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Kodak V570

The Kodak V570, with its two lenses housed in the same camera, is a significant
departure from the standard point-and-shoot digital camera. This arrangement
allows the camera to achieve a good range of focal length without a protruding
The camera is similar in shape to its predecessor, the V550 and is exceptionally
pocketable at 4 x 2 x .75 inches. Where it differs from the V550 is its
additional wide angle lens... and I mean wide. The optical zoom lens covers a
rather standard focal range from 39mm to 117mm (35mm camera equivalent), while
the second lens is fixed at
When both lenses are considered, this computes to a 5x zoom range. But since the
wide angle lens has a fixed focal length, there is a gap between where the 23mm
ends and the zoom lens picks up at 39mm. Normally, this would result in a visual
jump when changing lenses, but Kodak decided to smooth the transition by
digitally zooming the wide lens from 23mm to 39mm. I don't like digital zooms
because they degrade image quality by cropping. The result is that taking
pictures at the mid range focal lengths (24mm - 38mm) produces images of lower
quality than the 5 megapixels you expected. I disabled the digital zoom feature,
which can be done through the camera's menu.

Beyond the dual lens configuration, there are plenty of good things about the
V570. It has a gorgeous 2.5 inch LCD useful even in bright sunlight. Boot-up
time is less than 3 seconds, and there is virtually no shutter lag. The menu is
easy to navigate with the 5-way joystick, and the zoom control is responsive.
Because the lens doesn't expand from the body, it's a natural pocket stuffer you
can take anywhere.
The V570 can take VGA video clips (640 x 320dpi) at 30 frames per second. I was
able to use both the wide angle and zoom lens, and the camera kept up its auto
focus during shooting. I noticed that since I wasn't recording any voice with
the video, the sound of the auto focus mechanism was prominent in the playback.
Like most digicams, the V570 has a panorama mode. The panorama is limited to
three shots, but because of the super-wide lens, this is enough for the majority
of uses. What's even better about the panorama mode is that the camera stitches
the images rather than having to use a computer. In my test shots, it was nearly
impossible to tell where the images were joined. The panorama mode is one of 21
different scene modes that are easy to select.
Images were crisp and well balanced without any manual intervention or software
tweaks, but the included Kodak EasyShare software made for quick cropping and
color modification where necessary. While the V570 is definitely a
point-and-shoot camera, it's possible to change the exposure on the fly using
the joystick. For users wanting more control over their exposure, the on-screen
exposure histogram provides real-time feedback which makes manual exposure
changes more meaningful.
The EasyShare base, coupled with the in-camera controls and the included
EasyShare software, really do make sharing pictures simple. It's possible to tag
images in the camera for printing or emailing from the camera's menu, then when
the camera is placed in its docking cradle, the selected images are selected for
printing or emailing. The dock also doubles as a battery charger.
The V570 is a good choice as a take-everywhere camera, and possibly a perfect
companion for real estate professionals who will appreciate the wide view and
automatic panoramic function. At 5 megapixels, it isn't the highest resolution
camera in its category, and its retail price of $400 is almost $100 higher than
similar cameras. However, the dual lens configuration is unique and does a good
job at both ends of its focal lengths.