The Kodak Easyshare DX4900 zoom camera offers first-of-its-kind performance as a print-optimized, 4.0 megapixel digital camera designed to be one-touch simple. Giving you creative ease with crystal clear results, it features an all-glass aspheric 2x optical zoom and exclusive 3x advanced digital zoom lens, and uses Kodak color science to deliver vivid and consistent images under any condition. When paired with the Kodak Easyshare Camera Dock (sold separately), the camera can transfer pictures to your computer at the touch of a button; for e-mailing, photo-editing software included, color printing at home and computer storage. Docking station compatible with all Kodak DX digital cameras (sold separately). Other camera features: Real-image optical viewfinder and 1-1/2" color LCD; Automatic and manual settings; CompactFlash memory card expansion slot lets you keep on shooting; Focus distance 20" to infinity; Multipattern, center-weighted and center spot exposure control; 16-1/2000 sec. shutter speeds; Automatic, fill-in, red-eye reduction and off flash modes; Automatic, daylight tungsten and fluorescent white balance; Black & white, sepia and color modes; 3 frames/sec. burst shooting at 1 MP resolution; 10-sec. self-timer. Includes video out, USB cable, Kodak picture software CD, removable memory card, documentation and custom camera insert for camera dock. Compatible with: Windows 98/2000/Me/XP; Macintosh 8.6 and up. Camera No. DX4900. Dock No. 1538230. Made in USA. Camera: 2-1/2Hx4-1/2Wx1-3/4D" Dock: 1/2Hx5-1/2Wx2D".
Kodak's goal in creating the DX4900 was an ambitious one: to provide the highest-resolution, easiest-to-use digital camera at the lowest possible price. The results are impressive--a simple 4-megapixel point-and-shoot with optical zoom for the same price as many 2-megapixel cameras.
Resolution and Optics
The 4-megapixel sensor on the 4900 creates images with filmlike detail, providing ample resolution for sharp, detailed prints--even at sizes up to 11 by 14 inches. Though most people will never actually make a poster-sized print with any of their photos, this level of detail has a more practical use--the ability to crop away unwanted portions of the picture on your computer and still produce a crisp print.
A 2x optical zoom lens (35-70mm equivalent) isn't as powerful as the 3x zoom lenses found on many digital cameras, but it's still useful in composing exactly the photo you want. An additional 3x digital zoom (6x total) further magnifies your image. Digital zoom tends to reduce the sharpness and detail of your image, so it's best used sparingly, but the sensor has so much resolution that you can use the digital zoom and still have very good results.
To compose your images, either use the traditional camera viewfinder or the 1.5-inch LCD display (which is also used to review the shots you've taken). Having both types of viewfinders offers the best of both worlds: if you're used to using a film camera or want to conserve battery life, use the viewfinder. If you want to see exactly the picture you'll be capturing, use the LCD display.
Kodak bills its EasyShare cameras (including the 4900) as being some of the easiest-to-use digital cameras ever, and it's true that you can simply turn the camera on, point, and shoot. However, the DX4900 also includes a surprising number of advanced features for adventurous photographers who choose to delve into the multiple menus displayed on the camera's LCD screen, including exposure compensation, sharpening, ISO and white-balance adjustment, and spot metering.
The DX4900 uses two AA batteries--disposables are included. The benefit to using standard AA batteries instead of a custom proprietary battery is that AA batteries are widely available, so missing a once-in-a-lifetime shot due to dead batteries won't be an issue. The downside is that a digital camera will kill a set of alkaline batteries extremely quickly, especially if you're using the camera's LCD display. Instead of alkalines, you'll want to use a pair of high-capacity rechargeable batteries.
There are two ways to resolve the battery issue. One is to get a charger and four rechargeable batteries. In this way, you can always have two batteries in the camera and two fresh ones waiting in the charger. The second is to get the optional EasyShare dock. In addition to simplifying image transfers to the press of a button, the dock also includes a rechargeable battery pack that goes inside the camera. While the DX4900 is sitting in the dock, its batteries are being recharged automatically.
Unlike many digital cameras now on the market, the DX4900 does not include a movie mode.
Storage and Transfer
Images are stored on standard Type I CompactFlash (CF) cards. Consider the included 16 MB card a "starter," since its 12-picture capacity means you'll need to return to your computer often to transfer images and free up the card for more pictures. A 128 MB card is a great size for this camera, storing around 100 images.
To transfer pictures to your computer, you have several options. You can connect the camera directly to the computer with the included USB cable, or you can use the optional EasyShare dock (mentioned above). Drop the camera into the dock, press the button on the dock, and the computer will automatically launch software to start moving pictures from the camera into the computer. A third option is to use a CompactFlash card reader, which lets you use the removable memory cards more or less like floppy disks.
Most inkjet printers manufactured in the past several years will produce excellent prints if you use the right settings and paper. Set your printer to its highest-quality mode and use glossy inkjet photo paper for results that look very similar to those from a photo lab. Of course, you can also use an online photo service (like Amazon Photo Services by Ofoto.com) to create pictures using traditional photo processes on genuine Kodak paper.
At 4.6 by 2.6 by 1.7 inches and 8 ounces, the DX4900 is a pretty typical for a point-and-shoot. It's small enough to fit in a purse or coat pocket, but people whose hands get cramped trying to use an ultracompact shouldn't have problems with this model. The body is made of plastic and feels durable.
The package includes the camera, 16 MB memory card, USB and video cables, wrist strap, disposable batteries, instruction manual, dock insert (for use with the optional EasyShare dock) and software CD.
Everything you need to get started is included in the box, but we recommend these accessories to make the most of your camera: the EasyShare dock (or rechargeable batteries and a card reader), a carrying case, and a higher-capacity memory card. Compatible accessories for this camera are listed near the top of this page.