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Kodak_D6490ColorCH.jpg

The below graph represents the color error of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. The circles represent the colors produced by the camera and the squares represent the ideal version. The distance between the squares and the circle represents the error of the camera for that color. The greater the distance between the square and the circle, the greater the error.

Kodak_D6490ColorRE.jpg

Color is a strength of the DX6490 and reflects Kodak's experience in both imaging and color technology. Kodak takes a different approach than most, opting for under-saturated color replication. This is particularly unusual in the digital imaging market, where so many cameras are engineered towards over-saturating their tonal values. While it is common to over-saturate red and orange values to gain depth in skin tones, all too frequently this gets abused because many people enjoy the Monet-like veil exaggerated color tones provide. The 94.43% saturation score the Kodak DX6490 received is a remarkable divergence from this trend and gives its imagery a unique, muted overtone. This is a refreshing perspective for a digital camera and for those who feel blinded by the brightness of the common, over-saturated aesthetic, the Kodak DX6490 will be a pleasant alternative.

The DX6490 received an overall color score of 7.84. This is an honorable score and should be a reason for looking into the Kodak DX6490. Although it will take a particular taste to prefer the muted imagery of the DX6490, it is nice to know it is available. As for color accuracy, the DX6490 was right on with many of its blue and green tones. The brighter colors, particularly red, orange, and lighter green, do drift from the ideal tone a bit but fall towards a muted replication of the tone rather than towards over-saturation. There is some fallout in the brighter orange hues; they approach yellow and it appears that the DX6490 is more accurate with darker colors. All in all, I would say the Kodak DX6490 is a distinct color imager, providing a different perspective of color and for those who like the muted, matte look, I don’t think you could do much better for the price.

Still Life Scene

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Kodak-DX6490-StillLifeSM.jpg

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**Resolution ***(3.13)*

Using an image taken of an ISO Resolution Chart and Imatest Imaging Software, we calculated a resolution score based on the image’s performance rather than the manufacturer’s reported megapixel count. We took multiple shots of the same chart, to reduce the amount of error, and used Imatest to determine a real resolution number. This number factors in camera electronics, image processing, and optics, giving an accurate representation of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490’s capabilities.

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The high resolution claims given by many manufacturers are often inaccurate and overexaggerate the digital camera’s capabilities. There is a surprisingly low amount of digital cameras that match the manufacture’s proclaimed megapixel count. There is also a variance in how close digital cameras will come to their intended performance. A well performing camera will produce 80% of the manufacturer’s megapixel count and 90% is excellent. Kodak EasyShare DX6490 performed pretty well for a digital camera at this range, producing images with 3.13 megapixels, 78.47% of the reported capabilities. This discrepancy is primarily due to loose play with decimals and marketing intentions.

Noise - Auto ISO*(8.67)*****

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 performed very well in both manual and automatic ISO modes. The automatic ISO function has the same settings as manual, but does not require the user to stop and change the settings for each shooting condition. Characteristic of most digital cameras, the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 will do well at low ISO settings in bright light situations. This camera offers as low as an ISO of 80, which is more than many digital cameras offer. As to be expected, the noise level increases at higher ISO settings, making low light shots without a flash a little unclear.

Noise - Manual ISO*(7.06) *

When multiple ISO settings are available, we test the noise produced by the camera at each setting using Imatest Imaging Software. The graph displayed below shows our results tests for all the ISO settings for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. The horizontal X-axis signifies the ISO ratings while the vertical Y-axis is the noise reading.

Kodak_D6490NoChart.jpg
  

From the graph above, the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 maintains low noise levels when a low ISO setting is applicable, but reported higher noise scores as the ISO ratings were pushed. We put the noise values and ISO settings into a regression analysis to give an overall noise value. As you can see, the performance of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 declines when ISO ratings are increased.

Speed / Timing

Start-up to First Shot (6.48)

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 had a very poor start-up time of 3.52 seconds. In this day in age it shouldn’t take a digital camera this long to be ready to shoot. There are many other cameras on the market today that can be ready in a little over a second.

