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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak V610 Dual Lens

Kodak Digital Cameras

   

Kodak V610 Dual Lens Review

Review Date: Aug 1, 2006

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens

HANDLING & FEEL

he Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens looks almost the same as the EasyShare V570 with its solid mostly metal construction, fashionable black body with chrome accents, and the signature circle lens cover that hides the "dual lens." There is no lens movement outside the body (thanks to the use of folded optics) so its flush design will allow you to easily slide the camera into your pocket (though it's a bit wide).

A small and thin strap post serves as a minimalist grip and use of the wrist strap is highly recommended. When the lens cover is open (it slides open the opposite direction to the V570), it reveals 2 lenses, with the "tele" lens above the "normal" lens. Interestingly (and as is becoming increasingly the norm), Kodak engraves the 35mm equivalent focal lengths on the camera. "Behind" each lens is an image sensor with 6.1MP resolution each. There are also 2 smaller circles between the two lenses: the right one (viewed from the front) is the Video/Self-timer/AF-assist Lights and the left one is the Light sensor.

As the camera's name implies, there are not one but two quality Schneider KREUZNACH C-VARIOGON lenses on the Kodak V610. One is a regular 3x optical zoom lens (38-114 mm, 35mm equivalent) and the second one is a 2.9x optical zoom lens (130-380 mm, 35mm equivalent). As you can see, KODAK RETINA Dual Lens Technology maths doesn't quite add up to a smooth 10x. There is a gap between the 114mm and 130mm focal lengths but I did not find this to be objectionable at all.

You will experience a pause between the two zooms. At first, you may find this a bit disconcerting, but you quickly get used to it, release the zoom lever when it pauses, then press it again to switch to the next lens and continue zooming. I marvel at the incredible 380mm tele reach in such a small camera!

Startup time is at about 2 sec. (from power ON to image appearing on LCD), shot to shot time is fast about 1 sec. (you can keep pressing the shutter for approx. 16 shots until the buffer is full), and there is no practical shutter lag. Autofocus is fast and precise. The Kodak V610 uses the Secure Digital (SD) memory card.

STYLE
- Colours: overall black with chrome accents
- Looks: elongated, "metallic" hard edges
   
FEEL
- The elongated shape provides room for a comfortable grip
- Controls are straightforward to use and on the small side, but I did not find them to be a problem
   
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
- Compact: fits in a jeans pocket or small fashion purse (though elongated design may make it uncomfortable for some to have it in their pocket)
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 111 × 55.5 × 23.2 mm / 4.4 × 2.2 × 0.9 in.
- Weight: 160 g / 5.6 oz (without batteries)
- Takes 1 rechargeable Li-ion battery KLIC-7001 3.7V 720mAh
   
SPEED OF OPERATION
- Startup with LCD turning on (no lens extension) in about 2 sec.
- Shot to shot time about 1 sec.
- No practical shutter lag
   

Included in the box is a rechargeable Li-ion battery that can take about 135 shots with LCD on (CIPA standard) on a fresh charge and an A/C Adapter that plugs directly into the camera and will recharge a new or fully depleted battery in approx. 3 hours.

Kodak USB / A/V connectorTo transfer images from camera to your PC, Kodak provides a USB / A/V connector that plugs into the connector at the bottom of the camera. You can then plug one end of your USB cable into the USB / A/V connector and the other end into your PC USB port.

The flash has a range of 2.0–11.2 ft (0.6–3.4 m) at wide, ISO 280 and 2.0–10.8 ft (0.6–3.3 m) at tele, ISO 400. It is physically placed close to the top edge, so be careful your left finger(s) do not get in the way when using flash.

Controls

Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens Top View

There is no Mode Dial but a series of small buttons on the top and on the back of the camera give access to the various modes. On the top of the camera [from right to left] is the Shutter Release button, the Flash button, Power ON/OFF button, AUTO button, Movie button, and Favorites button.

On the back of the camera are the Scene, Delete, Menu, Review, and Share buttons on the left side of the LCD.

On the right side of the LCD are the Zoom Lever and the 4 Way Arrows Controller.

The LEFT ARROW and RIGHT ARROW positions are defaulted to Exposure Compensation, so beginners should be careful that they do not inadvertently dial in an exposure compensation and end up with lots of under- or over-exposed pictures. I personally love this implementation.

 

Besides Flash (button on top of camera), Macro/Infinity (DOWN ARROW), and LCD Display info (UP ARROW), all other functions are accessed through the Menu button.

I don't know if the buttons on the Kodak V610 are slightly bigger than the ones on the EasyShare V570, but they seem to be much easier to operate. Maybe I am just getting used to those small buttons, but I did not have any problem using the buttons on the V610. However, an improvement suggestion is for a larger Zoom lever and 4-Way Arrows Controller (there's quite a bit of space available for that).

You can record movies with sound (continuous based on memory capacity) at either 640 x 480 or 320x240 pixels at 30fps. You can use optical zoom during movie recording though the slight zooming noise will also be recorded. You can set focus to be Continuous AF or Single AF, as well as turn Image Stabilizer ON (available for movie recording only).

