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Digital Camera Reviews > Kodak V705
Kodak V705 Dual Lens Review
Date: Oct 10, 2006
Kodak EasyShare V705 Dual Lens
with optional Photo Printer Dock Plus Series
Tuesday, Sep 26, 2006 - Here's what I receive
in the box:
- EasyShare V705 Dual Lens
- No memory card included [but it has 32MB of
- [I received a 256MB Hi-Speed Core Micro SD
- Li-ion rechargeable battery
- AC Adapter
- USB / A/V connector
- Wrist Strap
- Soft Bag
- Custom Camera Insert for Docking Station
- Custom Printer Insert for optional Printer
- Interface Cables: A/V; USB
- Software CDs: EasyShare v6.0 software with
- Instruction Manual: Getting Started Guide
- I also received the optional Printer Dock
Plus Series 3 Printer to review
The Kodak EasyShare V705 Dual Lens digital
camera in its silver all-metal body looks simply
stunning. I believe I like it in silver much better
than the all-black V570
it replaces. The construction also seems to be
a notch higher. Everything else is basically the
same as in the V570, except for the higher resolution
(7.1MP vs. 5MP), a higher ISO 1000 (vs. ISO 800),
lower ISO 50 (vs. ISO 64), and some other minor
Which means the Kodak V705 still has the two
features that set it apart from its competitors
and are the most fun to use: the 23mm ultra-wide
angle lens that is perfect for group shots and
wide landscape vistas; and, an innovative and
easy-to-use in-camera panorama stitch mode that
needs only 3 pictures to cover a full panoramic
This is one beautiful digital camera that looks
like an expensively crafted fashion jewellery.
The attention to detail, from the brushed silver
lens cap to the etched letters speak of quality.
Don't take my word for it: head to your favourite
digital camera retailer and hold one in your hand.
This is one gift that will not be returned to
From Left to Right, Everyone Is Included In
If you are always complaining that your digital
camera does not take good group shots, the Kodak
V705 will delight you. Its 23mm ultra wide-angle
lens will allow you to include everyone without
having to back up until no one's face is recognizable
anymore. In addition, its unique in-camera panoramic
feature allows you to "walk across"
a line of people for an amazing panoramic group
shot. Note that you won't be able to do that in
low-light because the flash will not cover that
wide an angle.
Great Panoramic Shots As Easy As 1-2-3
When I first started using digital cameras, the
possibility to take real panoramic shots (not
the pseudo "panorama" mode of APS film
cameras that simply cropped the top and bottom
portion of the picture to simulate a panorama
shot) was a powerful attraction. As I dabbled
into it, I found that the software you used mattered
as well as how helpful the panorama mode of the
For example, did the camera display part of the
previous shot as semi-transparent to allow easy
alignment with the next shot? The more closely
aligned your shots are, the more seamless your
final resultant panorama shot will be.
Also, I found that the panorama software had
to be good or I could spend hours trying to get
the stitching right. There are some good ones
out there, but who likes spending time stitching
That is why the Kodak V705's in-camera panorama
stitching is such a winner. It works well but
does require that you align your shots carefully
-- and that can be challenging using a relatively
small LCD screen (compared to a 17-in. or larger
computer screen). Our panorama image samples were
handheld and so suffers from some misalignment,
though you would not be able to see it unless
you view it full size. Overall, if you choose
your alignment points carefully, your panorama
shots should come out very acceptable.
[See our tips on how to take
great panorama shots with the Kodak V705.]
I don't believe Kodak has targeted those who
love wide landscape vistas strongly enough. This
is easily a new sub category that could take off
in new printers, paper types, etc. catering to
[Editor's Note: A note of caution is necessary
when you are taking only 2 shots. When you are
taking 3 shots, the camera automatically stitches
the shots together after the third shot is taken.
Not so with 2-shot panoramas. You must
press the mini Joystick in to start the stitching
process. If you simply power off, the camera does
not stitch first then power off; it simply turns
off and no warning is given that you will lose
those shots. The Kodak V705 has still not fixed
this design flaw first seen in the V570, then
the V610. We hope Kodak fixes this "feature"
in a future firmware upgrade.]
To Take Great Panorama Shots With The Kodak
It is easy to take great panorama shots
with the Kodak V705. There are three reasons
1) The ultra-wide angle lens covers a wide
field of view with only 2 shots and a full
180° with 3 shots.
