Review: Kodak EasyShare DX4330
Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: Saturday, October 26, 2002
Sunday, October 27, 2002
EasyShare DX4330 ($350) is another camera in Kodak's line of
easy to use digital cameras. The EasyShare system lets you, well,
easily share and print your photos, using software on the camera
as well as your PC.
DX4330 (who comes up with these names?) is a 3.1 Megapixel camera
with a 3X optical zoom lens. I don't have to tell you that there
are many other 3MP cameras out there, so let's see how the 4330
compares to the competition!
I just wrote a really lengthy review
of the Kodak LS443, I'll be reusing a whole lot of text from that
in the Box?
DX4330's bundle depends on if you get the optional EasyShare camera
dock. Items that are included with the dock ($79) are in bold.
Inside the box, you'll find:
3.1 (effective) Mpixel Kodak EasyShare DX4330 camera
CR-V3 lithium battery (non-rechargeable)
NiMH rechargeable battery pack
featuring Kodak EasyShare software
page manual (printed)
what is becoming a trend with camera manufacturers, the DX4330 has
built-in memory, instead of bundling a memory card with the camera.
The 16MB is good enough to start with, but you'll probably want
a larger card soon after your purchase. The DX4330 can use Secure
Digital (SD) or MultiMedia (MMC) cards.
battery you get depends on if you get the dock or not. If you just
buy the camera, you'll find a non-rechargeable lithium battery,
which will last for a while, but will eventually find its way into
your trash. The dock, however, comes with a rechargeable battery
pack, that is charged while the camera is on the dock. Kodak estimates
that you can take 410 pictures with the lithium battery, and 180
with the rechargeable.
Top-down view. Sorry about the glare.
it's time to charge the battery or transfer photos to your computer,
you just pop the camera into the included dock. My dock had a universal
insert on it, but if you use the one included with the camera, the
4330 fits a lot better. Press the button and the camera will connect
to your Mac or PC via a USB cable. The dock doesn't have a video
out port -- only the camera. Charging the battery pack takes 2.5
you own a DX4330 and not buy the dock? Absolutely.
you've installed the EasyShare software, it will prepare images
you've marked for printing or e-mailing (more on that later). Here's
a look at the (Mac OS X) version of the EasyShare software. I would
imagine it would be similar on Windows.
is not a substitute for something like iPhoto or Photoshop Elements.
It's very basic, but well implemented. It is also seemed more stable
than the programs bundled with other cameras. The screen shot above
shows the main window in EasyShare. Your thumbnails are on the left,
and the panel on the right varies, depending on what you're doing.
The Viewer mode lets you rotate, delete, and view photos -- that's
Print at Home tab will help you print the images you select (either
by marking them on the camera or in the software). There are many
layouts available, including the two 4x6-inch per page prints you
e-mail tab works in the same way. You can compose messages to be
sent along with pictures. You can send the full size picture, or
have it reduced automatically to a smaller size. The e-mail system
is nicely integrated with OS X's built-in address book system.
last thing you can do here is customize the e-mail addresses stored
in the camera -- again, more on this later in the review. This too
can be integrated with the OS X address book.
in all, the EasyShare system does make it easier to print and e-mail
your photos. It's definitely not a substitute for a real photo retouching
enough of the software talk. The camera also works with OS X's Image
Capture and iPhoto.
camera includes a lens cap and retaining strap.
took me a while to find them, but the DX4330 does support wide-angle,
telephoto, and close-up lens attachments. The first thing you'll
need is the lens adapter ($20) which will let you use these 43mm
accessories. Other accessories (besides the dock) include camera
bags and an AC adapter.
camera manuals have always been better than average, and that is
the case here as well.
DX4330 is not as nice in terms of build quality as the other Kodak
camera (LS443) I just reviewed. Then again, it's $350, not $500.
Still, it is made of high grade plastic, and should be able to handle
most situations without being damaged. The camera is light and easy
to hold. It's a little too large to be called pocket-sized, but
I think most people will be comfortable carrying it around.
official dimensions of the LS443 are 4.3 x 2.6 x 1.5 inches (W x
H x D), and it weighs 210 grams (7.4 ounces) with battery and memory
tour the camera now.
DX4330 has a 3X optical zoom lens, made by Kodak. This F2.8 lens
has a focal range of 8-24 mm, which is equivalent to 38 - 114 mm.
The lens is threaded, but you'll need the aforementioned converter
if you want to actually use any lens accessories. A 3.3X digital
zoom is also available, though using it will reduce the photo quality.
little hole directly to the left of the lens is the microphone.
up above that is the built-in flash. The flash has a working range
of 0.6 - 3.4 m at wide-angle, and 0.6 - 2.0 m at telephoto. No external
flash options here!
the LS443, the DX4330 does not have an AF-assist lamp.
