Kodak's range of entry-level digital cameras has come on in leaps and bounds since we saw the first products several years ago. No other manufacturer has managed quite as well to combine ease of use with quality results.
Anyone keen on delving further into what's possible with digital photography usually soon outgrows entry-level models, but the EasyShare DX7440 is the exception. It has enough functionality to appeal to keen enthusiasts yet it is still remarkably simple to use. And there's no denying the quality of the images.
This compact, brushed-metal-look model has a large black rubber handgrip on the right-hand side (sorry you left-handers) which, combined with the joystick and jogdial, makes the EasyShare simple to navigate.
We were pleasantly surprised to see a diopter corrector for those with impaired eyesight - an important addition if you're using the optical viewfinder rather than the built-in LCD to frame shots. The stunning 2.2in LCD does, however, make it a cinch to frame shots.
The EasyShare's 4Mp CCD has a maximum resolution of 2304x1728 and a decent Variogon 4x zoom lens. Shots are stored on 32MB of internal memory and there's space for a Secure Digital or Multimedia Card - something we'd recommend buying. At this price it's good to see a bundled lithium-ion battery and recharger, although there's no mains adapter supplied.
Despite offering automatic point-and-shoot simplicity, the Kodak has good manual controls such as metering, exposure compensation, ISO and aperture or shutter priority. If you find these intimidating, don't worry: the DX7440 takes great shots on its default setting. The colour spectrum is spot-on and the detail sharp.
In brief:Kodak EasyShare DX7440
The DX7440 tries to offer all things to please all people and, on the whole, it succeeds. It's the sort of camera that can grow with as you become more confident with digital photograp. And it doesn't cost the earth.
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