Steve's Digicams

Kodak DC290

User Review


Kodak DC290

Kodak's latest entry into the high-end consumer digicam arena is the DC290 which they proclaim on the box as "3.3 Ultra MEGAPIXEL Resolution" in large lettering followed by smaller lettering that says "2.1 megapixel non-interpolated." This type of marketing was first used by the Agfa folks to sell their ePhoto line of cameras using the PhotoGenie program which software interpolated the resolution higher than the "real" resolution of the CCD imager. I do not care for this high-tech way of duping those consumers buying a digicam based solely on the resolution numbers. I hope Kodak does not stoop to this kind of marketing in the future. (I will now get down off of my soapbox and continue with the report.)

The Kodak DC290 captures images in 1792x1200 (high w/out interpolation), 1440 x 960 pixels (medium) or 720 x 480 pixels (standard). It has a 3X optical zoom lens with a 2X digital zoom option, a fast USB port for dowloading images, and its powered by the Digita Operating System that allows the user to run internal scripts to automate the image capture process. New Digita scripts can be downloaded over the Internet as can the firmware upgrades for the DC290 itself.

Images can be stored in one of three JPEG compression levels (Good, Better or Best) or as an uncompressed TIFF file. A large internal RAM buffer in the DC290 allows the user to operate the camera in Burst mode. Up to 4 pictures at high and medium resolution, maximum of 16 pictures at standard resolution, frame rate selectable from 0.1 to 3 frames per second. There is also a time lapse mode to capture shots at predefined intervals of 1 minute to 24 hours.

Jump to DC290 specifications

Kodak DC290

The DC290 has a 2.0" TFT color LCD for review and preview, plus a real-image optical viewfinder that is coupled to its zoom lens. As you can see, the menu system is very graphical due to the Digita Operating System - more on this later in the report.

Kodak DC290

The view from the top with the camera powered on and the lens extended. Most important camera information and settings are displayed on the top data LCD and can be easily changed using those two buttons on the left. On the right side is the shutter release, selftimer and the power switch.

Kodak DC290

Here's a closeup view of the top LCD and controls.

Kodak DC290

The only thing on the bottom is a tripod socket. Battery and flash card access is from the side so the camera does not need to be taken off of the tripod to change these.

Kodak DC290 Kodak DC290

The 3X zoom lens (38 - 115mm 35mm equivalent) with an aperture of f/3.0 to f/15.3 (wide); f/4.7 to f/16.0 (tele). 37mm filters and add-on lenses can be used via an optional lens adapter

The lens extends out from the camera body when powered up and retracts back into the camera when its powered down.

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DC290 Specifications

CCD Resolution:

1901 x 1212 pixels
Image Resolution: 2240 x 1500 pixels (Ultra), 1792 x 1200 pixels (high),
1440 x 960 pixels (medium), 720 x 480 pixels (standard)
Image Quality Settings: Uncompressed, best, better, good
Image Storage: 20 MB KODAK Picture Card included. Stores 2 (in Ultra Uncompressed mode) to 220 pictures.
Viewfinder: 2.0" TFT color LCD for review and preview, plus real-image optical viewfinder
Lens: Auto focus 3X true optical glass zoom
Digital Enhancement: 2X digital zoom
Lens Focal Length: 38 mm to 115 mm equivalent; 37 mm threads for optional lenses via Optional Lens Adapter
Focus Distance: 12" (0.3 m) to infinity
Exposure: Auto, or manual override (+/- 2 EV in 0.5-EV increments) with white balance, exposure lock, focus distance, external flash sync and long exposure times.
Shutter Speed: 1/400 to 16 second
Aperture Range: Wide: f/3.0 to f/15.3; Tele: f/4.7 to f/16.0
ISO Equivalent: 100
Scripting: DIGITA text-based language, extends functionality by automating camera
Burst Capture: Max 4 pictures at high and medium res, max 16 pictures at standard res, frame rate selectable from 0.1 to 3 frames per second
Time Lapse: Set to capture shots at pre-defined intervals; playback as movie on camera or computer from 1 minute to 24 hours.
Auto-Orientation Sensor: Automatically rotates image right-side up on LCD and host
Picture Overlay: Time and date stamp, date, text, logo/graphic
Albums: In-camera albums keep pictures organized
Self-Timer: 10 seconds
Tripod Mount: Standard
Flash: Strobe flash (auto, red-eye, fill, off), range up to 9.8' (3.0 m); flash sync capability
File Formats: JPEG (EXIF), TIFF
User Interface: Graphical, menu-driven, easy to navigate
Video Out: NTSC, PAL (user selectable)
Audio: Record and playback
Interface: USB standard (serial and IrDA connectivity available)
Power: 4 AA batteries (included) or optional AC adapter
Dimensions: 4.6" (w) x 2.2" (d) x 4.2" (h);
118 mm (w) x 57 mm (d) x 106 mm (h)
Certifications: VCCI, CE, FCC Class B, CE Mark
Weight: 1.2 lb. (525 g) without batteries
Warranty: One Year

System Requirements

WINDOWS Systems:
  • WINDOWS 95, 98 or NT 4.0 Software (to use USB, must have WINDOWS 98)
  • PENTIUM 90 MHz or greater processor
  • 16 MB or more of RAM (32MB RAM for WINDOWS NT 4.0)
  • 120 MB of hard disk space available
  • CD-ROM drive for software installation
  • 256-color monitor (16-bit color recommended)
  • Available serial port, USB port IrDA connection or PC card reader
  • Power MACINTOSH System
    MAC OS 7.6 or later (serial);
    MAC OS 8.5 or later (USB)
  • 32 MB or more of RAM
  • 70 MB of hard disk space available
  • CD-ROM drive for software installation
  • 256-color monitor (16-bit color recommended)
  • Available USB port, serial port or PC card reader

Package Contents
  • KODAK DC290 Zoom Digital Camera, hand strap and lens cover
  • 20 MB KODAK Picture Card
  • 4 AA alkaline batteries
  • 4 AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and charger
  • USB cable for WINDOWS and MACINTOSH Systems
  • Audio/Video cable
  • Quick setup card, user's guide, registration cards
  • CD-ROMs with software, including:
    • TWAIN Acquire Module (WINDOWS)
    • WINDOWS 95, 98 and NT 4.0 Mounter
    • PHOTOSHOP-compatible plug-in (MACINTOSH)
    • Picture Transfer application (MACINTOSH)
    • KODAK Pictures Now


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