Review: Kodak EasyShare DX7630
Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: June 2, 2004
October 9, 2004
DX7630 ($499) is Kodak's top-of-the-line consumer digital
camera. Packing a whopping 6 million pixels under the hood, the
7630 has the ability to make enormous prints. It also features
a 3X Schneider-Kreuznach lens, fast hybrid AF system, large 2.2" LCD
display, USB 2.0, and of course, Kodak's impressive EasyShare
system that I'll explain in more detail later in this review.
this the best ultra high resolution camera for the person seeking
an easy-to-use camera? Find out now!
the cameras have so much in common, I'll be reusing a lot of
text from the LS743 review here.
in the Box?
EasyShare DX7630 has a very good bundle. Inside the box, you'll
6.1 effective Megapixel Kodak EasyShare DX7630 camera
lithium-ion battery (rechargeable)
charger with plug(s)
cap w/retaining strap
featuring Kodak EasyShare software
page manual (printed)
with other recent Kodak models, the DX7630 has internal memory
plus a memory card slot. Kodak includes 32MB of internal memory
(and no memory card), which is barely enough to get started with,
so do yourself a favor and buy a memory card. The DX7630 can
use Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMedia (MMC) cards, and I recommend
the former because of its superior capacity and performance.
I'd say that a 256MB card is the minimum that you should buy.
DX7630 uses the KLIC-5001 lithium-ion battery, which is a higher
capacity version of the KLIC-5000 used by many other Kodak cameras.
The camera can use either battery, so if you have some KLIC-5000's
laying around, you can still use them. This battery packs an
above average 6.3 Wh of energy, which translates to about 275
- 375 photos per charge.
you may know, I'm not a huge fan of proprietary batteries like
this due to their cost (though the 5001 is cheaper than most
at $30) and the fact that you can't use alkalines if you're in
a jam. Your mileage may vary.
it's time to recharge the battery, just pop it into the included
external charger. Expect a three hour wait while the battery
is charged. This isn't just one of those "plug in right
into the wall" chargers -- you can swap plugs too, allowing
you to use it all over the world. I'm not sure if you can buy
the plugs separately, though.
includes a lens cap along with the camera to protect that Schneider-Kreuznach
speaking of lenses, this particular Kodak camera supports a number
of conversion lenses. The first is a 2.0X teleconverter (a steal
at $55), which brings the top end of the camera up to 234 mm.
If you shoot a lot of interiors, then the 0.6X wide-angle lens
($50) may interest you. This lowers the wide end of the 7630
to 23.4 mm. Fans of macro shots will want to try the close-up
conversion lens set ($30), which reduces the minimum distance
to your subject. All three of those lenses require the DX7630
conversion lens adapter ($20), which also gives you 37 mm threads
for filters and such. A lens hood ($20) is also available for
DX7630 is also compatible with Kodak's camera and printer docks.
The camera dock 6000 ($80) provides battery charging and photo
transfer capabilities. You can do both without buying the dock.
The cooler accessory is the printer dock 6000 ($150), which produces
a 4 x 6 inch print in just 90 seconds. Just pop the DX7630 onto
the printer and you're set. The printer dock 6000 can also be
hooked into your television for slideshow viewing.
from those items, the only other real accessories for the DX7630
are an AC adapter ($30) and various camera cases.
DX7630 includes version 3.3 of the EasyShare software for Mac
OS X and Windows (and 1.4.2 for Mac OS 8 and 9).This software
really is impressive, with a simple interface and loads of features.
Here's what you can do with it:
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.
Nothing seemed to happen when I clicked on the EasyShare center
you want to edit your photo, there are some basic tools included.
They include rotation, cropping, "instant enhancement",
redeye reduction, brightness, contrast and color, 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. The software will warn you if the resolution
of the image is too low for the chosen print size.
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
can also customize the e-mail addresses stored in the camera
-- 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
final option is to transfer files (presumably images) from your
computer to your camera.
other software-related note: the camera did not mount on my Mac's
desktop like some other cameras, but Image Capture, iPhoto, and
of course the EasyShare software can see it just fine.
it's just me, but it seems like recent Kodak manuals are a lot
thinner than those included with older cameras. Despite that,
the quality of the manual is above average. The manual is divided
into English, French, and Spanish sections.
DX7630 is a midsize camera with a slick design and black finish.
