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Design

The DX4900 has a fairly modern, clean design with some nice curves and a two-tone finish. The hand grip, although small is functional and the small rubber strip adds to the overall feel. Rear control layout is logical although to me there doesn't seem to be any natural position for your thumb. Build quality is what I'd call 'above average', seem lines are tight and the base of the camera seems well built but the camera does have a creak if twisted.

When powered off the large metal lens cover protects the lens and provides a good sense of security about carrying the camera without a case. If there was one thing on the whole camera which I really dislike it's the power switch and lens-cover mechanism. The power switch is a LARGE lever (children's toy type) on the side of the camera, powering the camera on you first get a large metal 'CLUNK' as the lens cover is mechanically linked to the power lever. Not nice, and it doesn't leave you with a "quality" feeling about the camera.

Side by side

The DX4900 is about the same height as HP's 812 but is notably thicker and longer. Four megapixel compact cameras, from left to right: Canon PowerShot S40 ($650), HP 812 ($500), Kodak DX4900 ($400).

In your hand

The design of the hand grip and location of the shutter release leads to a comfortable grip and easy to reach controls. My only complaint would be that there wasn't anywhere obvious to rest your right thumb on the back of the camera without it hovering over the zoom / 4-way controller.


LCD Monitor

The DX4900 has a fairly bright, sharp 1.5" LCD monitor. It works well indoors and in cloudy conditions, we did find however that in bright or direct sunlight the monitor was less easy to see. This was probably due to the fact that the monitor doesn't have an anti-reflective coating.


Status display (top LCD panel)

On the top of the DX4900 you will find a status display which gives an instant readout of current camera settings along with the remaining number of frames (at the selected image size / quality setting).

Below is a diagram of all the possible information found on this display.


Lens

The DX4900 has a 2x optical zoom lens which provides you with a 35 mm equiv. zoom range of 35 to 70 mm. Maximum aperture is F2.8 at wide angle and F4.0 at telephoto. The lens appears to be physically well built and has an almost silent operation, in both extension, zoom and focus.


Compact Flash Compartment

On the right side of the camera is a rather cheap feeling Compact Flash compartment door, slide it backwards and flip open to reveal the CF slot. The DX4900 takes Compact Flash Type I only. To eject the card you must slide a lever in the base of the camera.

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