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Kodak UK unveils new 4MP EasyShare DX6490 camera
Dennis Hissink : August 20th 2003 - 01:00 CET
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KodakEastman Kodak Company UK today unveiled its most advanced EasyShare digital camera to date, the Kodak EasyShare DX6490 zoom digital camera. With its unique combination of sophisticated features, exceptional performance, and £399.99 suggested retail price, it establishes a new price-to-performance benchmark for 'advanced amateur' photography, giving more people the opportunity to shoot like a professional. The DX6490 camera is the first to unite a professional quality Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 10X optical zoom lens (38-380 mm equivalent) with a f/2.8 – f/3.7 maximum aperture; a new Kodak Colour Science image processing chip for the richest and most accurate colours; low-light precision auto focusing.
It will be available worldwide beginning this September.

The 4-megapixel camera has been designed with some of the world's highest quality components working in concert to afford outstanding quality, even in challenging photographic situations. Imagine being able to capture the beauty and character of a friendly face while the sun sets in the background. With Kodak's integration of the Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 10X optical zoom lens, the Kodak Colour Science image processing chip, and intelligent matrix metering, photographers faced with this scenario will achieve portraits with edge-to-edge sharpness and brightness, rich color, and highly accurate exposure. Because of the tight incorporation of these and other sophisticated features, DX6490 camera owners are consistently presented with remarkable dynamic range, fine detail and delicate highlights — results that advanced amateurs have typically associated with high-end digital SLRs.

The focal length (38-380 mm equivalent) of the professional quality Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon 10X zoom lens gives photographers superb framing flexibility. It enables users to get close to the action and fill the frame, or achieve more natural poses from subjects by shooting them from a distance. The long lens also provides the "flattened" perspective and narrow depth of field that portrait photographers crave, all in a compact, SLR-like body. With an f2.8 maximum aperture at wide angle and a f3.7 at 10X — and the ability to step down to f8 — the camera is well-suited to perform in both low and bright light.

Using the dual-speed zoom control, DX6490 camera owners can drive the lens from 1X to 10X in just two seconds, and then extend the total magnification up to 30X using Kodak's exclusive Advanced Digital Zoom technology, which creates sharper, better quality images across the entire digital zoom range. For ease of handling, the lens barrel only extends one inch after powering up the camera, with all lens movements occurring within the protective housing.

The camera is the first to include the new Kodak Colour Science image processing chip. This combines the power of a high-performance digital signal processor with professionally-derived image process engineering (including Kodak's legendary white balance algorithms), based on more than 75 years of Kodak research into the science and emotion of colour. With each press of the shutter, the camera quickly and precisely analyses lighting conditions and colour balance to consistently deliver exacting sharpness, high colour accuracy, and proper exposure.

The DX6490 camera offers fully manual controls, permitting independent aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, ISO equivalent and other settings that can transform an ordinary picture into a work of art. The camera also features aperture and shutter priority modes, as well as sport, portrait, night, landscape, macro and automatic program modes. Saturated, neutral, black-and-white and sepia colour modes lend additional in-camera creative options. Its new hybrid, low-light precision auto-focus system combines rapid phase detection with highly accurate through the lens (TTL) contrast detection to precisely fine tune and sharply define a subject, even in almost complete darkness. In addition, the camera is equipped with an external flash synch — capable of synching at any shutter speed — for illumination of subjects beyond the 16-foot pop-up flash range.

Using the high-resolution TTL electronic viewfinder (EVF) with dioptre, as well as a large, 2.2-inch high-resolution indoor/outdoor LCD screen, photographers can preview shots or review pictures stored in 16 MB internal memory or on optional SD/MMC cards. Not only does the EVF show control settings superimposed over the scene, but it also eliminates parallax while presenting a nearly 100 percent field of view. The indoor/outdoor LCD assists photographers in clearly seeing the fine detail of their compositions before and after shooting, even in direct sunlight. Both LCDs exhibit high refresh rates, and automatically brighten or dim to reflect changes in exposure compensation.

A push of the DX6490 camera's red-jewelled "Share" button allows photographers to immediately tag pictures for e-mailing (with up to 32 on-camera e-mail addresses), printing, or marking as favourites. A new album feature, used in conjunction with Kodak EasyShare software version 3, enables organization of pictures right on the camera. Additional features include joystick and jog-dial controls for rapid control access, easy-to-read menu options and the ability to record and play back continuous digital video with audio.

The optional Kodak EasyShare camera dock 6000 (RRP £59.99) provides one-touch picture transfer to a connected PC while keeping the DX6490 camera's lithium-ion battery charged and ready to go, with a full charge taking less than three hours. DX6490 camera owners can also receive all the benefits of a dock, plus the ability to print real, borderless Kodak 4x6-inch photos in as little as 90 seconds, when using the Kodak EasyShare printer dock 6000 (RRP £199.99). These prints are instantly dry, durable, and even waterproof. Both docks are now available.

The DX6490 camera includes Kodak EasyShare software version 3 for Windows and Macintosh systems, providing effortless digital picture transfer, organization, editing, CD-burning, e-mailing, sharing and printing. The exclusive One Touch to Better Pictures feature takes advantage of proprietary color technologies developed by Kodak to help Windows OS users get vibrant, true-to-life prints from inkjet printers when using Kodak Ultima and Premium Picture Papers.

The award-winning Kodak EasyShare digital photography system — consisting of cameras, software, docks and printer docks, inkjet papers and accessories — makes taking, organising, sharing, and printing high quality digital pictures effortless. More information on Kodak EasyShare products is available at www.kodak.com/go/EasyShare.
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