Kodak DC5000 Review
By Movable Type Admin
Kodak DC5000 Zoom
The DC5000 is a DC280 in an all-weather housing. This is
not an underwater camera but it can be used in the rain or in high-humidity environs.
On both sides of the camera is a rubberized "grippy" surface that helps you hold onto
it firmly, even when the camera and your hands are wet. All of the control knobs,
buttons and switches are sealed and over-sized.
Here is the door covering the CF card slot and I/O connectors. This door is sealed
with an O-ring which keeps out moisture and dirt, but it can often be difficult to
open as the seal tends to stick like a magnet.
Like the side door, the battery door on the bottom is extra thick and has an
O-ring seal to keep out dirt and moisture. The DC5000 runs on four AA-size batteries,
NiMH rechargeable type is highly recommended but not supplied.
The DC5000 like the DC280 is equipped with a 2X optical zoom Ektanar lens with a 35mm
focal length equivalent of 30-60mm. This is an autofocus (1.6 ft to infinity) lens with
a maximum aperture of F3.0 wideangle (F3.8 tele). There is a dedicated macro mode that
covers from 0.8 ft to 1.6 ft and
a 3X digital zoom feature.
Like the rest of the camera, the lens is environmentally protected. The lens "snout"
allows the lens to extend inside of it. It has a clear 37mm filter with a moisture
gasket around the threads. A tethered lens cap protects the filter.
On top is a monochrome data LCD and three dedicated function buttons. Left to right is
the Self-timer button, Macro/Infinity focus and Flash mode. The LCD displays the image
size and quality, self-timer, macro, infinity, low battery, exposure compensation, flash
mode, white balance (other than auto) and the number of pictures remaining.
Controls on the back: Menu button enables the onscreen menu system which I cannot show as I usually do, the DC5000 does not output its menu screens to the video out port. There are four large buttons around the color LCD that are used to navigate the menu options, the round button on the right acts as the Enter button to accept selections. The over-sized Power switch and Mode Dial controls were made so that they could be easily operated even while wearing gloves. The round knob below the Mode Dial is the brightness control for the color LCD.
Record Menu Options
Border - Add a border or logo to your picture. Borders or logos are copied to the CF card.
Effects - Black & White, Sepia, Document (added contrast)
Quality - Best, Better, Good (JPEG 1:4, 1:8, 1:16)
Resolution - High (1760 x 1168) or Standard (896 x 592)
Date/Time Stamp - YYYYMMDD, DDMMYYYY, MMDDYYYY, YYYYMMDD HH:MM, DDMMYYYY HH:MM, MMDDYYYY HH:MM
Quickview - Auto view after capture, On or Off
White Balance - Auto, Daylight, Fluorescent, Tungsten
AE Metering - Multi-Pattern or Center-Weighted
Exposure Lock - Off or On
Sharpness - Sharp, Standard, Soft
Auto ISO - Off or On
The door on the left side covers both the I/O ports and the CompactFlash card slot. The DC5000 is supplied with an 8MB Kodak Picture Card and any size CF Type I card may be used.
The I/O connectors are a DC INput port on top, the Video Out is only used
for displaying the fullscreen images on a TV set, the format is selectable between
NTSC and PAL. On the bottom is the data I/O connector which is both a RS-232 Serial
port and a USB port.
The Kodak DC5000 is a large and solid 2-megapixel digital camera. It has been designed to operate in the worst of weather conditions and is only one of two digicams in this category. The other weather-proofed camera is the Fuji DS-260HD, it also has 2-megapixel image resolution. Both of these cameras are well-suited to operating in rainy, dirty or high-humidity environments. They can also be used in cold weather when wearing gloves but as with all battery-powered devices, the battery life is shortened by extreme cold.
The DC5000 is essentially the Kodak DC280 tucked away inside of a larger and more "ruggedized" body. It has the same features and image resolution, only the switches and knobs are different and the I/O ports have been rearranged to better suit the weather-proofed body. The 2X optical zoom lens is the same except on the DC5000 it is inside of a protective barrel that has a gasket-sealed clear filter covering the end. The battery door on the bottom like the door covering the CF card slot and I/O ports on the side also have O-ring gaskets to keep out moisture and dirt. This isn't an underwater camera but it will take the worst that Mother Nature can throw at you like a hurricane or a desert sandstorm.
The DC5000 is basically a fully automatic point and shoot type camera with a zoom lens that has some manual override capability. The user can override the exposure system +/-2 in 0.5 increments, set the white balance (auto, daylight, fluorescent, tungsten), adjust the image sharpness (sharp, standard, soft), add a border or logo, add a date or date/time stamp, or use a picture effect (B&W, sepia, document).
The 2X zoom lens goes from a very wide focal length of 30mm to just beyond normal at 60mm in 35mm camera equivalents. Along with this very wide focal length also comes a considerable amount of barrel distortion which is common to most ultra-wide lenses. It has a good macro (closeup) capability and unless you're dealing with bright or excessively shiny objects, the flash works quite well in macro mode too. It also has a 3X digital zoom but as I always say - digital zoom is crap, don't use it, only optical zoom counts.
One thing the DC5000 and DC280 does that I don't like is that it has a very noticeable shutter lag time. Even when you're pre-focused with the shutter release pressed halfway, it's still a full second before the picture is taken once the shutter is fully depressed.
With the builtin USB port the DC5000 is able to transfer image data to the user's computer without the need for an optional card reader. For the computer or operating system challenged out there it also has a standard (and slow) serial port. Image quality is everything and the DC5000 produces the usual rich and well-saturated colors that we have come to expect from a Kodak digicam. If you need a camera that isn't afraid to brave the elements then the DC5000 is the perfect choice. Kodak has dropped the price from $599 to $399 at its online store and I've seen them even cheaper at places like uBid.com on the net.
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