Review: Kodak EasyShare DX3215
Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: Monday, October 29, 2001
Monday, October 29, 2001
first glance, the Kodak
EasyShare DX3215 ($199) may appear to be the entry-level model
in Kodak's EasyShare line of cameras. More significant (in my opinion)
is the fact that this camera is the first to depart from the CompactFlash
storage format that Kodak has used for many years. While the camera
doesn't include a card (it also has internal memory), it's the first
Kodak camera to use the MultiMediaCard/Secure Digital format. These
cards are the smallest out there -- about the size of a stamp.
the other EasyShare models, the DX3215 can use the $79 EasyShare
dock, which allows for ultra-simple photo transfer to your Mac or
does the DX3215 stack up against other low priced cameras? Find
out in our review.
in the Box?
on what package you get, the DX3215's bundle can be average or very
good. Here's what you'll find inside the box:
1.3 Mpixel Kodak EasyShare DX3215 camera
Dock ( "dock" bundle only)
insert (fits the DX3215 into the dock)
CR-V3 Lithium battery (non-rechargeable)
NiMH rechargeable battery pack ( "dock" bundle only)
featuring Kodak Picture Software and drivers
page manual (printed)
you don't get the dock bundle, you'll find a non-rechargeable battery
in the box. So if that's you, go buy some NiMH rechargeables to
replace it. Since the DX3215 only uses 2 batteries, a four-pack
will do just fine. The camera can take CR-V3 or AA-sized batteries.
you do get the dock bundle, you'll get a NiMH power pack, which
is basically two batteries in a plastic case. You'll charge the
camera in the dock -- Kodak says it will only charge their pack,
and not other batteries.
about that optional dock. The dock is a universal base for Kodak's
DX-series cameras, so the DX3215 comes with an insert that fits
the dock into the dock. To transfer pictures to your Mac or PC,
you hit the button on the dock, and away it goes. You can either
transfer all of them, or select the ones you want.
you don't have the dock, you can see the included USB cable to hook
up the "old fashioned way."
is similar to the DX3600 in that it includes 8MB of internal memory.
That's quite a bit for a 1.3 Megapixel camera. If you need more, you
can purchase a MMC or SD memory card.
the other two EasyShare cameras, the DX3215 does not include a built-in
lens cover. That would be okay if they included a regular lens cap,
but they don't. So you'll want to be careful with the DX3215 when
you're "in the field".
the DX3500, DX3600, and DX3900, this camera cannot use lens accessories.
That doesn't really surprise me, considering the low price of the
manuals are much better than average -- even the typeface seems
friendly and inviting to beginners.
camera is fully compatible with Mac OS X. One weird thing is that
it does load the Image Capture app, but it doesn't mount on the
desktop as a disk like the other Kodak cameras did.
DX3215 is an attractive, plastic camera that's easy to hold. Many
low-cost cameras feel cheap, but not the DX3215. While the body
is all plastic, it does feel solid enough. The dimensions of the
camera are 4.8 x 2.7 x 1.8 (W x D x H) and it weighs 220 grams empty.
The 3215 is a bit on the large size for an entry-level camera, but
should still fit in most pockets.
take a tour of the camera now:
the front of the camera. As I mentioned, there's no lens protection
of any kind. The Kodak lens is all glass, and at F3.8, on the "slow"
side. The 2X optical zoom is equivalent to 30 - 60mm. The lens is
is also a 2X digital zoom that you can use, but be warned that the
image quality will be reduced.
DX3215's flash has a working range of 0.8 - 2.5m at wide-angle,
and 1.5 - 2m at full telephoto.
the back of the camera now. The 1.6" LCD screen isn't great,
but it's not horrible either. The refresh rate is a little low,
but even worse, it's dark and hard to see, and the brightness isn't
above that is the optical viewfinder. It's of good size, but lacks
diopter correction for those of you with glasses.
four buttons to the immediate right of the LCD are for:
(for menus, and toggling the LCD on/off)
right of those are the zoom controls, four-way switch, and the mode
switch. The zoom controls are responsive and well-placed.
only thing you'll find on the top of the camera is the shutter release
button. I guess I shouldn't expect to find an LCD info display on
a low-cost camera, but it would've been nice.
you thought the top of the camera was exciting, you'll love this
side of it. Next!
on the other side is where you'll find more things to look at. That
includes the MMC/SD slot, video and USB ports, as well as the (closed)
battery compartment. You can also see the included CR-V3 battery.
here's the bottom of the DX3215. Over on the right you can see the
dock connector. There's a plastic cover to protect this when it's
not in use. At the center of the photo is the plastic tripod mount.
the Kodak EasyShare DX3215
camera takes a painful eight seconds to start up. Most of this time
appears to be spent checking the internal memory. The LCD is off
by default, so you'll need to press Select to turn it on. The camera
has noticeable shutter lag, but it's not terrible by any means.
