Steve's Digicams


DC215 Zoom Review

Kodak DC215

The DC215 Zoom is Kodak's most compact, megapixel digital camera with a 2X (29-58mm) optical zoom lens. It creates 1152 x 864 pixel images and stores them in one of three levels (Good, Better, Best) of JPEG compression. Its megapixel images create photo-realistic prints up to 5x7" on today's printers. For email or web page use you can capture your images in the smaller, 640 x 480 pixel format.

Kodak is offering the DC215 Zoom in two different styles and packages. The Millennium 2000 (pictured in this review) has a gold body, comes with an 8MB CompactFlash card, a SanDisk ImageMate USB card reader and has a MSRP of $499. The regular silver body DC215 Zoom package includes a smaller 4MB CF card and no card reader with a MSRP of $399.

Regardless of which model you choose the camera is housed in a highly durable aluminum body, comes with four alkaline batteries, a serial cable, a video cable, Adobe PhotoDeluxe 3.0 Home Edition, ArcSoft Photo Printer software, a wrist strap and a users' guide. They also include a Quick Start guide for those of us who are too impatient to read the manual before snapping pictures.

Improved power management extends battery life over its predecessor, the DC210 Plus. You can now spend more time shooting and less money on batteries. The DC215 Zoom is DPOF compliant, meaning that owners can select which picture they want to print and how many pictures they want. This is done in-camera, the information is saved along with your pictures so that it can be used by the DPOF-enabled printers at a local camera store.

Jump to the DC215 Zoom Specifications.

Kodak DC215

The rear of the camera is where you find the usual things that define a digital camera: the 1.8-inch color LCD screen, zoom control lever, navigation buttons, and the DO-IT button.

There's an optical viewfinder that can be used outdoors or any time you don't want to run the batteries down by using the LCD monitor. The slider switch lets you select what mode (Review, Capture, Connect or Preferences [Setup]) you want and also accesses the menus.

Kodak DC215

This view of the top shows the placement of the shutter button, the status display screen, the macro, flash and self-timer buttons. When the camera is powered on the zoom lens is extended.

Kodak DC215

The battery compartment is located on the left side of the camera and consists of a removeable battery tray that holds the 4 AA-size batteries. This is a good design as you won't have the batteries falling out as you are trying to replace them.

Kodak DC215

The DC215's I/O ports and CompactFlash card access are located on the right side of the camera.

On the top is the serial port (in case you bought the Millennium version but don't have a USB port), the DC IN port for the optional AC power adapter or an external battery pack. On the bottom is the Video Out port for connection to a TV or VCR.

Kodak DC215

Images are stored on CompactFlash cards in standard JPEG or FPX (FlashPix) format. The CF cards are ejected by pressing a pushbutton that is supposed to eject the card.

I'm not sure if it was just because the mechanism was new and stiff or not but the card didn't pop out far enough for someone with big fingers or long nails to grab it. The protective door also does not open wide enough to let you easily grab the card with your fingers.

Kodak DC215

The top of the camera is where you find the flash mode, macro focus, selftimer, and shutter buttons as well as the monochrome LCD status display.

The DC215's flash modes include: automatic, fill, red-eye, fill red-eye, and off. When using the macro mode the zoom is disabled and the camera can focus as close as eight inches. The selftimer gives you a 10-second delay so you can get in the photo too.

The status display shown here is indicating the quality mode (best), the image size is High (1152x864), the battery level is full, the flash is on auto and we have 26 pictures left on the memory card.

Kodak DC215

Here you can see the lens fully extended which happens automatically whenever the camera is powered up in capture mode. The lens is a focus free, 2x, all-glass optical zoom. The focal length is 29 - 58mm (35mm equivalent) with a focus range of 19.8" to infinity (wide) or 8" (macro). The ISO equivalent is 140 and the aperture range is f/4.0 to f/13.5 (wide) and f/4.7 to f/16 (telephoto).

Kodak DC215

This USB SanDisk Imagemate is included with the Millennium 2000 edition only. With this card reader you can download your photos at a speed of 1 photo every 3 seconds. Great, as long as you have a USB port on your computer, if not, you're stuck using the slow serial port.

Dannee & Steve's Conclusion

We had the opportunity to review the DC215, DC280, and DC290 cameras all at the same time. This was great as we were able to compare them all side by side. The DC215 is Kodak's entry level offering in the megapixel class. We judge it to be a good value for first time buyers or anyone who needs an easy to use camera and doesn't require prints larger than 5x7". If you do need to make 8x10" prints then check out the two megapixel DC280 or the DC290 model instead.

We liked the metal case and the fit and finish of the camera in general which is excellent. There are some flaws such as the tripod socket which is located on the extreme corner of the body. This placement of the socket will make the camera a bit unstable when mounted on a tripod and we're puzzled as to why the designers opted for this location.

Kodak DC215

As with the DC280 and DC290, the DC215 exhibits a very noticeable delay between pressing the shutter and capturing the photo. It doesn't matter if you've already half-pressed the shutter and locked the focus, it still takes over a second to capture the picture. This could be very annoying to someone attempting to photograph their young children or anything that moves quickly.

The image quality is good, the colors are rich and saturated, some may say that it is too saturated, but that seems to be what Kodak likes. Common to all the Kodaks we reviewed the image sharpness is a little on the soft side. Overall though I think the average user is going to be quite happy with the pictures that the DC215 Zoom produces. I foresee quite a few of these little gold beauties stuffing stockings this year.

DC215 Sample Pics

Imaging-Resource's DC215 Review

DC Resource's DC215 Review

DC215 Zoom Specifications:

CCD Resolution:

1174 x 884 pixels
Image Resolution: 1152 x 864 pixels (high), 640 x 480 pixels (standard)
Image Quality Settings: Best, better, good
Color: 24-bit, millions of colors
Image Storage: DC215: 4 MB KODAK Picture Card included. Stores 12 to 54 pictures. (DC215 Millennium: 8 MB KODAK Picture Card included. Stores 26 to 115 pictures.)
Viewfinder: 1.8" TFT color LCD for review and preview, plus optical viewfinder
Lens: 2X true optical glass zoom, Focus-free
Lens Focal Length: 29 mm to 58 mm
Focus Distance: Regular: 19.8"(0.5 m) to infinity
Macro: 8" (0.2 m)
Exposure: Auto, or manual override (+/- 2 EV in 0.5-EV increments) with automatic white balance and exposure lock
Flash: Strobe flash (auto, fill, red-eye, off), range up to 9.8' (3.0 m)
File Formats: JPEG (EXIF), FPX
Power: 4 AA batteries (included) or optional AC adapter
Shutter Speed: 1/2 to 1/362 second
Aperture Range: Wide: f/3.0 to f/13.5; Tele: f/4.79 to f/16.0
ISO Equivalent: 140
LCD Panel Indicators: Battery level, resolution setting, flash mode, self-timer, pictures remaining
Interface: Serial, PC Card (USB for Millenium 2000 Edition)
Video Out: NTSC, PAL (user selectable)
Date Stamp: Optional
Special Effects: Template
Tripod Mount: Standard
Self-Timer: 10 seconds
DPOF Enabled: Yes; Digital Print Order File compatible; identify images to print; select print size
Dimensions: 4.5"(w) x 1.7"(d) x 2.7"(h);
115 mm (w) x 43.3 mm (d) x 67.5 mm (h)
Weight: 0.66 lb. (303 g) without batteries
Warranty: One Year
Certifications: FCC Class B, ICES-003 Class B, CE, VCCI, C-Tick

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