EasyShare DX7590 ($499)
is the follow-up to the well-received DX6490 from last
year. Some of the new features on the 7590 include:
- 5 Megapixel CCD
- Higher resolution electronic viewfinder
- More image quality options
- VGA movie mode
- 32MB of on-board memory (versus
16MB on the 6490)
- Improved battery life
- Support for PictBridge
Is the DX7590 a worthy upgrade of
its excellent predecessor? Find out in our review!
Please note that since the cameras
are so similar, I will be reusing some text from
the DX6490 review here.
What's in the Box?
The DX7590 has an excellent bundle,
though it varies depending on the country you live
in. Inside the box, you'll find:
- The 5.0 effective Megapixel Kodak
EasyShare DX7590 camera
- KLIC-5001 lithium-ion rechargeable
- EasyShare camera dock 6000 [USA
- AC adapter [USA only]
- Battery charger [outside
- Camera dock insert
- Lens cap w/retaining strap
- Neck strap
- USB cable
- A/V cable
- CD-ROM featuring Kodak EasyShare
- 74 page manual (printed)
As was the case on the DX6490 as well
as other recent Kodak cameras, no memory card is included
with the camera. Instead, Kodak built 32MB of memory
right into the camera. That doesn't hold too many 5
Megapixel images, so I recommend buying a larger memory
card right away. The DX7590 can use Secure Digital
(SD) or MultiMedia (MMC) cards, though I recommend
the former due to its superior performance and capacity.
I'd recommend a 256MB SD card as a good starting point.
The DX7590 uses the KLIC-5001 battery,
which has an impressive 6.3 Wh of power. Kodak estimates
that you can take 275 - 325 photos per charge, which
is a significant improvement over the DX6490. If you
have some of the old KLIC-5000 batteries sitting around,
you can use those as well, but they won't last for
as long as the KLIC-5001.
The usual warnings about proprietary
batteries apply here. They're expensive ($30 each),
and you can't just grab some AA alkalines off the shelf
to get you through the rest of the day.
The DX7590 rests
comfortably on the camera dock
The I/O ports
on the dock include DC-in and USB
In the U.S., Kodak includes the EasyShare
camera dock 6000 along with the camera (it's $80 otherwise).
This will be where you'll charge the battery in the
camera, or transferring photos to your PC. It takes
three hours to fully charge the battery, and the dock
has a little meter showing the current battery charge.
Do note that you can do the same things
without the dock -- plus viewing photos on your television.
In some countries, you'll have an external battery
charger in the box instead of the dock and AC adapter.
The included dock insert helps the
camera fit properly on the dock.
Kodak includes a lens cap (with retaining
strap) to protect that 10X zoom lens.
Now let's talk about camera accessories.
Kodak offers a wide-angle conversion lens adapter ($140),
which lowers the wide end of the lens from 38 mm to
26.6 mm. To use this lens you must first buy the DX6490/DX7590
conversion lens adapter ($20), which also lets you
use 55 mm filters. Speaking of filters, Kodak offers
polarizing ($65) and neutral density ($25) filters
that work on that very same adapter.
Another cool accessory is a Kodak
Printer Dock -- you have three to choose from. The
latest and greatest is the Printer Dock Plus ($200),
which makes a 4 x 6 inch print in 60 seconds. Just
pop you camera onto the printer dock and away you go.
It also supports printing via PictBridge (over USB)
or a built-in SD/MMC card slot.
Other accessories include the camera
dock ($80, if one wasn't included with the camera),
AC adapter ($30), external battery charger ($30), and
a faux leather carrying case ($30).
While Kodak includes versions 3.4.1
and 3.3 (Windows and Mac OS X, respectively) of their
EasyShare software with the camera, I'm going to tell
you about version 4 instead, since it's a free
download from Kodak's website. Kodak may well have
the best bundled software out there at this point.
The main screen lets you import and
organize your photos. Kodak has added some new ways
to organize your photos in version 4.0. You can view
them by date taken, or you can create "smart albums" which
are totally customizable (just like a smart playlist
On this screen you can also view your
photos in a slideshow, edit or rotate them (see below),
get exposure data, rotate them, burn them to a CD or
DVD, or even upload them to Ofoto for printing.
