Conclusion - Pros

  • Excellent colour reproduction
  • Useful 28mm equiv. wide angle
  • Good Auto white balance performance
  • Low red channel noise
  • Excellent night shot performance (thanks to built-in noise reduction)
  • Operationally fast, background buffer writing means no discernible delays
  • Elegant design
  • Good controls, well thought out ergonomics (exposure compensation dial, apertures, etc.)
  • Two speed zoom control
  • Easy to use menu system, good use of graphics
  • Good selection of White Balance modes, innovative new manual preset option
  • Useful colour settings (four B&W modes!)
  • External flash PC Sync connector
  • Well built, solid case, relatively small and light
  • Supplied AC Adapter / Charger

Conclusion - Cons

  • Noisy images with visible (sharpening / CFA) artifacts and moiré on fine detail
  • Lens produced visible chromatic aberrations
  • Some barrel distortion at wide angle
  • Not enough image quality options, best quality JPEG too aggressive
  • Fewer manual features / options than the competition (manual focus etc.)
  • Poor battery life, the battery is simply not powerful enough
  • Poor flash coverage at full wide angle
  • Slow file flush timings (though this does happen in the background)
  • Below average LCD live preview
  • Only three apertures
  • No shutter priority, selecting shutter speeds is too laborious
  • Noisy lens mechanism (zoom and focus)

Overall conclusion

Here's my rating of the Kodak DC4800: (3 megapixel compact)

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Construction 8
Features 7
Image quality 7
Lens / CCD combination 7
Ease of use 8
Value for money 8.5

For Kodak the DC4800 was a radical departure from the DC260/265/290 series which used to be their flagship consumer digital cameras. Its design is far more traditional, yet we still see elements of Kodak innovation in the ergonomics and layout of the camera. There's a lot to like about the DC4800, the wide 28 mm equiv. bottom end, the exposure compensation dial, apertures on the mode dial, the innovative new white balance controls. When it first arrived in the office I really wanted to like the camera.

Certainly there's nothing wrong with the physical layout, nothing too much wrong with the onboard software or processing speed but there are enough factors I wasn't happy with for me to end up with a disappointing feeling about the DC4800.

UPDATE 30/April/2001: Based on this camera's new low price (<=$500) and its overall performance compared to other cameras at this price point I've modfied it's value for money to 8.5 and moved its rating up to an Above Average.

Above Average

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

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