Kodak EasyShare DX 4530 digital camera review

Michael Hart today provides us with a review of his Kodak EasyShare DX 4530 digital camera. This five megapixel camera features 3x optical zoom and 3.3x digital zoom (10x zoom total). It has a 1.8-inch LCD screen and is powered by two AA batteries. This camera is quite old but is now available at an attractive bargain price.

At the time I got this it was the most affordable camera on the market featuring 5-megapixel resolution and optical zoom (3.3x digital). It uses around 1.54 MB per photo (ie 83 images on 128MB card), however you have the options of 4.5, 3 and 1.2 Mega pixels (ie 0.41 MB, about 312 images on 128MB card) but the quality seems to be great on all these formats

The manual is provided on one of two CDROMs as a PDF document, which can be saved onto your computer or just used when needed. I found this quite annoying as I like to read. Smell is a powerful trigger to the memory; A certain flower or whiff of smoke can bring up experiences long forgotten. Books smell, musty and rich and PDF documents don't.

The knowledge gained from a computer has no texture or context. It's there and then it's gone. If it's to last then the getting of knowledge should be tangible, it should be smelly.

Kodak provide an A/V cable to allow images/videos to be shown on your T.V, which is very useful, but they don't provide a case.

The basic software to manage and create albums is also provided but I haven't used it much since the standard Windows drivers do a good enough job; and being a student, I don't care much for this type of helper application, as I like to do these things "by hand". But you would probably find it very useful and it is really quite cute too :-)

Here's a look at the specifications of this camera:
  • CCD resolution: 5.2MP (2654 x 1954 pixels)
  • Image resolution: 5.0 megapixel (2588 x 1954 pixels)
  • Image quality: 5.0MP - best (print, enlargement 20 x 30 inches), 4.5MP - best (optimized ratio for 4 x 6 inches prints, 3:2), 3.0MP - better, 1.2MP - good (e-mail)
  • Zoom: 10Xtotal zoom, 3X optical zoom, 8-24 mm (35 mm equivalent: 38-114 mm), 3.3X advanced digital zoom
  • Lens: Lens threads for 37 mm lens adapter
  • Focus/auto-focus: Multi-zone AF