The camera is well built- as its made mostly of metal. All the
important controls are easy to reach, though I wish the right
hand grip was a little more substantial.
official dimensions of the camera are 100 x 69 x 52 mm / 3.9
x 2.7 x 2.0 inches (W x H x D, excluding protrusions), and it
weighs just 219 g / 7.7 oz. empty. For the sake of comparison,
the 6 Megapixel Casio Exilim EX-P600's numbers are 3.8 x 2.7
x 1.8 inches and 225 grams, respectively.
numbers -- let's start our tour of the 7630 now!
DX7630 has an F2.8-4.8, 3X optical zoom Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon
lens. This lens has a focal range of 8 - 24 mm, which is equivalent
to 39 - 117 mm. As I mentioned in the previous section, the camera
supports conversion lenses through the use of the proper adapter.
the upper-right of the lens is the camera's hybrid AF sensor.
This gives the camera its lightning fast focusing speeds. Whether
it helps in low light focusing situations remains to be seen.
The camera does not have an AF-assist lamp, which definitely
helps in those situations.
the left of the AF sensor, just past the optical viewfinder,
is the built-in flash. The working range of the flash is 0.6
- 4.2 m at wide-angle and 0.6 - 2.5 m at telephoto. I was a bit
surprised to see that the 7630 doesn't let you attach an external
flash to the camera. Previous "high end" Kodak cameras
had flash sync ports, but this one does not.
three items to the left of the lens are the self-timer lamp,
light sensor, and microphone.
EasyShare DX7630 has a large 2.2" LCD display, which is
billed as "indoor/outdoor" capable. And while outdoor
visibility is better than average, it's not nearly as good as
when you're indoors. While some manufacturers put big LCDs on
their cameras and then skimp on the screen resolution (cough...
Casio), the one here has a healthy 153,000 pixels. The screen
is quite sharp, and motion is very fluid too, with a 24 fps frame
rate. In low light situations, the LCD is still visible, since
the camera boosts the screen brightness dramatically. The image
is a little grainy, and the frame rate not-so-smooth, but at
least you can see what you're aiming at.
to the left of the viewfinder is the display/info button, which
toggles the LCD and what's displayed on it on and off.
the opposite side of the viewfinder you'll find three more buttons:
delete photo, menu, and review (playback mode).
red-jeweled button below those is the Share button. Press it
and the following menu appears:
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 now. Below the share button is the mode dial, which
has quite a few options. There's a lock on the switch so you
don't accidentally rotate it. The available modes are:
- view the photos that you've tagged as favorites
- point-and-shoot, many menu options locked up
- this is a great one; flash and sounds are disabled
mode - automatic but with full menu access
priority mode - you choose aperture, camera picks shutter speed;
aperture range is F2.8 - F8
priority mode - you choose shutter speed, camera picks aperture;
range is 64 - 1/1000 sec
mode - you choose both the shutter speed and aperture; same
ranges as above
mode - your favorite settings, easy to access
no typo -- the DX7630 can do exposures of up to 64 seconds! Something
else that's impressive is the number of scene modes. Just pick
a scene and the camera does the rest.
final item on the back of the camera is the jog dial, which is
located at the top-right of the photo. This is used to adjust
the shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation (±2
in 0.3EV increments), flash strength (±1 in 0.5EV increments),
and ISO sensitivity (Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800). Do note that
the ISO 800 option is only available at the 1.7MP resolution.
on top of the DX7630 you'll find the speaker, three buttons,
the shutter release, and the zoom controller. The three buttons
bracketing - camera takes three shots in a row, each
with a different exposure; you can select the interval
(±0.3EV, ±0.7EV, ±1.0EV) in the
burst - camera takes up to four shots in a row at about
burst - camera takes up to 30 shots at 2 frames/second
while the shutter release is held down; the last four
pictures are saved
(Off, macro, landscape)
(Auto, off, fill flash, auto w/redeye reduction)
last item to mention here is that zoom controller. It moves the
lens from wide-angle to telephoto in about 2.4 seconds. I counted
seven "stops" along the way.
it's a bit hard to make out, there's a rubber cover hiding the
DX7630's I/O ports here. These includes DC-in (for optional AC
adapter), USB 2.0 (don't worry, it will work on "old USB" too),
and A/V out. I was disappointed to see that the 7630 lacks the
flash sync port of some previous Kodak models.
to see here.
we reach the bottom of the camera. Here you'll find the battery
compartment, memory card slot, tripod mount, and dock connector.
The battery and memory card slot are protected by a plastic door
of so-so quality. The metal tripod mount can't be seen in this
picture, but it's right in the center of the body.
the Kodak EasyShare DX7630
takes the DX7630 about four seconds to warm up before you can
start taking pictures.
