The Holy Grail of the digicam wars has always been a user friendly, high resolution, long zoom digital camera that’s small enough to drop in a shirt pocket. The problem with this concept is that it’s very difficult to build a tiny camera with a decent quality long zoom. Kodak valiantly attempts to bridge the gap between micro-cams and monster-zoom digicams with the new Easyshare V610, the world’s smallest (4.4×2.2×0.9 inches) 10X zoom digicam.
The Auto Exposure (AE) V610 features coupled twin Schneider-Kreuznach 5X Variogon optical zooms (38mm-114mm and 130mm-380mm), dual 6 megapixel CCD image sensors (one for each lens), and a large 2.8 inch LCD screen. The V610 also provides Bluetooth (2.0 EDR) connectivity for transmitting images wirelessly to Bluetooth compliant computers, PDA’s, camera phones, and Kodak EasyShare printers. If all that’s not enough, the V610 also features Kodak’s Perfect Touch technology, which allows users to correct images post-exposure (and view the corrected result side-by-side with the original on the camera’s LCD screen), and a nifty panorama mode that permits users to seamlessly stitch together up to three sequential images via an LCD template.
Kodak’s design folks really pushed the boundaries of miniaturization with this camera. The ultra-compact V610 is stylish and user friendly and ergonomics are surprisingly good for such a tiny camera – with logically placed controls and easily accessed features. Image quality is noticeably (and consistently) better than expected. Kodak’s new Easyshare V610 will appeal to beginning photographers, casual snap-shooters (including those just making the jump to digital), family shutterbugs, and space/weight conscious travelers. I wouldn’t buy a V610 for myself (or recommend it to other serious photographers), but I would buy it for my wife and recommend it to my non-techie friends.