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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 

Image Quality

The Kodak Easyshare DX6490 has 4 megapixels resolution and its image quality is comparable to other 4 MP digital cameras.

Two very pleasant surprises:

  • No noise at ISO 80. At higher ISOs, noise is quite acceptable for display purposes at 1024x768 pixels.
  • Auto White Balance outdoors seems to work very well. I was expecting to have to fiddle around to get my snow, well, snow white, but the DX6490 takes care of it without any adjustment on my part.

Since most of you are interested in the Kodak DX6490 because of the long zoom, I have taken a number of the picture samples at that focal length. Of course, I have also included pictures at other focal lengths and in different lighting situations. The long zoom opens up picture possibilities once reserved only to those who could afford expensive long zoom lenses for the professional SLR or dSLR category.

For this review, I used the following settings as my preferred settings:

  • Shooting Mode: Programmed Auto
  • Metering Mode: Spot
  • ISO: 80
  • Image Size: 2304x1728 (4M)
  • Image Quality: Can't be set (the DX6490 firmware unfortunately compresses the output)
  • White Balance: Auto

All the pictures on this and the other pages (including the navigation pictures at the top of each page) have been taken by the Kodak Easyshare DX6490 for this review. The pictures on this page provide a good sample of what the DX6490 is capable of and I have provided the800x600 version. Remember that this version is of slightly lesser quality than the original 2304x1728 version. Please open and download only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!

Clicking on a picture will display the 800x600 image in a separate window. Leave that separate window up for all the other images will also display in that same separate window.
Note that Kodak Easyshare software reports focal length in 35mm equivalent, so that is what you'll read below and on the other pages.
Wide-Angle: 1/500 sec., F4 and ISO 80 (File size: 922 KB)Wide-angle. Kiriya Park covered in snow. Here is the wide-angle 6.3mm coverage (35mm equivalent = 38mm). The Auto White Balance does a pretty good job here and I did not have to use exposure compensation to compensate for the brightness of the snow (I will usually dial in a +0.3EV). Focal Length 38mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/500 sec., aperture F4.0 and ISO 80. [File size: 922 KB]

Full Telephoto: 1/500 sec., F5 and ISO 80 (File size: 1.2 MB)Same scene but zoomed to the maximum focal length of 63.2mm (35mm equivalent = 380mm). Once you experience the kind of images you can obtain with 10x optical zoom, you may never want anything less. Here again, snow is brillant white and details on the column are reproduced well. Focal length 380mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/500 sec., aperture F5.0, ISO 80. [File size: 1.2 MB]

Bus Ad: 1/45 sec., F3.2 and ISO 80 (File size: 809 KB)Sympatico's ".ca" ads on the side of buses and on billboards are quite showstoppers. Simple, to the point, arresting images. For this picture, I roll down my car window and snap a quick shot as we wait for the traffic light to turn green. The DX6490 captures the smoke, dirt, bolts and scratches. Focal length 48mm, Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/45 sec., aperture F3.2, ISO 80. [File size: 809 KB]

Night Scene: 1/15 sec., F2.8 and ISO 400 (File size: 1.3 MB)OK, I admit this place looks quite spooky at night. It is in fact a stairway popular to joggers living in the area. This picture demonstrates the night shooting capability of the DX6490 using ISO 400. Noise is quite apparent in this low-light shot at original size. Focal length 38mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/15 sec, aperture F2.8 and ISO 400. [File size: 1.3 MB]

Winter Dance: 1/90 sec., F3.2 and ISO 400 (File size: 1.4 MB)Another low-light shot, this one indoors. I had to use an ISO of 400 to provide a fast enough shutter speed to prevent camera shake. Though noise is also apparent here, the shot would not have been possible at a lower ISO. What's important here is that it is possible to capture those indoor events with the DX6490 with results that are quite acceptable. Focal length 105mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/90 sec, aperture F3.2 and ISO 400. [File size: 1.4 MB]

Snowman: 1/90 sec., F3.2 and ISO 800 (File size: 584 KB)And here's the same <<bonhomme de neige>> all by itself. I decide to test out ISO 800 for this shot, which automatically reduces the image resolution down to 1 megapixel. Noise is visible in the image but I find it is quite acceptable here, too. It is a matter of choosing between not being able to capture anything at all and a slightly noisy image. Of course, at 1 MP resolution, you are limited to displaying on screen or 4x6 in. prints. Focal length 105mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/90 sec, aperture F3.2 and ISO 800. [File size: 584 KB]

Playground: 1/180 sec., F2.8 and ISO 80 (File size: 834 KB)The sun is out for only short periods and I profit by literally trudging over snowbanks to capture this playground waiting for warmer days. Colours are reproduced faithfully. I find it is very easy to obtain well exposed images with the DX6490 in a point-and-shoot mode. Focal length 38mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/180 sec, aperture F2.8 and ISO 80. [File size: 834 KB]

Canadians, eh?: 1/90 sec., F3.2 and ISO 80 (File size: 606 KB)Now, it is -35 Celsius and you would think a touque is de rigueur. So, imagine my astonishment as I wait to turn left onto Front Street and see this group with about half in the crowd with absolutely no head covering! Eh bien, Canadian, eh? One Front Street is also the Canada Customs office to register your brand new digital camera if you intend to take it across the border. This way, you won't be challenged crossing back into Canada that you purchased it outside of the country. It's free to register -- just bring your digital camera with you to the customs office. Focal length 139mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/90 sec, aperture F3.2 and ISO 80. [File size: 606 KB]