The LCD in record mode; you adjust those
items on the bottom with the jog dial
was really impressed with the autofocus speeds on the DX7630
-- this camera focuses very quickly. At wide-angle,
focusing takes about 1/3 of a second. At telephoto or in touch
situations, expect a slightly longer way. Even in low light,
the camera focused accurately. I think we have that external
focus sensor (on the front of the camera) to thank for this.
has done a good job at minimizing shutter lag -- there really
isn't any, even at slower shutter speeds.
speed is good, with a 2 second delay between photos, assuming
you've turned off the post-shot review feature (which Kodak calls
can delete a photo immediately after it is taken by pressing
the delete button.
all Kodak cameras, the DX7630 is always ready to shoot, even
in playback mode. If you're reviewing a photo and want to take
another, just halfway press the shutter release.
DX7630 foregoes the "star system" of image quality
for a more traditional options. And here they are:
Images on 32MB onboard memory
Images on 256MB card
2856 x 2142
2856 x 1904
2304 x 1728
2048 x 1536
1496 x 1122
no TIFF or RAW mode available on this camera. The camera names
files as XXX_YYYY.JPG (where X = 100 - 999 and Y = 0001 - 9999),
and remembers the numbering even if you switch cards or delete
has created an attractive, easy-to-use menu system for their
cameras, perfect for those new to digital photography. The DX7630
has more options that your typical Kodak, and here they are:
exposure mode (P, A, S, M) - choose your exposure mode for
size (see chart)
balance (Auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent) - no custom
bracketing interval (±0.3EV, ±0.7EV, ±1.0EV)
metering (Multi-pattern, center-weight, center-spot)
zone (Multi-zone, center zone, selectable zone) - multi-zone
automatically chooses one of three areas in the frame to focus
on; selectable zone lets you manually choose one of the three
control (Continuous, single, accessory lens) - in continuous
AF mode, the camera is always trying to focus, while in single
AF mode it only focuses when the shutter release is halfway
pressed. Accessory lens AF disables the hybrid AF sensor, which
is blocked by the conversion lens anyway
mode (High color, natural color, low color, black & white,
(Low, normal, high)
Album - choose an album before you start taking pictures
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.
(on/off) - whether LCD is on by default in auto mode
length (Unlimited, 5, 15, 30 sec)
Menu - see below
up there should be self-explanatory.
addition to the record menu, there's also a setup menu, which
has the following options:
(on/off) - post-shot review feature
digital zoom (None, pause, continuous) - how the digital zoom
operates; it's best to keep this turned off
warning (None, pause) - When pause is turned on, the camera
will warn you when the amount of digital zoom applied will
not produce an acceptable 4 x 6 inch print
themes (Shutter only, default, music, scifi, fun) - now I've
(Off, low, medium, high)
- Date & time
out (NTSC, PAL)
sensor (on/off) - camera will automatically rotate portrait
Stamp (Off, YYYY MM DD, MM DD YYYY, DD MM YYYY) - for printing
the date on photos.
date display (Off, YYYY MM DD, MM DD YYYY, DD MM YYYY, YYYY
MM DD HH:MM, Mm DD YYYY HH:MM, DD MM YYYY HH:MM) - all those
things are just different ways of displaying the date/time
when viewing photos on TV
(English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese,
Korean, Chinese) - those last three are a guess
(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
DX7630 took an excellent photo of my 3 inch tall macro subject.
Mickey is sharp and the colors are very saturated. The tungsten
white balance setting did a great job with my 600W quartz studio
focal range is macro mode is 7 - 70 cm at wide-angle and 28 -
70 cm at telephoto. Purchasing the closeup lens adapters will
help reduce these distances, but how much I do not know.
night shot is pretty good, but it could be better. My main beef
is that it looks like it was run through an "impressionist" filter
in Photoshop -- it just does not look right. That's too bad,
because the camera took in plenty of light, and the buildings
themselves are sharp. There was a bit of purple fringing, but
not enough for it to be a "problem". I was most impressed
with the 7630's ability to keep the shutter open for as long
as 64 seconds!
here's a look at how raising the ISO sensitivity affects image
you can see, things just get noisier as you go. The ISO 400 image
is pretty blotchy. Note that ISO 800 is only available when the
resolution is set to 1.7MP.
two Kodak cameras in a row with good redeye test results! I'm
impressed. There's a tiny bit of red, but this is much better
than what I'm used to seeing.
distortion test shows very mild barrel distortion at the wide
end of the lens, and just a slight hint of vignetting (dark corners).