If you want to edit your photo, there
are some basic tools included. They include rotation,
cropping, "instant enhancement", redeye reduction,
brightness and contrast, color, exposure, and instant
black & white or sepia conversion. For some edits,
you can split the screen (see above) so you can see
a "before and after" view of your proposed
The 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 choices
available, including the two 4 x 6 inch per page print
layout you see above.
The 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
Here you can customize the e-mail
addresses stored in the camera -- more on how this
works later in the review. This feature is also integrated
with the OS X address book. Similarly, you can also
set up albums on your camera by using EasyShare. You
can then tag photos on the camera, and they'll end
up in the proper album when you transfer your photos
to your computer. Cool!
Kodak does a nice job with their camera
manuals, with long descriptions and not a lot of fine
print. The manual does seem short (in length) but most
people will find it to be very helpful.
Look and Feel
With the exception of a few buttons,
the DX7590 looks exactly like the DX6490. The 7590
is made entirely of plastic, though I believe that
it has a metal frame underneath, giving it a solid
feel. The camera is easy to hold, though a more comfortable
right hand grip would've been nice. The important controls
are easy to reach and operate.
Here's a look at the dimensions and
weight of the DX7590 versus the Ultra Zoom competition:
(W x H x D, excluding protrusions)
|Canon PowerShot S1 IS
|| 4.4 x
3.1 x 2.6 in.
|Fuji FinePix S5100
|| 4.4 x
3.2 x 3.1 in.
|Kodak EasyShare DX6490
3.1 x 3.2 in.
3.2 x 3.2 in.
|Konica Minolta DiMAGE
|| 4.3 x
3.1 x 3.3 in.
|Kyocera Finecam M410R
|| 4.2 x
2.9 x 3.4 in.
|| 4.1 x
2.6 x 2.7 in.
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3
|| 4.3 x
2.7 x 3.3 in.
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ20
|| 5.0 x
3.4 x 4.2 in.
As you can see, the DX7590 fits right
in the middle of the pack in terms of size and weight.
And geez, that FZ20 is a monster!
Okay, enough numbers for now, let's
start our tour of the camera now!
The DX7590 has the exact same 10X
optical zoom lens as its predecessor. In case you have
a short memory, that's an F2.7 - F3.7 lens made (supposedly)
by Schneider-Kreuznach. The focal range of the lens
is 6.3 - 63 mm, which is equivalent to 38 - 380 mm.
The lens barrel is threaded and you can attach conversion
lenses and filters via the optional conversion lens
Directly above the lens is the hybrid
autofocus sensor. This assists the camera in focusing,
improving both responsiveness and low light focusing.
The self-timer lamp can be found to the left of the
Continuing upward, we find the pop-up
flash. The flash has a working range of 0.6 - 4.9 m
at wide-angle, and 2.0 - 3.7 m at telephoto, a change
from the 6490. The DX7590 supports an external flash
-- more on that in a bit.
Just to the upper-left of the lens
is the microphone. Still moving toward the left, we
find the jog dial, which is used for adjusting the
manual settings as well as the exposure compensation
(-2.0EV to +2.0EV, 1/3EV increments) and ISO sensitivity
(80, 100, 200, 400).
The most noticeable changes to the
DX7590 can be found on the back of the camera. I'll
point them out as we go along.
One thing that hasn't changed is the
large 2.2" LCD display on the 7590. The screen
packs 153,000 pixels which leads to sharp images. The
screen is bright and is quite usable outdoors, too.
In low light conditions, the camera automatically boosts
the gain on the screen, allowing you to still see your
One of the biggest improvements on
the DX7590 can be found be looking at the electronic
viewfinder, or EVF. The EVF is a tiny LCD screen that
you view just like a regular optical viewfinder. Whatever
is shown on the LCD can be shown on the EVF as well
(just not at the same time). The resolution on the
EVF has gone from 180,000 pixels on the DX6490 to 311,000
pixels on the DX7590. While not as nice as the screen
on the Minolta DiMAGE A2, the 7590's is quite sharp
and bright. As with the LCD, the EVF brightens automatically
in low light conditions. A diopter correction knob
can be found on the side of the EVF, which allows you
to adjust the focus so those without perfect vision
can see the screen!