2) The in-camera panorama stitching gives
you a semi-transparent overlay of the previous
shot that greatly helps in proper alignment.
3) The Panorama scene mode is divided into
2 scene modes: Left-Right and Right-Left.
In case you're wondering what's the big
deal, it is. Read Tip #1 to see why.
Here are 4 tips that will help you nail
that panorama shot everytime:
Tip #1 - Select Your
First Shot Carefully
When taking multiple images for a panorama
shot, the first shot is used to meter the
exposure. This is important to keep in mind
if you want to have your panorama shots
Let's take an example where you want to
take a 3-shot panorama of a Family Room
- Breakfast Area - Kitchen (say, from Left
to Right in that order), as is currently
the design for many new houses in the Toronto
real-estate market. The Family Room usually
includes a large porch door that allows
lots of light in while the Kitchen is usually
the area with less light. So depending on
whether you take your first shot with the
Family Room or the Kitchen, the exposure
will be metered and set differently.
If you start with the Kitchen first (a
Right-Left shot), the camera meters for
the somwhat dark Kitchen and exposes it
correctly. Next you move left to the Breakfast
Area, and the exposure is still OK. But
when you move to the Family Room, the porch
door ends up being too over-exposed, resulting
in a not-too-successful panorama shot.
Reverse the panning order and select the
Panorama Left-Right scene mode instead.
Now, on your first shot, the camera meters
for the large porch door and correctly exposes
the Family Room. Next you move right to
the Breakfast Area and the exposure is still
OK. When you move to the Kitchen, depending
on how dark it is, you might either end
up with an under-exposed Kitchen shot, or
more probably (since the Kitchen also has
a window), slightly under-exposed but OK
Overall, this Left-Right shot might come
out better than the previous Right-Left
For great panorama shots, always give it
a dry run first, checking the 2 or 3 shots
that you want to stitch together, and carefully
selecting the one to make your first shot.
A good rule of thumb is to start with the
shot that has the most light that may come
out way overexposed or the one with the
least light that may come out way underexposed.
If all 3 shots are lighted about the same,
it does not make a difference which Panorama
mode you choose. If in doubt, take two panorama
shots, one Left-Right, then a second one
Right-Left, then select to keep the best.
Tip #2 - Keep Camera
A second important thing to keep in mind
is to keep your camera level. Keeping the
camera level keeps your horizon level, so
the ceiling does not slope up or down. It
also allows alignment of the 3 shots to
be as perfect as possible. Using a tripod
here is highly recommended.
Tip #3 - Pivot Around
The third tip is to pivot around the center
of the camera, not your body. In other words,
it's the camera that should pivot, not you.
This is because we are not holding the camera
close against our face, peering through
the viewfinder. There is no viewfinder and
we are holding our hands out and looking
into the LCD monitor. So just pivot the
camera (imagine it's on a tripod), and the
wide viewing angle of the LCD monitor definitely
helps here. Of course, as in the previous
tip, placing the camera on a level surface
or a tripod is highly recommended.
Take 3 shots and you have covered a full
180°. Don't have to stop there. After
the stitching is complete, take another
3 shots, continuing to pivot so that you
cover the next 180°, for a full 360°.
You do not need to pivot at all. If you
are taking a picture of an essentially flat
and wide subject, e.g. a mural, simply start
at one end and walk across the mural, being
careful to keep the camera level and the
same distance from the wall. Too bad Kodak
restricts panorama shots to 3 only; some
murals may need more than 3 shots.
Tip #4 - Be Careful When
The one thing to be careful of when including
people in your panorama shots is if they
are moving around, you may end up with one
or more persons appearing more than once
in your final panorama shot.
It's also quite difficult, even impossible,
to align 2 shots if you are using a moving
person as your alignment point. If the person
walks away when you take the next shot,
you may end up with a half-bodied "ghost."
Follow these 4 tips and your panorama shots
should come out great. As usual, practice
Since the camera starts out at the ultra-wide
angle 23mm focal length, and it is a fixed-focus
lens, there are no AF frame on the LCD screen
to indicate focus is achieved.
Remember it is fixed focus, so there is
no focusing to perform: objects within the
distance range specified are always in focus.
So, do not panic if you do not see the AF frame
-- there is simply no need to focus.
Similarly, AF-assist never needs to fire when
using a fixed-focus lens.
Also you can't do macro with the ultra-wide angle
lens. Setting the camera to macro automatically
switches to the second "normal" lens.
