Review: Kodak EasyShare LS633
Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: May 25, 2003
June 4, 2003
a little test you can do at home, assuming you already have a
digital camera. Turn on your camera and position it like so:
are that you probably can't see what's on your LCD at this angle.
That's because it's not an OLED -- organic light emitting diode
-- that is found on the Kodak
EasyShare LS633 ($399). The LS633
is the first digital camera in the world to use an OLED display,
which Kodak is branding as "NuVue". The OLED's
are an amazing 165° viewing angle, superb brightness, and
accurate color. As you can see, it's pretty big as well, at 2.2
I mention that the LS633 is also a 3.1 Megapixel camera with
a 3X optical zoom Schneider-Kreuznach lens?
thing to note before I go on: the LS633 is currently not for
sale in the U.S.
let's begin our review of this camera!
in the Box?
LS633's bundle depends on if you get the optional EasyShare
dock 6000. Items that are included with the dock ($79) are in bold.
Inside the box, you'll find:
3.1 effective Mpixel Kodak EasyShare LS633 camera
lithium-ion rechargeable battery
NiMH rechargeable battery pack (not compatible with LS633)
camera dock 6000
featuring Kodak EasyShare 2.1 software
page manual (on CD)
what is becoming a trend with camera manufacturers, the LS633
has internal memory plus a memory card slot. That means that
there's no memory card in the box. The 16MB of internal memory
is good enough to start with, but you'll probably want a
card right away.
Digital (SD) or MultiMedia (MMC) cards.
LS633 uses the KLIC-5000 battery, which we've seen on cameras
from Kodak and other manufacturers. This small battery has a
modest 3.9 Wh of power, and Kodak estimates that you can take
about 180 pictures per charge (they don't say anything about
how much the flash or LCD is used, though). For a proprietary
battery, the KLIC-5000 is a relative bargain, at just $20 a pop.
You should probably pick up a spare if you get this camera.
it's time to charge the battery, use the very handy external
charger, which plugs right into the wall. It takes two hours
to full charge the battery.
something strange: if you buy the camera dock, you won't be able
to use the nice NiMH battery pack that comes with it.
can see the LS633 on the optional EasyShare camera dock 6000
above. The dock is certainly something you can live without --
you can do
the same functions (transferring
photos, charging the battery) using the accessories included
with the LS633.
of accessories, one of the coolest things out there is the EasyShare
printer dock 6000 (who names these things?). This $199 dye-sub
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.
accessories include power accessories (extra batteries, charger,
AC adapter), memory cards, and camera bags. I don't think the
LS633 can use lens accessories like the LS443 could.
you've installed the EasyShare software (version 2.1 included,
though 3.0 is now available from Kodak), it will prepare images
you've marked for printing or e-mailing (more on that later).
a look at the (Mac OS X) version of the EasyShare software.
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
camera also works with OS X's Image Capture and iPhoto.
camera has a built-in lens cover as part of its snazzy design.
camera manuals have always been better than average, and that
the case here as well. Unfortunately (at least with my review camera),
the manual was included on CD. At the same time, the manual says
that it may be printed in certain countries, so your results
LS633 has a unique look, with brushed metal on one side, and
regular metal on the other. The whole body is metal, and it feels
very sturdy -- though watch out, these metal cameras scratch
easily. Controls are well-placed, and the camera can be operated
with one hand.
official dimensions of the LS633 are 4.5 x 2.2 x 1.2 inches (W
H x D), and it weighs 210 grams (7.4 ounces) with the battery
tour this camera now.
LS633 has a 3X Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon optical zoom lens.
This F2.7-4.6 lens has a focal range of 5.6 - 16.8 mm, which
is equivalent to 37 - 111 mm.
The lens is not threaded. A 3.3X digital
zoom is also available, though using it will reduce the photo
the upper-left is the built-in flash. The flash has a working
range of 0.6 - 3.4 m at wide-angle, and 0.6 - 2 m at telephoto.
You cannot add an external flash to the LS633.
the lens are three little holes. They are the self-timer lamp,
light sensor, and microphone. There's no AF-assist lamp to be
found on this camera.
now is the back of the camera. The "big thing" here is that amazing
2.2" OLED display. This thing must be seen to be believed --
it's amazed everyone I've shown it to. I can't wait for computer
LCDs and televisions to use this technology. The only bad thing
about this screen is that its size allows you to get your fingerprints
all over it.
the upper-left of the picture is the optical viewfinder. It's
decent-sized, but it lacks a diopter correction knob.
that is the mode dial with the four-way controller (more like
a joystick) inside it. The controller is used for menu navigation.
