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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak V705 Dual Lens

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Kodak V705 Dual Lens Review

Review Date: Oct 10, 2006

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Kodak EasyShare V705 Dual Lens

HANDLING & FEEL

There is only one phrase that adequately describes the Kodak EasyShare V705 Dual Lens: stunningly beautiful! It is available in all-silver, all-black and pink models (all right, "Midnight Black, Silver Essence and Absolute Pink"), but it is especially the all-silver model that seems to elicit this kind of WOW reaction among those who see the Kodak V705.

Handling wise, nothing much has changed from the Kodak V570 that it replaces (and that we reviewed back in April 2006). It still has the same dimensions and weight, which means that it's still thin enough to comfortably slide into your loose trousers pocket, though you may find it a bit wide at 101mm (4 in.).

Note that, unlike for the V570, the Kodak V705 does not come standard with a docking station.

The Kodak V705 has an overall silver (or black or pink) body with chrome accents. A small and thin strap post serves as a minimalist grip and use of the wrist strap is highly recommended. The optical zoom lenses are flush with the body and do not extend externally (thanks to the use of folded optics).

Most regular readers will be familiar by now with Kodak's famous "Dual Lens" label which, as the name implies, means that that there are not one but two quality Schneider KREUZNACH C-VARIOGON lenses on the Kodak V705: one is a regular 3x optical zoom lens (39-117 mm, 35mm equivalent) and the second one is a 23 mm-fixed ultra-wide angle lens that sets the V705 apart from its competitors.

This KODAK RETINA Dual Lens Technology enables you to zoom almost seamlessly from one lens to the other, with a slight jump from 23mm to 39mm as the camera automatically switches lens during the zoom. You can also enable digital zoom to permit "zooming" from 23mm to 39mm, but image quality is compromised and we therefore do not recommend using digital zoom.

When you power on the camera, the thin round built-in metal lens cover slides open (in a satisfyingly futuristic way) and reveals the two lenses: the ultra-wide angle lens above the standard zoom lens (try it: cover each in turn with a sheet of paper). Kodak wisely engraves the 35mm equivalent focal lengths on the "lens barrel" and the black on silver engraving looks very professional. "Behind" each lens is an image sensor with 7.1MP resolution each.

Startup time is fast at just slightly less than 2 sec. (from power ON to image appearing on LCD); shot to shot time is fast about less than 1 sec. -- 10 shots (versus 4 for the V570) until the buffer is full; and there is no practical shutter lag. Burst mode takes 7 images in sequence in about 4 sec. Autofocus is fast and precise. The Kodak V705 uses the Secure Digital (SD) memory card.

STYLE
- Colours: overall silver (or black or pink) with chrome accents
- Looks: stunningly beautiful (esp."Silver Essence")
   
FEEL
- The elongated shape provides room for a comfortable grip
- Controls are straightforward to use but on the small side
   
DIMENSIONS & WEIGHT
- Ultra Compact: fits in a pocket or small fashion purse
- Dimensions: 101 × 49.8 × 20.4 mm /
4 × 2 × .8 in.
- Weight: 125 g / 4.5 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 less than 1 sec.
- No practical shutter lag
   

Included in the box is a rechargeable Li-ion battery that can take about 150 shots with LCD on (CIPA standard) on a fresh charge and an AC Adapter that plugs directly into the camera to recharge the battery in approx. 3 hours.

There is no Terminal connector on the camera so to transfer images from camera to your PC, you need to use the supplied USB/AV connector.

The flash is quite powerful and physically placed close to the top edge, so be careful your left fingers do not get in the way when using flash.

Controls

There is no Mode Dial but a series of small round buttons on the top and thin rectangular buttons on the back of the camera give access to the various modes. On the top of the camera is the Shutter Release button, Power ON/OFF button, AUTO/SCN button, Movie button, and Favorites button.

On the back of the camera are the Flash, Delete, Menu, Review, and Share buttons on the left side of the LCD, and the Zoom Lever and mini Joystick ("4 Way Controller") on the right of the LCD. Besides Flash and Macro/Infinity, all other functions are accessed through the Menu button.

The mini Joystick LEFT and RIGHT positions are defaulted to Exposure Compensation. I personally love this default implementation though you should be careful that you do not inadvertently dial in an exposure compensation and end up with lots of under- or over-exposed pictures. The mini Joystick is physically close to the Zoom lever and I find that my thumb touches the mini Joystick everytime I pick up the camera.

Overall, I find the control buttons can be somewhat difficult to operate at first, and would have preferred a few extra mm, both in length and width. However, each click is precise, and you do get used to them after a while. The control buttons seem to be geared for delicate touch and handling.

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 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). The camera will also pick up the noise made by the Countinous AF. In a setting with normal background noise, you will probably not hear the zoom and Continuous AF sounds.

Video Storage Capacity
(min. sec.)
32MB
Internal Memory
256MB
2GB
640x480
45"
7' 04"
56' 21"
640x480+
1' 29"
13' 42"
80' 00"
320x240
1' 56"
17' 54"
80' 00"

Kodak EasyShare V705 Dual Lens Back View

FUNCTIONS ACCESSIBLE BY CONTROL BUTTONS (clockwise starting from the Zoom Lever)
- Zoom Lever: The circular Zoom Lever toggles up and down. It takes about 3 sec to zoom from wide to tele. The zooming action is very smooth but there are only 5 steps you can stop at.
- Mini Joystick (4 Way Arrows):
= 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, Favorites, Print All, Cancel Prints
- REVIEW: with Zoom. View By, Album, PERFECT TOUCH Tech., Crop, Slide Show, Multi-Up, Copy, Protect, Image Storage. Touch shutter release button to immediately return to Shooting mode.
- MENU
- DELETE: Picture, All
- FLASH: Off, On, Auto Red-Eye Reduction, Auto
   
MACRO, INFINITY
-

Push the mini Joystick DOWN to select MACRO.

-

Push the mini Joystick DOWN again to select LANDSCAPE (INFINITY); useful when shooting thru windows, and for far-away scenes [not specified, but probably 32.8 ft (10 m)-infinity]

-

Not available in ultra-wide angle

BURST
- The camera takes up to 7 pictures as long as the shutter release button is depressed. Recording ceases when the shutter button is released or the memory card is full. The 7 shots are taken in about 4 sec. in 7.1MP image size for a brightly lit subject (you may get faster or slower times depending on the speed of your SD Card). 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 turns OFF after the picture is taken.
   
EXPOSURE COMPENSATION
- Exposure Compensation is always ON and dialed in by pushing the mini Joystick LEFT or RIGHT.
- 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 in Playback or live in Shooting mode by pushing the mini Joystick 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
- ISO cannot be set and defaults to Auto, though it seems to be available only at ISO 50.
   

A feature that Kodak gets right is the tripod socket that is: 1) metal and 2) almost centered inline with the lens. This permits taking easy panorama pictures on a tripod. If Kodak can provide a metal tripod and position it properly on a P&S camera, why can't other digital camera manufacturers do the same?

Speaking of panoramas, the in-camera stitching of up to 3 pictures is among the best I've seen so far. Read more about it in the User's Experience section.

The Battery Compartment is at the bottom of the camera and there is a latch to keep the battery from accidentally falling. You won't be able to change battery or card when the camera is on a tripod. The SD Card Compartment is on the right side of the camera (viewed from the back), protected by a metal-coloured plastic flap.

LCD & Menus

There is no optical viewfinder but a very nice extra large 2.5 in. LCD monitor with a high 230,000 pixels resolution. The LCD has a fast refresh rate for a smooth display in good light and low light. The LCD monitor's brightness can be adjusted in SETUP (Power Save and High Power), is very clear and automatically gains up very well in low-light (just slightly grainy) and well in extreme low-light (grainy). Kodak LCDs remain among the very best we've used so far with the best low-light performance and a wide viewing angle.

There is an AF-assist light (the lamp beside the two lenses) and it is very effective in low-light. Note that the AF-assist light will not fire when you have selected the ultra-wide angle lens because that is a fixed focal length lens and therefore no focusing is ever needed.

New is a Maintain Settings option. You can select to maintain the settings for Flash, White Balance, ISO Speed and a few others (see the screen shots below) so that they are retained when you power off the camera. Next time you power on the camera, these settings are restored. You can still use the Custom scene mode to save your favourite settings.

MENU 1 of 4

- Self-Timer: 2 sec., 10 sec., Off, 2 shot (10 sec. and 18 sec.)
- Burst: On, Off
- Picture Size: 7.1, 6.3 [3:2], 5.0, 3.1, 1.1
- White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Open Shade

MENU 2 of 4

- ISO: Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
- 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.
- Maintain Settings: Flash, White Balance, ISO Speed, Color Mode, Sharpness, Exposure Metering, Focus Zone

MENU 4 of 4


- Set Album [Still]: Off, Birthday, Holiday, Wedding, album name
- 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, 20, 10 sec., Off
- Auto Power Off: 10 min, 5 min, 3 min, 1 min.
- Date & Time

SETUP 3 of 5

- Video Out: NTSC, PAL
- Photo Frame
- Distortion Compensation: On, Off [Turn On to reduce distortion caused by the ultra-wide angle lens]
- Orientation Sensor: On, Off, On Transfer

SETUP 4 of 5

- 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
- Blur Warning: On, Off [Blur Warning only displays AFTER the picture is taken]

SETUP 5 of 5

- Language
- Format
- About

LANGUAGE

- 20 languages to choose from

METERING

- Multi-Pattern
- Center-Weight
- Center-Spot

ISO 1 of 2

- Auto
- 50
- 100
- 200

ISO 2 of 2

- 200
- 400
- 800
- 1000

PROGRAM MODE

- AUTO, Macro ON, Self-Timer set at 2 sec., Flash Off, 7.1MP, Space left for 112 images, SD Card used, Tungsten WB, +0.3EV Exposure Compensation, Live Histogram
- Framing Grid displayed [press the i/LCD button (UP ARROW key) until grid displays]
- Note that, regretably, shutter speed and aperture never display, not even in Review
- Blur Warning only displays AFTER the picture is taken

LCD INFO

- Color Mode = Sepia

SCENE MODES - CUSTOM

- 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

SCENE MODES - PANORAMA

- Allows you to cover 180° with just 3 panaroma shots
- Left to Right or Right to Left
- First shot determines exposure

LONG TIME EXPOSURE 1 of 4

- None
- 0.5 sec.
- 0.6 sec.
- 0.8 sec.

LONG TIME EXPOSURE 2 of 4

- 1.0 sec.
- 1.3 sec.
- 1.6 sec.
- 2.0 sec.

LONG TIME EXPOSURE 3 of 4

- 2.5 sec.
- 3.2 sec.
- 4.0 sec.
- 5.0 sec.

LONG TIME EXPOSURE 4 of 4

- 6.0 sec.
- 8.0 sec.

MAINTAIN SETTINGS 1 of 2

- Flash
- White Balance
- ISO Speed

MAINTAIN SETTINGS 2 of 2

- Color Mode
- Sharpness
- Exposure Metering
- Focus Zone

MOVIE - VIDEO SIZE

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

MOVIE - IMAGE STABILIZER

- On
- Off


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

With its ultra-wide angle lens and easy in-camera panorama stitching, the Kodak EasyShare V705 Dual Lens is a perfect camera for large group shots of family and friends, panoramic landscape vistas and wide real estate shots.

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