Kodak EasyShare V570 review
Without even turning it on, the V570 makes a good impression. The combination of matte-black finish and silver trim proved a particular hit in the PC Pro office, and pressing the power button causes the silver lens cover to swish aside and reveal the lenses underneath.
One lens is the equivalent of 39-117mm (3x optical zoom), while the other is a fixed-zoom 23mm wide-angle lens. That’s very wide indeed for a digital camera: the Canon Digital IXUS 55 starts at 35mm. Each lens has its own CCD too, keeping the optics simple.
The V570 doesn’t allow you to zoom smoothly between the wide-angle lens and the regular lens, and jumps abruptly between 23mm and 39mm, which can be frustrating if you need to make only a small adjustment when framing a shot. The wide angle also makes getting your fingers in the shot infuriatingly easy.
We wouldn’t expect much in the way of manual controls on a compact digital camera, but the V570 has a surprisingly healthy number. Manual ISO settings range from 64 to 800 (although the highest only allows an image size of 1.8 megapixels), and you can preset the exposure time to up to eight seconds, which will be enough for most situations. Some useful presets for typical situations include parties (indoors with low lighting), outdoors at night and a macro mode. There’s also white-balance control, allowing you to select the kind of lighting you’re under.
In use, the V570 is responsive; start-up takes just 1.9 seconds, and we had no problems getting an almost instantaneous focus. The only real problem we had was in Burst mode. The V570 can only capture a paltry four images before its internal buffer fills up, and once that happens, you’ll be waiting a good 20 seconds before taking another four shots. This compares particularly poorly to the IXUS 55, which will merrily fill its memory card to capacity in Continuous mode.
Unfortunately, when you consider that the IXUS 55 is also a little cheaper and provides near-perfect image quality, the V570 begins to look more disappointing. Suffering chromatic aberrations (purple fringing on areas of high contrast) is all too easy, and virtually every single one of our images contained noise – even at low ISO settings. Part of the problem is the weak flash, which necessitates using a higher ISO.
If you’re looking for a compact camera suited to landscape shots, the V570 is more tempting, particularly as using just three shots you can stitch together a comprehensive panorama. Shooting outside also reduces the problem of excessive noise. But if you can live without the wide-angle lens, the Canon IXUS 55 is still significantly smaller, quicker and, most importantly, offers much superior image quality – all for less money.