The first thing
that stands out with this digital camera is that in addition to the small optical viewfinder
there is a colour LCD display.
The benefits of
this arrangement are two-fold. For those who prefer to frame the image visually through
the optical viewfinder the choice is there - although the optical viewfinder is not of as
high quality as you might expect.
Secondly, if the batteries are getting low,
the viewfinder offers a backup to the LCD display if the unit goes into power
saving mode. Personally, we preferred to use the LCD display to frame our images
out, zoom in, and adjust the aperture. While the optical view finder lets you
frame the image, it cannot show you what the final picture will look like in the
way that the LCD display does.
The buttons next to the LCD display are controls for the onscreen menu
and options. They enable you to navigate the very nice looking menus to change
features, or special effects. Zooming in or out is accomplished by the small
toggle switch by the upper right corner. With the expandable lens Kodak uses in
the DC4800 the unit can got to 3X optical zoom, and an additional 2X
digital zoom. Focal length changes from 28mm to 84mm.
We found the zoom capability to be superb, and especially liked the dual
speed capability. Depending on how much pressure is placed on the toggle switch,
the camera will either zoom in slowly or very quickly.
The controls on the top of the DC4800 are fairly clean. A large knob protects the power-on
button and engages the menu settings, but also makes it a bit difficult for
anyone with large fingers to turn on the unit. The shiny
shutter release button is very well placed but slightly too stiff on the
downward stroke. The effort to depress the button can sometimes cause the camera to
twitch at the very last moment, resulting in a high-resolution, but, very blurry
Finally one little button on the top of the camera adjusts the aperture size
of the lens so the user can quickly change the camera for dark or bright
situations. We found that this button was not very well placed to protect it
from being accidentally altered. With the Camera in a bag we noticed the switch
would occasionally be moved into an incorrect position.
The front of the DC4800 emphasizes the simplicity of the
camera by being devoid of any controls whatsoever. The optical viewfinder can be seen right
above the Kodak emblem, and as you can see it is rather
small. The quality of the image through those optics is bit suspect, but acceptable. The camera is
really designed for the LCD display to be the main framing mechanism.
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