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1/18/2006
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Review: Kodak V570 Digital Camera

Beyond a dual lens configuration, there are plenty of good things about the V570 including a gorgeous 2.5 inch LCD that's useful even in bright sunlight, quick boot-up and more.

The Kodak V570, with its two lenses housed in the same camera, is a significant departure from the standard point-and-shoot digital camera. This arrangement allows the camera to achieve a good range of focal length without a protruding lens.

The camera is similar in shape to its predecessor, the V550 and is exceptionally pocketable at 4 x 2 x .75 inches. Where it differs from the V550 is its additional wide angle lens... and I mean wide. The optical zoom lens covers a rather standard focal range from 39mm to 117mm (35mm camera equivalent), while the second lens is fixed at 23mm. When both lenses are considered, this computes to a 5x zoom range. But since the wide angle lens has a fixed focal length, there is a gap between where the 23mm ends and the zoom lens picks up at 39mm. Normally, this would result in a visual jump when changing lenses, but Kodak decided to smooth the transition by digitally zooming the wide lens from 23mm to 39mm. I don't like digital zooms because they degrade image quality by cropping. The result is that taking pictures at the mid range focal lengths (24mm - 38mm) produces images of lower quality than the 5 megapixels you expected. I disabled the digital zoom feature, which can be done through the camera's menu.

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