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Kodak DC3800

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Page 3:Design

Review First Posted: 10/1/2000

It's easy to see that style and simplicity are at the heart of the Kodak DC3800 design. This sleek little camera is the perfect point-and-shoot digicam for folks who don't want to be bothered with details. Its compact body measures only 3.7 x 1.3 x 2.4 inches (94 x 33 x 61mm), and weighs a mere 5.8 ounces (165 grams) without batteries. It fits easily into a purse, pocket, or fannypack, and for added convenience, ships with a wrist strap and padded drawstring carrying pouch.

All of the DC3800 features are subtly integrated into the smooth contours of the body. The curvy front panel holds the lens, flash, viewfinder window, a small photo sensor, and the CompactFlash slot. The fixed focal length lens is protected by a mechanical cover, which snaps open when the camera is activated in record mode (thus eliminating the need for a pesky lens cap).

The CompactFlash slot is hidden beneath a hinged, plastic door that runs the vertical length of the right hand grip. A small slit in the front of the door gives you enough room to slide in a fingernail and pop it open. The camera's battery compartment takes up the back portion of the hand grip. The cover snaps open and closed in similar clamshell style, with a pull-tab on the inside to pop out the batteries.

On the left side of the camera is a small hinged rubber flap that protects the camera's Video Out and DC In jacks. Both the shutter release button and sliding power switch are located on the camera's top panel, at opposite ends from each other.

Most of the camera's manual controls are located on the back panel, within thumb's reach, surrounding the LCD. A large mode selection dial is centered on top, with three smaller control buttons below it. Of the three, the top and bottom arrow buttons are used primarily to scroll through menu options or stored images, and the middle button turns on and off the LCD monitor when the camera is in capture mode. The back panel also houses the optical viewfinder, timer delay, and flash mode controls.

The top of the DC3800 gives a clue to its simplicity, as the only controls visible here are the power switch and shutter button.

Finally, the DC3800 features a flat bottom panel with a small plastic tripod screw mount. Because the battery and CompactFlash compartments open from the front and back of the camera, they are fully accessible when the camera is tripod mounted.

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