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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 with optional Printer Dock Plus
Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens
with optional Printer Dock Plus Series 3

IMAGE QUALITY

The Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens is a digital camera targeted to Point-and-Shoot (P&S) photographers. It has 6.0 megapixel resolution and Kodak engineers have cleverly installed a Schneider-Kreuznach C-Variogon 38-114mm (35 mm equivalent) 3x optical zoom lens plus a second 130-380mm (35 mm equivalent) 2.9x optical zoom lens for an incredible tele reach in such a compact digital camera!

We find the overall image quality of the Kodak V610 to be good to very good with low noise at ISO 64, but we would have preferred images to retain more details. Image compression is quite high producing file sizes that are between 600KB to 1.5MB. As you move up to the higher ISOs, images look smudged probably due to aggressive noise reduction as well as the high image compression. The Kodak V610 produces images that are rich in colours straight out of the camera. More advanced photographers might object to the high colour saturation.

10x Optical Zoom
Wide-angle 38mm Tele1 114mm Tele2 380mm
Wide-angle 38mm
(35mm equivalent)
Tele1 114mm
(35mm equivalent)
Tele2 380mm
(35mm equivalent)

The Kodak V610 provides up to 10x optical zoom. In the above pictures, we show the coverage for 38mm and then 114mm (35mm equivalent), and then again for the max. tele of 380mm. It takes each lens about 3 sec. to zoom from wide-angle to telephoto. The zooming progression is very smooth; however I counted only 5 steps between wide-angle to tele (for each lens), and so stopping precisely at the zoom position you want is not easy.

3x vs. 10x Optical Zoom

And above, we show why the 380mm lens on the Kodak V610 is such a big deal. The area enclosed in the 1st yellow rectangle approximates the coverage of the 114mm, the 3x optical zoom that most typical compact digital camera will give you. [All 3 pictures above were taken from the same spot.] The 380mm lens on the pocket compact Kodak V610 allows you to get an incredible 10x optical zoom coverage that is possible only on larger digital cameras with long protruding lenses.

The Kodak V610 retains the nifty Panorama feature from the V570 that allows you to take from 2 to 3 images and create a panorama picture in-camera. I usually do not bother with panorama pictures in software because it is such a bother, but it's easy and fun with the V610. Note, though, that it does not save the images separately but stitch them togeter and saves them as one panoramic image. You also have to wait for the stitching to be completed before you switch off the camera -- or lose your picture [that must be a software/hardware bug]!

The Kodak V610 has Auto (really, Programmed Auto) mode and 20 easy-to-use Scene Modes [21, if you count Custom as a scene mode]. There is no Program Shift available in Auto mode.

The camera also provides exposure compensation (no Auto Bracketing) but no Manual White Balance. A Histogram can be displayed both in Playback and Shooting mode.

Shutter speed ranges from 1/8-1/1,400 sec. in Auto mode. Slow shutter speeds from 0.5 to 8 sec. can be manually selected [MENU - Long Time Exposure]. You can set WB but not ISO when using Long Time Exposure.

Macro
Macro
38mm, Long Time Exposure, Multi-Pattern, 1.3 sec., F3.9, ISO 64
WB=Tungsten, Macro, Tripod used

The Kodak V610 can focus as close as 5cm (2 in.) at wide-angle. AF locks precisely and fast, even in low-light [since the AF works on detecting contrast changes, subjects with low contrast might be difficult to get a focus lock in low-light]. There is no AF Area (i.e. you cannot manually move the AF Frame around on the screen to where you want it to focus).

There are three metering modes: Multi-Pattern, Center Weight and Center-Spot. Exposure and focus lock are achieved thru a half-press of the shutter release button.

White Balance Indoors
AWB Tungsten WB
AWB WB = Tungsten

As the above pictures show, the auto white balance is not quite accurate indoors under tungsten light. WB = Tungsten gave the best results. Outdoors, under natural light, the AWB works quite well.

