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I was fortunate enough to have received a Kodak DC215 with my PC in September 1999. When I say fortunate I am of course being a little modest! I can not imagine how my life would be now without my camera!
It all started in the summer of 1999. I had a laptop (a little slow and clumsy, but it worked). I was very happy with it until the age of digital cameras dawned upon us like a tidal wave over a city! I had thought about buying one, and at the time the 215 was £450, a little steep compared to today's lower price, but it seemed worth it, after all this was pretty top end for the time. Anyway, later that summer I ACCIDENTALLY dropped my laptop and it broke- so I went shopping for a new PC and got the DC215 with it for no extra cost! I was excited!
The 215 was one of the first "megapixel" cameras- meaning each photograph (or cybergraph as digital photos are becoming known) was compiled of up to one million pixels- the little squares you see when you zoom in to a picture on your PC.
The camera is aesthetically perfect, a sleek aluminium body, cold to the touch, but extremely rewarding. It weighs in at about 400g with batteries in, which might seem a bit heavy, but in this world where everything is getting lighter, you really want a camera you know is there!
The camera is as you might think, extremely robust and has not been damaged nor scathed at all in the past two years of heavy usage.
I have taken more than 5000 pictures in the past two years, many of these photos are on my PC and many have been added to my website (please see my profile to find my homepage address).
There are numerous things you can do with digital photos, add them to reports, e-mails, and websites. Save yourself lots of money on film processing from film cameras. And with the amazing software bundled in with the camera you can edit your photos to enhance them, repair them or change them totally! If you do not believe me, send me your photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will edit it and send it back! Adobe Photo Deluxe 3.1 is indeed a more than satisfactory software to have, and allows ease of use and at the same time allows more advanced users the opportunity to work on more complex projects.
The camera comes with a 4MB Compact Flash card, but if you want to take high quality images, I’d recommend upgrading to a 16MB or higher, so you can store more images! The camera can store your files in either JPEG or Flashpix format, but JPEG is the most commonly used image format, and is favoured online. 4 AA sized batteries power the camera, so I’d recommend buying some rechargeable NI-Mh batteries as they last a great deal longer and work out MUCH cheaper in the long run! You can buy a power pack for it as I did, but it costs £70! I rarely use mine!
The supplied connections give you the ability to download to your PC though a serial cable, and also a cable to show your photos on a TV, however, any pictures taken in portrait are shown on the TV in landscape! In truth though, I have only used the TV cable ONCE, as I prefer using the PC to edit photos. In regard to the PC cable, the serial connection is much too slow especially if you take a large number of photos, and so I’d recommend buying a Compact Flash Card disc drive for about £30. This allows for easier transfer of images to your PC.
One aspect of the camera which is quite fun is an ability to make your own templates, which when selected are printed on each picture, for example, if you designed a frame, you could have every picture taken framed by your design.
One major flaw is the fact that there is no case supplied to protect your camera, Kodak’s official case will set you back almost £40, so I opted for my mum’s camera case from her old 35mm. It has worked just fine so far! Touch wood!
And finally, the one major problem I encountered stemmed from the battery tray. I was constantly using it to change the batteries and over the two years the catch became loosened, so I sent it back to Kodak since it was still under guarantee, and they repaired it within a fortnight.
All in all though, this is a great starter camera and is easy enough to use by the whole family!