Here's a look at the items on the mode dial:
- Night Mode
- Macro Mode
- Movie Mode
of the items on the mode dial are "scene modes", where the camera
picks the best settings for each situation. While I applaud the
inclusion of an action mode, I'm wondering where the typical
portrait mode went.
the right on the mode dial are two buttons: one for deleting,
and another for using the EasyShare system. When
you press the Share 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).
the right side of the LCD are the zoom controller, the speaker,
and buttons for the menu and playback (review) mode.
zoom controller moves the lens from wide-angle to telephoto in
about 1.5 seconds. The zoom is not super precise, but it is fairly
move up top now.
are just a few items up on top of the camera: the drive button, the
flash/info button, and the shutter release button.
drive button lets you use the self-timer (10 sec) or a 4 shot
burst mode. The four shots are taken at a rate of 1.4 frames/sec.
screen info display
flash button cycles through: auto flash, flash off, fill flash,
and auto flash w/redeye reduction. The flash button also doubles
as the info button, giving you a quick look a settings.
this side of the camera, you'll find the LS633's I/O ports, which
are under a rubber cover. These ports include A/V out, USB, and
DC-in (for optional AC adapter).
on the other side, behind a hard-to-open plastic door,
you can see the SD/MMC card slot and battery compartment.
KLIC-5000 battery is shown at right.
but not least, here is the bottom of the camera. The items of
note here include the metal tripod mount and dock connector.
the Kodak EasyShare LS633
LS633 takes about 5 seconds to extend the lens and prepare for
shooting -- about average. In good lighting, autofocus speed
are quite good, with a lag of under a second. The camera had
some difficulty focusing in low light, due at least in part to
its lack of an AF-assist lamp
lag was present, but barely noticeable. At slower shutter speeds
is was more obvious, but you shouldn't be hand-holding the camera
speed is good: expect about a two seconds wait between shots,
assuming you've turned off the post-shot review feature. You
can hit the delete button to get rid of the photo you've just
LS633 is one of those camera that is always ready to shoot,
even in playback mode. The good thing about this feature is that
you can quickly take a picture at any time, while the bad thing
is that you can
easily accidentally bump your way back into record mode.
uses a "star" system to represent photo resolution
and quality. Here's a look at the available quality choices:
photos on 16MB on-board memory
photos on optional 64MB SD card
2032 x 1524
|Best 3:2 (***)
2032 x 1354
1656 x 1242
1200 x 900
no TIFF or RAW mode available on this camera. The camera names
as 100_####.JPG (where # = 0001 - 9999), and remembers the numbering
even if you switch cards or delete photos.
camera's menu system is both attractive (especially on the OLED
display) and easy-to-use. Here's a look at the available menu
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 (-2.0EV to +2.0EV in 1/2EV increments)
balance (Auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent)
quality (Best, best 3:2, better, good) - see chart above
metering (Multi-pattern, center-weight, center-spot)
zone (Multi-zone, center zone) - multi-zone chooses one of
three areas in the frame to focus on
speed (Auto, 100, 200, 400)
Time Exposure (None, 0.5, 1, 2, 4 secs) - more below
Stamp (Off, YYYY MM DD, MM DD YYYY) -for putting the date on photos.
sensor (on/off) - camera will automatically rotate portrait shots
Menu - see below
The long time exposure feature is the only real manual control
on the LS633. As you can see, your shutter speed choices are quite
limited -- but, it's better than nothing I suppose. Note that the
ISO is fixed at 100 in this mode, which is a good thing.
setup menu has some interesting items, including:
(on/off) - if picture is shown for 5 secs on LCD after it's
(on/off) - live preview on LCD
digital zoom (Continuous, pause, none) - how the digital zoom
is activated (if at all)
out (NTSC, PAL)
(English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese)
enough about settings, let's do our photo tests now.
