If simplicity is a virtue when it comes to digital cameras, the Kodak EasyShare CX7430 outclasses most of its competition. Kodak gave this camera just the few controls needed for basic snapshot photography, and added text-based help prompts so that even the most neophyte photographer can work through them after a little instruction.
One of the CX7430’s other virtues is its price – £200 (including VAT) is excellent for a camera with a four-megapixel CCD. Its battery life is surprisingly good for a model powered by dual AAs – we took 500 shots with them.
However, our photos taken with the CX7430 were suitable for snapshot-quality prints. It did best in our outdoor test, producing pleasing (though somewhat flat) colours, good details in shadows, and nice contrast. The least appealing shot was with flash – it underexposing our model and gave her a slightly-off skin tone. Our still life, with daylight-balanced artificial light, had bright colours, but the photo had a slight yellow cast. Moreover, while our 8-x-10-inch photos looked fairly sharp, our cropped-image test revealed a greater loss of detail than we usually see with four-megapixel cameras.
Though the camera offers relatively few controls, those it has work well enough. The zoom is fairly smooth, and focus lock feels quick. For fast shots, there can be a significant delay between pressing the shutter and the camera firing, but if you’ve pressed the shutter halfway down for exposure lock, the camera is quick to trigger.
One of the more objectionable concessions to ease of use in the CX7430 is the lack of information displayed on the LCD during shooting – you see no shutter speed or aperture settings, and no indication of whether the camera will trigger the flash in low-light settings.
The EasyShare software is basic and allows the printing, organizing, sharing, and limited editing of your photos. The camera can link up with Kodak’s EasyShare Printer Dock 6000, a portable printer that makes 4-x-6-inch prints.