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Kodak Easyshare DX7590 - Digital Camera Review
Review Date: 25/02/05
Buy Now: £252 / $448
Rating: Worth Considering


Introduction: The Kodak Easyshare DX7590, is available for £252 / $448 (with printer dock) - the DX7590 is a SLR style 5 megapixel digital camera, with a 10x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 38-380mm on a 35mm camera), and a large 2.2" TFT screen. The camera is enclosed in a black plastic body. It records unlimited 640x480 / 12fps and 320x240 / 20fps videos with sound in MPEG4 format. The camera quite chunky with the following size: 99.6x81.2x79.9 mm (without protruding parts), and weighs 350g (without the battery and memory card)

Kodak have this to say about the camera:

"There's a world of inspiration out there, capture it all with the power and performance of the DX7590!"

More information can be found on their site.

The Camera: It's compact and made out of black plastic.
(Photos of the camera taken with an Olympus C-310)


Front - Camera off, lens cap on.


Front - Camera on, lens extended, pop-up flash open, microphone, control wheel (left), infra-red focusing.


Back - the 2.2" TFT screen, EVF/LCD switch, on/off, zoom control, info button, share button, mode dial / joypad, delete, menu an the review button.


Top - speaker, flash open, shutter, flash, macro/landscape, shooting mode.


Bottom, under the camera there is a metal tripod mount, battery compartment, and the Koak dock port.


Left Side (from back) AV out, DC in, External flash port.


On this side is the memory compartment.

Size Comparison: Compared to a Pentax PC-550 35mm automatic.


Size comparison.


Size comparison.

Size comparison next to the Panasonic Lumix FZ3:


The Panasonic Lumix FZ3 has a 12x optical zoom lens.


Both cameras on with lens extended and pop-up flash open.

Specifications / Features:

  • Professional-quality SCHNEIDER-KREUZNACH VARIOGON 10X Optical Zoom Lens
  • 6.32-63.2 mm (35 mm equivalent: 38-380 mm), wide - f/2.8-8; tele - f/3.7-8
  • 5.0 MP for stunning-quality prints up to 20"x30" (50x76 cm)
  • Exclusive KODAK Color Science Image Processing Chip
  • 2.2" high-resolution indoor/outdoor display
  • Manual and custom controls
  • High-speed, low-light auto-focus
  • Continuous shooting and bracketing modes
  • 22 scene and color modes, 16-1/1000 seconds shutter speed
  • 32mb internal memory
  • VGA movies with sound (640x480/12fps, 320x240/20fps)
  • 12cm macro mode
  • ISO: 80 – 800 (Auto: 80 - 160)
  • TV out

Full Specifications can be found on their site.

Box Contents:

  • KODAK EASYSHARE DX7590 Zoom Digital Camera
  • KODAK EASYSHARE Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery (1700 mAh)
  • KODAK Li-Ion Rapid Battery Charger
  • Video out and USB cables
  • Neck strap, lens cap with strap
  • Getting started kit (with KODAK EASYSHARE Software)
  • Custom camera insert for optional KODAK EASYSHARE Camera and Printer Docks

Average box contents - 32mb memory is average for a 5 megapixel camera and should keep you going until you buy a larger card. A case would have been a nice thing to find in the box.

Battery usage: The camera uses a proprietry Kodak lithium-ion battery, with a rating of 3.7v, and 1700mah. Battery life seemed good, although I would definitely recommend a backup battery is purchased. I wish more cameras took AA batteries, then you'll always be able to buy a extra batteries when required.

Menu Options / Modes: The camera mode is selected using the rotating dial / review button.

Photo mode/menu: The menu button brings up the menu screen as shown on the right below:

Photo mode Photo Menu

LCD display in photo mode: (shown on the left) The screen is a fairly decent resolution, and updates smoothly - the colours appear accurate. There is no live histogram available. (Kodak have added this in this Z7590)

Menu options are: (in P/A/S/M/C mode) Self-Timer, picture size, jpeg compression, white-balance, exposure bracketing interval, exposure metering, focus-zone, focus control, colour mode (high colour, natural, low colour, black and white, sepia), sharpness (high, normal, low), reset to default, set album, image storage.

Scene modes Setup Menu

Scene modes: (shown on the left, above) Landscape, close up, night portrait, night landscape, snow, beach, text, fireworks, flower, manner/museum, self-portrait, party, children, backlight.

Setup menu options: (shown on the right, above) quickview, advanced digital zoom, print warning, sound themes, sound volume, mode description, date and time, video out, orientation sensor, date stamp, video date display, language, format, about.

