Kodak EasyShare DX6490 | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
After activating the camera it can be used fully automatically, so if you want to start making pictures without thinking about the settings, you can start straight away. Of course the DX6490 offers a lot more than capturing a moment in the default setting. First we can go from the Auto mode to S/A or M mode. A setting where the user can donate his or her contribution. The starting photographer, who is photographing for the first time with a camera that shows aperture and shutter speed values, will slowly get the hang of it when taking images. Showing the values when set to the S or A mode will gradually teach the user the meaning of them. The DX6490 does not have build-in scenes like sports, close-up or night scene, in Auto mode. These modes can be found on a separate place on the command dial, so switching quickly, without having to dig in to the menu first, belongs to the possibilities.
And for those who want to go one step further, they can set the camera in the A mode (Aperture priority) . This mode enables you to chose from various aperture values with which the depth of field can be decided. The A mode has a series of aperture values from f2.8, f3.2, f3.6, f4.0, f4.5, f5.0, f5.6, f6.3, f7.1 until f8.0 in wide angle and telephoto from f3.7 until f8.0 with the same values in between as in wide angle. The S mode (Shutter priority) has a series of values beginning at 16 seconds, 12, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1.5, 1, 0.7, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/15, 1/20, 1/30, 1/45, 1/60, 1/90, 1/125, 1/180, 1/250, 1/350, 1/500, 1/750 and ends at 1/1000 second. The wide range of shutter speed beginning at 16 seconds is very welcoming in theory, I only doubt whether the 16 second shutter speed will be used in practice. The DX6490 acts surprisingly well in bad or dim light conditions! The noise values are acceptable maintaining a very good colour reproduction. The adjustable ISO values enable the camera to take a perfect image even of badly exposed objects, an excellent performance!
The colour reproduction of the Kodak DX6490 is quite lively. Clear, true-to-life colour reproduction without exaggerated colour saturation. The by Kodak highly praised internal image editing program is really proving to be good. Beside the automatic fine reproduction it is still possible to add your own contribution as for deciding the brightness of an image or by storing the images in black/white or sepia or to adjust the colour saturation. In fact the DX6490 passes the test with flying colours in Auto mode, there is hardly any editing necessary afterwards. The images made indoors as well as outdoors look fine. The automatic white balance hardly ever needs correction. With this precise manner of editing of the images Kodak gives a surplus value to the user's convenience.
The 10x optical zoom lens of the camera is of course a very important, if not the most important feature on the camera. The zoom lens can be adjusted in 35 EV steps. Zooming in is done quickly at a good speed. For the average user the 10x optical zoom will be sufficient. The range compared to the 35mm camera is 38-380mm, a range that is usually not available for the average SRL camera user. The minimum focus range in Macro mode is 12cm, so the world of macro photography can be entered as well. The brightness from the macro and standard images is very good. There is a great detail sharpness which benefits to the entire image. The internal flash can not be used in Macro mode. We find this more often on digital cameras, the optical zoom lens blocks part of the flash light, so a large shade will appear on the image. In Macro mode outdoors, an external light source has to be used to exposure the object and the problem will then be solved.
The optical quality from this 10x optical zoom lens is fine, there is some distortion at wide angle, but it's not worth mentioning. When the zoom lens is completely zoomed out we don't discover practically any distortion. All in all an excellent performance for an optical lens with such a range and the "Schneider Kreuznach Variogon" is a credit to his name! Beside the optical zoom it is possible to use the digital zoom which leads to a total zoom range of 30x. Using this function however leads to a reduction of image quality.
The Kodak DX6490 features a few useful functions like the built-in orientation sensor. This sensor can be de-activated but when it is activated the camera will display the images automatically the proper way. In other words, the sensor registers horizontal or vertical captured images. A useful function that is not seen often yet in nowadays digital cameras. The Quick-View function is placed on the review button, so displaying an image is possible with one touch. Beside recording high resolution images the DX6490 can also record a video clip. The menu of the camera offers a selection as to whether the clip will have a maximum time span, or depends on the storage capacity of the used medium. A pity the highest resolution is no more than 320x240 with a maximum frame rate of 24 images per second. Nowadays a resolution of 640x480 is more common with a frame rate of 30 images per second, that would have made the Kodak more complete. Before recording the clip the zoom lens can be adjusted, this is not possible during recording. The clip can be played back through the review button while during the playback the volume of the recorded sound can be adjusted. An other handy option during reviewing the clip or images, is the possibility to make the optical zoom lens return into the body to protect the lens when not in use!
The red Share button on the back of the Kodak DX6490 is an important function within the EasyShare system. The button offers access to a number of options with which the user can decide what to do with a captured image. It is possible to print the image immediately, send it through e-mail or label it as favourite to categorise them easily on a computer. It is like labelling every image as to what has to happen with it. As soon as the camera is placed on the optional printer station (6000) this command will be carried out, or when the images are transferred through the camera onto a computer, the Kodak EasyShare software will automatically start and take over the command. Once used to this system, you'll be convinced of the user's friendliness of it.
The Kodak DX6490 offers the necessary settings, but doesn't go that far concerning photographic functions to be able to be called a very enhanced camera. The user wanting to put his or her own creativity into photographing will be pleased with the DX6490. The power of the camera lies in the manner of managing an image in the most possible automatic way to obtain a high quality image. The camera leaves behind a great impression without having to use many settings, with the DX6490 Kodak has set more demands for an EasyShare camera.