To switch between the LCD and EVF,
you just press the button located to the left of the
Immediately to the right of the EVF
you'll find the on/off button as well as the zoom controller.
The controller lets you move the lens from wide-angle
to telephoto in about 2.2 seconds. If that seems too
fast, don't worry -- by quickly pressing the lever,
you can make very precise adjustments to the
Below the on/off button you'll fine
the "i" and Share buttons. The former is
used to toggle what's shown on the EVF/LCD. The Share
button is the feature that sets Kodak cameras from
the competition (with perhaps the exception of HP).
Pressing the Share button enters playback mode and
brings up the following menu:
In share mode, you can do three things:
- Tag a picture for printing
- Tag a picture for e-mailing
- Save a picture as a "favorite"
Let's say you want to mark an image
for e-mail. Here's what you'll see:
You 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 mentioned
before is the album feature. Pick an album (either
before or after you take a picture), and the camera
will dump the photos into the proper album the next
time you transfer photos to your Mac or PC.
The favorites feature lets you save,
well, your favorite pictures right on the camera. Note
that this does take up a portion of the built-in memory
on the camera, and you can choose how much of it is
dedicated to favorites by using the EasyShare software.
Below the share button is the mode
dial, which has been changed a bit since the DX6490.
The items on the mode dial include:
- Favorites - quickly access images
marked as favorites
- Scene mode - you choose the
situation and the camera uses the right settings;
- Night portrait
- Night landscape
- Manner/museum - for being "polite" with
your camera; now if they only had the same
feature for people!
- Sport - for action shots; why it's
not with the rest of the scenes is beyond me
- Portrait - see above
- Auto mode - point-and-shoot, many
menu options locked up (e.g. ISO, exposure compensation)
- Program mode - still point-and-shoot
but with full menu access
- Aperture priority mode - you choose
the aperture and the camera uses the proper shutter
speed; aperture range is F2.8 - F8
- Shutter priority mode - you choose
the shutter speed and the camera picks the correct
aperture; shutter speed range is 16 - 1/1000 sec
- Full manual mode - you choose both
the shutter speed and aperture; same ranges as above
- Custom - save your favorite camera
settings (including the shooting mode) to a spot
on the mode dial
- Movie mode - more on this later
I should mention that it's nice that
the camera manual describes the exact settings used
in each scene mode. The custom option on the mode dial
is a new, and welcome feature on the DX7590.
Below the mode dial are three final
buttons on this part of the tour: delete photo, menu,
and review (enter playback mode).
On the top of the camera (which seems "fatter" than
its predecessor in this view), you'll find several
buttons, the release for the pop-up flash, and the
The important buttons here are:
- Flash (Auto, fill flash, red-eye
reduction, flash off)
- Focus (Macro, infinity) - more
on macro mode later
- Drive (AE bracketing, first burst,
last burst) - see below
The new exposure bracketing option
takes three shots in a row, each with a different exposure
value. You can set the EV interval (±0.3EV, ±0.7EV, ±1.0EV)
in the record menu. If you've got enough space on your
memory card, bracketing is a great way to ensure a
The continuous shooting modes have
been revamped, with two different choices available,
but at a lower frame rate than on the DX6490. "First
burst" takes up to 5 pictures at 2 frames/second
-- this is your standard-issue burst mode. "Last
burst" is the new one. Hold the shutter release
button down and the camera takes up to 30 pictures
at 2 frames/second, but only the last 4 images taken
before you let go of the button are saved (the rest
are thrown out). Regardless of the mode you use, I
was pleased to see that there's no "blackout" on
the LCD/EVF between shots, so you should be able to
follow moving subjects fairly easily.
this side of the DX7590, you'll find the I/O ports,
which are kept under rubber covers.
take a closer look.
A rubber band saved the day, again!