Video Storage Capacity
(min. sec.)
32MB
Internal Memory
1GB
640x480
52s
28m 30s
640x480+ [long]
1m 32s
55m 15s
320x240
2m
72m 12s

If you prefer to keep movie clip lengths to a reasonable size (say for emailing), you can also conveniently restrict the max. clip length to 5 sec,. 15 sec., or 30 sec.

About 32MB [28MB usable] of Internal Memory comes with the camera, so no SD memory card is included. Only 52 sec. of movie can be saved in the 32MB of Internal memory. If you plan to do lots of movies, plan on using a large capacity memory card.

SD Memory Card Storage Capacity (approx. # images)
Quality 32MB [Internal] 1GB
6.0MP 14 528
5.3MP [3:2] 16 591
4.0MP 21 777
3.1MP 26 962
1.1MP 64 2332

As the above chart shows, at 6.0MP image quality, only 14 images can be saved in the 32MB of Internal Memory. We recomend that you purchase either a 512MB or 1GB SD memory card, depending on the number of images you normally shoot in one session.

Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens Back View

FUNCTIONS ACCESSIBLE BY CONTROL BUTTONS (clockwise starting from the Zoom Lever)
- Zoom Lever: Standard left[W] - right[T] toggle. It takes about 3 sec for each lens to zoom through their focal lengths range. The zooming action is very smooth but there are only 5 steps you can stop at for each lens. There is a slight pause before the 380mm mark.
- 4 Way Arrows Controller:
= UP steps thru different Display modes: Info On, Off, ON plus Framing Grid, ON plus Framing Grid plus Histogram (LCD display resets to Info On at startup)
= DOWN steps thru Normal, Macro, Infinity
= LEFT and RIGHT default to Exposure Compensation
- SHARE: Print, Email, Favorite
- REVIEW: with 8x Zoom. Via Menu: View By, Album, PERFECT TOUCH Tech., Crop, Slide Show, Multi-Up, Copy, Slide Show, Multi-Up, Copy, Protect, Image Storage, Setup Menu. Touch shutter release button to immediately return to Shooting mode.
- MENU
- DELETE: Picture, All
- FLASH: Off, On, Auto Red-Eye Reduction, Auto
   
MACRO, INFINITY
-

DOWN ARROW selects MACRO.

-

DOWN ARROW again selects LANDSCAPE (INFINITY); useful when shooting through windows, and for far-away scenes.

BURST
-

The camera takes up to 8 pictures as long as the shutter release button is depressed. Recording ceases when the shutter button is released or the memory card is full.

- 1st 3 shots recorded in about 1 sec but all 8 images are recorded in about 4 sec. The 8 shots were taken in about 4 sec. (using 6.0MP image size for a brightly lit subject). You may get faster or slower times depending on the speed of your SD Card. And, of course, if it's quite dark, you will get much slower frame rate. Flash is disabled during Burst.
- The Burst mode is turned OFF when the camera is turned off and on again.
- Self-timer is 10 sec. and is set thru the MENU. Self-timer is turned OFF when the picture is taken.
   
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION
- Exposure Compensation is always ON and dialed in by pushing the LEFT ARROW and RIGHT ARROW.
- Once set, the Exposure Compensation Indicator conveniently stays displayed on screen until it is reset to "0"
- Range: -2 EV to +2 EV (13 steps in 1/3 EV increments)
- The screen brightness will increase or decrease to reflect the value you use
- Note: the exposure compensation value selected is reset when the camera is turned off and on again.
   
HISTOGRAM
- A Histogram is available and can be displayed either live in Shooting mode or in Playback by pushing the ARROW UP repeatedly until the Histogram displays. The camera does not save your preferred display setting, and the LCD display defaults back to Info ON when the camera is turned off and on again.
   
LONG TIME EXPOSURE
- Shutter speeds from 0.5 to 8 sec. can be manually set thru the MENU
- When a Long Shutter is used, ISO cannot be set and defaults to Auto
   

The tripod socket is metal and located at the very right [viewed from the back] edge of the camera. Though this makes it somewhat arkward to setup on a tripod, on the flip side, it makes it possible to change SD memory card and battery while the camera is on a tripod.

Speaking of panoramas, the in-camera stitching of up to 3 pictures is the same as in the V570 -- and among the best I've used. Read more about it in the User's Experience section.

The Battery/SD Card Compartment is at the bottom of the camera and there is a latch to keep the battery from accidentally falling. The SD memory card also goes in here. The cover slides and then opens. It's located at the left bottom edge (viewed from the back), there is just a slight jiggle to it while you're holding the camera. You won't notice it if you try to move the cover consciously, but in the midst of shooting a number of images, it seems at times that the cover might suddenly slide open. To their credit, the Kodak engineers have designed a sturdy cover and it never accidentally opened.