Shot to Shot Time*(6.99)*

Again the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 was a little slow with an average of 3.01 seconds in between shots, but it compares better than the digital camera’s start-up time.

Shutter to Shot Time*(8.44)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 does redeem itself, however, in its shutter to shot time. It took only 0.28 seconds to go from pressing the shutter to taking the shot. There is very little shutter lag, which is an otherwise common problem among digital cameras.

**

Kodak-D6490-front.jpg
Front ***(8.0)*

The front of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 features a 10x optical, 3x digital zoom, for a 30x total zoom capability. The lens is located in the bottom left corner of the camera’s face, directly beneath the electronic viewfinder. On either side of the viewfinder, and recessed behind the protective glass for the viewfinder, the user will discover the self-timer/video light. On the right side of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490’s front is the grip, built out from the body of the camera in much the same way as the lens. Constructed from a slightly different type of plastic, the grip feels comfortable and safe, even when holding the camera in only the right hand. Above the grip and slightly recessed is the jog dial for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. Between the lens housing and the grip, the center of the camera is deeply recessed, giving larger hands space to wrap around and increasing general ease of use without compromising sound or visual qualities. At the top of this recessed section, and far away from fingers, the microphones for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 are represented as two small pinpoints in the surface of the matte black plastic.

**

Kodak-D6490-back.jpg
Back ***(8.5)*

The back portion of the camera is dominated by a 2.2-inch LCD screen. Above the LCD screen is the 1.1-cm viewfinder, with the silver EVF/LCD toggle button located directly to the left. To the right and recessed into the viewfinder itself, the user will find the EVF eye sensors. Directly to the right of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490's LCD screen are the status buttons, the share buttons, the Mode dial, and the delete button. The Mode dial allows for changes to be made between specific shooting situations, and it allows for manipulation of automatic and manual control. Located in the center of the Mode dial is a joystick, replacing the usual four-way controller. The joystick allows for movement in the cardinal directions, and when depressed, it acts as an OK button for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. When a specific mode is engaged, or when the camera is switched on, the setting chosen will be lit with an LED light, thus allowing the user a quick and easily noticeable reference point. Next to the delete button and under the Mode dial are the menu and review buttons, both clearly labeled with full word descriptions, in silver text. In the top right corner is the zoom adjustment which allows for alterations between wide angle/telephoto settings.

Kodak-D6490-left.jpg
Left Side*(8.0)*

The left side of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is equipped with a neck strap post and two neatly masked port covers. These port covers are some of the most solidly designed that I have seen. They are connected firmly, and I did not worry about whether they would tear, rip, or otherwise come undone from the body of the camera. These flaps are made of a malleable rubber. The port cover located directly next to the neck strap post contains the external flash connector. Beneath this port cover, and spanning the width of the left side, the user will discover the USB port, the DC in port (5V), and the A/V out (for TV viewing).

Right Side*(8.0)*

The right side of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 features a neck strap post as well and an optional SD/MMC card slot, hidden beneath another cover, which easily flips open.

Kodak-D6490-right.jpg
Top*(8.0)*

The top of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is split, like most of the camera, into two distinct function zones. The right side features a shutter button located at the front of the grip extension. Behind the shutter button is the in-camera speaker, which is to the right of the flash button, the close-up/landscape button, and the self-timer/burst buttons. In front of the self timer/burst button is the flash open button. It should be noted that to close the flash, the user must manually depress the flash back into the top of the camera body itself. The button will only open this feature, not close it. Next to the burst/self-timer button and the flash open button, and raised from the camera body, is the flip-up flash for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490.

Viewfinder*(7.5)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is equipped with an electronic viewfinder of 1.1 cm and a resolution of 180K pixels. To change between the EVF and the LCD,  press the silver button located on the back of the camera and to the left of the viewfinder itself. To adjust the sharpness of the image within the electronic viewfinder, engage the dioptric adjustment located on the side of the viewfinder itself (a small, barely noticeable jog dial). The accuracy for the LCD screen on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is 100%, and because the electronic viewfinder is basically a smaller version of the LCD screen, the image will be extremely close to if not 100% of the final image captured. You cannot adjust the position of the viewfinder on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490, forcing the EVF to remain in one position, obscuring portions of the LCD screen when not in use.