The port at the top-left is a PC flash
sync port -- just like on the DX6490. You can hook
any standard flash sync cable into this port, up to
a maximum of 500 volts. You'll need a flash bracket
of some sort, too (Kodak doesn't sell one). You'll
find more information about how to set this all up
The ports on the bottom half are USB,
DC-in (for AC adapter), and A/V out. The camera says
it supports USB 2.0, but it's really just the same
old slow USB 1.1 speed that you'll get (the DX6490
was the same way).
Over on the other side, behind a fairly
sturdy plastic door, you'll find the SD/MMC card slot.
Finally, here's the bottom of the
DX7590. Here you'll find the dock connector, metal
tripod mount, and battery compartment. The battery
compartment can hold the included 1700 mAh KLIC-5001
battery, or the older 1050 mAh KLIC-5000 model (which
I don't recommend using unless you already have one).
The door which covers the battery compartment is quite
Using the Kodak EasyShare
The DX7590 starts up faster than its
predecessor, taking about 2.6 seconds to extend the
lens and "warm up". Kodak cameras are always
ready to shoot -- even if you're in playback mode,
you can take a picture by pressing the shutter release.
No live histogram
in record mode
Autofocus speeds are good on the 7590,
with a half second delay at wide-angle and closer to
a second if the AF has to "hunt" a bit. The
hybrid AF sensor allows the camera to focus accurately
in low light conditions. The LCD and EVF remain visible
in those situations.
Shutter lag was low, even at slower
shutter speeds where it sometimes becomes a problem.
Shot-to-shot speed is good, with a
2 second delay before you can take another picture
(assuming you've turned off the post-shot review feature).
You can delete a photo immediately
after taking it by pressing the delete button.
Kodak has improved the image quality
options on the 7590, finally giving you some control
over the amount of JPEG compression applied to your
photos. Here are the choices:
||# images on 32MB on-board
||# images on 256MB SD
2576 x 1932
2576 x 1716
2304 x 1728
2048 x 1536
1552 x 1164
There's no TIFF or RAW mode available
on the DX7590.
The camera names files as 100_####.JPG
(where # = 0001 - 9999), and remembers the numbering
even if you switch cards or delete photos.
The menu system on the 7590 is simple
and very easy-to-use. About the only thing missing
is a help option describing what each item does. Here
are all the menu options:
- Custom exposure mode (P, A, S,
M) - choose the shooting mode to use when the "C" item
on the mode dial is selected
- Self-timer (on/off)
- Picture size (see chart)
- Compression (see chart)
- White balance (Auto, daylight,
tungsten, fluorescent, open shade) - no custom white
balance; the open shade option is new
- Exposure bracketing interval (±0.3EV, ±0.7EV, ±1.0EV)
- Exposure metering (Multi-pattern,
- Focus zone (Multi-zone, center
zone, selectable zone) - see below
- AF control (Continuous AF, single
AF, accessory lens AF) - see below
- Color mode (High color, natural
color, low color, black & white, sepia) - these
have changed a bit since the 6490
- Sharpness (Low, normal, high)
- Reset to default
- Set Album - choose an album before
you start taking pictures
- Image storage (Auto, default) -
the former always uses a memory card if one is inserted;
the latter always uses the internal memory
- Video length (Continuous, 5, 15,
30 secs) - for movie mode
- Setup Menu - see below
A few notes on some of those items
before we continue. I would've liked to have seen a
custom white balance option on the camera. It's too
bad that they left this feature out, as it comes in
handy when shooting under unusual lighting conditions.
Manual focus wouldn't hurt either.
There are three "focus zones" on
the 7590. Multi-zone automatically chooses one of three
areas in the frame on which to focus. Center zone always
focuses on the center of the frame. Selectable zone
lets you choose one of the three focus areas manually.
There are also three "AF control" choices
available. Continuous AF is always focusing, even when
the shutter release is not held down. This reduces
the delay when you want to take a picture. In Single
AF mode, the camera only focuses when you halfway press
the shutter release. Accessory lens AF disables the
hybrid AF sensor (since the lens blocks it) and just
uses good old fashioned contrast detection for focusing.