  • Focus distance: 0.6m (23.6 inches) to infinity
  • Display: LCD - 1.8 inches (4.6cm) indoor/outdoor display
  • Aperture: Wide - f/2.8-5.1; tele - f/4.8-8.7
  • Shutter speed: 1/2-1/1700 second; selectable long time exposure: 0.7-4 second
  • ISO equivalent: Automatic - (130-200); 140 (flash on)
  • White balance: Auto
  • Flash mode: Automatic, fill, red-eye, off
  • Flash range: Wide - 0.6-3.4m (2-11.2 ft.); tele - 0.6-2.0m (2-6.6 ft.)
  • Viewfinder: Real image optical viewfinder
  • Self-timer: 10 seconds
  • Scene/other modes: Automatic, sport, night, landscape, close-up, movie
  • Macro/close-up mode: Wide - 7-70cm (2.8-27.6 in.); tele - 28-70cm (11-27.6 in.)
  • Light metering method: Automatic: multi-pattern TTL-AE with program modes (sport, night, movie)
  • Exposure compensation: +/- 2.0 EV with 0.5 EV step increments
  • Exposure control: Programmed AE
  • Click to capture: 0.79 seconds (live view on)
  • Shot to shot: Les than 2 seconds
  • Shutter speed: 0.79 seconds (live view on)
  • Burst mode: Less than 2 seconds
  • Movie mode: Continuous digital video with audio capture, audio playback on camera
  • Movie image resolution: 320 x 240 pixels at 15 fps
  • Movie length: Up to 60 minutes, limited by capacity of external memory card
  • Capture mode: Capture always ready
  • Auto-orientation: Auto picture rotation
  • Delete: dedicated delete button
  • Review: Dedicated review button
  • Share: Dedicated Share button
  • Review mode: 2X or 4X magnify, slide show, multi-up, fast, scroll, protect, albums
  • Video out: NTSC, PAL (user-selectable)
  • Software: Kodak EasyShare software
  • Interface: Dock Compatibility - Kodak EasyShare camera dock I, II and Kodak EasyShare printer dock 4000
  • Storage: Internal storage: 32MB internal memory external storage: MMC/SD card expansion slot
  • Power options: Optional Kodak EasyShare docks with Ni-MH rechargeable battery pack (in-camera charging); DC in jack on side of camera for 3V adapter; 2 AA lithium or Ni-MH batteries or 1 CRV3 lithium battery
  • Image file format: Still - JPEG/EXIF v2.1; Video - Quicktime
  • Interface: USB 2.0 compatible, Kodak EasyShare camera dock I, II and Kodak EasyShare printer dock 4000 compatible
  • Lens protection: Lens cap tethered to camera body
  • Tripod mount: 1/4 in. standard
  • Weight: Without batteries: 210g (7.4 oz.)
  • Dimensions: WxHxD: 111x66x39mm (4.4x2.6x1.5 in.)
  • Warranty: One year
  • Package contents : Kodak EasyShare DX4530 zoom digital camera, CRV3 lithium battery, Audio/Video cable, USB cable, Wrist strap, Kodak EasyShare software CD with interactive software tutorial, Welcome kit and user's guide, Custom insert for optional Kodak EasyShare series camera docks
  • Windows System Requirements: Windows 98, 98SE, 2000, ME or XP OS, 233 MHz processor or greater, 64MB RAM (128MB RAM for Windows XP), 200MB hard drive disk space available, CD-ROM drive, Available USB port, Color monitor, 800x600 pixels (16-bit or 24-bit recommended)
  • Macintosh System Requirements: PowerPC based Macintosh computer, Macintosh OS X (OS 8.6/9.x - Share button functions not supported - OS X is recommended for full functionality), 128MB RAM for OS X (64MB RAM for OS 8.6/9.x), 200MB hard drive disk space available, CD-ROM drive, Built-in USB port, Color monitor, 800x600 pixels (thousands or millions of colors recommended)

The camera’s menu structure is very easy to understand. However I found it slightly counterintuitive (there are two levels per function but the second could be incorporated into the higher level, for quicker operation); That notwithstanding, you don't even have to read the manual to get things going. All picture modes - landscape - sport - night - close up are exactly as they say, and work. The video is of good quality.

The USB cable provided for connection to your PC is XP friendly, however, the slave end is quite fragile, as these things often are, much better to spend a bit extra and get the Kodak Easyshare Camera Dock II as well, which comes with rechargeable batteries too.

A "dial" on top of the camera has several photograph mode settings:
  • Auto: For standard ‘point and shoot' photography.
  • Sport: Faster shutter speed to avoid the blurring you get with moving objects.
  • Night-time: Shutter stays open for longer to allow more light in.
  • Landscape: Focus is set to infinity so that good distance landscape shots can be taken.
  • Close-up: For taking snaps of objects less than 28" (70cm) away.
  • Take aim using the viewfinder (as on standard cameras) or the 1.8" LCD screen (which I find much more user friendly and already couldn't do without), press the shutter button (as on a normal camera) half way and wait until the camera has focused (signaled by a green light and the focus frame changing from green to red), then press the shutter button fully. Easy. The LCD screen is full color and very clear (72,000 pixels) when used both inside and outside.

    Having used all the photograph modes, I can honestly say that each takes a great picture. Bright sunlight, dim room, action shots and not a bad quality shot among them.

    Good points:

    1) Cheap and good sharp image quality from Kodak with a focus range of 23.6 in. to Infinity (w).

    2) It can use AA batteries, a CRV3 battery "pack" is provided to get you started - it’s supposed to last you a long time (IT IS NOT A RECHARGABLE BATTERY THEY SUPPLY) however I’ve purchased the best possible batteries (uniross 2300 mAH for around £30) these batteries will last me ages! save me lots of money.

    3) Night time photos good, can adjust setting very easily to capture more light in dark shots ISO Speeds Auto • 200.

    4) Very easy to use.

    5) Nice features, such as "slide show", image information, Security locking and photo preview magnification .

