Review: Kodak EasyShare DX6440
Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: October 19, 2003
June 21, 2004
EasyShare DX6440 ($399) is a low priced 4 Megapixel camera
with a 4X Schneider-Kreuznach zoom lens. Unlike most of Kodak's
other cameras, the 6440 has full manual controls and a hybrid
autofocus system. It can be a point-and-shoot for beginners,
or a manual camera for enthusiasts. If there's one thing that
Kodak does very well, it's making a camera easy-to-use. The
EasyShare system lets you easily share your photos with the
push of a button (literally). But more on that later.
dive into the details now!
in the Box?
DX6440 has a very good bundle. Do note that depending on where
you live (especially outside of the U.S. and Canada), your bundle
may be different. Inside the box, you'll find:
4.0 effective Mpixel Kodak EasyShare DX6440 camera
lithium battery (not rechargeable)
camera dock 6000
adapter [part of dock package]
NiMH rechargeable battery pack [part of dock package]
featuring Kodak EasyShare software
page manual (printed)
with other recent Kodak models, the DX6440 has internal memory
plus a memory card slot. Kodak includes 16MB of internal memory
(and no memory card), which is barely enough to get started with,
so do yourself a favor and buy a larger card. The DX6440 can
use Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMedia (MMC) cards. I'd get a
128MB card at the very minimum.
DX6440 can use two AAs, one CR-V3, or one Kodak NiMH battery
pack. The camera comes with a (throwaway) lithium CR-V3 pack,
and the dock has a rechargeable 1850 mAh NiMH pack. Kodak estimates
that you can take about 410 pictures with the CR-V3, and 185
with the NiMH pack. You could do a little better by purchasing
some higher capacity (2100 mAh or greater) NiMH rechargeables
and a faster charger (since the dock only charges the Kodak NiMH
the U.S. and Canada, Kodak includes the EasyShare camera dock
6000 along with the camera. This will be where you'll charge
the battery in the camera, or transferring photos to your PC.
It takes 2.5 hours to fully charge the battery, and the dock
has a little meter showing the current battery charge. Note that
the dock can only charge the Kodak NiMH battery pack.
note that you can do the same things without the dock -- plus
you can view photos on your television.
included dock insert properly fits the camera on the dock.
DX6440 has a built-in lens cover.
I mentioned, one of the coolest accessories for the DX6440 is
the EasyShare printer dock 6000 (shown above with the DX6490
on it). This $199 thermal dye transfer (similar to dye-sublimation)
printer has a dock right on top of it, so you just put the camera
on it, press a few buttons, and get a 4 x 6 inch print 90 seconds
later. It can also be used with a computer.
from things like batteries, chargers, and an AC adapter, the
only real accessories for the DX6440 are lens accessories. Kodak
sells telephoto ($60), wide-angle ($50), and close-up ($30) lenses
for this camera -- but you'll need the $20 lens adapter first.
The telephoto attachment boosts your tele range to 264 mm, while
the wide lens gives you a 19.8 mm starting point. Unlike the
DX6490, this camera does not support an external flash.
DX6440 did not come with the same EasyShare software CD as the
DX6490 that I also reviewed. It included version 3.0.1 for Windows,
2.1.1 for Mac OS X, and version 1.4.2 for Mac OS 8/9. Since you
can download newer versions (3.2 for Windows, 3.0 for Mac OS
X) for free from the Kodak
website, I will cover the newest versions here.
is the first time that I've used version for Mac, and I must
say it's impressive. It has a nice interface, reminiscent of
Apple's iLife Suite, and it's nice and fast (well, everything's
fast on my G5). Here's what you can do with the software:
main screen lets you import and organize your photos. From there
you can print, edit, and e-mail photos, and you can even burn
a CD of your photos. A nice slide show feature is also available.
you want to edit your photo, there are some basic tools included.
They include rotation, cropping, "instant enhancement",
redeye reduction, brightness and contrast, exposure, and instant
black & white or sepia conversion.
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 5 x 7 inch per page
prints you see above.
