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DCRP Review: Kodak
by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor
Originally posted: June 26, 2006
Last Updated: February 25, 2008
Do you want ultra zoom power but don't want to lug around a bulky camera? Then the Kodak EasyShare V610 ($450) might be for you. The V610 is Kodak's second dual lens camera, with the first being the EasyShare V570 (see our review), which was more focused on wide-angle shooting. The V610's two lenses give it a total focal range of 38 - 380 mm, though (as with the V570) there's a "jump" from 114 to 130 mm when the camera switches lenses.
Other features on this unique camera include a 6 Megapixel CCD, 2.8" LCD display, Bluetooth wireless networking support, numerous scene modes, and a VGA movie mode.
How does the one-of-a-kind V610 compare with the other ultra zooms on the market? Find out now in our review!
Since the cameras share much in common I will be reusing portions of the V570 review here.
What's in the Box?
The EasyShare V610 has a good bundle. Inside the box you'll find:
As is the case with many cameras these days, the EasyShare V610 has built-in memory instead of a bundled memory card. The V610 has 32MB of built-in memory (of which only 28MB can be used for photo storage), which holds fourteen photos at the highest quality setting. Despite that, you'll still want to buy a memory card, and I suggest a 256MB or 512MB card as a good place to start. The V610 uses Secure Digital or MultiMedia cards, and a high speed memory card is not a required purchase.
The V610 uses the same KLIC-7001 lithium-ion battery as the V570, which isn't necessarily a good thing. This compact battery has just 2.7 Wh of energy, which leads to the worst battery life in the ultra zoom class. Here, have a look:
As you can see, the V610's battery life stinks compared to the other ultra zooms out there. With that it mind I'd buy at least one spare battery, maybe two. An extra KLIC-7001 will set you back $20 which, while more expensive than AA batteries, is still a bargain for a proprietary battery.
When it's time to charge the battery you just plug the included AC adapter into the camera. It takes about two hours to fully charge the KLIC-7001. Other options for charging include an external charger (model K3500, about $35) and the camera and printer docks I'll mention below.
The EasyShare V610 has a built-in lens cover so there's no clumsy lens cap to worry about. As you can see, this is one small ultra zoom!
Optional Photo Frame 2 dock; Image courtesy of Kodak
Let's talk accessories now. The one pictured above is the Photo Frame 2 ($60), which charges the battery inside the camera and connects you to a computer or television. If you don't mind owning a less stylish dock then the EasyShare Camera Dock 3 ($40) works just as well but for less money.
If you want an easy way to print your photos then it doesn't get much simpler than the EasyShare Printer Dock Series 3 ($140). This does all the stuff that the regular docks do, but it makes a lab quality 4 x 6 inch print in 90 seconds.
Other V610 accessories include a camera accessory kit ($50), which includes the Photo Frame dock, a camera case, and lens cleaner, as well as a camera case by itself ($25).
The EasyShare V610 comes with version 5.2 of Kodak's excellent EasyShare software.
The main screen lets you import and organize your photos. You can view your photos by date taken, or you can create "smart albums" which are totally customizable (just like a smart playlist in iTunes).
On this screen you can also view your photos in a slideshow, edit or rotate them (see below), get exposure data, burn them to a CD or DVD, or even upload them to the Kodak EasyShare Gallery for printing and sharing.
If you want to edit your photo, there are some basic tools included. They include rotation, cropping, "instant enhancement", redeye reduction, brightness and contrast, color, exposure, and instant black & white or sepia conversion. For some edits, you can split the screen (see above) so you can see a "before and after" view of your proposed changes.
The Print at Home tab will help you print the images you select (either by marking them on the camera or in the software). There are many choices available, including the two 4 x 6 inch per page print layout you see above.
The e-mail tab works in the same way. You can compose messages to be sent along with pictures. You can send the full size picture, or have it reduced automatically to a smaller size. The e-mail system is nicely integrated with OS X's built-in address book system.
All-in-all the EasyShare package is pretty darn good for bundled software, especially if you've seen the stuff that some other companies give you.
Kodak does a nice job with their camera manuals, with long descriptions and not a lot of fine print. They're not very technical, but I don't think that your typical Kodak buyer cares.
Look and Feel
The EasyShare V610 looks a larger version of the V570. The matte black body is made of metal, and it feels very solid in your hands. Controls are fairly well positioned, though the power button is hard to find and the four-way controller is too small. The camera can be used with just one hand.
Want to see just how small the V610 is compared to other ultra zooms? Then have a look at this: