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One major concern is battery life. The V705 is powered by a relatively puny 720mAh battery, and ran out after less than 100 shots. Admittedly more than half of them were taken using the flash, but for a camera of this type that’s hardly unusual. Li-ion batteries do improve slightly with use, but this is still a fairly poor performance.
The two lenses are concealed behind a large round sliding panel on the front which flips aside as soon as the camera is switched on. Like most Kodak models, the lenses bear the Schneider-Kreuznach C-Variogon label, which is usually a sign of good optical quality.
The unusual zoom system operates in two stages. The 37-117mm zoom operates as normal, but once you reach the widest end, another press of the zoom-out control causes it to switch to the other lens with a sudden jump to ultra-wide angle. Pressing the zoom-in button makes it jump back to the regular zoom. It’s pretty simple, and there’s a little indicator bar on the side of the monitor display to let you know which lens you’re using, if it wasn’t abundantly obvious from the much wider field of view.
It has to be said that the V705 isn’t exactly bursting with other features. As well as full auto exposure it has 22 scene modes, but they’re all fairly common ones such as snow/beach, sunsets, fireworks etc. The movie mode is good, shooting at 640 x 480 resolution at 30fps. Unusually, it is possible to switch between the ultra-wide lens and the optical zoom, and to use the zoom while filming.
Picture quality is perhaps not a primary concern with a camera like this, but it’s actually not at all bad. The image files are very compressed at around 1.5MB each, but at least that means you can get well over 500 pictures on a 1GB card.
Unfortunately it also means there are visible compression artefacts on many images. Image noise handling is not as good as some cameras that I’ve seen recently, and at the 1000 ISO maximum they are really very noisy.
On the whole though image quality is good enough for what the camera is designed for, namely social snapshot photography, at which it excels.
Although it has its limitations, the EasyShare V705 is the ideal snapshot camera for recording social events. As long as you’re not too worried about image noise at high ISO settings or compression artefacts in everything else then it is ideal.