The Kodak Easyshare V610 is a very slim digital camera with a 10x optical zoom lens. In fact at the time of writing this review the Easyshare V610 is the smallest digital camera available with such a long zoom. Kodak achieves this feat by using two lenses. The first is for standard photos and the second is for when more zoom is required. Other key points to note are that this is a six megapixel camera and scores strongly in terms of ease of use. The Easyshare V610 also includes Bluetooth technology.
111 x 55.5 x 23.2mm
In a camera of this size incorporating either a long telephoto one is a real challenge. In my opinion this has lead to a compromise in image quality in places, but I would say that is to be expected.
When it comes to image quality I would say the good points include the colours and a lack of purple fringing. Weaknesses include dark areas when using the standard lens and over exposed images with the telephoto lens. I also noticed more noise than I would like to see both when using automatic ISO settings and also after manually adjusting these to higher levels.
Looking at the outdoor scenic shots the blue skies indicate both the strong colours available and also the levels of noise that can creep into a picture. Both of these factors are also evident in the dedicated test for colours. The noise problems lead to the skies appearing rough rather than a continuous, smooth layer of blue.
A level of detail is also lost in the light areas of the boats in photos one and three. In the second picture taken with the standard lens there are noticeable darker areas around the edge of the photo. These can be alleviated to a degree by using a feature called Perfect Touch after the photo has been taken. This helps to brighten the pictures.
Focusing is about average. I have seen sharper photos and at the same time I have seen an awful lot worse. The images manage to stay fairly sharp towards the edges. The test photos taken with the telephoto lens tend to be sharper than those I managed with the standard lens.
One big surprise was the levels of purple fringing. In fact it is almost impossible for me to see any in my test shots. Purple fringing is a thin purple line that gets added to the edges of light coloured objects. It is almost ever present in a typical super zoom camera, so the fact it is so difficult to detect here is a major plus point.
The outdoor portrait is over exposed. This also happens in the macro shot too. This leads to detail being lost in each of the photos.
Indoors in lowlight the camera works well when the flash is in use. Both the portrait and the shot of beer bottles are good. I would like to have seen brighter results, but again I was able to improve the quality of the photos by using the Perfect Touch feature. The sample images available with this review show the original, unaltered photos.
Finally the shots taken at ISO 400 and ISO 800 are not that great. There is a clear deterioration in picture quality using these settings.
Shutter Lag and Recycling Times
I was able to take a single photo in 0.19 seconds and five photos in 7.35 seconds. These are both fast times. These times were achieved using the standard lens. In my tests the camera found it harder to focus using the telephoto lens. It should also be noted that there is a small time delay in switching from one lens to another.
You can compare this camera to other models by taking a look at the Shutter Lag Comparison Table.
The two lenses have the following characteristics. The standard lens has a focal length equivalent to 38 - 114 mm in 35mm format. This lens has a maximum aperture of f/3.9-f/4.4. The telephoto lens has a focal length equivalent to 130 - 380mm in 35mm format. The maximum aperture of this one is f4.8. There is also a digital zoom feature offering an additional 4x zoom.
You can decrease the number of megapixels you shoot at all the way down to 1.1 megapixels. You may wish to do this to save space on a memory card or to take photos more suitable for sending by email. There is also a resolution setting that is optimised for 4 x 6" prints. It should be noted that this setting has a maximum resolution of 5.3 megapixels.
Another feature I like is the large 2.8" LCD screen. This is made up of around 230,000 pixels. There is no room for a viewfinder.
When it comes to focusing there are a number of auto focus settings available. These options include multi zone and centre spot focusing. Single AF and continuous AF are available. For close up focusing the Easyshare V610 can focus from 5cm away from the subject.
To help take the best possible photos a number of scene modes are available. These are 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, candlelight, sunset and custom. When you select a scene mode the camera will use what it considers to be the optimum settings for the type of shot.
To add variety to your shots there are also a number of colour modes to select from. These are high colour, natural colour, low colour, sepia and black and white.
Continuous shooting is catered for by a burst mode. This lets you reel off up to eight images at a maximum speed of 1.6 frames per second. A histogram is also available to help with exposures. For when you would like to appear in a photo there is a self timer. This has a two or ten second delay. There is also a two photo setting.
The built flash unit has a maximum range of 3.4m at ISO 280. The flash modes you can use are auto, off, fill, digital red-eye reduction.
Among the more advanced settings you can take control over are metering (multipattern, center-weighted, center-spot), exposure compensation (±2.0 EV with 0.3 EV steps), white balance (auto, daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, open shade) and sensitivity (ISO equivalent 64-400 (auto) and 64, 100, 200, 400, 800 (manual)).
Shutter speeds are set automatically by the camera in the range 8 - 1200 seconds.
Movies of up to 80 minutes can be recorded. The maximum resolution of each movie is 640 x 480 pixels. The maximum recording speed is 30 frames per second. Zoom is available while recording is progress and sound can be captured too. Digital image stabilisation is also available in movie mode.
Kodak supplies all the necessary cables and software to connect the Easyshare V610 to a PictBridge compatible printer, television set and computer.
Ease of Use
I have no complaints when it comes to ease of use. I find the Kodak menu system well presented and easy to navigate. Key buttons for zoom, flash mode, reviewing photos etc. can all be found on the back of the camera.
You can pick up a Kodak Easyshare V610 for around £240. This compares to around £165 for a Canon IXUS 60, £200 for a Sony DSC T9 and £165 for a Nikon Coolpix S9.
It is not surprising to find that the Kodak Easyshare V610 is a lot more expensive than other more standard six megapixel digital cameras. You are paying for the dual lens here. It is hard to say if the camera offers good value for money as there are not really any other cameras to directly compare it to.
The pocket sized digital cameras in the Kodak Easyshare have a fairly distinctive look. They have slightly elongated rectangular shapes and are black. In many ways these cameras look quite stark and gadget like.
The Easyshare V610 weighs 160g and has dimensions of 111 × 55.5 × 23.2 mm.
Batteries and Memory Cards
Power is supplied to the camera by a rechargeable Lithium Ion battery (KLIC-7001). Kodak supplies both the battery and charger with the Easyshare V610.
Although the camera is compatible with SD cards there are 32mb of memory built into the camera. Therefore a memory card is not supplied as standard. I was able to take a very respectable 33 images before the memory became full.
Click here to save money on SD cards..
Points I like:
10x zoom in pocket sized camera
Ease if use
Large 2.8" LCD screen
Perfect Touch built in technology
Where it is not so hot:
Some photos are over exposed
I think Kodak should be applauded for their ambition when building the Easyshare V610. In my view there are a few compromises when it comes to image quality, but if you want a pocket sized digital camera with a very long zoom lens this is the only camera available.
Kodak Easyshare V610 Front View
Kodak Easyshare V610 Back View
Kodak Easyshare V610 Top View
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