LCD Screen*(8.5)*

The LCD screen for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 measures 2.2 inches, making it a nicely sized, even luxurious screen for the overall price of the camera. It's very slightly compromised by the viewfinder, which obscures a slight amount of the screen, depending upon the angle its held at. The LCD screen features 153,000 pixels, with indoor/outdoor display potentiality.

Flash*(7.0)*

To access the flash options available on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490, press the flash button located on the top of the camera. The flash button symbol appears as a lightening bolt with an arrow at one end. To actually use any sort of flash, the user must also open the flash by moving the flash open button to the right. The flash will emerge from the body of the camera, ready to engage. There are four flash choices set up for the user: Auto, Red-eye, Fill, and Off. Each mode is selected by pressing the flash button, rotating through the selections until the proper flash is displayed on the LCD screen in the information bar located at the top of the screen. Even if the flash is selected, it will not be engaged unless the flash is opened. The picture will still be taken, but a red line will appear through the flash sign on the LCD screen, implicating the lack of flash on the previously shot photograph. There is a flash port for an external flash located on the left side of the camera, under the top port cover. Though there is no accessory shoe on the camera, it is nice to see a company acknowledging the possibility of an external flash on a digital camera.

Zoom Lens*(8.0)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is equipped with a Schneider-Kreuznach Varigon 10x optical zoom lens with 3.0x digital zoom, with maximum aperture of f/2.8-f/3.7 (equivalent to 38-380mm) and a thread for possible filter attachments. With this extremely high zoom level of 10x, the user is assured a much wider range of shooting options unavailable on most digital cameras. The manual zoom feature on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is located on the back portion of the camera body, in the upper right-hand corner. It is possible to adjust for wide angle shots by pressing the zoom lever to the left, and telephoto shots by pressing the lever to the right.

Model Design / Appearance*(7.5)*

The matte black body of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is highlighted with areas of silver detailing, around and including buttons, as well as the lens barrel itself. A built-in flash easily opens from the top of the camera, allowing for direct and immediate control over flash options. The four-way controller, familiar to most digital camera users, has been replaced by a button which acts as a stripped-down joystick. The LCD screen is a large, 2.2 inches, allowing for easy viewing from a greater distance, a luxury to be enjoyed.

Size / Portability*(6.0)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is not a camera meant for the point-and-shoot enthusiast who is looking for a model that can slip into a pocket. However, its larger body size allows for this camera’s extra features and appropriately sized buttons and grips, which allowed my large hands to feel comfortable with handling and adjusting during image capture. The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 measures 3.9 x 3.1 x 3.2 inches, with a cubic volume of 38.69 inches, and a weight of 11.9 oz.

**Handling Ability ***(7.5)*

The main issue with handling is the viewfinder. It seems almost absurd to talk about using the viewfinder at all on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490, due to this camera's large and easily viewable LCD screen. However, if users were inclined to switch between LCD and viewfinder, complications would quickly arise. The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 features an electronic viewfinder, advantageous at times, although it is impossible to use both the viewfinder and the LCD simultaneously, making it necessary to engage the button each time one is used. If using the viewfinder with the left eye, most if not all of the button functionality on the back of the camera is compromised. However, these viewfinder complications aside, the camera’s built out right-hand grip feels extremely comfortable, sized nicely for one or two handed usage.

Control Button / Dial Positioning / Size*(7.0)*

Nicely situated buttons and a large enough format allow the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 to be extremely usable to even someone with meandering fingers and oversized hands. I never covered the consciously positioned microphone, and the lens barrel was situated as to not allow my fingers to become the focal point of the shot. The mode dial located next to the LCD is a bit problematic, at times making it hard to adjust and switch between various modes. The resistance was enough to make me worry that I was perhaps hurting the camera or breaking something. However, once over this fear, the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 became a camera with entirely logical button placement. The buttons are labeled both with full text descriptions and symbols, so knowledge of the camera’s labels will be necessary for concise and efficient usage.

