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Kodak DC 3800 Digital Camera Review

| Kodak DC 3800 in Compact Cameras
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Kodak DC 3800 Digital Camera Review: Kodak DC 3800


This is a cute little camera, weighing under 200g, and it cradles very neatly in the palm of your hand. It's also a good looker - with a metallic paint job and curved lines that would be the envy of any car enthusiast.

It's very much a point & shoot model, but despite its simplicity, it has a 2.11-million pixel CCD at its heart, ensuring that it is capable of producing 1792x1184 results that are of sufficient quality for sizable blow-ups.

The camera has a fixed 33mm wide-angle lens that's well suited for shots of buildings, interiors and landscapes, but less than ideal for close-up portraits. There's a 2x digital zoom available, but you have to put up with the deterioration of picture quality that its use leads to.

The camera also makes do without a separate information screen, using the LCD viewing screen alone to provide feedback to the user. This is small, measuring just 1.5 inches across, but as the information it has to show is minimal this is not as big a handicap as it could have been.

The camera provides no manual control over exposure, white balance or focus; there isn't even an exposure compensation dial. The few controls that you do have at your disposal are a macro mode, a self timer and a burst shooting facility that takes four shots at two frames per second. The flash system, by comparison, is well-equipped with auto, red-eye, fill-in and off settings.

Kodak have even simplified the connections for the camera. There's a video out socket for use with supplied lead and a DC input for use with an optional mains adaptor, but there's no computer output. Instead the camera comes with a separate USB CompactFlash card reader. This is a clever move on Kodak's part - as card readers are a simpler and quicker way of getting pictures downloaded onto your Mac or PC; and there is the further advantage that you do not waste valuable battery power as the card reader is powered by the computer, via the USB socket.

The camera is supplied with an 8Mb CompactFlash card, and this is capable of storing 14 pictures using the best of the three quality settings available.

Despite the camera's simplicity and reliance on automatic controls it still turns in an impressive set of results. The resolution and detail is not staggering - but good enough for most people's uses; you could certainly make a passable 10x8in print. More impressively, the colour balance on skin tones and with foliage is exceptionally good; while with more garish colours, the camera manages to record them in punchy and accurate style.

This is a point & shoot photographer's dream. No controls to worry about - and a size that will encourage you to take it with you wherever you go. It


Test photos

Kodak DC 3800 Digital Camera Review: Sample Images

Kodak DC 3800 Digital Camera Review: Sample Images

PROS

  • Small & stylish
  • Card reader supplied as standard
  • Ease of use

CONS

  • No zoom
  • No creative controls
  • Small LCD screen

Test by Chris George

 

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