ISO Comparisons
ISO 64
ISO 64
ISO 100 ISO 200
ISO 100 ISO 200
ISO 400 ISO 800
ISO 400 ISO 800 (1.8 MP)

You can set the ISO on the Kodak V610 from 64 to 800. The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white square) demonstrate that noise at ISO 64 and 100 are under control. Noise starts to be visible at ISO 200 and up to ISO 400 is very usable. At ISO 800, the presence of noise takes the form of coloured splotches. We find that noise reduction is too aggressive and results in loss of details.

[Editor's Note: Since we are most interested in ISO when using high ISOs in low-light situations, the above images are therefore usually taken in a low-light situation where long shutter speeds are necessary to correctly expose the images. However, on the Kodak V610, Long Time Exposure is only possible when ISO is set to Auto. Therefore, we have used flash to obtain the above images. If you look at the EXIF info, you'll notice that though the ISO changes, the exposure settings do not -- it seems that the Kodak V610 varies the flash output instead to obtain correct exposure.]

Long Time Exposure & ISO

ISO 64

Interestingly, when selecting a LT exposure, the Kodak V610 will wisely start with the lowest ISO possible to reduce noise. The above picture was taken using a LT of 2.5 sec. and the camera selected aperture F4.8 and ISO 64. It is a much more pleasantly exposed picture than the one taken with flash.

Chromatic Aberrations
CA

We were not able to find much CA in everyday shots. An example is the picture above where the area at top left delimited by the red square, and reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right, shows minimal purple fringing.

Long Shutter Speed
39mm, Long Time Exposure, Multi-Pattern, 8 sec., F3.9, ISO 64
WB=Tungsten, Self-timer, Tripod Used

The Kodak V610 allows the use of a long shutter speed of up to 8 sec., therefore allowing night photography. Note that with Long Exposure set ON, ISO seems to be defaulted to 64. Generally, with CCD image sensors, noise usually becomes more prominent at slow shutter speeds. The kodak V610 has noise reduction (NR) algorithm that automatically kicks in at shutter speeds slower than 0.5 sec. and you'll notice a longer processing time before the next picture can be taken.

To test this noise reduction algorithm, we take a low-light indoors shot using a long shutter speed of 8 sec. The NR works quite well. The AF worked very well in low-light, and the AF-assist Illuminator made for precise and fast focus lock [again, depends on how contrasty your subject is].

PERFECT TOUCH Technology allows you to brighten only the dark areas on an image.

The last feature we will mention is the histogram. The histogram can be displayed both in Playback and Shooting modes. The histogram is invaluable to give an indication of under- and over-exposure (don't rely on the LCD/EVF since the brightness is adjustable and may be misleading).

Overall, the Kodak V610 is capable of producing good to very good image quality at ISO 64 with good image detail overall (though some detail loss is very apparent depending on the subject matter, probably due to a combination of aggressive noise reduction and hih image compression). Images also look soft, but you can specify a sharpness level in the MENU. One area needing improvement is that highlights tend to be easily blown. Colours are very saturated and vibrant and you won't need to adjust in software.

The pictures in the Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of what the camera is capable of. I have provided samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality 60/100 in Photoshop Elements) as well as the 6.1MP 2832× 2128 pixels original size. Click on the image for the original version.

You can safely assume that most macro shots and slow shutter speed shots required the use of a tripod. Any image that is adjusted for levels in Photoshop has "_adjusted" appended to the file name (though the original sized image is, of course, not adjusted). The navigation images at the top are usually adjusted (levels and sharpening).

I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels. For those who have their monitor resolution set to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit and you should not have to scroll to see the whole image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels resolution, start the slide show and then scroll to the right to position the image within your screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode, and the image should fill your screen nicely. Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor display back to normal mode.

To return to this page from the Photo Gallery, click on the animated graphics of the camera.

Please open and download the original size version only if you need to and only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!

 

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