Kodak CX6330 Review
By Movable Type Admin
With a 3.1 megapixel imager, high-quality Kodak Retinar 3X optical zoom lens and $280 MSRP at the time of this review (August, 2003), Kodak have positioned the EasyShare CX6330 squarely in the highly competitive market of mid-range point-n-shoot consumer digicams. The CX6330 enables beginners to enjoy high-quality results without enduring a long learning process, and as experience is gained, they'll enjoy the range of control afforded by several scene modes. Users will not, however, find the ability to directly control lens aperture or shutter speed; exposure control is automatic only.
The 3X zoom has a 35mm-equivalent range of 37-111mm, fairly typical for this class of camera, giving you good coverage from wide angle through telephoto focal lengths. At the 37mm end of the zoom range you'll have enough field of view for most interior shots, and at 111mm you'll capture the details of distant subjects. The lens produces sharp images throughout its zoom range, with only slight barrel distortion at wide angle, and no noticeable pin cushioning at telephoto. It zooms almost silently, and makes no noticeable noise during autofocus; this is an excellent lens for candid shots.
You'll be happy with the indoor shots produced by the CX6330. The 37mm wide end of the zoom range provides enough field of view to cover average-sized interiors and portraits of small groups, which you'll be able to join because the CX6330 features both a tripod socket and a self-timer. Flash portraits were well exposed, and skin tones pleasing in our test shots. The flash range of up to 11.8 feet won't illuminate large rooms, but is adequate for most interior shooting; it complements the lens well, with no noticeable fall-off in brightness at the corners of the image. The flash also works extremely well for macro photography and "throttles down" to prevent over-exposure at even the closest range; the CX6330 would be a good choice for producing images of small items to include in online auction listings. Although it has no focus-assist lamp, the CX6330 autofocus system was surprisingly effective in conditions of dim ambient lighting. The LCD viewfinder, however, was difficult to use in dim lighting; you'll appreciate the optical viewfinder in these conditions. Outdoors, the CX6330 produced well-exposed and richly saturated test shots. The autofocus system and the Retinar zoom lens combined to yield consistently sharp images.
The shooting performance of the CX6330 is average. In our testing, the delay between turning the camera on until capturing the first image was under five seconds. Shutter delay from pre-focus to image capture averaged .3 second, or .8 second including focus time. Shot to shot, it was able to capture 4 images in about 8 seconds, and in continuous capture mode 4 images in 1.3 seconds. The LCD viewfinder went blank for about 2 seconds after each image was captured, and in continuous mode it turned off during the entire image capture sequence; you'll have better success using the optical viewfinder when taking a rapid sequence of shots.
In addition to Automatic mode, the CX6330 has several scene modes which optimize camera settings for specific shooting conditions. The scene modes include:
The Kodak EasyShare System includes numerous cameras as well as a highly portable photo printer/docking station, the Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock 6000. The printer produces high- quality 4x6-inch prints using a 4-pass, dye sublimation process in just two minutes. These prints are the equal of any that you can get from your local photo finisher. Be sure to use the Best (3:2) quality setting - this mode creates images with a 3:2 aspect ratio which yields perfect 4x6" size photos with no cropping. When the camera is placed in the printer dock, the camera is turned on and printing can be initiated by simply depressing one button. The camera's LCD is used to preview and select images for printing. With a Kodak EasyShare camera and the printer dock, you'll have the modern equivalent to the old Polaroid system but with much better image quality. Click here to view our EasyShare 6000 Printer Dock mini-review.
With a street price of about $250 at the time of this review (August, 2003), the KODAK Easy Share CX6330 is a good value. It is easy to use, produces good image quality capable of being printed at up to 8X10 inches, has a movie mode with sound, and fits in your pocket. We think that the Kodak CX6330 makes a fine family digicam. Combine it with a KODAK Easy Share Printer Dock, and you'll have a quality digicam system that can capture your family and travel snapshots, and print them on-site.
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