The menu structure on the Kodak V705 has improved
somewhat on that of the V570. Readers will remember
that I complained then that there were no indication
what the settings were.
example, on the V570, when you are on the third
SETUP page (SETUP 3 of 5, reproduced at the right),
the highlighted option displays "Red Eye
Preflash" at the top.
But you would not be able to tell just by looking
at the two options above it that Distortion Compensation
is set to ON and Orientation Sensor to OFF.
On the V705, small icons now display besides each
setting value and that helps if you remember /
recognize what the icons represent. Not bad. I
contend that there is still lots of space to include
a text beside the icon, and even beginners would
appreciate that extra help.
The MENU structure is just a long list of items,
and to reach an option, you have no choice but
to patiently scroll thru each item until you reach
the one you want. This makes it super easy for
first-time users, but more advanced users would
love to have some means of faster access, perhaps
Though the Kodak V705 is targeted to beginners,
more advanced photographers will find useful manual
For example, its Auto mode is really a Programmed
Auto mode, allowing changes to WB, ISO, Exposure
Metering mode, Focus Zone.
One standard feature that I really appreciate
with Kodak digital cameras is that the Left and
Right arrow keys default to Exposure Compensation.
No need to go into the Menu to do it or press
an extra button. The danger is that you may inadvertently
dial in an exposure compensation but it surprisingly
does not happen easily here -- perhaps because
the mini Joystick does require a conscious and
definite push to dial in a change of setting.
Frustrated that the camera does not keep your
MENU settings [SETUP settings are kept]? Any changes
you make in the MENU apply only to the current
session. When next time you power on, the camera
will default back to its factory-shipped settings.
There are now 2 ways to keep your MENU settings.
The first way, which carries from the V570 and
V610, is to use the Custom scene mode: Just press
SCN, select Custom (it's the last icon), and press
OK. Then go into menu and set your favourite settings.
When you turn off/on the camera, it will default
back to Auto mode. Press SCN and select Custom
again (if that's where you left it last time,
the icon will still be selected) to retrieve your
In our V570 review, we asked Kodak to add an
option in SETUP for those of us who like our MENU
settings to stay (and proposed Menu Changes =
Reset | Stay). Well, on the V750, there is now
an additional option called "Maintain Settings"
in MENU that allows you to save certain of the
most used settings: Flash, WB, ISO, Color Mode,
Sharpness, Exposure Metering, and Focus Zone.
This saves you from having to go to Scene Mode
to select Custom. Thank you, Kodak!
EasyShare Software 126.96.36.199
Kodak EasyShare Software 5
Kodak EasyShare Software 6
There is a change from EasyShare 5 to EasyShare
6 (as the above two screen captures show). It's
basically the same software and layout with a
move away from traditional Kodak yellow to a more
"fading / transparent grey" theme. I
don't remember if you could do that before, but
you can now drag a thumbnail into the "Picture
You can substitute the default background image
to one of your own "Personal Background Theme"
as I have done above substituting the default
Aqua Star (Kodak provides 11 more background themes)
with the picture of the Eaton Centre. To select
a picture to use as your Personal Background Theme
is easy: simply right-click on the picture and
select "Set as Personal Background Theme...".
The background image is very faint (perhaps a
bit too faint?) and the other areas of the screen
is just a tad too grey for my tastes. It gives
a smudgy look overall. But I like the idea of
themes and skins, and so perhaps in a future version,
Kodak will provide the capability to change colors
of the other screen items and not just the background?
The EasyShare Software 6 remains easy to install
and use. Anyone (even if you do not own a Kodak
digital camera) can download it for free. If you
are running an older version, you can download
the most recent one from Kodak's
The default transfer directory on Windows XP
is the "My Pictures" directory on the
C: drive in Documents and Settings. I much prefer
to create a new directory under a name of my own
choosing so I can easily find the pictures when
I need to. You set this directory in: Tools -
Preferences... - Transfer - Browse. One improvement
suggestion here is to be able to create a new
folder while in EasyShare; as it is implemented
now, I need to launch Windows Explorer to create
a new folder and then come back to EasyShare to
specify it as my default transfer folder for this
If you use the EasyShare Software to edit your
photos, be aware that the default image compression
is set to less than the highest quality possible.