Playback (Review) mode/menu: The menu button brings up the menu screen as shown on the right, below:

Playback mode Playback Menu

Playback mode: Scrolling through the photos is very quick. The zoom is quick to get to 2x but to zoom past that there is a delay, the zoom goes up to 8x. The control in the middle of the dial allows you to scroll diagonally as well as the usual left, right, up and down. More information can be displayed by pressing the information button.

Playback menu options: Album, Protect, Image storage, slide show, copy (from internal to external memory and vice versa), multi-up.

Picture Size / Quality: The camera takes the following size pictures, and the following number of images will fit on the 32mb memory provided with the camera:

Size / Quality: Number of Photos Stored
  Fine Standard
5mp (2576x1932) 11
4.4mp (3:2 - 2576x1716) 18  
4mp (2304x1728) 24  
3.1mp (2048x1536) 27
1.8mp (1552x1164) 32
Video 640x480 12fps 2 minutes 14 seconds
Video 320x240 20fps 6 minutes 18 seconds

You can fit a small number of images on the provided 32mb memory - a larger memory card is definitely recommended, unless you want to use the lower image sizes / higher compression options in order to fit more pictures in memory. There is a good choice of image sizes, the 3:2 ratio is especially useful for printing 6x4 photos, and there is a good choice regarding image compression.

A larger memory card is relatively cheap, and highly recommended, I would recommend at a bare minimum a 128mb or 256mb memory card, and preferably a 512mb memory card, or larger, especially considering the relatively low prices - the larger the memory card, the more photos you will be able to take. If you are likely to go on holiday then the largest memory card you can afford would definitely be worth investing in, as you don't always know when you will next be at a computer. Listed below are links to memory cards that will work with the Kodak Easyshare DX7590:

128mb SD memory card - £11.99 from Amazon.co.uk.
256mb SD memory card - £19.00 from Amazon.co.uk.
512mb SD memory card - £33.99 from Amazon.co.uk.
1gb (1000mb) SD memory card - £59.99 from Amazon.co.uk.

Speed, Ease of use: The camera is easy to use, fairly quick to switch on, the camera is quick to take photos. The controls on the back of the camera are fairly easy to use - the menus are responsive. The screen updates are quick and smooth. The camera is quite chunky so doesn't fit very easily into pockets. The menus are also fairly easy to use, and the options are big enough and easy enough to see clearly. The modes are easy to access, quick and simple. The playback mode is also quick, it allows you to zoom as close as 8x. The camera has a quick continuous shooting mode, up to 5 shots, although if you fill up the buffer, then things can slow down alot as it displays a 'Processing..." screen.

Buttons: (Feel, placement, labels, etc) The buttons are fairly easy to use, and they are in a good position - although I'm not overly keen on the position of the EVF/LCD button and the small writing underneath it. There seems to be the right amount of buttons. The buttons feel okay, the shutter release is quite large, and I especially like the zoom control - as it allows you to zoom slowly if you press it gently, as well as quickly, if you press it all the way. The buttons are are labelled fairly well. My only complaints here are that the on/off button is a bit small, and to get into the play mode you have to press the 'review' button - surely everyone understands a nice big green Play > button more?

Image Quality: Here are some sample photos/video(s) taken in various settings, such as Inside, Noise, Outside, Zoom, Macro, Movie to demonstrate the quality of pictures taken and also show different features of the camera. Larger versions of these photos, plus more photos are available in the new gallery!

Inside:

Heather and Flower Group Photo

Inside: The camera has good colour. It has a decent flash, and copes quite well with group photos - it also does a good job of keeping noise low. The camera did a very good job at focusing the majority of the time. Red-eye was noticable in some photos.

Noise: Noise is generally a bad thing - it removes detail, and gives a grainy effect over the image. With digital cameras noise can be a real problem as digital camera noise is often made out of blue, red or green dots. As the ISO setting increases, pictures tend to have more noise. Noise is most noticeable in dark areas of photos. The camera has an Automatic mode for ISO levels (with a range between 80 and 400), and manual settings (80,100,200,400, 800*). (Flash was used in all of these photos) *ISO800 is only available when using 1.8mp picture size.

Noise Test Photo / Macro Telephoto ISO80 - 100%
ISO100 - 100% ISO200 - 100%
ISO400 - 100% ISO800 - 100%

Noise at ISO80, ISO100 and ISO200 is quite low - however, at ISO400 noise becomes more noticable, and at ISO800 noise is quite high. I would personally try and stick to ISO80, ISO100 or ISO200 unless lighting is very low and you need to use the higher ISO levels.

Outside:

Unisys Building Dave and Char

Outside, the camera had very good colour, with good contrast and saturation. There was fairly good detail, and noise seemed quite low. I didn't notice jpeg artefacts in the images.