Freezing Rain: 1/10 sec., F3.2 and ISO 80 (File size: 541 KB)Freezing rains with a nasty wind. As I drive pass this lonely pedestrian fighting the elements, I wish I can take a picture. Fortunately red lights and very slow moving traffic allow her to pass by me again. I have time to take a quick snap and the picture "unfortunately" suffers from camera shake. But I like it, and I think the slight blurry effect adds to convey the mood of the cold, stormy weather. It looks quite nice with a Watercolor Effect applied to it. Focal length 105mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/10 sec., aperture F3.2, ISO 80. [File size: 541 KB]

Train Station: 1/60 sec., F6.3 and ISO 80 with Fill-in Flash (File size: 701 KB)Here is a macro shot using fill-in flash from the camera's onboard flash. I've tried this shot with other cameras with varying success, but the DX6490 does a pretty good job here. The flash did not overexpose the image (automatically decreasing the light output at close range) and I was able to handhold the shot. Focal length 38mm, Aperture-Priority, Spot, shutter speed 1/60 sec, aperture F6.3, Fill-in Flash and ISO 80. [File size: 701 KB]

Bridge: 1/500 sec., F4 and ISO 80 (File size: 1.2 MB)The shadows of the trees on the snow bring out the testured hills and valleys of an otherwise white expanse. This is our "tree branches against bright sky" test shot and there's not much purple fringing noticeable. I like being able to take quality images with point-and-shoot ease. Focal length 38mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/500 sec., aperture F4.0, ISO 80. [File size: 1.2 MB]

Tall Grass: 1/500 sec., F4 and ISO 80 (File size: 1.6 MB)Tall grass that in warmer days would have been green now look golden against the white snow. A little bit of sharpening, either in camera or in post processing, should make the grass stand out nicely. Focal length 38mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/500 sec., aperture F4.0 and ISO 80. [File size: 1.6 MB]

Kiriya Park in Winter: 1/750 sec., F5.6 and ISO 80 (File size: 847 KB)Here is our "from deep shadows to bright sky" test shot. Because I was using Spot metering, the pine trees in the foreground are perhaps just a tad darker than I'd like. The structure and snow on the roof come out perfectly exposed. Focal length 38mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/750 sec, aperture F5.6 and ISO 80. [File size: 847 KB]

Peppers: 1/60 sec., F2.8 and ISO 80, with Flash (File size: 991 KB)The colours of the bell peppers are reproduced quite nicely by the DX6490: yellow, orange, red, light and dark greens co-mingle in their display cases. I use fill in flash inside this food market to ensure correct exposure. Focal length 38mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/60 sec, aperture F2.8 and ISO 80, with Flash. [File size: 991 KB]

Apples: 1/60 sec., F3.2 and ISO 80, with Flash (File size: 741 KB)A couple more weeks and we are in March. The school is already making plans for the March Break! Spring, at last, just around the corner! Just think about it.... The sun, the flowers, the birds, the grass... oh, the grass to mow.... :( Focal length 75mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/60 sec, aperture F3.2 and ISO 80, with Flash. [File size: 741 KB]

Pets: 1/60 sec., F2.8 and ISO 80, with Flash (File size: 1.4 MB)

This 3-D pet mural is outside the pet store at the Square One Centre in Mississauga. It is in deep shadows but the on-board flash of the DX6490 is strong enough to open up the shadows and give proper exposure. Very nice fish specimens and fish tanks in that store! Focal length 38mm, Programmed Auto, Spot, shutter speed 1/60 sec, aperture F2.8 and ISO 80, with Flash. [File size: 1.4 MB]


For our panorama shot of the Mississauga Centre Library, I take 4 landscape shots on a tripod. However, since the tripod socket is not right under the lens, there is a bit of skewed perspective. To stitch the shots together, I use the Merge function of Photoshop Elements, which is not the greatest, and requires me to match by hand. [I really have to sharpen my panorama stitching skills.] Focal length 38mm, Aperture-Priority, Multi-Pattern, shutter speed 1/10 sec., aperture F8, +0.3EV and ISO 80.

Mississauga Centre Library Panorama: 4 landscape shots taken at 1/10 sec., F8, +0.3EV and ISO 80; Combined in Photoshop Elements (File size: 2.7 MB)

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A Personal Word

The image quality on the Kodak DX6490 is excellent and it is regrettable the output is compressed so much, resulting in the loss of some detail, especially at full telephoto. Set on Programmed Auto mode, and used in a point-and-shoot capacity, pictures consistently come out true in colour and perfectly exposed. That includes indoors shots in low-light (though this requires the use of a higher ISO).

Noise is not an issue at ISO 80. At higher ISOs, noise is present but I believe it is quite acceptable since it allows you to capture pictures you would not otherwise be able to take. For screen display and 4x6 in. prints, the noise would be barely noticeable.

All the exposure modes and metering modes are available, though I find the Kodal DX6490 performs very well on Programmed Auto mode and using Spot metering.

The Kodak Easyshare DX6490 will give you great images in Programmed Auto mode. In addition, the availability of full exposure flexibility means that you will be able to express your creativity whenever you're ready to explore and try out the other exposure modes.

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