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Kodak EasyShare V705 Dual Lens Camera Review

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £200.88

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.

The body is made from aluminium, so it’s quite tough, and the black finish doesn’t mark easily. I did manage to put one small scratch on it by putting it into a pocket that also contained my car keys, but other than that the build quality is excellent and it’s built to survive most light bumps and knocks.


It has to be said that the square shape won’t appeal to everyone, and along with the skinny profile and slippery finish it does make the camera slightly awkward to hold. There’s nowhere to hold the camera that doesn’t put your thumb right on a control.


The are one or two other details that are not quite as well thought-out as they might be. For example, when you switch the camera on, the buttons on the top panel light up with a nice electric blue glow, but only one button stays lit. Logically you’d kind of expect that to be the on/off button, but instead it’s the auto/scene mode button. In the dark of a night club, I tried to turn the camera off but instead kept changing scene mode. The card slot cover is also ridiculously flimsy and fiddly to open, especially in low light conditions.


Other than that however the camera is sensibly designed and performs well. It starts up in a fraction over two seconds, which isn’t bad, and in burst mode it can fire off seven shots in a little under five seconds. In single shot mode it can shoot around once every a second until the card is full, with only occasional pauses to clear the buffer, which is ideal for a camera of this type.


The multi-zone AF system is fairly quick and operates well in most lighting conditions. In very low light it has an AF illuminator with a range of about 2-3-metres, although I found that this often required several tries to lock on.

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.


”’Verdict”’


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.

A range of test shots are shown over the next few pages. Here, the full size image has been reduced for bandwidth purposes, and a crop taken from the original full resolution image has been placed below it in order for you to gain an appreciation of the overall quality.

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1/8th, F3.9, ISO 50

At 50ISO the image is noise-free, but there are some compression artefacts visible, but the shot is under-exposed.

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1/8th, F3.9, ISO 100

At 100 ISO the camera has selected the same exposure settings, and so the shot is now correctly exposed. There is also a hint of image noise.

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1/13th, F3.9, ISO 200

At 200 ISO there is definitely some image noise visible in the mid-tone areas, including colour distortion.

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1/30th, F3.9, ISO 400

At 400 ISO the image is very noisy. It can only get worse from here.

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1/60th, F3.9, ISO 800

At 800 ISO the image noise is having a major impact on colour reproduction. It would not make a good print.

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1/80th, F3.9, ISO 1000

Since 800 ISO was very noisy, I don’t see the point of adding an extra 1/3rd of a stop for 1000 ISO. It’s too noisy to be useful.

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A range of test shots are shown over the next few pages. Here, the full size image has been reduced for bandwidth purposes, and a crop taken from the original full resolution image has been placed below it in order for you to gain an appreciation of the overall quality. The following pages consist of resized images so that you can evaluate the overall exposure. For those with a dial-up connection, please be patient while the pages download.

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The high compression of the image files causes problems when you get in close, especially on large areas of plain colour.

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This page consists of resized images so that you can evaluate the overall exposure.



The V705’s party piece is its 23mm-equivalent wide-angle lens. It’s great for capturing big panoramic landscape shots.

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Here’s the same scene as above but shot using the 117mm-equivalent telephoto end of the zoom lens.

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This page consists of resized images so that you can evaluate the overall exposure.



The V705 is really in its element in a social situation, where its ultra-wide lens can get the whole party in the shot. The flash coverage is good too.

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Unusually for a Kodak, colour rendition is not perfect. Here the bright yellow has over-exposed and burned out any details.

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This page consists of resized images so that you can evaluate the overall exposure.



The ultra-wide lens produces some interesting distortion effects if you don’t keep it straight.

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The 5cm macro range isn’t that outstanding, but focusing is quick and accurate.

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Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Value 8
  • Image Quality 6

Features

Camera type Digital Compact
Megapixels (Megapixel) 7.1 Megapixel
Optical Zoom (Times) 5x

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