    6) The camera has an internal 32 megabyte (MB) memory, not shipped with additional (secure digital) storage. That means it will store up to 21 highest quality photos or about 2 minutes of video before filling.

    Bad points:

    1) EasyShare: There is a ‘share' button on the camera, this simply allows you to earmark certain shots for printing or emailing when you download them using the EasyShare software (The software included doesn't run under Windows 2000, so the installation fails) . It is just as easy to take a look at your shots once they are downloaded and select ones for printing, emailing etc. I'd suggest this is just a gimmick to create a whole new series of ‘EasyShare' cameras.

    2) This is "bigger" (Width 4.3 in.Depth; 1.5 in; Height 2.6 in; Weight 0.46 lb) and less "stylish" than other cameras in the same price range, and a little "plasticy" but that is just a matter of taste, and who cares when it will give you superb pictures, from a leading manufacturer, at 5 megapixels.

    3) There is a slight shutter speed (1/2 - 1/1700 sec) delay between pressing the shutter button and the photo being taken, meaning that your object / subject may have moved, this can also cause a "motion blur" type effect.

    4) Physically there are a few things to note:
    A) The lens cover: Instead of being the automatic style, the lens cap it is the old-fashioned type, dangling from a string and in need of clipping into place every time you've finished. Not too great a disadvantage, but one that rather frustrated me when taking a downwards shot and the lens cap kept swinging into view.

    B) The lens cover: When you power the camera, the manual says that it is supposed to pop off, but instead the camera does not power up, you have to take it off and turn the thing off and on again, also the cover comes off a little bit too easily for my liking. You WILL need a case for the camera because of this. e.g. putting it directly into a backpack could cause the cover would pop off.

    C) Flash: The flash quality is okay but the light intensity sensor is not so great, it has a slight tendency to under illuminate the background which can result in the subjects looking as if they were "cutout" and pasted into the scenery (you can easily compensate for this); and the ‘redeye' feature is not automatic, there is a separate mode for this.

    D) Flash: When the flash is disabled, the camera automatically increases the exposure time, to compensate for the lower light levels, however there is no way to prevent this, which can exaggerate motion blur. I would often settle for "darker" photos and perform a gamma correction later on the computer.

    E) Video: The video format is QuickTime (320 x 240 at 15 fps) ie good quality, internal memory can store up to 2 minutes worth of video footage, but there is no way to control the sound, and the cameras microphone records more sound ‘behind’ the camera than what is being filmed, and the unwanted sound exponentially reduces the recording time.
    5) The settings: The camera does not save your long time exposure, exposure compensation or flash settings, these revert to the default options every time it is turned on/off. Annoying when you want to cut the flash off all the time. This may seem logical; however the camera turns itself off after 10 minutes (and there is no way to control how/when this happens) to "save power", so these settings are lost and you have to "setup" the camera again in which time you've missed your shot.

    6) The orientation sensor: This is a nice little feature that automatically rotates photos so you don't have to later on your computer, however when this is enabled your photos are scaled to the height instead of the with of the LCD display thus they ‘look' very small, the effect is that you can't so easily review your photos, you can, of course, use the ‘magnify' feature but that’s not the point.

    7) Image format: The JPEG compression is NOT adjustable and sometimes it has a habit of being too high. This isn't really a problem when viewing on screen, but if you are buying a 5MP camera because you might want to enlarge a print once in a while (which most people might want to do) then the high compression means the print might not be good enough.

    Here are a few sample images taken with the DX 4530:

    This digital camera is already out for a while and now can you find it for less than $200 at places like Amazon

    Michael is the website administrator of the Wandle industrial museum. Established in 1983 by local people determined to ensure that the history of the valley was no longer neglected but enhanced awareness of its heritage for the use and benefits of the community.

    Added: July 27th 2005
    Product reviewed: Kodak EasyShare DX 4530 digital camera
    Reviewer: Michael Hart
    Score: 7/10

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    Loading Comments

    Comment #1 posted by Anonymous on 2010-06-26 03:50:59
    Is now 6 years old but still gives top quality photos, little viewing panel no longer works but once used to view finder (remember them) and the digital camera delay, (less than most) I still get better photos than my wife's or friends modern cameras. Thank you Kodak.

