Kodak EasyShare DX6440
At a Glance
The EasyShare DX6440 is nearly identical to the DX6340 we reviewed for the August 2003 print issue of PC World, but it adds nearly a megapixel of extra image resolution (4 megapixels versus 3.1). Everything we said about the DX6340 holds true for its more powerful twin: It's an easy-to-use point-and-shoot, in part thanks to a miniature joystick for navigating the menus. This camera is designed for the novice photographer, having simple menu options with short text descriptions and prompts. It also offers something for the more advanced shooter, with its aperture- and shutter-priority modes.
The specifications of the two cameras are nearly identical. Both have 16MB of internal memory, plus an SD card slot. Both have a 4X optical zoom lens, though the DX6440 leans slightly more into the telephoto range. And both cameras attach to Kodak's docking stations and docking-station printer.
Our gripes with the earlier model remain with the new version. The LCD is turned off by default, so the first time you use the camera, you have to go into the menus and switch it on to use it for shooting--something that may confuse novice buyers. Most of the camera's exposure controls are to be found in the menus--no shortcut or dedicated buttons here. (It does have a dedicated Delete button and another for the camera's extensive photo-sharing capabilities.) Boot-up time is relatively slow, at about 7 seconds.
In our image quality tests, both cameras earned overall scores of Good. The DX6440 earned relatively high scores for color accuracy, and slightly above-average scores for exposure accuracy and sharpness, compared with other point-and-shoot models we've tested recently. The battery life was good, at 363 shots, or a little more than 2 hours of shooting time--above average for our test group.
Still a nice choice for novice to intermediate snap-shooters. The megapixel advantage it has over the DX6340 may help to make sharper cropped photos or enlargements.