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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak Easyshare DX6490

Kodak Digital Cameras


Kodak Easyshare DX6490 Review

Review Date: Feb 20, 2004

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Kodak Easyshare DX6490 Zoom

Handling & Feel

Snow Blanket: 1/30 sec., F6.3 and ISO 80
Snow Blanket
169mm, Aperture-Priority, Spot, 1/30 sec., F6.3 and ISO 80
Cartoon fun effect applied in Kodak Easyshare

The Kodak Easyshare DX6490 looks quite handsome in its two tone black and silver body with dimensions of 99.6W x 79.9H x 81.2D mm (3.9W x 3.1H x 3.2D in.) and weighing 337 g (11.9 oz.). It handles superbly with controls placed where you would intuitively expect and which respond precisely to the touch.

The Kodak DX6490 is not pocketable, and Kodak includes a neck strap. The camera is extremely light and compact for an ultra zoom digital camera. The hand grip allows the camera to be held very steady.

It is possible to hand hold shots at full telephoto as long as the shutter speed is fast enough (for me, 1/90 sec. and faster); at slower shutter speeds, the use of a tripod is recommended.

On my review camera, the lens jiggles a bit when extended fully. I believe this is normal.

The LCD is clear and at 2.2 in. is one of the largest LCD I've seen so far. It does not have adjustable brightness but I've had no problem with viewing images in bright sunlight. The LCD screen automatically turns off after 1 minute of inactivity to save battery power. To turn it back on, press any button.

The image on the LCD can also be rerouted to the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) which has diopter adjustment for those who, like me, wear glasses. The dipoter wheel is however quite tiny and does not seem to do much difference any way I turn it in my review camera. Fortunately, the EVF is bright and all the info is clearly displayed. The EVF also turns itself off automatically after 15 sec. of inactivity. It turns itself back on automatically as you move the eyepiece to your eye thanks to the eye sensors to the right of it. It's automatic within 1 minute; after 1 minute, touch any button to turn it back on. I find I use the EVF almost all the time with the DX6490.

The controls are placed mostly where you'd expect them. The EVF/LCD switch button is right beside the viewfinder. The Open Flash button and the Flash button are right beside the flip-up flash. The zoom toggle lever is activated by the thumb. The buttons at the top of the camera are far enough from the shutter release button so they cannot be inadvertently pushed on.

There are a couple of design improvements that Kodak could bring to the DX6490:

  • The On/Off switch should be moved off the Mode Dial. As it is now, turning off the camera also means losing your preferred exposure mode setting.
  • The Menu and Setup functions should be on separate tabs. Kodak has designed an attractive menu but as it is currently, you have to navigate through all the Menu items before going into Setup. Then you have to scroll back up all the Setup choices to return to the Menu.
  • I am not sure I prefer a joystick or a four way controller on the Mode Dial. I find it is too easy with a joystick to inadvertently change a setting as I navigate the Menu.
  • Provide a slightly longer lens cap strap. If you inadvertently turn on the camera with the lens cap still on, the reach is just enough or not quite enough, depending on how you orietated the lens cap. If you put the lens cap on and turn it around so the Kodak logo is properly horizontal, then the eyelet on the lens cap is at the bottom of the lens cap and the reach is not quite enough. There is a risk of lens mechanism damage here.

The jog dial takes some getting used to, but once I understand how it works, I find that I like it very much. It allows me to keep my eye glued to the viewfinder while switching exposure mode or adjusting exposure compensation. The electronic viewfinder, itself bright and with the information displayed easily readable, greatly helps with image composition.

Included in the box is the Camera Dock 6000 (standard in Canada and the U.S.) which allows the camera to be recharged by simply placing the camera onto it. It is also a convenient way to upload pictures from camera to PC with the push of a button.

The DX6490 also has one of the most beautiful shutter sound on a consumer digital camera. Be sure to turn it on in the Menu [Menu - Setup - Shutter Sound]!

All in all, the Kodak Easyshare DX6490 passes the test of ease of use for someone who wants a point-and-shoot ultra zoom. It's a beautifully designed camera with a comforting solid feel to it, and provides a very satisfying picture-taking total experience.

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