Sunday, September 03, 2006

Communicator's Product Review

Kodak EasyShare v610 Dual-Lens 6 megapixel digital camera

The first thing you notice about the Kodak EasyShare v610 digital camera is its compact shape. It’s oblong, less than an inch thick, 4.4 inches long and 2.2 inches high. About the size of an iPod Mini, it fits very comfortably in your hand and in a pocket. This is a high-end prosumer camera? you might think, doubtfully.

The next thing you notice is the nice, big LCD screen. At 7.1 cm diagonally (2.8 inches), it’s big enough to give you a more than adequate view of photos and videos — far better than the 4.5 cm screens that were standard on most cameras even just a year ago.

Start shooting and you’ll notice the second-best feature of this camera: no shutter delay! After trying a dozen different models of auto-focus digital cameras, I finally found one that will take the action shots that I want, not a picture of two seconds after the shot I want.

But the best thing about this camera is what you don’t notice until much later: it takes terrific photographs. It has a 6-megapixel CCD and two different lenses for a very long, 10X zoom. You can zoom in easily, very far, and because it’s an optical, not a digital zoom, the results are very sharp, bright images.

This sharp, clear picture was taken at the extreme zoom of 10x with the Kodak EasyShare v610.

The only drawbacks to this camera are:
• The shape – it’s a rectangular box, with no curves, so that holding it isn’t actually comfortable
• The zoom buttons are in a logical place, but not an easily accessible one, making zooming while shooting awkward
• Relatively short battery life – several times while shooting, the camera died on me
• The menu obscures the images on the screen, so if you’re deleting pictures you don’t need, you can’t really tell if you’ve selected the right one without closing the menu first

Still, the EasyShare v610 is a light, easily portable and powerful camera that takes excellent pictures without any shutter delay. And with a suggested retail price of $399 US, it’s a great value. It even can be used as a back-up camera for a professional.

Summing up
The EasyShare v610 is an excellent value as a digital camera for the serious amateur photographer, and even could serve as a back-up camera or a proofing camera for a professional photographer.

For communications professionals, it’s an excellent choice. The high image quality and long zoom make it great for capturing images or even short videos at corporate functions. Its affordable price makes it easy to justify.

In short, the EasyShare v610 is an excellent buy.

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