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
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 feature is also integrated with the OS X address book.
like with the address book, you can also set up the albums on
your camera. You can then tag photos on the camera, and they'll
end up in the proper album when you transfer your photos to your
with their "easy" theme, Kodak does a nice job with
their camera manuals, with long descriptions and not a lot of
DX6440 is a midsize camera made of a combination of metal and
plastic. For the most part, it feels very well constructed, though
the plastic doors have got to go. The brushed metal look makes
it one of the more stylish Kodak cameras. Controls are well-placed,
and the camera can be operated with one hand or two.
a medium-sized camera, you probably won't be putting the DX6440
into your pocket. Its dimensions are 4.3 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches (W
x H x D, excluding protrusions), and it weighs 220 grams empty.
start our tour of this camera now!
the heart of the DX6440 is an F2.2-F4.8 Scheider-Kreuznach 4X
optical zoom lens. The focal range of the lens is 5.5 - 22 mm,
which is equivalent to 33 - 132 mm. With the optional conversion
lens adapter, you can add wide, tele, and closeup lenses to the
the upper-right of the lens is what Kodak calls the hybrid AF
sensor -- same as on the DX6490. This "rapid phase detection
autofocus module" assists the camera in focusing, improving
both responsiveness and low light focusing. It doesn't work in
the exact way as an AF-assist lamp, but the effect is the same.
to left of the lens is the microphone, light sensor, and self-timer
that is the built-in flash, which has a working range of 0.5
- 5.1 m at wide-angle, and 0.75 - 2.6 at telephoto. The flash
takes a rather sluggish 9 seconds to recharge. The DX6440 does
not support an external flash.
DX6440 has a very nice 1.8" LCD. This LCD is what Kodak
calls "indoor/outdoor", and it really is easier to
see outdoors than your typical. Images on the screen are sharp,
thanks to the 134k pixel resolution, and everything is fluid
as well, as the frame rate is 24 frames/second. The brightness
is not adjustable, though.
the top-left of the photo, you'll see the optical viewfinder.
This is an average-sized viewfinder, which thankfully has a diopter
to the left of the LCD are the delete and share buttons. The
delete button does just as it sounds. The Share button is the
feature that sets Kodak cameras from the competition (with the
exception of HP). Pressing the Share button enters playback mode
and brings up the following 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
can select a person or persons that you want to e-mail this picture
to. Once you connect to your computer, the EasyShare software
will allow you to e-mail the photos that you tagged. A related
feature that I hinted at before is the album feature, which is
accessed via the playback menu. Pick an album (in the same way
that you would an e-mail address), and the camera will dump the
photos into the proper album the next time you transfer photos
to your Mac or PC.
to the tour: to the left of those two buttons is the mode dial,
which has the following options:
someone who always shootings in one of the manual modes, I didn't
like having to turn the wheel all the way around each time I
wanted to use the camera.
manual modes here are called PAS on the mode dial: these are
Program, Aperture Priority, and Shutter Priority. Program mode
is just like Auto Record mode, except you have full access to
all the menu items. In aperture priority mode, you can set the
aperture yourself (there are several choices between F2.2 and
F13), and the camera picks the appropriate shutter speed. Shutter
priority mode is just the opposite: you choose a shutter speed
(range of 4 - 1/2200 sec), and the camera chooses the right aperture.
Unlike on the DX6490, the 6440 dose not have a mode where you
can set both the aperture and shutter speed manually.
the mode dial is a joystick, used for menu navigation, as well
as adjusting manual settings and exposure compensation (-2EV
to +2EV, 1/2EV increments).
the opposite side of the LCD are the menu and review buttons.
The latter enters playback mode.
those is the zoom controller, which smoothly moves the lens from
wide-angle to telephoto in two seconds. Quick presses of the
buttons allow for precise movements.
this view of the DX6440, you'll find the shutter release button,
the speaker, and two other buttons. Those buttons are for:
(Self-timer, burst mode)
(Auto, flash off, fill flash, red-eye reduction)
burst mode will take up to 6 pictures at 3 frames/second -- not
addition to changing the flash setting, pressing the flash button
once will show all of the current camera settings on the LCD.
only thing to see here is the DC-in port, which is where you'll
plug in the AC adapter (assuming you have one).
the other side of the DX6440, you'll find the SD/MMC card slot,
as well as the video out and USB ports. This camera supports
the USB 2.0 high speed standard.
items described above are kept behind a very flimsy plastic door.