LS633 did a real nice job with the macro test. What really stands
out is the smoothness of the image -- it's sharp without being
grainy. The colors are quite saturated as well. In macro mode,
you can get as close to your subject as 13 - 70 cm at wide-angle,
and 22 - 70 cm at telephoto.
wish I could say the same for the night shot, but unfortunately
the LS633's nasty image processing system (more on that later)
really blew this shot. The camera took in a decent amount of
but the whole thing just looks fake and over-processed. The
limited shutter speed controls will let you take shots like this,
preferred more flexibility in choosing a shutter speed. Before
someone asks, the camera was on a tripod and this isn't the
result of the camera being out of focus (in my opinion).
LS633 did do okay with the redeye test. There's a tiny bit of
red, and some reflection of the flash, but it's not hideous like
on some other cameras I've tested.
The distortion test shows the minor barrel distortion at wide-angle.
One thing not here: vignetting, or dark corners. That's a good
LS633 suffers from the same image over-processing problem as
the last two Kodak cameras I tested (LS443 and DX4330). It doesn't
seem to be quite as bad as before, but you'll still notice a
distinct "impressionist" look to things like grass or trees in
some of your pictures, like this:
this bothers me, if may not bother you. This phenomenon won't
make a difference for smaller prints, or website photos. For
larger prints (and for perfectionists), you may want to steer
clear of the LS633. Since I got accused of this last time, it
was a still day -- so wind is not a factor -- and the shutter
speeds were fast anyway.
from them, photo quality was pretty good, with nice colors and
sharp images. There was a bit of purple fringing, but nothing
just take my word for it -- have a look at the photo
gallery and judge the LS633's quality for yourself.
LS633 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 81 seconds on the 16MB of built-in memory. Buy a 128MB
card and you can record for nearly 12 minutes!
are saved in QuickTime format at a resolution of 320 x 240.
sound is recorded, the optical zoom cannot be used during filming.
You can use the self-timer in movie mode, and can set a predetermined
movie length, or just wait until the memory is full.
finally have an interesting sample movie! And what a beautiful
to play movie (3.0MB, QuickTime format)
Can't view it? Download QuickTime.
LS633 has a very nice playback mode as well.
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
around in the enlarged image. The magnification process
is quite slow, but the actual scrolling is fast.
LS633 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 to view the
pictures stored there.
share feature was covered earlier in the review, so head back
up to the tour section to learn about that.
default, the LS633 shows you no info about your photos. If you
want to see that, you need to enter the menu and choose "Picture
Info" (note to Kodak: too many steps!).
you get there, you'll find that it wasn't really worth the trip.
What you see above is all the info you'll get. At the very least,
the shutter speed and aperture would be nice to know.
camera moves through photos quickly, showing a low resolution
picture immediately, with the high res version appearing about
a second later.
Does it Compare?
not the best camera in terms of manual controls or photo quality,
the Kodak EasyShare LS633 is a point-and-shoot camera that the
average person will enjoy using. It's biggest feature is undoubtedly
its 2.2" OLED display, which must be seen to be appreciated.
The camera is very easy to use, and many folks will also appreciate
Kodak's innovative EasyShare system, which makes e-mailing and
printing photos very easy. The playback and movie modes are quite
good as well.
here's what I don't like. The LS633 still has Kodak's overzealous
parts of photos an "impressionist" look to them. I personally
don't like the "always ready to shoot" feature, as you can
easily bump the camera out of playback mode. I would also like
some real manual controls and more info on photos in playback
mode on the camera.
in all, the LS633 is a decent camera that the point-and-shoot
crowd should take a look at. That is, of course, if they ever
sell it here in the States!
easy to use
system allows for easy e-mailing and printing of photos
redeye, macro performance
playback and movie modes
shutter mode gives you some flexibility for long exposures
I didn't care for:
images look over-processed. -- night shot especially
real info in "Picture Info" in playback mode
needs a few more manual controls: more shutter speed options,
manual white balance
easy to accidentally enter record mode from playback mode
on CD (at least in some countries)
other midsize 3 Megapixel cameras to consider include the Canon
PowerShot A70, Fuji
Photosmart 735, Kodak
Finecam L3v, Nikon
Coolpix 3500, Olympus
Optio 33L, Samsung
Digimax V3, Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P72 and DSC-P8,
PDR-3320. A long list, I know, but you need to do your
homework before you buy!
always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try
the LS633 and it's competitors before you buy!
how the photo quality stacks up in our LS633
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.