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Like robots, flying cars and houses on the moon, touch-screen controls are one of those things that are simply essential for any properly imagined future. The trouble is that although touch screens look very groovy and sound like a great idea in theory, in practice there are very few occasions when a touch-screen interface is a real improvement over good old-fashioned buttons.
Unfortunately since the Apple iPhone came along, every industrial designer in the world has gone touch-screen crazy, and those working in the digital camera industry have got the bug worse than most. In a way you can see their point; digital cameras already have LCD monitor screens and numerous buttons, so how hard could it be to combine the two? Most of the major camera manufacturers now have at least a couple of touch-screen models in their line-up, for better or worse, and so it’s with a sense of resigned acceptance that I find myself testing a touch-screen camera from Kodak. Or rather, two cameras.
The Kodak V1073 and V1273 are two new models in Kodak-s prestige V-series of high-spec premium compacts. The V1273 has a 12-megapixel 1/1.72 inch CCD sensor, a 3x zoom lens, 6400 ISO maximum sensitivity and HD movie capability. The V1073 is practically identical, apart from its 10-megapixel 1/1.63 inch sensor and 8000 ISO maximum sensitivity, so I thought I’d save a bit of time and review them together.
Of the cameras that I’ve reviewed recently, the most obvious comparison is with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T2 (£155). Although the Sony is only 8.1 megapixels and has a 2.7-inch monitor, it too has a 3x zoom lens, a touch-screen interface and a stylish modern look.