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Kodak EasyShare CX6330 Digital Camera

Camera QuickLook
Review Date
01/02/04
User Level
Novice to experienced amateur
Product Uses
Family / Travel / Special Events
Digicam Design
Point and Shoot
Picture Quality
Good, 3.1-megapixel CCD
Print Sizes
Good prints to 8x10
Availability
Now
Suggested Retail Price
(At introduction)
$249.95

 


Introduction
Review Links
Overview
Picky
Details
Design
Operation
Recommended Accessories
Test Images
Specifications
Conclusion

The Kodak EasyShare CX6330 is one of the latest in a long series of cameras that live up to their "EasyShare" name, being among the simplest to use of any cameras on the market, while at the same time delivering good-looking photos. The 3.1 megapixel Kodak CX6330 is a trimmed-down sibling to the 3.1 megapixel DX6340, the CX6330 having a shorter 3x zoom lens vs the DX6340's 4x optics, as well as a few less features. The EasyShare CX6330 takes excellent photos though, at a very reasonable price, and with a simple-to-use user interface that supports the EasyShare designation.

Kodak's EasyShare Software is a big part of the EasyShare story, so much so that I asked IR newsletter editor Mike Pasini to devote a full article to it, back at the end of 2002. Read Mike's EasyShare Software Review for all the details of what's arguably the easiest-to-use photo software on the market. Especially in its latest implementation, it walks you through every step of uploading, enhancing, and emailing your photos, and has about the most graphically intuitive interface of any consumer imaging software I've seen. It automatically sizes the images for printing or emailing, stores copies, applies simple effects, and allows you to make image corrections, such as color, brightness, and contrast adjustments. Back at the end of 2002, Kodak "liberated" the EasyShare software package, allowing consumers to download it for free from the Kodak website. Even though you no longer have to buy an EasyShare camera to get the software, the software does work very well with Kodak's own cameras. Overall, the entire line of EasyShare cameras are among the easiest and most goof-proof digicams out there, and the CX6330 and Kodak's latest Picture Software carry on that tradition admirably.

 

Camera Overview

One of the newest additions to Kodak's CX line of digicams, the EasyShare CX6330 continues with the same basic camera design as the rest of the EasyShare line, as well as the trademark user-friendly interface. With automatic exposure control, and only a handful of exposure options to consider, the CX6330 definitely has ease of use at the forefront of its design. Compact and similar in style to smaller, traditional point-and-shoot 35mm film cameras, the CX6330 measures only 4.0 x 1.5 x 2.6 inches (103 x 38 x 65 millimeters). The camera's all-plastic body makes it light weight as well, at 6.2 ounces (175 grams) without batteries or memory card. The CX6330 squeezes into larger shirt and coat pockets, and comes with a wrist strap for carrying. The camera's compact design includes a retractable lens, protected by a built-in, shutter-like lens cover that slides out of the way when the camera is powered on. The 3.1-megapixel CCD captures high resolution, print quality images, as well as smaller image sizes better suited for distributing via email.

The CX6330 features a 3x zoom lens, equivalent to a 37-111mm zoom on a 35mm lens. (That's a moderate wide angle to a good telephoto, a fairly typical range among point-and-shoot digicams.) The camera's autofocus mechanism uses a multi-zone system to "find" the primary subject closest to the lens. The AF area is highlighted in the LCD display with a set of brackets. The CX6330 has a maximum aperture ranging from f/2.7 to f/4.6, depending on the zoom position, and aperture remains under automatic control. Focus ranges from 23.6 inches (60 centimeters) to infinity in normal mode, with a Macro mode ranging from 5.1 to 27.6 inches (13 to 70 centimeters) with the lens at wide angle. A Landscape shooting mode fixes focus at infinity, for distant subjects and scenery. In addition to the 3x optical zoom, the CX6330 also offers as much as 3.3x Advanced Digital Zoom, which effectively increases the camera's zoom range to a total of 10x. Keep in mind though, that digital zoom decreases the overall image quality in direct proportion to the amount of magnification achieved, since it just "stretches" the center pixels of the CCD image. For composing images, the CX6330 offers both a real-image optical viewfinder as well as a 1.6-inch color LCD monitor.