Menu*(7.5)*

The onscreen LCD menu available to the user is brightly colored and I think intended to boost the sensation of consumer interaction, although at times the overwhelming color scheme and layout makes me yearn for a more simple Menu. Within the still mode menu it is possible to control Image Storage, Picture Quality, White Balance, ISO Speed, Color Modes, Exp Meter, Focus Zone, Sharpness, Reset, Video length, Set Album, Date Stamp, Orient. Sensor, and overall Set Up.

Ease of Use*(7.5)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is a great middle ground camera for the buyer who is looking for a camera that allows for more manual control, but would still like the ready ease of point-and-shoot usage. With a sizable grip and spread out features, my hands never felt clumsy or awkward, and I didn't worry about covering the lens or the microphone during testing. The buttons on the back portion of the camera are harder to use when the viewfinder is being used, but in all honesty, with a 2.2-inch LCD screen, it seems almost ludicrous not to use it. The viewfinder does obstruct a bit of the LCD if the camera is held below eye level when viewing the screen, a slightly irritating feature which could be easily remedied. The joystick controller on the back of the camera was at times an enjoyable feature, but became more frustrating due to its small and overly sensitive trigger when I began to use the camera at a higher rate of image capture. However, the LED lit mode dial allowed me to easily find out which mode was engaged; each feature was clearly lit when in use, a feature I wish was standard on all cameras.

Auto Mode*(6.0)*

When the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is placed into Auto Mode, the user allows the camera to control all settings, making the shutter button the one step between the user and capturing an image. Image quality in this mode will never be quite as good as the quality caused by an intelligent decision made by the user, but if manual controls are overwhelming, this may be an essential and often used setting.

Movie Mode*(5.0)*

Movie mode is possible on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 by turning the mode dial to the film camera symbol. The DX6490 is capable of capturing continuous video and audio, with playback potentiality. The movie resolution is 320 x 240 pixels at 20 frames per second. Depending on the memory card used, it is possible with the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 to capture as much as 80 minutes of video and audio; the maximum amount is entirely dependent on the size of the SD/MMC memory card used.

Drive / Burst Mode*(7.0)*

In addition to single shooting mode, the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 has a burst settings feature located on the top of the camera body next to the flash compartment. The control doubles as the self-timer button as well. By depressing the button once, the user will have engaged the self-timer feature, and pressing it once again allows for the burst setting to be established. Once in this feature the user must then press the shutter partially to adjust autofocus, and then depress completely to shoot up to 6 pictures at a rate of 3 frames per second. To leave burst mode, merely press the button one final time, and the insignia will disappear from the information bar at the top of the LCD screen.

A self-timer is available for both still and video images. To use the self-timer, press the self-timer button located on the top of the camera, to the right of the flash, once. The symbol will appear on the LCD screen when established. Compose the shot and press the shutter button completely. There will be a ten second delay prior to the image being shot, making it a perfect option for both steady shots and self-portraits. Press the button twice to exit the self-timer mode.

Playback Mode*(7.0)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 gives you the option of viewing images in a thumbnail view if you press the review button located beneath the mode dial on the back of the digital camera. Once pressed, previously shot photos will be revealed in the slide show format. To enter the thumbnail view, which allows up to nine images per screen, merely press the joystick downwards once. To select a specific image for closer examination, use the joystick to highlight the desired photo, and depress the joystick. That specific image will then be featured. To return to thumbnail mode, merely press downwards on the joystick again. When viewing more than nine images in thumbnail view, scan the photos using the joystick, until the bottom right corner image on the LCD screen is highlighted. Once this is executed, pressing the joystick one more time to the right will allow for the consecutive screen to be viewed. To go backwards, merely go to the upper left-hand corner, and press left on the joystick to return to prior screens.

To view your images in a slide show form, merely depress the review button once. Previously captured images will be displayed for review. To scan between images move the joystick left and right accordingly.

It is not possible to permanently crop or zoom images or movies within the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 camera itself, although it is possible when in slide show view to magnify an image 2x or 4x, and to move within the magnified image by using the joystick's cardinal directions. To magnify an image, press the OK button once; to magnify 4x press again, and to return to original format press one more time. To exit review mode, hit the review button, and you will be returned to regular camera operations.

