Kodak DC3200 Review
Dynamoo's two rules of
digital cameras are:
We were WRONG
! We discovered the Kodak DC3200.. a camera which actually does the impossible
of offering good quality pictures at a reasonable price, in a package so simple
almost anyone could use it. Dynamoo found that this camera offered good value
for money and is an ideal way into low-cost digital photography.
- Good digital cameras are expensive
- Inexpensive digital cameras are
First the technical bits:
the DC3200 is a 1 megapixel camera offering resolutions of up to 1152x864
pixels at a 24-bit (16.7 million) colour depth. It has an LCD and an optical
viewfinder, CF card interface (and a 4Mb CF memory card) and an NTSC/PAL
video out. All for less than $180/£150 or so.
1 megapixel (1152 x 864 pixels) at 16.7 million colours, which should give
prints at up to 5" x 7". Focus is fixed, but can cope well with almost anything
it is asked to to. Colour quality is good, but not always perfect. Pictures
are stored as JPEG files at varying compression ratios.
At the best picture quality,
the image is clear and does not suffer much from compression artifacts. The
lowest picture quality allows for a 2X digital zoom, but this is a little
grainy. The camera has no optical zoom, but for this price who is complaining?
To see a sample photo
click here. (JPEG 231Kb)
these are simple, allowing you to take photos, review them, access the menu,
zoom and change the flash settings.
Flash is built-in, but
is one of the camera's main weaknesses. For indoor use, the flash is often
too bright and can completely flood out the picture of objects that
are too close. That having been said, the camera operated well in most light
levels and features the kind of white balance controls found in video cameras
(Daylight, Tungsten and Flourescent).
The DC3200's look are nothing to write home about. The camera is a dull
plastic grey. On the plus side, it's not immediately obvious that it's a
digital camera at all, so it might be less of a target for theives. Other
than a lead to connect it to the PC, a 4Mb CF memory card and a carrying
strap, that's it. Not even a lense cap or a case.
Standard AA batteries
are included, but it would be a worthwhile investment to get some rechargeables
and an external charger for this unit - this camera eats batteries,
especially with the LCD display on.
Flash is built-in, but
is one of the camera's main weaknesses. For indoor use, the flash is far
too bright and tends to completely flood out the picture. That having been
said, the camera operated well in most light levels and features the kind
of white balance controls found in video cameras (Daylight, Tungsten and
main interface with the PC is via a serial cable rather than USB. Although
this is a lot slower than USB, it does mean that it is compatible with older
versions of Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0. Compatibility for NT 4.0 is great
news for businesses where it is still the de facto business Operating System.
This is a strictly Windows-only
affair though, Mac and Linux users must look elsewhere. Copying pictures
across can be very slow, however, but should this become a pain you can always
invest in a CF reader for your PC for about $50 or so.
the software is a breeze, and with a clear manual and a fairly easy to use
menu system it is easy to get up an running in a very short time. Only the
Sony Digital Mavica FD range (with a built in floppy drive) are easier to
set up, but this is a much more elegant solution. The software is reasonable
basic, featuring a file transfer application and a basic slide show/modification
program. For best results you should invest in something like JASC PaintShop
Pro for about $70 which will allow much better image editing.
Kodak DC3200 is a great camera for those who want to enter the world of digital
photography and don't want to break the bank doing so.
January 2004) The
DC3200 has been out of production for some time, but is still a
useful little camera. It can generally be picked up on eBay, links
Good Picture Quality.
Easy to Use.
Compatible with non-USB
PCs such as NT 4.0 and Windows 95.
Takes standard CF
|Bare bones camera,
accessories bring the price up.
isn't as fast as USB.
Software package is
simple but basic.
Battery life not great.
Flash sometimes too
bright for indoor use.