    Comment #2 posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-26 08:29:47
    I have my Kodak EASYSHARE Camera and Dock approx. 3 yrs now. It has been excellent and stil running great. I have never changed the batteries in mine yet and I use it all the time.
    I do have a problem in reaching my pictures now , because I downloaded a higher version of software from the internet and lost alot of my pictures. The software version I was using is version 3.3 . Please could anyone help me get my pics back . Thanks

    Comment #3 posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-01 17:02:02
    This product deserves at least an 8, if not better. I've had mine for the better part of 3 years now, and nothing has gone wrong with it. I've been playing around with the macro mode on this camera, and it can be amazing if you just play with it. The link at the end of my post is a picture taken with my DX4530. The only Photoshopping done were color adjustments and brightness and contrast.


    Comment #4 posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-11 07:12:10
    I can't believe alot of you dongles can't figure out how to operate a darn camera! You geeks should get out more, and quit looking a naughty pictures on the internet, bunch of dwebes! Great camera!

    Comment #5 posted by Anonymous on 2007-11-13 23:07:09
    The back light on LCD screen of my camera has failed and the photo cannot be seen unless you are in a dark closet.
    It would seem that this symptom should be recognized by the service agency, and a fix or no fix price can be posted.

    If the camera cannot be fixed, I certainly do not want to pay $ 43 dollars to have a useless camera returned to me.

    Comment #6 posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-24 16:30:56
    Very frequent E41 error. I haven't tried the hairdryer trick. Ours is typically on hot/humid days. Put the camera in the fridge for 20min and things work fine. I called kodak customer support; they offered upsells (trade in), or send in for eval with a fee.

    Comment #7 posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-16 16:47:03
    Also have error E41 after not using the camera for 2-3 months.
    Seems like a build quality issue on the model.
    Anyone else got any other suggestions how to handle this problem?

    My friend had a Canon camera 2MP which had never worked properly but was out of warranty. Canon replaced the model free of charge with a 6MP model. That is called goodwill customer service.

    Comment #8 posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-15 08:54:23
    i bought DX4530 in march 2004. that time it was a new product. till now no complains. i bought big (512) memory card. i make video, pics, everything is perfect. of course it's not professional for e.g. night shoots, etc. but from this camera i'm easily uploading pics for my internet photo library, as well as uploading video files from cam to online store. for me to take for travels for both video and photo this cam is perfect. 5 mpixels is enough for non-professional pics making.

    Comment #9 posted by Anonymous on 2007-01-08 01:25:20
    I think the camera ia OK for the price. It does take great pictures. My biggest complaint is that I cannot get the screen to show my subject when depressing it half way - I always have to use the viewer. It would be much simpler if I could do it the other way.
    Other than that it's an ok camera for the price.

    Comment #10 posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-16 18:15:46
    heres a better example of a picture taken with the camera. :) the macro on this camera is really great, and the depth of color for landscape pictures is also really great. I dont suggest it for anything that needs flash though, because the flash is horrible.

    Comment #11 posted by Anonymous on 2006-11-04 11:24:33
    i have dropped my camera once before and the error screen came up, after leaving it for a few weeks i took it to a camera shop where they put new batteries in and magically it was working despite my batteries being fine. now i hav just dropped it again - not hard n lol i sound clumsy - now error screen is bak again. iv tried putting new batteries in and its not working... hmmm may try this hairdryer trick just in case ...

    Comment #12 posted by Anonymous on 2006-10-27 02:07:16
    I bought my DX 4530 in Nov of 04 and at first was very impressed with the picture quality. Then the little things started to bother me, such as the lens cap coming off unexpectedly and the lens not extending on power-up if the lens cap was on. The selection switch is hard to turn since it's so thin. The expensive rechargeable Kodak batteries had to be replaced at two years, which had no effect on the lens problem. The end came at 2 1/2 years when the LCD went dead, as did the photagraphing capability. Now it's an expensive paper weight. At an estimated 100 dollars to repair, I'm no longer a user of Kodak cameras!