**Custom Image Presets ***(5.5)*

The mode dial located on the back of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 has multiple mode options for optimum shooting capability. Starting from the Off setting, the user can then turn the dial counter-clockwise to the Video Mode. The Video mode allows for the capture of both moving image and audio. By moving the dial clockwise from the off position, the next choice for the user will be the Automatic setting, denoted by a Green camera. Below this mode is the PASM mode, or the Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual mode controls. This option will allow the user the most control options and settings adjustments of any of the modes on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. Next is the sports setting, symbolized by a figure running; this mode is primarily used when the subject is in motion. Portrait mode is for full frame shots of portrait shots of people; best results will be garnered when the subject is at least six feet from the lens of the camera. And finally, night mode is used for low or no light situations, such as night lighting. Due to a longer shutter speed necessary for capturing accurate lighting, this setting is best used when in tandem with a tripod, allowing for a steady and accurate shot.

Once the symbols for these modes are learned, the modes are easy to access and enable, mainly because the setting chosen by the user on the mode dial is lit from behind by an LED light. This feature makes the entire night or low light shooting experience more feasible. Also, the LED is bright enough so that it is still visible even during daytime hours, making fast adjustments easier. The only major setback regarding the placement of the mode dial and the offered settings is the interference from the electronic viewfinder. When the two are used in tandem, the mode dial is unfortunately extremely compromised. The viewfinder is positioned so that my face rested upon the dial itself, making constant adjustment problematic.

Overall Manual Control

When shooting in manual mode, the user of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 can choose to personally modify the following settings to compensate for the specifics of their shooting parameters: Aperture, Shutter Speed, Exposure Compensation, Macro and Digital Zoom levels, ISO, White Balance, Presets for Focus, and Scene. These settings are all controllable once the user switches the Mode into PASM mode.

Focus*

Auto (7.0)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 offers two two automatic focusing options: Mulitzone (the default option with 3 focusing areas) and Center zone, which puts the center of the frame into accurate focus. With only auto focus options available on this camera, it became slightly aggravating at times to switch between focus zone settings while trying to partially depress the shutter. The reaction time wasn’t horrible, and it is possible to shoot in burst, which will allow the user the option of a faster shutter and reaction time overall.


Manual (0.0)

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 does not have a manual focus option. To control focus, the user must first establish the desired shot and then partially depress the shutter button, until the camera acknowledges the parameters as being established. Once this is done, press the shutter button completely and the image will be captured. It is possible within the menu to select the zone focus specifics for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. The user may choose between multi-zone and center-spot focus.

**Metering ***(7.0)*

When set in PASM mode, the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 has the capability to select a specific Exposure Matrix for varied metering options. Once the Exposure Metering selection is highlighted within the onscreen menu, the user can choose between Multi-Pattern, Center-Weight, and Center Spot, each setting relying on a different portion of the focal field for Exposure readings. With Multi-Pattern as the chosen setting, the user allows the camera to consider lighting conditions from the overall image, perfect for general use photographs. The center weight feature emphasizes the center of the viewfinder, perfect for subjects located in the middle of the viewfinder, and when subjects are backlit. And center-spot is the third and final option, and should be used when an even smaller portion of the subject centered in the viewfinder should be evaluated for light meter readings. This is best used when very specific portions of the image need exact meter readings.

Exposure*(7.0)*

This camera has the standard -2 and +2 EV, with 1/3 capabilities, to access the Exposure chart settings, the Mode Dial must be turned to the PASM Mode, and then the jog dial turned until the P is selected at the bottom of the LCD screen. Once selected it is possible to turn the jog dial until the proper setting is selected.

White Balance*(4.0)*

Within the onscreen menu, the user has a choice among four settings; Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, and Fluorescent. Without any manual setting options available, the user is forced to choose between these presets that, although fine for general shooting situations, make it impossible to manually set the camera’s White Balance for the user's specific shooting situations and parameters.

