reviews & info

Share your views with other DC-20 owners in our message boards!

The Stats


CNET reviews 8 digital cameras

Kodak DC-20: Small, Light, and Basic PC Photography

MacWeek: Kodak DC-20 is a light, affordable digital camera

MacUser Review: Kodak Digital Science DC20

Manufacturer: Kodak
Product Model: DC-20
Official Website: http://www.kodak.com/daiHome/genInfo/DC20Camera.shtml
Resolutions: 493x373
Zoom Capability: No
Auto Focus? No
Macro Capability? No
Flash? No
Storage Method: 1Mb onboard RAM
Storage Capacity: 8-16
LCD Screen: No
ISO Equivalent: 800/1600
Video Out?: No
Software Included: Kodak PictureEasy, PhotoEnhancer, Slides and Sound, Kai's PowerGoo, utilities.
Computers Supported: Mac/PC
Miscellaneous Notes: This is essentially the same as the Chinon ES-1000.
MSRP: $199
Lowest Price*: Not Available

DCRP Reader Reviews

CY (7/11/98):
I got the DC-20 last Sunday. Since I can use PC at school, I shot it like crazy. I finished the battery in 2.5 days with 100-120 pics, it mush be a record. If you only empty the camera once every day, you will not remember the date you start to use that 3V battery.

Since the adventage of this baby is the price, a little tip for users who only has one 9 pin serial port, that is using by a mouse, in their PC.

All you have to do is plug the cable into the 9 pin port and restart the computer, then Win95 will recognize the port. And when you get into the program, you have to get rid of the small window first, because it needs mouce. Use Alt + F4 to do it. Then TWAIN acquire... There, save you 18 bucks for the 9 pin turn 25 pin thingie. The computer I tried in my friend's house didn't even have the "windows" key. That was crazy.

By the way, I saw some reader said that he need about 30 mins to click click images into the computer. That's not true. You can use Shift key to select or "select all." Transfer all 8 of them into computer needs about 3.5 minutes. The rest of the fixing stuff and saving stuff are just like other digital cameras.

I don't bother to spend time to fix them. Because I don't have any clue. By I do have one problem with the program, you can't use long names. I have to use windows explorer to name the pics in my way (very very long.)

BTW, I fall in love with its size! It's so small and cheap that it can do anything.

Paul Frye (12/17):
As the previous reviewer stated, the thing to remember about the DC20 is its simplicity, size, and price.

This is a great little snapshot camera and the battery is long lasting, too. I always have it with me in case I see some opportunity to just grab a quick shot. Yes, it can suffer from the Kodak compression algorithm, and yes it does download the pictures slowly, but for $99.00 (I paid $199 a year ago) this camera is hard to beat.

In fact, I challenge another manufacturer to beat it at this price!!

Peter Millard:
The DC20 was one of the first consumer digital cameras, and the spectacular advances that the last year or so has seen in this area means that the DC20 really shows its age when compared to todays crop of current models.

If you just judge it by the spec. sheet, it doesnt appear to have a lot going for it; the maximum resolution it can capture at is 493x373 pixels, and the tiny 1M of built-in, non-expandable memory will hold only 8 pictures at this resolution. It has no built-in flash, and no LCD preview screen for editing or reviewing shots (a problem fixed with the DC25 model), and only rudimentary control of the pictures youve already shot prior to downloading (eg. Erase all). A recent review of the DC20 by a UK computer magazine claimed to have virtually every picture ruined by JPEG artifacts... so it makes you wonder why anyone would bother at all.

Well, Im a professional photographer by trade, Ive had my DC20 for about a year or so, and I love it! I bought it basically as a toy, but Ive been pleasantly surprised by the results - especially when you consider the price (down to around £100 now, here in the UK, and probably cheaper in the US).

What none of the reviews that Ive seen for the camera really get across is just how tiny the DC20 is - roughly the size of a pack of 20 cigarettes, and about the same weight. Because it doesnt have any of the power-hungry extras like LCD screens and flash, the (single) 3v lithium battery lasts forever - mines in use daily, and Im still on the original battery. Also, because it lacks all these extras, its remarkably robust - I keep mine in a shirt pocket 99% of the time, and its survived many a tumble onto concrete floors and paving stones.

The raw images as they download are remarkably good, but like all digital pictures, they invariably benefit from some tweaking; I like PhotoShop, but the PhotoEnhancer software supplied with the camera is very good, and gives you almost as much control over an image as you have in PhotoShop LE, but with an easier interface for the novice user.

My only real gripe is the length of time the images take to download using the supplied cable - even on a fast Mac, each image can take up to a minute before its ready to download (roll on firewire...) but with only eight images to play with, perhaps its not such a hardship.

In use, the camera acts just like a simple point n shoot device, with only a couple of seconds delay before you can take the next shot. However, the CCD has far, far more latitude (the ability to produce a usable image despite being under or over-exposed) than any piece of film, as the attached samples show.

The shot of my son Jack, was shot at an indoor adventure-playground under a mixture of daylight, fluorescent and sodium lamps - an evil combination, believe me! Despite this, the image needed minimal tweaking to produce an acceptable result. The pic. of my kids on our garden bench would have challenged any auto-exposure system because of the brightly lit, white wall behind them, and yet this almost throw-away camera again produced a decent snap. Amazing.

When it comes to printing the images, Ive found that a colour inkjet printer produces perfectly acceptable results, provided you use decent paper; I use a Stylewriter 1500 on Kodak Inkjet paper, and whilst the resulting pictures are no technical match for a >real< photo, I personally like the slightly soft, almost >pointillist< effect that they produce when printed at around 5x4 inches. Obviously, the smaller you print the pictures, the higher the effective resolution, so wallet-sized snapshots look even better.

If youre thinking about a digital camera for real work, then the DC20 probably isn't for you (or me, for that matter); its too old, the images are too small, and too poorly compressed for professional use. But if you fancy a light, simple, almost indestructible snapshot or party camera, that combines the instantness of a Polaroid with the relative sophistication of digital images, then you could do a lot worse - and if you grow out of it in six months time, give it to your kids to play with!

DCRP Camera Sample Photos

Click here for Sample Photos

Please use the form to add your review and/or sample photos!

All content is ©1998-1999 The Digital Camera Resource Page.
Corrections should be sent to corrections@dcresource.com.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
* Pricing is from the CNET Shopper.Com website, and is for the convenience of our readers only. We do not endorse any of the online stores that CNET lists. The DCRP is not supported in any way by Shopper.Com, nor are we responsible for errors on their site.