Kodak EasyShare DX7590

Kodak's $699 Easyshare DX7590 offers great flexibility thanks to its 10x Schneider-Kreuznach (35mm equivalent 38mm - 380mm) zoom lens, which lets you cope with pretty much anything you'll come up against.

At maximum zoom, camera shake becomes an issue, so if you're going to be doing lots of work at that end a tripod would be handy. The 5 megapixel camera also comes equipped with a healthy range of photographic modes, including a custom mode for saving frequently-used settings. The combination of the lens, sensor and Kodak's Colour Science processor results in very good photos - images taken at full zoom showed sharp detail, while colour fidelity is good. The DX7590 may lack the 6.1 megapixel sensor of the DX7630, but personally I'd take the 5MP sensor and 10x zoom lens combo ahead of the slightly improved resolution.

The DX7590 comes with the standard camera dock for transferring images to the PC and charging the Li-ion battery. But if you want to take a step up, the $399 EasyShare Printer Dock Plus is a worthwhile investment. Like its cheaper sibling, the EasyShare Printer Dock, the Printer Dock Plus combines the image transfer and battery-charging features of the camera dock with a small dye-sub printer that turns out great 4 x 6-inch prints. It's slightly faster than the basic Printer Dock, and offers an Auto Enhance button to quickly brighten up photos. But where the Printer Dock Plus really justifies the extra cost is with its connection options. It is PictBridge-compatible, so you can plug in any PictBridge-capable camera. It comes with a built-in SD/MMC card reader and there is also a USB port that lets you plug in a card reader to connect other memory cards. I plugged in my 6-in-1 card reader and used it to print images taken with a Canon 300D on a CompactFlash card. The nifty bit is that you don't need to connect to a PC - if you've got your Kodak camera sitting in the dock then its LCD screen is used to display the image sitting on the USB-connected memory card (note: for this to work you need the header information of any images intact).

Very cool.

Price: $699; Vendor: Kodak; Phone: 1800 147 701; URL: http://wwwau.kodak.com/AU/en/consumer/consumer.jhtml

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