LCD & Menus

There is no optical viewfinder but a very nice extra large 2.8 in. [you read it right, 2.8 in. to handle the 3:2 format] LCD monitor with a high 230,000 pixels resolution. The LCD has a fast 30fps refresh rate for a smooth display in good light and low light. However, the LCD monitor's brightness cannot be really adjusted [only option is 'Power Save' and 'High Power'] and, unlike for the V570, does not gain much in low-light.

There is an AF-assist light and it is very effective in low-light.

You can also display a framing grid [one of the selection when you press the UP ARROW button continuously] of horizontal and vertical lines, which is very useful when you need to align vertical and horizontal lines precisely.

MENU 1 of 4

- Self-Timer: 2s, 10s, Off, 2 shot
- Burst: On, Off
- Picture Size: 6.0, 5.3 [3:2], 4.0, 3.1, 1.1
- White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Open Shade

MENU 2 of 4

- ISO: Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800
- Color Mode: High Color, Natural Color, Low Color, Black & White, Sepia
- Sharpness: High, Normal, Low
- Exposure Metering: Multi-Pattern, Center-Weight, Center-Spot

MENU 3 of 4

- AF Control [Still]: Continuous AF, Single AF
- Focus Zone: Multi-Zone, Center-Zone
- Long Time Exposure: None, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.3, 1.6, 2.0, 2.5, 3.2, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 8.0 sec.
- Set Album [Still]: Off, album name

MENU 4 of 4

- Image Storage: Auto, Internal Memory
- Setup Menu

SETUP 1 of 5

- Return
- Camera Sounds: Theme, Power On, Focus Lock, Shutter, Self-Timer, Error
- Sound Volume: Off, High, Medium, Low
- Digital Zoom: On, Off

SETUP 2 of 5

- LCD Brightness: Power Save, High Power
- LCD Dimmer: 30 sec, 20 sec., 10 sec., Off
- Auto Power Off: 10 min, 5 min, 3 min, 1 min.
- Bluetooth [see screen shots below]

SETUP 3 of 5

- Date & Time
- Video Out: NTSC, PAL
- Photo Frame
- Auto Picture Rotation: On, Off

SETUP 4 of 5

- Orientation Sensor: On, Off, On Transfer
- Red Eye Preflash: On, Off
- Date Stamp: Off, YYYYMMDD, MMDDYYYY, DDMMYYYY
- Video Date Display: None, YYYYMMDD, MMDDYYYY, DDMMYYYY, YYYYMMDD HH:MM, MMDDYYYY HH:MM, DDMMYYYY HH:MM

SETUP 5 of 5

- Blur Warning: On, Off
- Language: 18 languages to choose from
- Format
- About

BLUETOOTH 1 of 2

- Set Passcode: digits only
- Security: Off, On
- Camera Name: defaults to 'Kodak EasyShare V610'

Click for larger view

BLUETOOTH 2 of 2

- Transfer Size: Ask everytime, QVGA - Fast Transfer, XGA - 4x6PrintQuality, Full Resolution

PROGRAM MODE

- AUTO, Macro ON, Self-Timer 10 sec., Flash Off, 6.0MP, Space left for 528 images, SD Card used, Long Time exposure selected, Continuous AF, Center Zone focusing, Center-Weight metering, Tungsten WB, No Exposure Compensation, Live Histogram
- Framing Grid displayed [press the UP ARROW until grid displays]
- Note that, regretably, shutter speed and aperture never display
- Blur Warning only displays AFTER the picture is taken

LCD INFO

- AUTO, Burst ON, Flash OFF, 6.0MP resolution, Space left for 14 images, Internal Memory used, Continuous AF, Center Zone focus, Tungsten WB, ISO 64, +0.3EV Exposure Compensation, Live Histogram, Zoom indicator
- Color Mode = Sepia

SCENE MODES

- Portrait, Panorama Left-Right, Panorama Right-Left, Sport, Landscape, Close Up, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, Snow, Beach, Text, Fireworks, Flower, Manner/Museum, Self Portrait, Party, Children, Backlight, Panning Shot, Candle Light, Sunset, Custom

MOVIE - VIDEO SIZE

- 640x480 - Best quality
- 640x480 [long] - Medium quality
- 320x240 - Lowest quality

MOVIE - IMAGE STABILIZER

- Off
- On


Note: Some of the screens have been "blackened" to permit a clearer view of the settings.

[Editor's Note: Read our review of the Kodak EasyShare Printer Dock Plus Series 3 printer for a complete home printing solution for easy borderless 4x6 in. prints.]

The Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens is perfect for street candid shooting. No one would think that when you are pointing the Kodak V610 toward them from quite a distance away that you are in fact "up close and personal." Without a long lens protruding and zooming in and out, the Kodak V610 gives all the impression of being your typical 3x zoom lens compact digital camera. But, at 380mm tele, there are lots of candid street shots you can take without your subjects being aware of the photographer. Also, it's for anyone who fancies a 10x optical zoom digital camera they can carry everywhere in their pocket.

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