4Mp beginners’ camera: EasyShare CX7430

If simplicity is a virtue when it comes to digital cameras, then Kodak’s EasyShare CX7430 out-classes most of its competition. Kodak gave this camera just the few controls needed for basic snapshot photography, and added text-based help prompts for beginners.

The CX7430’s price of $499 is com-petitive for a camera with a 4Mp CCD, which gives you more flexibility in making large prints or cropping images without undue loss of image quality. Battery life is surprisingly good for a model powered by two AAs: after about 500 shots, they still had life.

Our photos taken with the CX7430 were suitable for snapshot-quality prints. It did best in our outdoor test, producing pleasing (though somewhat flat) colours, good details in shadows, and nice contrast. The least appealing shot was with flash, underexposing our model and giving her a slightly off skin tone.

The zoom is fairly smooth, and focus lock seemed quick. For fast shots, there can be a significant delay between pressing the shutter and the camera firing. If you’ve pressed the shutter halfway down for exposure lock, though, the camera is very quick on the trigger. Dedicated buttons let you quickly review and delete photos, change flash settings, and set the self-timer. A simple mode dial lets you select one of the five basic special scene modes or switch to video recording.

One slight gripe: as a concession to ease of use, there isn’t a lot of information displayed on the LCD during shooting.

The 16MB internal memory can be augmented with Secure Digital cards. Kodak offers a simple $99 docking station (camera dock 6000 — pictured) for easier photo transfers to your PC that includes rechargeable batteries. The camera will also dock to Kodak’s $299 EasyShare Printer Dock 6000, a portable printer that produces 4x6in prints.

In brief: Kodak EasyShare CX7430

Uncomplicated and inexpensive, the EasyShare is fine for buyers whose interest in photography is limited to recording life’s events without the distraction of complicated settings.

Price: $499

Vendor: Kodak

Phone: 1800 147 701

URL:www.kodak.com.au

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