Quite a shame, since the rest of the camera feels so solid.
the bottom of the camera, we see the battery compartment, metal
tripod mount, and dock connector. The door covering the battery
compartment is almost as bad as the one described above.
included lithium battery is shown. The DX6440 can use a CR-V3
battery like that, or two AAs, or the Kodak NiMH pack.
the Kodak EasyShare DX6440
time on the DX6440 was on the slow side: over 5.5 seconds before
you can start shooting.
like with the DX6490, the 6440 isn't going to win the "fastest
focusing award", but it did a good job of locking the focus,
even in dim light.
lag was minimal, even at slower shutter speeds.
No live histogram (though does the target
audience need one?)
speed is average, with a 3 second delay between photos, assuming
you've turned off the the post-shot review (Quickview) feature.
You can delete a photo immediately after it is taken by pressing
the delete button.
all Kodak cameras, the DX6440 is always ready to shoot, even
in playback mode. If you're reviewing a photo and want to take
another, you can do so without switching modes.
uses a "star" system to represent photo resolution
and quality. Here's a look at the available quality choices:
photos on 16MB
photos on optional 128MB SD card
2304 x 1728
2304 x 1536
1656 x 1242
1200 x 900
128MB SD card looks like a good investment to me!
no TIFF or RAW mode available on this camera. The camera names
files as 100_####.JPG (where # = 0001 - 9999), and remembers
the numbering even if you switch cards or delete photos.
has created an attractive, easy-to-use menu system for their
cameras, perfect for new users. Some of the menu options below
are only available in PAS mode -- I'll highlight those in bold.
Here are the DX6440's menu options:
storage (Auto, internal) - if set to "auto", camera
uses SD/MMC card first, then internal if that's full. "Internal" option
always uses internal memory, even with card inserted.
compensation (-2EV to +2EV, 1/2EV increments) - using the joystick
in PAS mode to adjust this
quality (see chart)
mode (Color, black & white, sepia)
daylight, tungsten, fluorescent) - no manual white balance
100, 200, 400) - auto selects from ISO 100-200
time exposure (0.7 - 4 sec) - easy way to select slow shutter
speed outside of the PAS modes
center zone) - multi-zone chooses one of three areas in the
frame to focus on
- Reset -
back to default settings
Album - choose an album before you start taking pictures
Stamp (Off, YYYY MM DD, MM DD YYYY, DD MM YYYY) - for putting
the date on photos.
sensor (on/off) - camera will automatically rotate portrait
Menu - see below
DX6440 falls short of having a complete set of manual controls
by leaving out manual white balance and manual focus. Both of
these would've been nice, as many competitive cameras have them
(especially white balance).
addition to the record menu, there's also a setup menu, which
has the following options:
(on/off) - if picture is shown for 5 secs on LCD after it's
(on/off) - turns LCD on for composing photos
digital zoom (Continuous, pause, none) - how the digital zoom
is activated, or just turn it off
description (on/off) - whether to show a description of the
camera mode when you turn the mode dial
- Date & time
out (NTSC, PAL)
(English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese,
(Memory card, internal memory)
- shows the current firmware version; mine was 1.0000
don't know about you, but I'm tired of menus. Let's talk picture
like on the DX6490, the 6440 did a fine job with our macro test
subject. The image is nice and sharp, and colors are very saturated
(perhaps a little too much). The minimum distance to the subject
(from the lens) is 10 cm at wide-angle, and 25 cm at telephoto.
annoyance about macro mode is that it's on the mode wheel, rather
than an option you can invoke in any mode. That means you cannot
use macro mode in PAS mode -- which may be important if you want
to adjust the aperture to change the depth-of-field. Note to
Kodak: make it a button instead!
F4.5, 4 sec
I present San Francisco by Monet. I don't know what's going on
here, but the night shot was processed to death, possibly by
the noise reduction system. It's a shame too, as the camera took
in plenty of light. There's a bit of purple fringing, as well.