The CX6330 offers full automatic exposure control, making it simple to operate. The Mode dial on the top panel does offer a range of Scene modes, however, including Sports, Night, and Landscape settings. While Auto mode is best for general photography, the remaining preset modes help with special shooting situations such as night shots in the city or the winning goal of a soccer game. In Sports mode, the camera uses faster shutter speeds to "freeze" action. Night mode optimizes the camera for darker portraits and other night scenes, automatically combining the flash with a slower shutter speed to let more light into the image from the surroundings. This brightens the background in flash shots, making for more natural-looking night photos. (You can cancel the flash in Night mode too, for those times when you want to shoot with just the available light.) Landscape mode fixes focus at infinity, for capturing subjects further away from the camera. Shutter speeds on the CX6330 range from 1/1,400 to 1/2 second, and aren't reported on the LCD display.

The CX6330 employs a Multi-Pattern matrix metering system, which bases the exposure on several light readings taken throughout the frame. You can increase or decrease the overall exposure through the Exposure Compensation setting under the Record menu, from -2 to +2 exposure equivalents (EV) in half-step increments. (Each full EV unit of adjustment represents a factor of two increase or decrease in the exposure.) White balance remains under automatic control, as does the camera's sensitivity, which automatically fluctuates between 100 and 200 ISO equivalents, depending on the lighting conditions. The CX6330 also offers Sepia and Black and White shooting modes, for a little creativity. The built-in flash is rated as effective from 2.0 to 11.8 feet (0.6 to 3.6 meters) depending on the setting of the zoom lens, and features Auto, Fill, Red-Eye Reduction, and Off operating modes. A 10-second Self-Timer mode provides a delay between the time the Shutter button is pressed and when the shutter actually opens, so you can get into your own shots.

In addition to its still photography modes, the CX6330 also offers a Movie recording mode for capturing moving images with sound. Recording stops and starts with a brief, full press of the Shutter button, but if you hold the button down for more than a second or two, the camera will automatically stop recording when you let it back up again. As you record, the duration of the movie appears in a running counter on the LCD monitor. Maximum movie lengths depend on the amount of memory space available. (The 16 megabytes of internal memory will let you record movies up to one minute in length.) A Burst photography mode lets you capture as many as four still images in rapid succession (approximately three frames per second) while you hold down the Shutter button. The four-frame maximum sequence length applies regardless of resolution, but may be further limited if the memory card is nearly full.

The CX6330 is compatible with Kodak's EasyShare camera and printer docks, which offer hassle-free image downloading and printing. You simply put the camera into the dock (the CX6330 comes with a plastic insert that fits the camera bottom snugly into the 6000-series docks) and press the Connect button on the dock. The docking station also serves as an AC adapter and in-camera battery charger (with Kodak NiMH battery packs or individual AA-sized NiMH batteries). Built into the CX6330 is 16 megabytes of internal memory, but the camera also features an SD/MMC memory card slot so you can expand the camera's memory capacity. Given the camera's 2,032 x 1,524-pixel maximum resolution size, I highly recommend picking up at least a 32- or 64-megabyte card right away. For power, the CX6330 uses either two AA-type lithium or NiMH batteries, or a single CRV3 lithium battery pack. As always, I strongly recommend purchasing a couple of sets of high-capacity NiMH batteries and a good charger, and keeping a spare set of batteries charged at all times. Click here to read my "battery shootout" page to see which batteries currently on the market are best, or here for my review of the Maha C-204F charger, my longtime favorite. The Kodak EasyShare dock is itself a battery charger, and comes with a single NiMH battery pack, but I highly recommend purchasing at least one extra set of high-capacity NiMH AA cells, so you'll have spares to pack along on long outings.

Basic Features

  • 3.1-megapixel CCD delivering images as large as 2,032 x 1,524 pixels.
  • Real-image optical viewfinder.
  • 1.6-inch color LCD monitor.
  • 3x, 37-111mm (35mm equivalent) lens.
  • 3.3x Advanced Digital Zoom.
  • Automatic exposure control.
  • Automatic White Balance.
  • Maximum aperture of f/2.7 to f/4.6, depending on lens zoom position.
  • Built-in flash with four modes.
  • Automatic sensitivity ranges between ISO 100 and 200.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1,400 to 1/2 second.
  • 16MB internal memory.
  • SD/MMC card storage (optional, card not included).
  • Power supplied by two AA-type batteries, one CRV3 lithium battery, optional Kodak NiMH pack, or optional AC adapter.
  • Compatible with optional Kodak EasyShare camera and printer docks (not included).
  • Kodak EasyShare software included for both Windows and Mac platforms.

Special Features

  • Movie mode (with sound).
  • Burst photography mode.
  • Sport, Night, and Landscape photography modes.
  • Black and White, Sepia, and Color modes.
  • 10-second Self-Timer for delayed shutter release.
  • Macro (close-up) lens setting.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.
  • USB cable for connection to a computer (driver software included).


Recommendation
The CX6330 is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a no-fuss digicam with great image quality and a very straightforward user interface. Exposure is automatically controlled, with great results, though you can adjust the exposure compensation at will. The camera continues with Kodak's very user-friendly interface, making it a good option for kids or novice users looking to get their feet wet in digital imaging. Like Kodak's other EasyShare cameras, when combined with the accessory camera dock and EasyShare software, the CX6330 is an exceptionally easy to use camera model that snaps great-looking pictures.

 

Design
Compact and reasonably small in size, the CX6330 measures 4.0 x 1.5 x 2.6 inches (103 x 38 x 65 millimeters), just small enough to fit into coat pockets and purses, and possibly larger shirt pockets. The CX6330 is light weight as well, at just 6.2 ounces (175 grams) without the batteries and memory card. A wrist strap comes with the camera, but I'd recommend a soft carrying case for travel.

The telescoping lens takes up the right side of the camera's front panel, surrounded by a thick, plastic lip. The lens extends outward just shy of half an inch when the camera is powered on. A shutterlike lens cover automatically slides out of the way as well, and eliminates the need for a removable lens cap. Also on the front panel are the optical viewfinder window, flash, light sensor, self-timer lamp, and a tiny microphone. A gently-sculpted finger grip on the side of the camera features a textured pad for fingers to cling to.

On the right side of the camera (as viewed from the rear) is the SD memory card compartment, which also features the Video Out and USB connector jacks. A hinged plastic door protects the compartment, and opens from the back panel. A shiny silver eyelet is also on this side of the camera, for attaching the wrist strap.

The opposite side of the camera features solely the DC In jack.

The Shutter button and Mode dial are on the camera's top panel, which is otherwise nice and smooth.

The rest of the camera controls are on the rear panel, along with the optical viewfinder and LCD monitor. A small, indented thumb rest on the right side cups your thumb as you hold the camera, working together with the front handgrip to provide secure purchase for your fingers. Above the thumb rest is the zoom rocker button, with the Flash and Drive buttons to its left. In the lower right corner are the Menu and Review buttons. On the opposite side of the LCD monitor, the Delete and Share buttons frame the top and bottom of the Four-Way Arrow pad, which navigates through menu screens. The optical viewfinder eyepiece is quite small, but has a fairly high eyepoint to accommodate eyeglass wearers (I could easily see the full frame when wearing my eyeglasses). Next to the viewfinder is a small LED lamp, which lights or flashes to indicate camera status (such as when focus is set, flash is charging, etc.).

On the bottom panel of the CX6330 are the tripod mount, dock jack, and battery compartment. The threaded, plastic tripod mount is just off-center and too close to the battery compartment for quick battery changes while working with a tripod, but I suspect that most owners won't be bothered by this. The battery compartment features a locking, hinged door, which slides forward to open. The dock connection jack connects the camera directly to the optional EasyShare dock for quick image downloading.

 

Camera Operation
As the Kodak EasyShare name indicates, the line is well-known for its ease of use and simple setup. Likewise, the CX6330 follows this trend and offers an easily navigable menu system and simple control layout. Automatic exposure control makes camera operation a snap for any experience level. The LCD menu system is short and simple to navigate, and the plain-English descriptions of menu items are a welcome change from the too-common cryptic icons on so many other cameras. A Mode dial lets you change camera modes quickly, and once again, the plain-English descriptions flashed on the LCD screen make operation straightforward for even rank beginners. Given the simple interface and limited controls, you should be able to snap images right away, with hardly a glance at the manual. For more advanced functions, it shouldn't take more than a half an hour or so to get the gist of things, an hour if you're a relative newcomer.

Record-Mode Display
The CX6330 offers a single LCD display mode for each record mode. Depending on the exposure mode, the display shows the center autofocus area along with currently-selected options for image size/quality, macro and flash mode, and the number of images of the current size and quality that can be stored in the remaining space on the memory card.

Playback-Mode Display
In Playback mode, you can use the OK button at the center of the CX6330's Four-Way Arrow pad to zoom in or out on an image, with a maximum enlargement of 4x. A thumbnail display of the images on the card is also available, through the camera's Playback menu. The same menu offers a more detailed information display, reporting the set exposure variables for the current image. The normal Playback display reports the image number, and any shared settings information.

External Controls


Shutter Button
: Located on the camera's top panel, this button sets focus and exposure when halfway pressed, and fires the shutter when fully pressed. In Playback mode, pressing this button returns the camera to the selected Record mode.


Power / Mode Dial
: Diagonally behind the Shutter button on the top panel, this dial controls the camera's exposure mode and power. The following options are available:

  • Movie: Records moving images with sound, for as long as the memory card has available space.
  • Off: Turns the camera off, and retracts the lens.
  • Automatic Record: Best for most average shooting conditions, this mode places the camera under automatic exposure control, with limited user options available through the Record menu.
  • Sports Mode: Optimizes the camera for moving subjects, freezing action.
  • Night Mode: Employs longer shutter speeds to allow more ambient light into the image. Combines the flash with the longer exposures to expose both the foreground and background elements properly. (You can also cancel the flash for scenic shots.)
  • Landscape Mode: Fixes focus at infinity, for capturing distant scenery.
  • Macro Mode: Changes the focus range for close-up subjects.


Zoom Toggle Button
: In the top right corner of the rear panel, this button controls the optical and digital zoom in any record mode.


Flash Button
: To the left of the Zoom Toggle button, this button cycles through the Auto, Fill, Red-Eye Reduction, and Off flash modes. As the flash mode is displayed, a small Info section at the bottom of the screen also reports various other camera settings for quick reference.


Drive Button
: Directly to the left of the Flash button, this button accesses the Self-Timer and Burst drive modes.


Menu Button
: Below the Zoom Toggle button in the lower right corner, this button displays the settings menu in Playback or Record modes.


Review Button
: Directly beneath the Menu button, this button activates Playback mode when pressed in any record mode. Once in Playback mode, either pressing this button a second time, or pressing the Shutter button returns you to the Record display.


Delete
: Next to the top left corner of the LCD monitor, this button calls up the Delete menu in Review mode. You can delete individual images or all images on the card. There's also an option to cancel.


Four-Way Arrow Pad
: Located about center on the left side of the rear panel, this multi-directional rocker button navigates through menu options in any settings menu. When pressed at the center, it confirms menu selections. Pressing this button outside of a menu screen enables or disables the LCD monitor display.

In Playback mode, the controller scrolls through captured images, when moved left and right. When pressed, it enlarges the displayed image 2x or 4x, or returns to the normal display. Pressing the button down activates the index display mode.


Share Button
: Next to the lower left corner of the LCD monitor, this button lets you tag images for printing, emailing, or as a favorite image. (A heart icon appears on "favorite" images.) Pressing this button in Review mode displays the Share menu, with options for DPOF, Email, or Favorite.

 

Camera Modes and Menus

Movie Mode: The first mode on the Mode dial, Movie mode is indicated by a movie camera icon. In this mode, you can record 320 x 240-pixel resolution movies with sound, at 15 frames per second.

Auto Mode: Marked with a camera icon and the word "Auto," this mode is best for most average shooting conditions. Exposure is automatically controlled, with a very small selection of user options available through the Record menu.

Sports Mode: A small black icon of a person in motion marks this mode on the Mode dial, which uses faster shutter speeds to capture fast-moving subjects.

Night Mode: This mode is indicated by a person with a star on the Mode dial, and uses longer exposure times (with flash, by default, although this can be disabled) to capture bright images in low light.

Landscape Mode: A mountain icon indicates this mode on the Mode dial. Here, the camera fixes focus at infinity for distant subjects and scenery.

Macro Mode: The traditional flower macro symbol marks this mode on the Mode dial. The focus range changes for close-up subjects in this mode, and limited exposure options are available.

Playback Mode: Accessed by pressing the Review button, this mode lets you review captured images and movies, as well as manage files.

Record Menu: The following menu items appear whenever the Menu button is pressed in any Record mode. However, not all menu options are available in all modes.

  • Image Storage: Determines where images are stored, either in the 16MB internal memory or on the SD card. If Auto is selected, the camera automatically stores images to a memory card if one is present. If Internal is selected, the camera will store images on the internal memory, even if a memory card is present.
  • Exposure Compensation: Adjusts the exposure from -2 to +2 exposure equivalents (EV) in one-half-step increments.
  • Picture Quality: Sets the image resolution and quality. Choices are Best (2,032 x 1,524 pixels), Best 3:2 (2,032 x 1,354 pixels), Better (1,656 x 1,242 pixels), and Good (1,200 x 900 pixels).
  • Color Mode: Allows you to record images in Color, Black and White, or Sepia tones.
  • Set Album (Still): The CX6330 lets you set up to 32 albums through Kodak's interface software on a computer. If albums have been set up and downloaded to the camera, you can associate images with an album (or if you prefer, multiple albums) as they are recorded.
  • Date Stamp: Turns the date stamp function on or off, which records the date over the image. You can choose from a selection of three date formats as well.
  • Orientation Sensor: Controls the camera's orientation sensor, which detects when the camera is held vertically. Vertical-format images captured when the Orientation Sensor is enabled are rotated to their correct orientation on-screen when they're played back.)

  • Setup Menu: Accesses the following main camera settings:
    • Return: Returns to the previous menu display.
    • Default Print Quantity: Sets the default number of prints specified when "tagging" images.
    • Quickview: Turns Quickview on or off. Quickview automatically displays the most recently captured image, with options to delete or Share.
    • Liveview: Disables the LCD's "live" view, meaning you can disable the LCD as a viewfinder by pressing the Four-Way Arrow pad. If off, the LCD remains active at all times.
    • Advanced Digital Zoom: Controls how digital zoom is accessed. The Continuous setting allows you to seamlessly zoom from the optical zoom range into the digital range. "Pause" tells the camera to pause between ranges. "None" disables digital zoom altogether.
    • Date & Time: Sets the camera's internal clock and calendar.
    • Video Out: Specifies PAL or NTSC as the Video Out signal.
    • Language: Sets the menu language to English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, or Japanese.
    • Format: Formats the SD memory card or internal memory.
    • About: Displays the camera's firmware information.

Playback Menu:

  • Magnify: Enlarges the displayed image, so that you can check on fine detail and framing.
  • Share: Enables a sub-menu of file sharing options for use with the EasyShare dock:
    • Cancel Prints: Cancels all existing print orders.
    • Print All: Prints one copy of each image on the memory card or internal memory.
    • Print: Designates the number of copies of the current image to be printed.
    • E-Mail: E-mails a low-resolution copy of the image to a recipient, based on a saved address book. Up to 32 email addresses can be set on your computer, and then uploaded to the camera for tagging images.
    • Favorite: Marks the current image as a "favorite."
  • Protect: Write-protects the displayed image, preventing it from being accidentally erased or manipulated (except via memory or card formatting). Also removes protection.
  • Image Storage: Selects between the internal memory or the SD card for image storage.
  • Album: Adds images to an image album, created on a computer with the camera's interface software.
  • Slide Show: Enables a slide show of captured images, with user-adjustable intervals between images.
  • Copy: Copies files from the internal memory to the SD card, or the reverse.
  • Video Date Display: Turns on the date display over movie files, with a choice of formats.
  • Multi-Up: Enables a index display of images on the memory card or stored in the internal memory.
  • Picture Info: Displays the filename, directory, date, time, and quality information for the current image.
  • Setup Menu: Displays the same settings as under the Record menu.

 

In the Box
In the box are the following items:

  • Kodak EasyShare CX6330 digital camera.
  • Two single-use AA batteries.
  • USB cable.
  • A/V cable.
  • Wrist strap.
  • EasyShare dock insert.
  • Software CD-ROM.
  • Operating manual and registration card.

Recommended Accessories

  • (I'd recommend 32MB as a bare minimum, 64MB would be preferable.)
  • Additional set of rechargeable batteries or battery pack.
  • AC adapter.
  • Small camera case.
  • EasyShare camera dock.


Specifications

See the specifications sheet here.

 

Picky Details

Information on shooting speed, battery life, etc. can be found here.

 

User Reviews

 

Test Images

See our test images and detailed analysis here. The thumbnails below show a subset of our test images. Click on a thumbnail to see the full-size photo.

Outdoor
Indoor
Indoor Flash
 

 

 

House
Musicians
Macro
 

 

 

Davebox
Resolution
Viewfinder Accuracy

 



"Gallery" Photos
(coming soon (?))

Test Results
In keeping with my standard test policy, the comments given here summarize only my key findings. For a full commentary on each of the test images, see the CX6330's "pictures" page.

As with all Imaging Resource product tests, I encourage you to let your own eyes be the judge of how well the camera performed. Explore the images on the pictures page, to see how CX6330's images compare to other cameras you may be considering.

Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the CX6330 with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!

  • Color: Excellent color. Throughout my testing, the EasyShare CX6330 produced very good color, with accurate, believable results in virtually all cases. Saturation was slightly high for my tastes, but hue accuracy was very good. As noted, I found slight oversaturation in some of the additive primaries (strong reds and blues), and skin tones were generally natural and accurate (though slightly pinkish). Like most other EasyShare cameras I've tested, white balance was very good under virtually all light sources, even the very difficult household incandescent lighting of my "indoor portrait" test. Overall, a very nice job.

  • Exposure: Average exposure accuracy, but high contrast. The CX6330's metering system did a pretty good job throughout my testing, although contrast was high in the high-key outdoor portrait shot, as well as in the outdoor house shot, and several of my shots required more positive exposure compensation than they usually do with other cameras I've tested. (Although all my tests shots fell within the range of the +- 2EV exposure compensation adjustment.) As is often the case with cameras having bright, highly-saturated color though, the CX6330 was rather contrasty, tending to lose highlight detail and plug shadows slightly.

  • Resolution/Sharpness: Good resolution, 900-950 lines of "strong detail." The CX6330 performed about average on the "laboratory" resolution test chart for an entry-level 3 megapixel camera. It started showing artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 600 lines per picture height, in both horizontal and vertical directions. I found "strong detail" out to 900-950 lines. "Extinction" of the target patterns occurred around 1,000-1,050 lines.

  • Closeups: About average macro performance. The flash has trouble up close though. The CX6330 performed about average in the macro category, capturing a minimum area of 3.11 x 2.33 inches (79 x 59 millimeters). Resolution is high, with good detail in the dollar bill, coins, and brooch. The left corners and top right corner of the frame are very soft, however. The camera's flash had a little trouble throttling down for the macro shot, and its off-center location produced a dark shadow in the lower left corner and a hot spot in the upper right corner. Plan on using external lighting for the closest macro shots.

  • Night Shots: Poor low-light shooting capabilities, plan on using the flash for night exposures. The CX6330 is a point-and-shoot style digicam with fully automatic exposure control and a maximum exposure time of 1/2 second. These factors greatly limit its low-light shooting capabilities. In my testing, the CX6330 just barely managed to produce an image at the one foot-candle (11 lux) light level. Even there, the image was somewhat dim, but still arguably usable with heavy adjustment in an imaging program. Noise was moderately low. One foot-candle roughly equates to average city street lighting at night, so plan to use the flash for most night exposures.

  • Viewfinder Accuracy: A tight optical viewfinder, but pretty accurate LCD monitor. The CX6330's optical viewfinder is a little tight, showing only 82 percent of the final frame at wide angle, and about 84 percent at telephoto. The LCD monitor fared much better, showing just a little over 100 percent of the final frame. (The LCD is actually a little loose, so add slightly more room around the edges when tight framing is important.) Given that I like LCD monitors to be as close to 100 percent accuracy as possible, the CX6330's LCD monitor is almost perfect in that regard.

  • Optical Distortion: Average barrel distortion at wide angle, though barely any distortion at telephoto. Optical distortion on the CX6330 was about average at the wide-angle end, where I measured approximately 0.8 percent barrel distortion. The telephoto end fared much better, as I measured only 0.1 percent barrel distortion there. Chromatic aberration is low, showing only about three or four pixels of coloration on either side of the target lines. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.) The dominant distortion I observed in many of my test photos was some strong corner softness, usually most pronounced in the left corners of the frame. The majority of cameras I test show at least some softness in the corners of the frame, but the CX6330 was worse in this regard than most.

  • Battery Life: Good battery life. The CX6330 pretty good battery life for a camera powered by only two AA cells, with a worst-case run time of 88 minutes, and a stay-alive time of 8.5 hours with the LCD off in record mode. (And keep in mind that you'll see times a good 25% longer than these if you use the latest, highest-capacity NiMH AA cells.) The run time with the LCD off is particularly good, but the somewhat imprecise optical viewfinder will force you to use the LCD more often than you might otherwise. As always, I highly recommend purchasing two sets of batteries and a good charger along with the camera. To see which NiMH cells are best, see my battery shootout page. Read my review of the Maha C-204F charger, to learn why it's my longtime favorite.

Conclusion
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Kodak's EasyShare digital cameras consistently rank among the easiest to use of any I've tested, and the CX6330 follows suit. Full automatic exposure control keeps things simple, with exposure decisions down to a bare minimum. A handful of preset scene modes help with special shooting conditions. This is a true "point-and-shoot" digicam, requiring little or no intervention to take nice looking photos under a wide variety of conditions. It produces very good-looking photos at a bargain price, but do note that it has several limitations, including very limited night-shooting capability and a lens that gets soft in the corners when shooting nearby subjects. Overall, a nice camera for family use and other casual shooting by non-techie types. It just misses being a "Dave's Pick" due to the soft corners in its images, but is a nice camera nonetheless. (The value of Kodak's excellent automatic white balance performance is not to be understated, this and other EasyShare cameras do an excellent job of recording photos that match your memory of the scene, almost regardless of the light you're shooting under.)

 

Reader Comments!
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