazine quickly comapred that at £250 I was getting a bargain. Apart from price, two things prompted me to choose this camera. The first was the brand name which I regard as synonymous with solid family values (and not just because my Dad used to work for them!). The second was the zoom lens. Forget the digital zoom claims of digital camera manufacturers - they have no vlaue in terms of picture quality because you can do all the digital zooming you want when you get the image onto the PC. No, real zoom is what the lens does for you, and with a magnification of 10x you can really see the action. This model is the "prosumer" shape - it means it's more of a cube than a conventional camera but this also means it balances nicely in your hand. Controls are easy to use and within simple reach, except for the dial on the rear which is a bit fiddly if you haven't got thumb nails. The camera makes a reassuring shuttr sound when you take the picture, but for those who don't need such traditional prompts the sound does turn off. You can choose between the conventional viewfinder or the large colour display on the back. The camera doesn't come with a case so I've taken the precaution of fitting a screen protector on the back. You'll probably want to buy a camera bag to hold the charger, mini tripod and all the other accessories you quickly accumulate. Most of the controls are intuitive but it does help to read the instruction booklet (I found it useful enough to warrant prin
ting the whole thing out - the original comes as a PDF file on disk). My pictures improved once I took the trouble of finding out what all the controls do. Kodak have ben a bit skimpy with the internal memory (16mb) so its worth investing a bitmore in a large capacity SD card (it cost me £40 for a 128mb card which will hold all the pictures I'm likely to take between visits to the computer). Like all modern digital camera it will also take video clips and record soundbites and you can link it to the PC as a webcam or plug directly into the TV to view your pictures and video straightaway. This camera was the same price as the one I used to borrow, but in the five years between them the technololgy has moved ahead miles. I won't be using conventional film anymore because the picture quality on this comes close to ordinary Kodak film at 2megapixels, but when you take pictures at full 4mp quality they're exceptional. Sports pictures turn out nice and sharp, landscapes have good colour balance, portraits are really sharp (too sharp if you're trying to hide spots) and that's just using the pre-defined settings. If you know how to work a camera properly this little baby will keep you entertained all day.