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Kodak DC3400

Kodak updates the popular DC280 with a new sensor, lower power consumption, and a new color scheme...

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Page 2:Executive Overview

Review First Posted: 10/5/2000

Executive Overview
The DC3400 measures 5.2 x 2.0 x 3.0 inches (133 x 51 x 76 mm) and weighs a solid 12.1 ounces (342 g). It is equipped with a 2x, 6.5 to 13mm lens (30-60 mm equivalent focal lengths) with a maximum aperture of f/3.0. Focus ranges from 1.6 feet (0.5m) to infinity in normal mode and from 0.82 to 1.6 feet (0.25 to 0.5 m) in Macro mode. There's also an Infinity Focus mode that sets focus at infinity for far away subjects like landscapes. The 3x digital telephoto extends the camera's zooming capabilities somewhat, but remember that digital telephoto decreases image quality (noticeable as excess noise and lower resolution), because it simply enlarges the center of the image. A real-image optical viewfinder features central autofocus and exposure targets, and a rear panel, color LCD monitor allows you to compose images, play them back and navigate menus.

Exposure is automatically controlled on the DC3400, but you do have a few options to play with. The built-in flash operates in Automatic, Off, Fill and Redeye Reduction modes, all selected via the flash button. Exposure compensation (EV) can be adjusted from -2.0 to +2.0 through the capture menu. White balance can be set to Automatic, Daylight, Fluorescent or Tungsten, to match ambient light sources. For metering, you can choose between Multi-Pattern, which averages the light values of the entire image, or Center-Weighted, which simply meters from the very center of the subject (good for high contrast or backlit subjects). The ISO menu selection optionally enables the Auto ISO Sensitivity function, automatically increasing the shutter speed when the flash is turned off in low light conditions. You can adjust the image sharpness and there's a selection of image borders and effects to dress up your images. There's even a Document mode that increases the contrast and image brightness so that captured text stands out. Finally, a 10 second self-timer gives you an opportunity to get into the picture before the shutter fires.

Images can be saved at 1760 x 1168 or 896 x 592 file sizes, with three quality levels available at each image size. Files are saved as JPEGs to standard Type I CompactFlash cards (a 10MB card comes with the camera). The DC3400 has NTSC and PAL video output capabilities for reviewing images on a TV set, and comes with the appropriate cable for the country of origin. (NTSC for the US & Japan, PAL for Europe.) For downloading images to your computer, a combination serial/USB port provides faster download times than the earlier serial-only interfaces. Accompanying the camera are two software CDs containing Kodak's own digital camera software and ArcSoft's Photo Impression 2000, letting you download and organize images as well as make minor corrections and apply creative picture effects. For power, the DC3400 runs on four alkaline, Ni-Cd or Ni-MH batteries (four alkaline batteries are supplied with the camera), and an AC adapter is available as an accessory. (As always, we strongly recommend the purchase of high-capacity NiMH batteries and a charger with any digital camera: Alkaline cells really aren't adequate to the power demands of digicams.)

We were already impressed with the versatility and good image quality of the DC280 (Kodak's first two megapixel camera, and the foundation for the DC3400), which succeeded in delivering great resolution and color while maintaining a very user friendly interface. On the DC3400, we found the same quality and ease of use, with slightly reduced power consumption.

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