DX4330 shares the same 1.8-inch "indoor/outdoor" LCD as
the LS443 -- and that's not a good thing. The first issue I have
with the LCD is the low resolution -- only 72,000 pixels. You can
definitely see the difference if you compare this LCD to others...
it's not sharp. Issue number two is the indoor/outdoor feature.
I couldn't see any difference between Kodak's LCD and other ones
last complaint may seem kind of silly to some people, and requires
a bit of explanation. Outdoors, I wear prescription sunglasses,
which are polarized (as are most, I think). The LCD display is also
polarized, which may be how they try to do the indoor/outdoor thing.
Anyhow, with polarized sunglasses, you cannot see the LCD at all
at the normal viewing position. Like all polarized lenses, if you
turn the camera 90 degrees, the LCD becomes more visible.
the top-left of the photo, you can see the average-sized optical
viewfinder. It doesn't have any diopter correction feature.
the left of the LCD is the four-way switch, framed by buttons for
deleting photos and invoking the menu system.
review button at the lower-right enters playback mode.
the LCD is the share button, which is part of the EasyShare system.
When you press the button, the camera enters playback mode and brings
up this menu:
share mode, you can do three things:
a picture for printing
a picture for e-mailing
a picture as a "favorite" for later retrieval
say you want to mark an image for e-mail. Here's what you'll see:
can select a person or persons that you want to e-mail this picture
to. Once you connect to your computer, the pictures will be ready
to be e-mailed (I don't think it happens automatically).
final item on the back of the camera is the zoom controller. While
the zoom is a bit slower than on the LS443 (wide to tele in 2 seconds),
it's more precise. It's also quite and smooth.
are just a few items on the top of the camera. At the center of
the picture you can see the speaker. Just below that is the flash
button -- with the flash options being auto flash, flash off, fill
flash, and auto with redeye reduction.
the right of that is the mode wheel, with quite a few options, including:
have more on most of these modes later in the review. The last item
up here is the shutter release button.
this side of the camera, you'll find the DC in port, under a rubber
on the other side, behind a fairly sturdy plastic door, you can
see the SD/MMC card slot as well as the USB port.
above that is the video out port.
but not least, here is the bottom of the camera. You can see the
battery compartment, plastic tripod mount, and the connector for
the dock. You can close that little plastic door to protect the
connector from dirt and dust.
the Kodak EasyShare DX4330
DX4330 takes a rather slow 5.5 seconds to extend the lens and warm
up before you can start shooting. When you press the shutter release
button halfway, the camera locks focus in about one second, which
is average. The camera had some trouble in low light (not surprising
since it lacks an AF-assist lamp) but it wasn't as bad as I was
the shutter release fully results in a picture after a short, but
still noticeable lag.
I learned with the LS443, shot-to-shot speed varies depending on
the status of the quickview setting (which shows the photo on the
LCD after it is taken). If it's on, it will be nearly seven seconds
before the camera is back in picture-taking mode. Turn it off and
it's more like 2.5 seconds, which is pretty good.
a look at the image size and quality choices available on the camera:
photos on 16MB on-board memory
photos on optional 64MB SD card
2160 x 1440
1800 x 1200
1080 x 720
no TIFF or RAW mode available on this camera. The camera names files
as 100_nnnn.JPG (where n = 0001 - 9999), and remembers the numbering
even if you switch cards or delete photos.
the LS443, the DX4330 is a camera which is always ready to take
a picture. Even if you're in playback mode, you can still operate
the zoom, and can take a picture fairly quickly if need be.
camera's menu system is attractive and easy to use. One thing I
don't like is how it forgets settings when the camera is turned
off. Here's a look at the available menu items:
storage (Auto, internal) - if set to auto, camera uses SD/MMC
card first, then internal if that's full. Internal always uses
internal memory, even with card inserted.
compensation (-2.0EV to +2.0EV in 1/2EV increments)
Time Exposure (None, 0.7, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4 secs)
quality (Best, better, good)
Stamp (Off, YYYY MM DD, MM DD YYYY) -for putting the date on photos.
sensor (on/off) - camera will automatically rotate portrait shots
setup menu has some interesting items, including:
(on/off) - if picture is shown on LCD after it's taken
(on/off) - live preview on LCD
usual beep, date/time, and card formatting tools are also in the
DX4330 has a lot fewer options than the LS443 did. One of the most
notable omissions are any white balance controls, which is surprising
considering this is a $350 camera. Of all the features to leave
out, this doesn't seem like the best one, as people don't always
take pictures where auto white balance does a good job. The 4330
also is missing any control over the ISO sensitivity -- it's always
automatic, ranging from 120 - 200.
enough about that, let's do photo tests now.
