capsule review

Kodak EasyShare DX6490

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Kodak EasyShare DX6490 Bridge Camera

    TechHive Rating

Kodak EasyShare DX6490

The EasyShare DX6490 straddles the line between our point-and-shoot and advanced camera chart categories. On the one hand, it has Kodak's helpful onscreen text aids, which explain what the camera is doing and how to use a particular function; it works with a Kodak docking station; and it has extremely simple menus. On the other, it has manual shooting modes, a wide range of apertures and shutter speeds, and an external flash connector. But it won't let you focus manually, and it offers few of the exotic imaging options you might find on other advanced models.

Kodak seems to be taking some design cues from the more typically trend-setting camera manufacturers. Like Fujifilm's S5000, the DX6490 has a design similar to a single-lens reflex model. It's not as slick as the S5000, but it looks and feels better made than some of Kodak's past models (though at $499, it's the company's most expensive offering). Like the S5000, the DX6490 has a pronounced right-hand grip, but its lens is so close to the grip that you can't get your fingers all the way around it. Despite being a little smaller than the Fujifilm model, the Kodak has a 2.2-inch LCD, which gives it a big advantage in ease of use over the S5000's 1.5-inch display.

We were not impressed with one of this camera's controls--a tiny joystick located in the center of the nicely lit rear-panel mode dial. The joystick controls menu navigation and choice selection, but it's so deeply recessed and slippery that it's too easy to push it and make a selection by mistake when you're trying to move up or down in a menu. Three buttons below the mode dial let you delete pictures, enter the menus, or review captured shots, but the buttons are identically sized, so you have to look carefully to see which one you're pushing. You must pop up the flash manually; the camera won't do the job for you if the shot requires it.

In our image-quality tests, the DX6490 earned above-average scores for color accuracy, but it fell behind a bit on sharpness, especially in cropped samples. Overall, we'd call its pictures about average for the advanced models we've tested.

Kodak also provides a rechargeable battery (Fujifilm does not for the S5000). In our battery tests, the DX6490 still had power to spare after 500 shots--our self-imposed testing limit. Cameras that reach that threshold automatically earn a score of Outstanding.

DX6490 easily qualifies as Kodak's best digital camera to date, though it's a little pricey compared with competitors' models. Still, if you're looking for an especially easy-to-use camera with a 10X optical zoom and manual exposure modes that are more than window dressing, it's a good choice.

Alan Stafford

This story, "Kodak EasyShare DX6490 " was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Kodak EasyShare DX6490 Bridge Camera

    TechHive Rating
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