ISO*(8.0)*

The ISO settings are both automatic and manual for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 and can be accessed via the onscreen menu. The user must first press the menu button located on the back of the camera body. Once within the menu, the joystick in the center of the mode dial may be used to scan through the list of main menu options. When the ISO option is highlighted, merely depress the joystick, and the ISO settings menu will appear (remember, the joystick doubles as the OK button on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490). If the automatic ISO option is chosen, the user merely presses the joystick again, and the automatic choice is summarily engaged. This setting allows for settings varying from 80-160 ISO. However, by using the manual setting, the user scans further down the list of options, and is given the opportunity to choose between 80/100/200/400/800 ISO settings. Once the correct setting has been chosen, the user depresses the joystick and the setting is maintained until the chooser reassigns a setting option. The ISO settings will remain, even if the camera is turned off and on again.

Shutter Speed*(7.0)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 has multiple shutter speeds, which are controllable through the mode dial located next to the LCD screen on the back of the camera. The PASM mode gives the user the most control over the shutter settings, allowing for manual control over specific speeds. Otherwise, the user is allowed to choose between modes/genre settings, with standard titles like sport (for moving objects), portrait (for full frame shots of people, with best results when subject is six feet or further away, with head and shoulders filling the frame), night (for night or low light situations; slower shutter speeds may necessitate a tripod), and finally video mode for capturing video with sound. The shutter speeds span from 16 seconds to 1/1700 of a second.

 

**Aperture ***(6.5)*

To switch between modes within the PASM setting on the mode dial, the user must first use the joystick to highlight the function located at the bottom left corner of the LCD screen (it will be P for program mode, A  for aperture mode, S for shutter priority mode, and M for manual mode, logically.) Once within the Aperture setting, and using the jog dial, the user can choose the appropriate aperture opening for the image. For wide angle shots the F-stops are f/2.8-f/8.0, and the telephoto settings are f/3.7-f/8.0.

Picture Quality / Size Options*(6.0)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 comes with four image quality settings, which can be found in the onscreen LCD menu. Best image shoots at 4.0 MP, for prints ranging in size up to 20 x 30 inches, and will have both the highest resolution and the largest file size. Next is Best (3:2) which shoots at 3.5 MP and is meant primarily for printing 4 x 6 prints via the EasyShare Printer system. Better, at 2.1 MP, is intended for 8 x 10 inch pictures with medium resolution and a smaller file size. And finally, Good, at 1.1 MP for 5 x 7, is best used with screen display, email, and Internet; these images will have the lowest resolution and file size.

To control the sharpness of an image in the Kodak EasyShare DX6490, the user must enter the camera into PASM mode; sharpness can only be controlled within this mode. Entering the menu feature, the user must scroll down and highlight the Sharpness menu choice. Then press OK to enter the sharpness subsection and choose between the three settings of sharp, standard and soft. When the proper choice has been highlighted, press the menu button and the user will be returned to regular operation.

Picture Effects Mode*(7.0)*

The Color/Saturation function is feasibly operational in any still image mode on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. Once entered in the menu, the user must choose the color mode options, and will then be able to choose between four settings in the submenu. Saturated color is the default setting for the camera; other choices include Neutral color, Black and White, and Sepia. Press the menu button to exit.

Connectivity

***Software
(6.5)*

Included with the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is the Kodak EasyShare editing software for both Macintosh and PC platforms. A camera dock comes with the camera as well. The camera dock allows the user to just lock the entire camera/dock onto the top of the Kodak EasyShare printer and print digital photos that are water resistant and photo lab quality. Patience is required, as each image does take a few minutes to completely print, but the process is admittedly fun to watch and should entertain small children (and probably the user as well).

*Jacks, Ports, Plugs (7.0)

*The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 comes with its own camera dock, USB cable, 5V optional DC adapter, and an A/V out cable for direct television viewing. The USB dock on the Kodak EasyShare allows for connection to computer, and the A/V out allows for the user to take video and audio images either to a TV monitor or another video and audio jack on a computer if a video jack exists. The camera dock allows for direct printing to the Kodak EasyShare printer systems.

*Direct Print Options (8.5)

*It is possible for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 to print directly to Kodak EasyShare printers by using the camera/printer dock, which comes with the product. See Accessories section below for more details.