    Comment #13 posted by Anonymous on 2006-09-01 02:48:23
    Error 41 most commonly, I believe is result of getting moisture in the camera. The bottom of the camera is a thin plastic cover with the battery compartment , tripod hole and adapter door all allowing access to the internal workings. I love this camera but set it down this morning on a outdoor glass top table to study a possible picture. In hind site it must have had a slight morning dew on it. I left it there for a couple of minutes and on the very next picture the lense froze in the extended position and error 41 appeared. After reading this 10 hrs later and the same situation. I removed the 5 screws in the plastic cover and 6th one behind the rubber flap for video out. I applied low heat from a hair dryer for 60 seconds. Reassembled and it works as designed. The other post about letting sit for a long time accomplished the same thing. If you are uncomfortable with the process, don't attempt it. With the exception of this little design flaw I am still very pleased with the camera. pjh

    Comment #14 posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-25 01:36:31
    true expriance dx4530 is not a bad camara for the price but please do not buy extra lence or tube adapter because camara comes with plastic in side thread for tube adaptor and tube adaptor is metal. if you make little mistak to mount metal with plastic thread it will rouin camara thread and adaptor will not mount on camara and you will not get your money from sellar. that happen to me i lost $63. i purchsed my from underbid.com now they do not take any responsibility.just in case if you guys need his address hear it is www.underbid.com. manufacture is soho electric/ panaweb. 412 broadway. new york. ny.10013 this guys are real ripoff never buy any thig from them. they put big add and never stand by their product.

    Comment #15 posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-25 01:35:02
    true expriance dx4530 is not a bad camara for the price but please do not buy extra lence or tube adapter because camara comes with plastic in side thread for tube adaptor and tube adaptor is metal. if you make little mistak to mount metal with plastic thread it will rouin camara thread and adaptor will not mount on camara and you will not get your money from sellar. that happen to me i lost $63. i purchsed my from underbid.com now they do not take any responsibility.just in case if you guys need hid address hear it is www.underbid.com. manufacture is soho electric/ panaweb. 412 broadway. new york. ny.10013 this guys are real ripoff never buy any thig from them. they put big add and never stand by their product.

    Comment #16 posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-21 07:52:41
    About the E41 error code.
    Last weekend I accidentanly exposed my camera to a little sea water... Soon I got the E41 error. There wasn't any way to reset it. When I got home - since my warranty was already expired - I decided to open it (removing the cover placed in the bottom of it). With a little warm air I dried it up, even though I didn't find any trace of wet inside. Anyway, after this "cure" my camera was again working!

    Comment #17 posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-20 01:38:20
    hay you people read user's guide before you turn on camara.i have this camara for last 4 years and i use all the time i took abot 3000 picturs of grand canyan and yosometi national park they all come out great camara lens open and close the way it should. you have to use good battries.in fact i am planing to buy x2 and .45 lense for this camara.you have to load driver from c.d. this camara only works window 2000 and up i like my dx4530

    Comment #18 posted by on 2006-07-07 16:31:58
    I like the camera. I bought the last one store had, the display model. I have taken over 2000 photographs with it. It takes very nice photographs and has not caused any trouble. I never use the dock or USB cord to download pictures from camera, I had trouble getting the software to work. Using a SD memory card reader is a lot easier. NOTE: If you use alkaline AA batteries, you will have intermittent failures all the time.

    Comment #19 posted by Anonymous on 2006-06-20 02:55:17
    One day when the batteries were low it was struggling to close the lens, now even with good new batteries the lens goes speratic a little on start up then shuts down. it wont start up anymore.. now it gives "Camera Error # E41 See user's guide"

    Comment #20 posted by safewaterman on 2006-06-16 19:19:40
    I bought this camera (with docking station) for my mother 2 Christmas's ago ($199) and not long after a year the lens would not come out. This is lousy for a camera not to work after such a short time. I have been in the market for a camera like the P-850 (not-so-good reviews) or the P-880 (better reviews but shorter zoom range) but now am very leery of the Kodak brand because of this repair problem. My mom might want to spend $30-$50 or so to repair it but not $125-$175 like I heard (over the internet) others are being charged. To whom does one complain??? Will anyone listen?