DX4330 did a decent job with our macro test. Like the LS443, the
color here is very saturated... almost too much, but not as bad
as the LS443 was. There is a bit of noise but it's not terrible.
The image is pretty sharp as well. In macro mode, the focal range
is 7 - 70 cm.
night shot above does look quite nice in the thumbnail, but if you
view the full-size version, you will see a noisy and very over-processed
image. The camera certainly took in the right amount of light...
it just processed it to death. The LS443 suffered from a similar
4330 did a fair job with the redeye test. There's definitely some
redeye, but I wouldn't call it major. It could be removed with software.
Though this crop is enlarged a bit, you can see that the image is
quite over-processed. More on that below.
like the LS443, the DX4330's photo quality is good, but still noticeably
worse than the competition. Since I like using these comparison
shots lately, here's the same shot, taken with the DX4330 and the
(3 Megapixel) Canon PowerShot S230. The full versions are in their
respective photo galleries.
Kodak EasyShare DX4330
Canon PowerShot S230 Digital ELPH
DX4330 does a nice job with the color, but there's way more noise
than with the Canon. All you have to do to see this is the red bar
over on the left (part of a larger art piece). Also, have a look
at the cars, and the trees in the background. It's the same over-processed
look as on (guess what) the LS443.
4x6-inch prints or e-mailing photos, the noise issue probably won't
matter. For larger prints or those who want very clear images at
100%, it probably will.
4330 also had a bit of a problem with chromatic aberrations (purple
fringing), which you can see in the gallery shots. Speaking of which,
have a look at the gallery so you can
make your own decision about photo quality!
DX4330 has the same, nice movie mode as the LS443. You can record
movies, with sound, for as long as your memory card will allow.
That's 70 seconds on the 16MB of built-in memory. Buy a 128MB SD/MMC
card and you can record for over nine minutes!
are saved in QuickTime format at the unusual resolution of 309 x
sound is recorded, the optical zoom cannot be used during filming.
a sample movie for you:
to play movie (2.8MB, QuickTime format)
Can't view it? Download QuickTime.
4330 also uses the same playback mode that the LS443 has.
basic features that we all know are here: slide shows, DPOF print
marking, image protection, thumbnail mode, and zoom and scroll.
and scroll lets you zoom in 2X or 4X into your photo, and then scroll
around in the enlarged image. The actual magnification process is
surprisingly, the DX4330 lets you copy images from the internal
memory to a memory card, and vice versa.
not-so-exciting feature is the picture info menu item. What you
see above is all the info you get... not even shutter speed or aperture?
The low battery warning is blocking the view, as you can see.
DX4330 moves through images quickly. A low resolution image is shown
instantly, followed by the high res version about one second later.
Does it Compare?
Kodak EasyShare DX4330 is one of those cameras that's very good
in all areas except the most important one, which is photo quality.
Like the LS443 (a common theme in this review), the 4330's images
are much noisier than the other 3 Megapixel cameras I've tested.
Photos have an over-processed look that makes it seem like you ran
them through an "impressionist" filter. The 4330 is also
missing basic white balance controls and an AF illuminator, which
the competition both have. For those who want the convenience of
the EasyShare system, or who do small-sized prints, this camera
may still work for you -- it's quite easy to use. For those want
better quality pictures, larger prints, or more manual controls,
you could do better elsewhere.
photo quality w/saturated colors
value for a 3MP camera @ $349
system allows for easy e-mailing and printing of photos
to operate, always ready to take pictures
conversion lenses (with $20 adapter)
I didn't care for:
images noticeably worse than competition
is pretty lousy
forgets settings when turned off
white balance, ISO controls
shot-to-shot speed when quickview feature is turned on
other low cost 3 Megapixel cameras to consider include the Canon
QV-R3, Fuji FinePix 3800
Kyocera Finecam S3x
DiMAGE Xi, Nikon
Coolpix 3500, Olympus
D-550Z, Pentax Optio 330GS
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P7
and the Toshiba
PDR-3320. It's a lengthy list but it shows that you have a lot
of choices -- and that you need to do your homework before you buy!
always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try out
the EasyShare DX4330 and it's competitors before you buy!
how the photo quality stacks up in our DX4330
a review of the DX4330 at Steve's
welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to my limited resources, please do not send me requests
for personal camera recommendations.