Kodak EasyShare DX7590; Big 10x Zoom With 5-Megapixel Res

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All Photos © 2004, George Schaub, All Rights Reserved

Kodak DX7590 Quick Look
· Lightweight
· $499
· Customizable Settings

Further Information
Kodak EasyShare DX7590
http://www.kodak.com


Weighing in at a bit over 12 oz and eminently handholdable, the $499 Kodak EasyShare DX7590 offers a lot on the tele end of the focal length range, topping out at a whopping 380mm (35mm equivalent) without having to resort to digital zoom. And that lens is a Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon, a class glass act that delivers crisp images at virtually all focal lengths. The lens is fast as well, with a low-light grabbing f/2.8 at the wide and only f/3.7 at the tele end. If you feel a lack on the wide angle side you can always opt for a Schneider accessory 0.7x wide angle adapter, which brings focal length down to the equivalent of a 26.6mm lens. And if you want to stretch that long range tele out even farther the camera offers a 3x digital zoom function, which gets you closer than you probably ever need to distant subjects, albeit with diminished image size and quality. Plus there's a macro function for getting as close at 4.7" at the wide setting and about 4 feet at the longest tele set.

Big Zoom:
The integral 10x zoom allows you to get very up close and personal with distant subjects. The first two shots in this sequence are with the optical zoom, an equivalent 35-350mm range. The third shot is with the 3x digital zoom added, making it a 30x total. When you use digital zoom, however, your resolution drops to 1.8 megapixel from the approximately 5-megapixel optical zoom recording.

But the lens setup, impressive as it might seem, is only part of the DX7590 story. First off, this is an amateur-oriented camera with extra features that allow you to practice a wide range of image effects should you desire. It offers JPEG file format only--no TIFF or Raw mode--with four resolution options (five if you count the 3:2 aspect ratio option in highest resolution). You get two compression ratios for these resolution levels, as well as the ability to make Quicktime movies (MPEG4) at 12 (VGA) or 20 (QVGA) frames per second.

Candids:
The EasyShare DX7590 has very good uptake on the shutter release, allowing us to catch candids of kids that were often impossible with slower-responding digital cameras.

Rich Color:
These colorful kayaks inside a boat house recorded with all the richness one could desire, thanks to Kodak's color-smart image processor. In all, colors were right on in nearly every shot we made.

While a bit behind the times in the movie department, one of the more interesting features on the DX7590 is what Kodak dubs "Burst" modes. Select "first" burst and you get up to 5 frames at 2.5 fps; select "last" burst and you get up to 30 frames shot at 2.5 fps with the last 4 frames saved. While curious, this does help you capture images that might otherwise elude your swift instincts. Helping that along is also a quick "click-to-capture" time, a measure of how long it takes to actually grab the shot once you hit the release, which now is under a second. The shot-to-shot, with preview on, is claimed to be 1.6 seconds. While not having timing devices to verify the fractions of a second claims, the camera was most responsive to our shutter release pressure in the field, albeit when we lightly depressed the shutter release to let the camera make focus and exposure readings right before we shot.

Having a 350mm optical zoom tele lens sure helps when photographing wildlife. Getting any closer would have caused this frog to leap. We were about 7 feet away when we made this shot.

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