    Comment #21 posted by Anonymous on 2006-05-23 04:32:47
    i have had my dx 4530 for two years same batts same printer dock very god camera.

    Comment #22 posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-16 10:26:03
    hi, just wanna ask if kodak DX 4530 has a charger? thanks

    Comment #23 posted by Anonymous on 2005-12-26 20:32:38
    Wow! I must have been lucky in getting mine! The only time I have the lens not closing is when the batteries are low. You CANNOT use cheap dollar store batteries! Energizer /Duracell work fine! (50-70 pics). Why do cameras even offer Digital zoom. I bought mine used at a pawn shop! Only thing I needed for it was the cable to hook it up to the computer, and I went to the Kodak site to get the driver for windows XP. I have had mine for over a year now and the only thing I really wish it would do is allow a longer lens opening than 4 seconds and a better optical zoom (3x is nice but......) Have No complaints about it!
    Brian aka Railtrekker

    Comment #24 posted by Anonymous on 2005-12-07 02:51:54
    My wife has the camera and called me to say it stopped working and now give an error code E41

    Comment #25 posted by Anonymous on 2005-11-12 23:12:41
    I bought this camera about a year ago on Blitz Day - aka, the big sale day after Thanksgiving. Tucked it into the closet to give to a friend for Christmas, she ended up getting a different camera beforehand, so it sat up there till now - about a year later. I install the software, set it up on the dock, all that, & cannot get it to transfer pictures. Try it without the dock - same thing. Download the new version of EasyShare - still not working. All I get is an error message saying it's an unrecognized piece of hardware, & it has no drivers. Spent two hours speaking w/ Kodak's horrid techsupport, who don't even know what a System Properties window looks like after telling me to open it & didn't listen to me when I tried to explain my view of why the camera will not transfer photos, blames my USB ports. Suuuure, that's why my Hewlet-Packard printer & scanner both work fine, my old Hewlet-Packard camera works fine, my USB game controller works fine, but still - must be my USB ports. I ask them about sending it in for a refund, & she would not give me an address to do so, & wanted to continue to tell me to contact Microsoft about my USB ports (my computer was made by HP, not Microsoft). I asked to talk to her supervisor, & she said something like "So sorry I couldn't help you out, thank you for calling Kodak, my name is -----, have a nice day" *click*. Lovely customer support there Ms. ------. What a waste of money & time. Don't buy from Kodak, go for Hewlet-Packard I guess is the lesson learned here.

    Comment #26 posted by Anonymous on 2005-10-13 15:27:59
    i bought a 4530 canmera 18months ago - I hsve replaced the batteries after approx 300 pics - now i can olny get between 12/35 out 1 set of batteries - sometimes the camera will not switch on - or it tells me the battery is flat - not very impressive - whats the pioint of a camera that takes 12 pics and then replace battery - 3 different shops said it was the battery type - bought the correct ones and still the same - apart the fault is intermintant

    Comment #27 posted by Anonymous on 2005-09-24 23:14:43
    Bought camera in May of 04. After 6mon, lens started acting up. Sometimes it wouldn't come out after turning the camera on. Took back to Best Buy to replace. They refused and said that they couldn't produce the error. It was very speratic. Now it is Sept 05 and my Camera wont take pictures or let me reveiw anything. Now it freezes completely up and has to be turned on and off many times to get the lens to close.

    Comment #28 posted by Anonymous on 2005-09-06 03:10:48
    Yes, for some reason Kodak did discontinue this product. Don't know why. If you own one be aware that it will not work with the printer docks Kodak presently is selling.

    Comment #29 posted by Anonymous on 2005-09-06 03:09:34
    My camera had a lens error 2 months after the warrantee ran out. The lens is stuck, so the camera will no longer work. When I called Kodak they basically told me my only option was to buy a new camera or get a repair at the cost of $135. The error code was E41. Anyone out there been able to figure out how to fix this error?

    Comment #30 posted by Anonymous on 2005-08-30 10:26:28
    y kodak discontinued the product dx4530 model?