So the pictures you edit and save will be of less
quality than the original one. (Always save using
a different name so you don't muck up the original
picture.) This is all right if that's what you
want. But if you want the highest quality, go
to: Tools - Preferences... - General tab - select
Large File/High Quality JPEG compression.
The EDIT function allows you to Crop, Rotate,
remove Red Eye, auto Enhance, Scene Balance (exposure,
shadow, highlight), Color Balance (pseudo WB correction),
apply various Scene Effects (B&W, Sepia Tone,
Forest, Scenic, Portrait, Sunset), apply Fun Effects
(Spotlight, Coloring Book, Cartoon, Fisheye),
and create cards. You can also burn selected images
to a CD or DVD.
The one improvement suggestion I would have liked
to see is complete detailed EXIF info. Kodak probably
thinks the target audience for this camera would
not care one bit about EXIF info, but it's already
there in each picture, so why not simply display
it for more advanced users? Not much is missing:
Exposure Compensation, Macro, and other effects
One-Touch Printing With
The Printer Dock Plus Series 3
I also received the optional Printer Dock Plus
Series 3 printer that prints borderless 4x6 in.
prints. From unpacking the printer to printing
your first photo, "It's so easy that even
mom can do it." [Trademark, Photoxels
You will need to use the printer insert that
came with the Kodak V705 and place that on top
of the printer to act as a cradle for the camera.
Placing the camera on the Printer Dock Plus will
recharge your camera (same 3 battery charging
LEDS), play a slide show and perform One-Touch
Printing is really one-touch easy, printing either
directly from the Kodak V705 or from the EasyShare
software. Everything you need to start printing
immediately is included in the printer kit: the
printer itself, color cartridge that slides in
without any mess, 10 sheets of glossy photo paper,
and paper tray.
Slide the color cartridge in (there's only one
way to slide it in, so you won't make a mistake);
put the paper in the tray (glossy side up, and
you'll need to first slide the cover out about
half way) and insert tray in printer (slide the
cover back except for a couple of inches); plug
in power cable; plug in USB cable if you intend
to print from your PC; and/or place custom printer
insert (that came with the Kodak V705) on top
of the printer if you intend to print directly
from the camera.
If you print directly from the camera, there
is nothing to set up.
If you print from your PC, you should first click
the "Print at Home" tab, then "Printer
Setup" and select "KODAK printer dock
plus s3" in the Printer Name drop down, and
Orientation = Landscape. Click OK to accept the
changes. [Note you cannot just go to your PC's
"Printers and Faxes" (if running Win
XP) and set the KODAK printer as the default printer.
It doesn't work.]
Then select the picture, and press (or click)
"Print" to send the image to the printer.
[Or, select a photo, Right-Click and select "Quick
Print".] In about 70 sec. (if printing from
my PC, a Windows XP 1.6GHz 512MB) or 90 sec. (if
priting directly from the camera), a beautiful
4x6 in. print is the result. The photo is printed
in 4 passes: one each for yellow, red, blue, then
a clear coat of lamination to make the print waterproof
The printer is also equipped with Bluetooth 1.1
wireless technology for wireless printing from
compatible Bluetooth wireless technology enabled
devices, including PDAs and wireless mobile phones.
The printer will receive Bluetooth signals from
within 10 m (30 ft).
If you have a Wi-Fi wireless network, you can
purchase an optional Kodak Wi-Fi card and insert
it into the card slot in the printer for wireless
transfer and printing.
[Editor's Note: I have not tested the Bluetooth
and Wi-Fi technology.]
Make sure you have enough clearance (about 5
in. / 12.7 cm) on the other side of the printer
since that is where the paper will slide out temporarily
before being run through the printer again. In
all, you'd need a minimum real estate of 46 x
20 cm (or, 18 x 8 in.) desk space for the printer.
It is that simple and it beats waiting for the
camera store to return your prints. It is also
compact enough to bring with you to a party, family
visit, or other social occasion. Purchase a kit
containing a color cartridge and 40 photo paper,
bring it all with you, and you can take pictures
and immediately print and leave a copy with family
The Kodak EasyShare V705 Dual Lens is
a one-of-a-kind digital camera that gives well
exposed, good to very good quality images straight
out of the camera. Its ultra-wide angle lens should
be a major selling point for many who desire or
require that wide coverage. It is very easy to
use and, paired with the optional Printer Dock
Plus Series 3 printer, you have One-Touch facility
in transferring images to your PC and printing
4x6 in. prints in the convenience of your home.