What is lousy is the shot-to-shot speed. After taking a shot at
the highest quality (there are only two quality choices), it takes
a whopping 8 seconds before the LCD is lit up again.
LCD in record mode
feature not seen much anymore on digital cameras is the ability
to delete the photo as it's being saved -- and I was pleased to
see it on the DX3215.
DX3215 has just a few image size and quality choices available:
photos stored in
photos stored on
32MB card (for reference)
1280 x 960
640 x 480
user interface on the DX3215 is probably the worst I've seen in
2 years. Rather than having a menu button like every other camera
in existence, the 3215 requires you to put the mode switch into
setup. From there you get a DOS-style menu with just a few options.
only thing you can change on the camera without a trip to setup
mode is the flash setting. I do like how it describes the various
flash modes when you hit the button, though.
get the impression this camera was not made by Kodak, seeing how
it operates differently than the other EasyShare models. That's
just a guess, and I have no evidence to back this up.)
are the choices found in the setup menu:
quality (Good, Best)
(on/off) - shows photo on LCD after it's taken
Show Interval (5, 10, 30, 60 sec) - for slide shows in playback
Out (NTSC, PAL)
Order (Select All, Cancel, Future Pictures) - for DPOF print marking
- copies photos from internal memory to MMC/SD card
(set, format, show on photos)
you can see, the camera has no white balance, exposure compensation,
self-timer, or any remotely manual controls. In the old days I'd
say "well, it's a cheap camera, I wouldn't expect them."
Nowadays, I have seen many other low-cost cameras that do have these
features, so I mark the DX3215 down for this.
DX3215 did a fair job at the macro test. The colors are accurate
and the image is sharp, but there's a lot of "grain" in
the photo as well. The camera is locked at full telephoto in macro
mode. You can get as close as 25cm.
you've read a number of the reviews here at the DCRP, you know where
this picture was taken and what it's supposed to look like. If you
here. Low-cost cameras usually don't have manual controls, though
some have a nightshot mode for these situations. Unfortunately,
the DX3215 has neither, and the camera didn't let in enough light
to get a decent shot. Oh well.
photo quality was just average in my opinion. While the colors were
accurate, there was a lot of grain/noise in all of the shots. I
noticed some chromatic aberrations (purple fringing) in one of them
as well, but it wasn't any worse than most other cameras. Check
out the DX3215 gallery to judge for yourself.
is no movie mode on the DX3215.
mode on the DX3215 is as bare bones as you can get. You can look
at your photo, mark it for printing, delete it, or view a slideshow.
There's no thumbnail mode, no zoom and scroll, no image protection,
and no extra info about your photo.
takes about three seconds to move between high resolution photos
on the 3215.
you want to delete photos, you can do one at a time, or all. There
is no way to delete a selected group of images.
Does it Compare?
have learned that with the Kodak EasyShare cameras, you definitely
get what you pay for. I was very happy with the DX3900
and recommended it. I wasn't as pleased with the DX3600.
But the DX3215 is definitely the worst of the bunch, and not a camera
I can recommend. While the EasyShare system is nice to use, the
camera itself is so stripped down and difficult to use that I would
strongly recommend taking a look at the cameras I'll mention in
I didn't care for:
dock is another $80
startup, shot-to-shot times
a 2X optical zoom
entry-level cameras zoom cameras worth looking at include the Canon
FinePix 2600 Zoom, Olympus Brio
D-150Z and D-510Z,
DSC-P30, and the Toshiba
always, I recommend a trip to your local camera store to try out
the DX3215 and its competitors before you buy!
how does the photo quality stand up? Check out the sample photos
in our photo gallery!
a second opinion?
sure to read Steves
Digicams review of the Kodak EasyShare DX3215.
welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me asking for
a personal recommendation.