DX6440 turned in a fair amount of redeye in our flash test. This
can be removed pretty well in software.
distortion test shows minimal barrel distortion and no vignetting.
photo quality on the DX6440 was very good -- I think the target
audience for this camera will have no complaints. Since it's
my job to complain, I will mention that images did seem a little
overprocessed to me -- have a look at the grass and sky in this
shot. Images captured by the 6440 have high saturation (you
don't need to be an expert to see that), and they were quite
sharp as well. Purple fringing was a little higher than normal
-- the fast F2.2 lens may have a lot to do with that.
don't take my word for all this -- have a look at the photo
gallery and judge the DX6440's quality for yourself.
DX6440 can record videos at 320 x 240 (15 frames/second) until
the memory card is full. Sound is recorded along with the video.
The built-in 16MB of memory can't hold very much -- about 81
seconds. Pick up a 256MB SD card, and you can record for over
also gives you the unusual option of limiting the length of your
clips to 5, 10, or 30 seconds. You do this by pressing the self-timer
button. The camera gives you a 10 second head start, and then
starts filming (you can still use unlimited recording with this
sound is recorded, the optical zoom cannot be used during filming.
a sample movie for you. The sound quality is not great (I don't
remember the fountain being that loud in person, either).
to play movie (3.4MB, QuickTime format)
Can't view it? Download QuickTime.
you've read this far, you can probably guess that the DX6440
has an easy-to-use playback system. And you'd be correct.
basic features that we all know are here: slide shows, DPOF print
marking, image protection, thumbnail mode, and zoom and scroll.
and scroll (called Magnify here) lets you zoom in 2X or 4X into
your photo, and then scroll around in the enlarged image. You
can activate this function by using the menu system or pressing
the center button on the four-way controller. Kodak has greatly
improved this feature compared with their older models.
DX6440 lets you copy images from the internal memory to a memory
card, and vice versa. If you've got a memory card inserted, you
must switch to the internal memory using the menu if you want
to view the pictures stored there.
sharing and album features were covered earlier in the review,
so scroll back up to the tour section to learn about that.
default, the DX6440 shows you no exposure information about your
photos. If you want to see that, you need to enter the menu and
choose "Picture Info" (they should let you press that "i" button
here's what you'll see... not nearly as nice as on the DX6490!
camera moves through images fairly quickly. A low res image is
shown instantly, with the high res version appearing about a
Does it Compare?
there's one thing I've learned in my two recent reviews of their
cameras, it's that Kodak has really gotten their act together.
The EasyShare DX6440 is a very easy-to-use camera that takes
very good pictures, includes several manual controls, and has
a modern AF system. The camera isn't going to win any awards
for performance, but it does have minimal shutter lag, good low
light focusing ability, and a nice burst mode. As I mentioned,
image quality is generally very good, though the camera tends
to overprocess photos, most notably in the night shot. The camera's
movie mode is about average these days, with unlimited recording
(with sound) until the memory card is full. The area in which
the DX6440 really stands out is in ease-of-use. The EasyShare
system is excellent and a great way for beginners to share photos
with friends and family. Throw in the printer dock and you've
got a home photo studio for around $600. The camera does have
a few flaws, though. While most of the camera is built like a
tank, the plastic doors are very flimsy. I would've liked manual
white balance and focus as well. But all-in-all, the DX6440 is
an impressive value -- 4 Megapixels and a 4X zoom for $400 --
that I can recommend.
4X zoom lens
LCD (high res, easy to see outdoors)
AF system for low light focusing
system makes it very easy to share and print photos
dock included (U.S. and Canada only)
I didn't care for:
in photos can look muddy, overprocessed
redeye, above average purple fringing
plastic doors over memory card / battery compartments
manual white balance or manual focus
control over saturation or sharpness
mode should be button, not item on mode dial
cameras to consider include the Canon PowerShot A80, G3,
and S45, Kyocera
Finecam L4v, Minolta
DiMAGE S414, Nikon
Coolpix 4300, Olympus
Lumix DMC-LC43, Pentax
Optio 450, and the Toshiba
PDR-4300. There are many other cameras worth looking at not
on this list, which you'll find on our Reviews & Info
always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try
out the DX6440 and it's competitors before you buy!
how the photo quality stacks up in our DX6440
another review over at Steve's
welcomes your comments or questions. Send them to email@example.com. Due
to my limited resources, please do not send me requests for
personal camera recommendations.