Kodak EASYSHARE DX7630 Zoom

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Kodak EASYSHARE DX7630 Zoom

Pros

  • Easy to use, customisable music and sound themes

Cons

  • Mediocre automatic functions, no zoom, no manual white balance

Bottom Line

This camera caters to both amateur and more experienced photographers, but has some minor problems.

Would you buy this?

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If easy is desirable, then Kodak's 6.1 megapixel DX7630 compact camera delivers.

The DX7630 features over 22 easy-to-use scene and colour modes, a 2.2" high-resolution LCD screen, simple custom and manual controls as well as accessible continuous shooting and exposure bracketing modes. And, although the camera looks a little chunky, it does fit readily into the hand.

Unfortunately the camera's automatic colour and exposure accuracy was mediocre. Although the 2142 x 2856 pixel images were sharp and crisp, they were slightly underexposed outdoors, causing a lack of detail in shadow, and there was a moderate amount of purple fringing and speckling of a pure blue sky. Indoors with no flash, colours were a little on the cool side. Colours in our flash test had a reddish cast.

Images are saved to the camera's 32MB internal memory as JPEG EXIF files in one of two compression modes. The camera supports SD memory cards and MultiMedia Cards, which are not included.

The 16 scene modes help you take photos of anything from children at a party or fireworks to flowers, close-up and under bright light. There are high, natural, low, sepia and black and white colour modes to choose from, although the difference between the natural and high-colour mode is barely discernible.

For those who love gimmicks, you can even choose from a variety of music/sound themes that your camera can make upon starting up and taking photos. Nostalgic traditionalists can set the camera to make a shutter noise as though it is a film camera. You can also have jazz, classical or sci-fi sound effects. The macro mode offers a reasonable range (70cm to 7cm) and clarity, and compares favourably with other cameras in this category.

Burst mode captures up to four pictures at approx 3fps while the shutter button is pressed--great for capturing an expected event in action. Last burst mode will take up to 30 pictures (two per second for up to 15 seconds) while the shutter button is pressed. When the shutter button is released, only the last four pictures are saved. For experienced photographers, the camera enables full manual control over the aperture, shutter, exposure compensation, flash exposure and ISO.

ISO can be set to auto, 100, 200, 400 or 800. You can only set the ISO to 800 when using the 1.7 megapixel picture size setting--there are five picture size settings from 6.1 megapixel down to 1.7 megapixel to select from. All settings can be saved for future use, which is handy.

The camera starts up in 5 to 7 seconds and is powered by a single lithium ion rechargeable battery. A somewhat chunky external recharger is supplied with the camera.

The high resolution LCD screen on the camera is great, and is effective even in bright sunshine. The LCD screen will automatically turn off after a minute of inactivity and the lens will retract after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Although the camera tends to quickly auto-focus in all sorts of light, there is no manual focus control. The camera will auto-focus when the shutter is pressed half-way and held. It can select foreground subjects, indicating the focus area on the LCD screen with frame marks. It can focus centre, centre wide, side, centre and side, and left and right. If the camera is not focusing on the desired subject, you need to release the shutter, recompose the picture and try again.

Downsides for the camera include the lack of any zoom on image playback and the lack of manual white balance control.

As the camera's name suggests, it is well designed for sharing photos. The camera presents a menu of ways to tag photos for later printing or emailing. It can print directly to a Kodak printer but it doesn't support the PictBridge standard, which would enable directly printing to a non-Kodak printer.

The Kodak EASYSHARE DX7630 is an intuitive compact camera offering a huge selection of scene modes, full manual control and basic point-and-shoot capabilities with some extras thrown in. The option of full manual control is a definite positive, and the manual settings are easily changed with a thumb dial while taking photos. This is much better than having to dig through a complicated menu each time to adjust the shutter or aperture. Aside from a few rough edges, it's a capable, easy and fun-to-use camera.

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