capsule review

Kodak EasyShare DX7630

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Kodak EasyShare DX7630 Compact Camera

Kodak EasyShare DX7630
Photograph: Rick Rizner

At $500, Kodak's entry in the megapixel wars is easily the least-expensive 6.1-megapixel camera we've seen. It earned top-notch resolution scores in our lab tests for image quality. Unfortunately, it garnered mediocre scores for color and exposure accuracy. Our outdoor test shot, though crisp and sharp, was slightly underexposed (causing a loss of shadow detail), had somewhat flat colors, and showed moderate speckling in the pure blue sky. Colors in our flash test were noticeably warm, with a distinctly reddish cast.

Though it looks a bit chunky, the EasyShare DX7630 fits snugly in your hand, which helps you take pictures easily. Our favorite feature: The camera's large 2-inch, high-resolution LCD screen is very easy to use, even in bright sunlight.

The DX7630 has almost too many buttons and controls from which to choose. The power switch is situated on the mode selection dial, and a lock prevents you from turning it on accidentally. You use a tiny, stubby joystick in the center of the dial to navigate menus and browse your shots--it works, but it's a little hard on the thumb. We generally liked the thumbwheel dial for adjusting the settings in the manual modes, but it serves no purpose when you use an automatic mode or when you review your photos; also, it seemed a bit too sensitive.

Sixteen scene modes help you with everything from studies of flowers to shots of scenery at night. For experienced photographers, the camera provides four advanced modes, including aperture- and shutter-priority, plus a custom mode for saving--and quickly recalling--your personalized settings separately from other modes.

As the camera's name suggests, it is well designed for sharing photos. When you press the bright amber glass "share" button, the DX7630 presents you with a menu of ways to tag your photos for later e-mailing or printing. It can work with the included Kodak EasyShare software or print directly to a Kodak printer. On the other hand, it doesn't support the PictBridge standard, which would let you print directly to a non-Kodak printer.

Though the users' guide covers all the of camera's features in fewer than 60 pages, it looks like the cheapest paperback you can find on a supermarket shelf. The paper feels like newsprint and the booklet was already warped when we took it out of the box. It has a comprehensive index, but you have to hunt for the English version among the three languages provided. Fortunately, the camera is quite intuitive to use and we rarely had to refer to the manual.

Its breadth of features, from point-and-shoot to full manual, gives the Kodak EasyShare DX7630 wide appeal. Aside from a few rough edges, it's a capable camera.

Paul Jasper

This story, "Kodak EasyShare DX7630" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Kodak EasyShare DX7630 Compact Camera

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