Zoom: This camera has a 10x optical zoom lens and a built in 3x digital zoom - in the case of this camera the digital zoom basically takes a smaller area of the photo and enlarges it using software blurring the image so that it is not pixellated. Generally it's best to avoid using digital zoom as it degrades the quality of the image and, often, better results can be obtained by using a photo package such as Adobe Photoshop. I've included examples below to show the zoom power - I have not included digital zoom as the 10x optical zoom should mean you no longer need or want to use the digital zoom.

Wide-angle 3x Optical zoom 10x Optical Zoom

Lens noise and zoom: The lens is fairly quiet. The lens is quick at going from wide to telephoto - you can go from wide to telephoto quickly or slowly depending on how far you press the zoom control.

Other Image Quality issues: I had trouble finding Chromatic Aberrations / Purple Fringing in the photos I took.

Macro: To use this camera in macro mode, you press the macro button. You can use the flash in macro mode. The camera can be roughly as close as 5cm away from the subject from the front of the lens.

Macro Watch Actual Pixels (100%)
Macro Hard Drive Actual Pixels (100%)

The macro mode is very good - the camera does a good job of toning down the flash, and colours are very good.

Movie: 640x480 at 12fps and 320x240 at 20fps with sound. The movie is recorded as an .MOV MPEG4 file. Unfortunately you can't use the optical zoom whilst recording videos.


Walking along the street - 320x240 movie - Download. (right click, save target as, 1mb) (saved as Zip file)
Simpsons - 640x480 movie- Download. (1.5mb). (saved as Zip file)

The quality of the movie(s) is quite good, colour is quite good, the camera also does a good job in low-light. The camera should be able to fit quite a decent length of video onto your memory as the file is recorded as MPEG4. However, the frame rate is fairly average.

Conclusion

Image Quality: Image quality is good, the images have good colour, saturation and contrast - however detail is average and images are a bit soft and "fuzzy". The camera did a very good job focusing. Noise was controlled well. I didn't notice any vignetting in the corners or purple fringing. There is an good range of image sizes and an okay range of compression options. The macro mode is very good. Auto white balance and metering seemed to be very good. There was some red-eye. The movie mode is slightly better than average, at 640x480/12fps, and 320x240/20fps with sound - recorded as MPEG4.

Everything else (the camera as a whole): The design is good, the two-speed zoom control stands out, as does the large 2.2" screen. The camera is quite chunky, but can be held in one hand fairly easily. The 2.2" screen updates smoothly and has accurate colour making it easier to view and compose your pictures. The camera is easy to use, the menu system is fairly easy to use and there are is a fairly good layout of buttons and controls. There is a good choice of features and options, such as shutter/aperture settings, manual white balance, high-speed continous shooting, scene modes - although there is no live histogram, or manual focus. The camera speed is good, with a okay switch on time, good focusing time, and good shutter response.

Alternative ultra zoom digital cameras: Panasonic Lumix FZ3, FZ4, FZ5, FZ15, FZ20 (12x optical zoom, image stabilisation), Canon S1 IS (10x optical zoom, image stabilisation), Konica Minolta Dimage Z3, Z5 (12x optical zoom, image stabilisation), Olympus Camedia C-765, C-770 (10x optical zoom), Fuji FinePix S5500 (10x optical zoom). Check amazon.co.uk / kelkoo.co.uk or amazon.com for the latest prices.

Summary: The Kodak Easyshare DX7590, has some appealing qualities, the 10x optical zoom lens, the large 2.2" screen, a 5 megapixel sensor, a good macro mode, and it's quick focusing and shot time, however due to the camera not having any form of image stabilisation, the 10x zoom is often only usable in good lighting, and it's images are a bit soft and fuzzy. The MPEG4 movie mode is appealing, although other cameras often have a higher frame rate. The camera is definitely worth considering due to the competitive price and features, but personally I'd be more inclined to find an ultra zoom with image stabilisation, such as the Konica Minolta Dimage Z5, or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ5 / FZ20.

Kodak Easyshare DX7590 Rating: Worth Considering
Buy now: £252 / $448.

What I like:

  • Good colour
  • Good macro mode
  • Large 2.2" screen
  • Very quick focusing
  • Quick shutter response
  • Slow zoom / quick zoom control
  • Good video mode (MPEG4)
  • Orientation sensor auto-rotates images
  • Red-eye reduction can work well
  • Easy to use
  • Very low purple-fringing

What I don't like:

  • Slightly soft / fuzzy images
  • No Custom White Balance
  • Delay zooming (in playback mode)
  • Doesn't take AA batteries
  • No way to access playback mode without the lens extending

Remember to have a look at the test photos in the new gallery.