Kodak chose the OXO Tower on London’s South Bank to show of its latest digital camera. That’s no bad thing, the OXO Tower used to be one of my favourite restaurants, with stunning views over the River Thames, especially if you book a table as the sun is setting. Where better to show off a new camera, especially one that can create panoramic images from multiple shots? But enough about the venue, what’s the new camera like?
The Kodak EasyShare V610 is a great looking, slim-line compact digital camera, but it has a few very cool tricks up its sleeve. First up, this little baby has two lenses built into it – this allows the V610 to produce a staggering 10x optical zoom without the need for lens extension. Basically, the focal length is split across both lenses, so halfway towards full telephoto, the V610 switches from one lens to the other – in 35mm equivalent terms you’re getting a zoom range from 38 – 380mm.
The dual lenses are protected by a metal cover that automatically slides back when the camera is powered on, getting you ready to shoot in a couple of seconds. The V610 also features an awesome 2.8in LCD screen at the rear, with a very generous 230,000 pixel resolution – not only does the display look great but the response time is also impressive, so capturing that perfect shot should be a doddle.
There are a multitude of Scene options to choose from, including the ability to create panoramic shots. The V610 lets you shoot two or three images, and will then stitch them together into one huge vista – having had a quick play with this feature it seemed to work surprisingly well.
The V610 seems to be pretty feature heavy for a compact camera, with a live histogram, shutter priority up to eight seconds, 6.1-megapixel CCD and 32MB of built-in memory. The V610 accepts SD cards, but I do like having a bit of built-in storage for those times when I run out of the house having left the SD card in the card reader.
But Kodak is all about the sharing and this new camera definitely doesn’t disappoint. The V610 also has integrated Bluetooth, so you can beam your picture direct to someone’s notebook, mobile phone or PDA – it means that when you’re out with friends and taking photos, everyone can take the images home with them.
With an RRP of £349.99 the V610 isn’t cheap, but considering the feature set, it looks like it could be worth every penny. Luckily I managed to sneak out of the launch with one of these little beauties in my pocket, so I’ll be putting it through its paces over the Bank Holiday weekend and you can expect a full review on the site next week.