capsule review

Kodak EasyShare V610

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Kodak EasyShare V610 Dual Lens Compact Camera

    TechHive Rating

Kodak EasyShare V610
Photograph: Chris Manners

With a long-range 10X optical zoom, Kodak's sleek EasyShare V610 can bring the farthest subjects into full, detailed view. Unfortunately, this $449 (as of 6/15/06) dual-lens camera also has a propensity for blurred photos at its highest zoom levels, plus disappointingly short battery life.

In addition to the powerful zoom, the V610 includes wireless photo transfers via Bluetooth and in-camera photo stitching for panoramic shots. I liked these features well enough, but the camera's short battery life was a real drawback.

The 6.1-megapixel V610 is Kodak's second camera sporting two built-in lenses (we named the first, the V570, one of the most innovative products of 2005. The V610 has a 126mm-to-380-mm (35mm equivalent) telephoto zoom lens that sits atop a 38-mm-to-114-mm standard zoom lens. When you're closing in on a subject, the V610's standard zoom lens handles up to 3X magnification; to go beyond that level, the telephoto lens kicks into action. I noticed a slight pause when the camera handed off zooming duties to the telephoto lens.

My outdoor shots usually came out sharp enough, but I got mixed results when shooting in low-light, indoor settings. In cases where I was shooting inside a dimly lit theater sitting about 60 rows away from the stage, the camera sometimes took clear, colorful photos at maximum zoom. But in a few cases, the V610 had trouble focusing, and because it--like many cameras with long zooms--lacks image stabilization, any slight movement of the camera produced a blurry shot. And compared to other point-and-shoot cameras we've tested--including the 6-megapixel Canon PowerShot SD630, the V610's images did not look as sharp. Colors and white balance were a little off in some of our shots as well.

In our lab tests, the V610 earned an overall score of Good for its image quality; the low amount of distortion in the V610's images was its most impressive attribute. Scores for color and exposure accuracy were slightly below average, and the V610's score for sharpness was lower than most other recently tested point-and-shoot cameras.

The unit makes taking panoramic shots easy. Using the panorama mode you line up three shots, which the camera then stitches into one good-looking panoramic image. You can view the stitched image on the nice 2.8-inch LCD. However, the highest resolution you can use for each shot in panorama mode is 3 megapixels; the final stitched image tops out at about 8 megapixels (some of the pixels are lost in the image overlap).

If you like to exchange files wirelessly, you'll appreciate the V610's Bluetooth function. You can send photos to a Bluetooth-enabled PC; I tested the feature with a Bluetooth-enabled Nokia cell phone. It was a breeze to set up and use, allowing me to send and receive photos between the devices at close proximity without a hitch. The bad news: The V610 fared poorly in our battery test, lasting only through 148 shots--the lowest among point-and-shoots we've recently tested.

Still, what makes this camera shine--10X zoom, compact design, Bluetooth, photo-stitching, and ease of use--just may be enough to compensate for its shortcomings. It's a reasonable choice for casual photographers.

Grace Aquino

This story, "Kodak EasyShare V610" was originally published by PCWorld.

To comment on this article and other TechHive content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    The V610 is fun to use and has a 10X zoom and Bluetooth, but is sensitive to camera movement and battery life is short.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon