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"Picky Details" for the Kodak DX3600 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing
We measure both cycle times and shutter delay times, using a proprietary Imaging Resource test system. Here are the numbers we collected for the Kodak DX3600:

Kodak DX3600 Timings
Operation
Time (secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
4.7
A bit slow, but not too bad for a camera with a telescoping lens.
Shutdown
3.1
Can be pocketed immediately (no lens to retract), this is the time to finish saving a large/fine file to the memory card. About average for a telescoping-lens camera.
Play to Record, first shot
2.3
Time until first shot is captured. Pretty fast.
Record to play
2.4
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Pretty fast.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
1.39/1.56
Two times are for wide/telephoto. Rather slow, not the best for action shots.
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.3
Time to capture, after half-pressing shutter button. About average
Cycle Time (shot to shot delay)
2.5/6.5
Saves threee shots fairly fast (2.5 seconds between each), then drops to 6.5 seconds after the memory buffer fills.

 

The DX3600 is just slightly slower than average starting up, but once running, is pretty fast from shot to shot. The autofocus system is quite slow though, making the camera a poor fit for rapid-action subjects, although the prefocus shutter delay is about average. The camera appears to have a 3-frame buffer that lets you shoot up to three shots in pretty quick succession without pausing for the camera to save the images into its flash memory. (Whether internal or a removable CF card.)

Power
The DX3600 uses two AA cells for its power source, and doesn't do too badly in the battery life department, although we generally like to see longer life than it delivered. Despite its relatively low power consumption, with only two AAs to power it, don't by any means plan on using anything other than rechargeable NiMH cells. As always, we *strongly* recommend buying a set of high-capacity rechargeable NiMH AA cells and a good charger. (Kodak's Camera Dock kit comes with a rechargeable battery pack and built-in charger. We highly recommend it.) The table below shows the DX3600's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based on a pair of 1600 mAh NiMH cells (the capacity of the pack that comes with the Camera Dock):

Operating Mode
Power
(@7v, into dock)
Est. Minutes
Capture Mode, w/LCD
500 mA
65
Capture Mode, no LCD
130 mA
(~4 hours)
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
500 mA
65
Half-pressed w/o LCD
230 mA
150
Flash Recharge (transient)
340 mA
n/a
Image Playback
390 mA
85

 

Overall, not too bad for a 2-battery camera, but longer would definitely be better. Definitely get a set of high-capacity NiMH batteries and a good charger. (If you run the camera with the LCD off most of the time, you could conceivably shoot much of the day on one set of batteries.) Click here to read a review of our recommended battery charger. - Even if you buy the Kodak Camera Dock, which includes a battery pack and charger, we strongly recommend that you pick up a set of high-capacity NiMH batteries, so you can bring along an extra set or two on any extended outings.

Storage Capacity
The DX3600 stores its photos either in its 8 megabytes of internal memory or on an external CompactFlash (Type 1) memory card.(We strongly recommend buying at least a 16 MB card, preferably a 32 MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.) The chart below shows how many still images can be stored in the 8 MB internal memory at each size/quality setting. (In movie mode, the camera's 8 MB of internal memory can record about 35 seconds of higher-resolution (320x240) video, or 90 seconds of lower quality (160x120) action.)

Resolution/Quality vs Image Capacity
Fine Quality
1800 x 1200
Images
12
Approx. Compression
10:1
900 x 600
Images
50
Approx. Compression
10:1

 

One of the first things any new digicam owner will need is a larger memory card for their camera: The cards shipped with the units by the manufacturers should really be considered only "starter" cards, you'll definitely want a higher capacity card immediately. - Probably at least a 32 megabyte card for a 1.3 or 2 megapixel camera, 64 megabytes or more for a 3, 4, or 5 megapixel one. (The nice thing about memory cards is you'll be able to use whatever you buy now with your next camera too, whenever you upgrade.) To help you shop for a good deal on memory cards that fit the DX3600, we've put together a little memory locater, with links to our price-comparison engine: Just click on the "Memory Wizard" button above to go to the Kodak memory finder, select your camera model , and click the shopping cart icon next to the card size you're interested in. You'll see a list of matching entries from the price-comparison database. Pick a vendor & order away! (Pretty cool, huh?)

 

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