PC Watch post a Kodak DC215 Zoom first impression, professional photographer Yamada offers his opinions on Kodak's new slimline entry-level zoom digicam.

My rough translation of the Japanese text:

Yamada first comments that this entry level digital camera from Kodak is neat and compact and makes use of the internals of the DC210 from earlier this year. He also points out that the "normal" resolution is now accepted to be 1.3-1.5 megapixels with 2.0 megapixel cameras common. The DC215 with only 1.09 megapixels should be seen as a low-priced entry-level digicam. That said, he does point out that a camera with this resolution is more than capabale of producing images for websites or smaller printing.

Compact, friendly camera design

Yamada is happy with the camera design, it being more compact that the older DC210 it was based upon, the finish being a brushed aluminium not quite of the quality you'd expect.

[sample images]

Fixed focus type lens

The lens being of the fixed focus type, that is that focus is locked at a certain position where the depth of field of the shot should ensure most of the image is sharp. The zoom lens ranges from 29mm to 58mm (35mm equiv.) which gives you the ability to shoot from a fairly wide angle (29mm) to tele-enough for portraits (of sorts).

There is therefore no half-press of the shutter-release to perform the AF focus but rather the shutter-release is simply for taking the shot. Yamada does note a fairly short shutter-release lag.

[more sample images]

Slow record time, complex operating system

The operation is quite slow, it took about eight seconds to record a high quality image, startup was a respectable three seconds. Some users may find the operating system complicated to use and bewildering when first using the camera.

Yamada did note some problems with the auto whitebalance not choosing the correct white level (although that may be because this was a beta camera).

[more sample images]

Basic good image quality

Yamada notes that images taken with the DC215 are good in that the colours are generally very vivid and accurate but that the overall resolution is inferior to that of the (now looking long-in-the-tooth 1.3 megapixel digicams).

Bargain model for the Web which can be easily used

The overall conclusion from Yamada is tha the DC215 is suitable for taking web-only shots, but not really viable for printing. At around 39,800 YEN (~US$350) it's value for money.