There may be a little bit of vignetting in some of the photos
in the gallery, as well.
the photo quality on the DX7630 is very good. As you'd expect
from a tiny sensor with lots of pixels, noise levels are above
average. You'll notice this noise in the sky, on flat surfaces
(like walls), and on things like grass and leaves. Aside from
that, I have no real complaints. Pictures were well-exposed,
with saturated colors and sharp subjects. There's some purple
fringing here and there, but really nothing to be concerned about.
don't take my word for all this -- have a look at the photo
gallery and judge the DX7630's quality for yourself.
DX7630 records video (with sound) at 320 x 240, 20 frames/second,
until your memory card is full. That would've been pretty good
a year or two ago. The internal memory holds about 3.5 minutes
of video, while an optional 256MB SD card holds about a half
also gives you the unusual option of limiting the length of your
clips to 5, 10, or 30 seconds. By combining this with the self-timer,
you can put yourself in the video.
sound is recorded, the optical zoom cannot be used during filming.
Movies are saved in QuickTime format.
a brief sample movie for you. The movie quality is nothing to
write home about.
to play movie (1.2MB, QuickTime format)
Can't view it? Download QuickTime.
a name like "EasyShare", you know the playback mode will
be user friendly.
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 up to 8X into
your photo, and then scroll around in the enlarged image. Everything
is nice and fast -- good job Kodak!
DX7630 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 DX7630 shows you no exposure information about your
photos. Press the display/info button and you'll the screen on
the right, which contains just about everything except for a
photos is very snappy -- the 7630 moves from one image to the
Does it Compare?
a whole lot to like about the Kodak EasyShare DX7630, and a couple
of things not to like, as well. Kodak is undoubtedly playing
the Megapixel game here, selling a camera with way more resolution
than the typical consumer needs. While the 6 Megapixel CCD will
produce HUGE prints and is helpful when cropping images, it really
that out of the way, here's what I liked about the DX7630. The
most impressive things to me were the amazing autofocus speeds,
the large LCD display that's usable in low light, and the EasyShare
system. If you've read the whole review, you know how handy EasyShare
is, allowing you to mark photos for printing and e-mailing. Photo
quality on the 7630 is quite good, though expect above average
noise levels. In terms of performance, the camera is very snappy,
except in the startup speed department. As I mentioned, the camera
focuses very quickly, even in low light. Shutter lag
is low, shot-to-shot speed is decent, and image playback is instantaneous.
The camera has quite a few manual controls, including an impressive
64 - 1/1000 sec shutter speed range. Support for USB 2.0 and
Kodak's two docks (camera and printer) are added bonuses.
are a few annoyances about the DX7630, though, and I already
mentioned the noisy images. While the camera has manual aperture
and shutter speed control, I was disappointed to see that there's
no manual focus or white balance. Something else missing is support
for the PictBridge standard, which nearly every modern camera
has. Something else I would've liked to have seen are histograms
in record and playback mode -- maybe the typical Kodak customer
doesn't care, but the competition usually has this feature. The
camera's movie mode isn't so hot these days, either. And finally,
it would be nice for the flagship Kodak camera to support an
external flash (2003's DX6490 did).
you need the resolution, I do recommend this camera. The average
person probably doesn't, though, so if you want something similar
with fewer pixels (and a lower price), check out the EasyShare
DX7440. It's 4 Megapixel and has a 4X zoom lens and has all
of the features I described here.
good, but noisy photos
for conversion lenses
AF system: fast and accurate, even in low light
LCD, viewable in low light
redeye test performance
system makes it very easy to share, print, and organize photos
-- right on the camera
optional camera and printer dock
I didn't care for:
average noise in images
manual focus or white balance
for external flash would be nice (a la DX6490)
mode is outdated
other high resolution, full-featured cameras to consider include
the Canon PowerShot G5 and Pro1, Casio
Exilim EX-P600, Fuji
FinePix S7000, Konica Minolta DiMAGE A1/A2,
Nikon Coolpix 5400 and 8700,
Olympus C-5060WZ and C-8080WZ, Panasonic
Lumix DMC-LC1, and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V1 and DSC-W1.
always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try
out the DX7630 and it's competitors before you buy!
how the photo quality stacks up in our photo
another review over at Steve's
Feedback & Discussion
you have a question about this review, please send them to Jeff.
Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me asking
for a personal recommendation.
discuss this review with other DCRP readers, please visit our forums.