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Digital Cameras/Camcorders | First Looks
Mon 03 Apr 2006

It Comes in Two

Number of buttons kept to a minimum to avoid confusion.

Rechargeable battery pack.

Connection to TV and PC is strictly available only through the photo dock.

For advanced photography, DSLR cameras are undeniably more competent than your average digital compacts and as most professional photographers will quickly attest, the difference in imaging competency comes at a price of convenience in lenses. Unlike the non-interchangeable general-purpose zoom lenses found in compact cameras, DLSR cameras can be paired with different lenses to capture shots for most if not all scenarios – that is if you bring along a bag full of heavy and expensive lenses.

Such interchangeability is unavailable on prosumer and point-and-shoot classes of cameras, but with the introduction of the Kodak EASYSHARE V570, that attribute is no longer valid. The new 5.0-megapixel offering from Kodak differs from conventional designs in that it uses a proprietary Kodak Retina Dual Lens technology to allow an ultra-wide angle lens (23 mm) and an optical zoom lens (39 - 117 mm) to coexist on a compact camera chassis, which is an unprecedented design in consumer-oriented compacts.

Wider than Everyone Else

Each lens in the Kodak V570 is mated to its very own 5.0-megapixel CCD image sensor. The one on top has a fixed focal length of 23mm for wide-angled shots while the one below is of a more common 39 – 117mm make (both 35mm equivalent of course). Maximum aperture of the 23mm lens is at a good F2.8 while the other is rated with a smaller range of between F3.9 to F4.4.

But if the dual-lens configuration is not impressive enough, the V570 also has the ability to capture panorama scenes as wide as 180-degrees through a stitching function that works to combine three sequential panning shots seamlessly into one still image. In fact, the V570 has the widest integrated wide-angled lens of its kind. As such, panorama shots taken with the V570 are arguably the widest possible you can have right now. Although Kodak claims that the V570 has 5x optical zoom, it is not entirely accurate because the zoom is not a continuous extension from default to 5x optical zoom. It actually skips in between ultra-wide to normal mode.

Be a Video Producer

We were most impressed with the video capability of the V570. Not only can video recording be done with auto-focus and zoom, video playback in 640 x 480 resolution with sound was remarkably fluid as well, even at 30fps. And because the V570 uses MPEG4 video compression, locating software for video playback will never be an issue even when you're traveling about. One very interesting feature of the video mode that is worth a special mention is that you can freeze any part of the video at any time and have it saved or printed via the Kodak EASYSHARE Photo Frame Dock 2.

1 + 1 = 2

Just when it seems manufacturers have completely ran out of ideas, a new product with a fresh concept in the form of the Kodak V570 pops out unexpectedly to dazzle consumers by offering a whole new imaging experience and convenience like no other. By having two different lenses integrated into a manageable compact chassis, the Kodak V570 is immediately an innovation of function and engineering. The convenience from its proprietary Kodak Retina Dual Lens technology should appeal even to DSLR users wanting to travel light on non-critical assignments or personal sightseeing.

When put through its paces, the camera took well-exposed day shots with accurate color reproduction. Photos taken in low-light environment were less desirable though with stills taken at night amassing too much noise for our liking. Barrel distortion was also observed when the ultra-wide lens was used. Other letdowns of the camera were its weak battery life and average LCD monitor display for which the latter would be a concern since LCD was chosen over traditional optical viewfinders.

Nevertheless, for its diminutive dimensions, multiple scene modes, dual-lens and all-round decent performance, the Kodak EASYSHARE V570 is an attractive portable imaging package, even though it is using a smaller pair of 5.0-megapixel CCD image sensors rather than the newer 8-megapixel variants. Remember, Megapixel count isn't everything and there's more to it than just numbers, just like how Megahertz is to modern CPUs.

While Users are encouraged to use a proper tripod for snapping the sequential shots to prevent distortions that can occur due to handling inconsistencies just like this picture for example.

Product Specifications

  • KODAK RETINA Dual Lens Technology
  • Ultra wide-angle and 5x optical zoom
  • 5.0 megapixels for prints of up to 20 × 30 in. (50 × 75 cm)
  • Advanced video options
  • On-camera panorama stitch mode
  • KODAK EASYSHARE Photo Frame Dock 2 (cradle)included