In case you hadn’t noticed, the Christmas season is nearly upon us. Whatever your philosophical persuasion, this usually entails a few weeks of parties, family gatherings and other social occasions, and that means plenty of opportunities for photographs of long-lost relatives, large groups of unruly children, along with tables full of slightly drunk and overfed people slipping quietly into turkey coma. Given that all our waistlines traditionally expand by a few inches at this time of year, what you really need for this is a wide angle lens, in many cases the wider the better.
This presents a bit of a problem, since the lenses on the majority of zoom compacts have a minimum focal length equal to around 38mm, which really isn’t that wide at all, so in order to get everyone into the frame you either have to step backwards and trip comically into the goldfish pond or spend ten minutes persuading aunt Ethel and cousin Bob to squeeze in a bit more at the ends.
To the rescue comes Kodak, ever the champion of social photography, with the latest in its unique line of dual-lens cameras. The EasyShare V705 has one zoom lens that covers the usual 39-117mm territory occupied by most 3x zoom digital compacts, and another fixed lens that is equivalent to 23mm, by far the widest angle lens on any compact digital camera, and more than enough for even the most extended family get-together.
The V705 has a list price of £249, which is a bit pricey even for a 7.1 megapixel camera, but it’s available online for around £200, which is a lot more reasonable.
It’s a pretty little thing too. Measuring 101 × 49.8 × 20.4mm and weighing 124g it’s one of the slimmest and lightest cameras on the market. It has a minimalist undecorated style to it, a simple rectilinear matt black and chrome box with square corners and very simple controls, but it’s the kind of design that’s unlikely to go out of style.