Memory*(7.0)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 uses a SD/MMC optional memory card, and an internal pre-installed 16MB of memory. It should be said that 16MB is not going to get even the most casual digital camera user far, and if video images are to be captured, another card is definitely needed. The still images for the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 are recorded as JPEG (EXIF v2.2) files and the video images are captured in Quicktime.

Other Features*(7.0)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 comes with the following accessories: audio/video out cable, USB cable, neck strap, Kodak rechargeable lithium-ion battery, lens cap and tether, Kodak EasyShare software, custom camera insert for camera and printer dockings, and a welcome kit from the manufacturer.

The flip-up flash option on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is a great feature, easily and quickly disengaged by just closing it, allowing for fast light changes without having to immediately reenter the flash programs to select a new setting. The fact that this camera is designed for a neck strap is reassuring, an acknowledgment by Kodak that this is a more substantial camera, and one which needs more than a flimsy wrist strap. And finally, a word about the durable rubber port covers. Consciously connected with more than a flimsy tab to the body of the camera, these port covers feel as though they can last as long as the actual camera itself, and I don't worry about tearing them off during fast movement or changes.

Value*(7.0)*

The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 is a well-designed middle ground camera for the user who wants to spend around 500 dollars and be able to combine manual control with the ease and occasional simplicity of automatic shooting. It’s layout wont take hours of memorization, and small features such as the LED lit mode dial and the option for external flash make it a desirable product. The frontally located jog dial is a bit awkward, often taking seconds to readjust, and it slows down manual shooting capabilities. This and the small joystick tend to complicate issues, but the overly large and expansive 2.2-inch LCD immediately makes up for these smaller discrepancies.

**Comparisons

***Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ10K-- *The Lumix DMC-FZ10K by Panasonic has a 0.4 inch 4 MP CCD, with a 2-inch LCD screen. It has a 12x optical zoom with a 3x digital zoom, for a total zoom of 36x. It has a removable flash memory card of 16MB and uses SD/MMC memory. It comes equipped with a Leica lens, and it is the first 4 MP digital camera by Panasonic. This Panasonic has an MSRP of US $599.95. It weighs 1.21 lbs and has the following dimensions: 3.43 x 5.45 x 4.16 inches, for a total cubic volume of 77.76 inches.

Canon PowerShot G3-- The PowerShot G3 by Canon is equipped with a digital zoom of 3.6x and an optical zoom of 4x for a total max zoom rating of 14.4x. Its CCD measures 0.56 inches and has a total of 4.1 megapixels. The LCD screen is also only 1.8 inches, vastly smaller than the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. The included memory card has a maximum memory of 32MB. It has the possibility of both manual and automatic focus, a feature not available on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. The video format, however, is MJPEG rather than the Quicktime available on the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. The ISO equivalencies also only reach 400, with four total possible settings available. The G3 has an MSRP of US $499, and is three inches high, 4.8 inches wide, and 2.5 inches deep, for a total cubic volume of 36 inches. The G3 weighs 14.5 ounces.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE 7Hi-- The DiMAGE 7HI by Konica Minolta features a 1.8-inch LCD screen. The CCD offers 5.2 MP, and the still image and video images both capture only in JPEG or TIFF formats. It takes 4 more bulky double AA batteries, making it a much heavier camera to carry, and a less portable option for the user. It has an included 16MB Flash memory card, and can be accessorized with two types of memory cards; the CompactFlash, and the Microdrive. The DiMAGE weighs 18.7 ounces and is 3.56 inches high, 4.61 inches wide, and has a depth of 4.43 in., with a total cubic volume of 72.70 inches.

Kodak EasyShare DX 6440-- The Kodak EasyShare DX6440 retails with a MSRP of US $349.95, and is one step below the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 in the EasyShare DX line of cameras. Less contoured, and without the flip-up flash, this camera looks more like the standard digital camera modeled off of the point-and-shoot 35mm camera of years prior. It has a CCD resolution of 4.23 MP and an LCD screen that only measures 1.8 inches. The viewfinder is not electronic like the Kodak EasyShare DX6490; instead it's an optical real image viewfinder. The total zoom registers at 15x, (4x optical, 3.8x digital), far below the 30x available with the Kodak EasyShare DX6490.