In addition to the record menu, there's
also a setup menu, which has the following options:
- Quickview (on/off) - if picture
is shown for 5 secs on LCD after it's taken
- Advanced digital zoom (Continuous,
pause, none) - how the digital zoom is activated,
or just turn it off
- Print warning (Pause, none) - warns
you if you're overdoing it on the digital zoom
- Sound themes (Shutter only, default,
classical, jazz, sci-fi)
- Sound volume (Off, low, medium,
- Mode description (on/off) - whether
to show a description of the selected shooting mode
when you turn the mode dial
- Date & time (set)
- Video out (NTSC, PAL)
- Orientation sensor (on/off) - whether
camera automatically rotates images shot in the portrait
- Date Stamp (Off, YYYY MM DD, MM
DD YYYY, DD MM YYYY) - for printing the date on photos
- Video date display (None, YYYY
MM DD, MM DD YYYY, DD MM YYYY, YYYY MM DD HH:MM,
MM DD YYYY, HH:MM, DD MM YYYY HH:MM) - how the date/time
is shown while viewing photos on your TV
- Language (English, German, Spanish,
French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese)
- Format (Internal memory, card)
- About - shows the current firmware
version; mine was 1.0000
Okay, let's move on to our photo tests
The 7590 did a fine job with our macro
test shot, producing a very "smooth" rendition
of our subject. Colors are quite saturated, as well.
Despite not having a custom white balance feature,
the tungsten WB setting produced accurate colors under
my 600W quartz studio lamps.
You can get as close to your subject
as 12 cm at wide-angle and 1.2 m at telephoto, neither
of which are wondrous (the Olympus C-770UZ can be just
3 cm from the subject).
This section was updated
on September 10, 2004 with a new night shot and ISO
The night shot turned out nicely as
well, though maybe a tad bit soft and "muddy".
Perhaps the camera's noise reduction system overdoes
it a bit. The camera was able to take in plenty of
light (thanks to its manual shutter speed control),
noise levels are fairly low, and there isn't much purple
fringing to see.
Using that same shot, here's a look
at how changing the ISO sensitivity effects the amount
of noise in your images:
ISO 80 and 100 both look pretty good
(it almost seems like ISO 100 is sharper!) and things
don't get too noisy until ISO 400. I had tried to underexpose
the ISO 400 shot but clearly that didn't happen. Regardless
you can get an idea as the the noise levels you can
expect on the 7590.
The DX7590 did a great job in the
redeye test -- there really isn't any to speak of.
Just a bit of flash reflection. Great job, Kodak!
The distortion test shows very mild
barrel distortion at the wide end of the lens, and
no signs of vignetting (dark corners) or blurring.
Although not what I'd call "excellent",
the DX7590's photo quality is very good overall. My
test photos were well-exposed with saturated (and accurate)
colors. Images are on the soft side, though, and details
like grass and leaves seem "overprocessed" and
fuzzy (which has been the case with recent Kodak cameras).
If you're making prints 8 x 10 inches and smaller this
isn't an issue. Any larger than that, or if you like
viewing images on your computer screen at 100% then
you will notice. Purple fringing showed up a few times
(it tends to be worst than average on ultra zoom cameras)
but I wouldn't consider it a problem.
By all means, don't just take my word
for it. View our photo gallery,
and print the images just like you would if they were
your own. Then decide if the DX7590's photo quality
meets your expectations.
The movie mode has improved on the
DX7590 compared to the DX6490. Now you can record VGA
video (with sound) until the memory card fills up,
but at a sluggish 12 fps frame rate. A 256MB SD card
can hold about 16 minutes of video at this setting.
If you want a better frame rate, you'll have to drop
down to the 320 x 240 resolution. Here you can record
at 20 frames/second. You can fit over 30 minutes of
video on the 256MB card in this mode.
You cannot use the optical zoom during
filming. Turning off the continuous AF function is
advised, as the noise from the focusing will end up
in your videos.
Movies are saved in QuickTime format
using the MPEG4 codec.
Here's a very exciting sample movie,
taken at the VGA setting. Quality isn't great, but
to play movie (2.1MB, 640 x 480, QuickTime format)
Can't view it? Download QuickTime.