Kodak EasyShare DX7440-- The Kodak EasyShare DX7440 has an MSRP of US $349.95, a 1/2.5-inch 4.0 MP CCD, and an LCD which measures 2.2 inches. It is capable of storing up to 200 images in-camera. Its burst mode boasts a 2 fps separation, with a total zoom of 16x (4x optical, 4x digital), still under the Kodak EasyShare DX6490’s 30x zoom. Manual controls are slightly more restricted in comparison to the Kodak EasyShare DX6490, with an in-body flash, rather than the flip-up flash of the Kodak EasyShare DX6490. It has an internal memory of 32MB with additional SD/MMC cards available, and offers direct printing possibilities, just like all of the cameras within this Kodak EasyShare DX line of products. Without batteries this model weighs in at 7.9 ounces, and measures 4.0 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches, for a total cubic volume of 17.28 inches.

Kodak EasyShare DX7630-- The Kodak EasyShare DX7630 has an MSRP of US $499.95, has a CCD resolution of 6.2 MP, and has a total zoom of 12x (3x optical and 4x digital). It has 32MB of internal storage, and has a memory card slot for optional SD/MMC memory cards. The movie image resolution is 320 x 240 at a rate of 24 fps. It has more manual control than the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 with a greater range available overall on most of these settings. The DX7630's weight without batteries comes to 7.7 ounces, with dimensions of 4.0 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches for a total cubic volume of 17.28 inches.

**Who It's For

***Point-and-Shooters--* The point-and-shooter could make it on this camera, with its default option in menu, but overall, this camera is much more likely to please that user who wants to be able to luxuriate in having partial control over image qualities. It’s size makes it a more substantial purchase, not to be casually thrown in a pocket and forgotten about; remember, it has a neck strap, but it's surprisingly light and pleasant to hold.

Budget Consumers-- The budget consumer who needs to be able to have both quality images and control will like this camera. Also for the size of the LCD, it’s a reasonably priced option.

Gadget Freaks-- The gadget freak could spend a fair amount of time enjoying this Kodak EasyShare DX6490. It’s got enough things hidden throughout the system to keep you entertained, it looks official, and it feels superb. Its 30x total zoom makes it a desirable addition to a collection. Not to mention that LCD, which just looks good from the start.

Manual Control Freaks-- For the user needing control, but not wanting to spend excessive amounts of money, the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 falls right under your heading. Plenty of control features allow for ISO/Shutter/Aperture manipulation among other things, and an external flash and plenty of smaller details throughout allow for hours of manipulating and uncovering.

Pros / Serious Hobbyists-- The DX6490 would be a good camera to use as a backup; it's accurate and has the ability to handle an external flash and video/audio. The pro or serious hobbyist could also use this camera when a smaller, more compact model is needed for certain occasions. Not so expensive that you feel you can’t take it outside, its comfortable grip easily allows for many feasible shooting locations and positions.


**Conclusion

**The Kodak EasyShare DX6490 has an MSRP of US $499, which places it as an affordable mid-range camera, best intended for those users looking beyond a basic point-and-shoot hybrid digital camera. It has manual control features and a menu that is simple to navigate, the only problem being that small joystick of a controller for in-menu selections. Its large 4.2 MP CCD and 2.2-inch LCD screen assure the user of both better image viewing and better image quality over many of the other similarly priced models within the same category. The simultaneous capture option of audio and video makes this digital camera a distinctly feasible option for the user wanting to actually use this feature for more than short bursts of video capture. Its size dictates that it isn’t a point-and-shoot vacation camera to be tossed in the luggage between locations, but it feels comfortable in the hands during shooting, and the overall weight is perfectly fine, especially considering what a bit of extra weight gives the user in features in the end. And finally, the 10x optical zoom paired with the manual controls make this camera the perfect choice in a price range lacking the high optical zoom level and user control in general.

**Spec Table

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James Murray

James Murray

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