As you'd expect from Kodak, the DX7590's
playback mode is attractive and easy-to-use. The basic
features that we all know are here: slide shows, DPOF
print marking, image protection, thumbnail mode, and
zoom and scroll. The camera is PictBridge-enabled for
direct printing to a compatible photo printer.
Zoom and scroll (called Magnify here)
lets you zoom into your photo by up to 8 times, and
then scroll around in the enlarged image. This feature
is well-implemented -- very smooth scrolling.
The DX7590 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.
The sharing and album features were
covered earlier in the review, so scroll back up to
the tour section to learn about that.
By default, the DX7590 shows you no
exposure information about your photos. If you want
to see that, just press the "i" button and
you'll get the screen on the right, which is full of
The camera moves between photos instantly.
How Does it Compare?
The Kodak EasyShare DX7590 is a great
ultra zoom camera, just like the 6490 before it. Sure,
image stabilization would be nice, and maybe a few
more manual controls, but you can't please everyone!
There's much to like about the DX7590.
It's responsive, it takes great pictures (though see
a few negatives below), offers quite a few manual controls,
supports an external flash, and it has a large LCD.
Let's start out with the camera's speed: it starts
up quickly, takes pictures with very little delay,
and plays back your photos instantly. Photo quality
on the 7590 is quite good, though images tend to be
soft and lacking detail in some areas. This is only
an issue when you're doing huge prints or viewing images
at 100% on screen. In terms of manual controls, the
camera has them for shutter speed and aperture; manual
focus and white balance would've been nice. The 7590
supports conversion lenses (though Kodak only offers
a wide-angle one) as well as filters. A flash sync
port lets you hook up an external flash. Like the DX6490
before it, the 7590 has a large 2.2" LCD that's
useful in bright outdoor light as well as dark rooms.
The electronic viewfinder shares these qualities and
is now sharper than before.
Did I mention that the 7590 is also
easy-to-use? The EasyShare system -- both on the camera
and on your PC -- makes it incredibly easy to share
your photos via prints or e-mail. You can "tag" pictures
for later printing or e-mailing right on the camera.
You can also set things up so your pictures go straight
into albums on your computer. Kodak really has thought
So what don't I like about the camera?
I already mentioned a few things earlier, so here are
the rest of them. I wish the camera had manual white
balance and manual focus -- two features which come
in quite handy. While it's nice to see unlimited VGA
movie recording, the 12 fps frame rate leads to choppy
videos. And that's about it!
I recommend the DX7590 for anyone
looking for an ultra zoom camera that's got features
that enthusiasts demand and ease-of-use for the rest
of us. I'd rank it at the top of my best ultra zoom
camera, list along with the Olympus C-765/770 and Panasonic
DMC-FZ10 (if you're buying go for the new FZ15 or FZ20,
I just haven't reviewed them yet).
What I liked:
- Very good photo quality
- Large LCD, sharp EVF
- LCD and EVF usable in low light
- Many manual controls
- Flash sync port for external flash
- Supports conversion lenses
- Hybrid AF system for low light
- EasyShare system makes it very
easy to share and print photos
- Plenty of scene modes
- Good redeye test performance
- Can save favorite settings to a
spot on mode dial
What I didn't care for:
- Details in photos can look muddy,
overprocessed; photos tend to be soft, as well
- No manual white balance or manual
- Image stabilization would be nice
- VGA movie mode, while nice, has
a sluggish frame rate
Some other ultra zoom cameras (costing
$600 or less) include the Canon
PowerShot S1 IS (3MP + image stabilization), Fuji
FinePix S5100 (4MP), HP
Photosmart 945 (5MP), Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3 (4MP
+ IS) and Z10 (3MP),
Olympus C-765 and C-770 Ultra
Zoom (both 4MP), and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ3 (3MP
+ IS), DMC-FZ15 (4MP
+ IS), and DMC-FZ20 (5MP
As always, I recommend a trip down
to your local reseller to try out the DX7590 and it's
competitors before you buy!
Want to see how the photo quality
turned out? Check out our photo gallery!
Want a second opinion?
Feedback & Discussion
If 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.
To discuss this review with other
DCRP readers, please visit our forums.