As every European is programmed to remark on coming to America: everything is bigger here. The heartland of excess and grandiosity, where the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel logo stands taller than Notre Dame, was the perfect place for Kodak to demonstrate its new dual-lens digital camera, the EasyShare V570. If ever there was a land where conventional cameras simply cannot jam enough scenery into their lenses, it's here in Nevada. The V570 uses an unusual combination of two imaging sensors to produce extreme wide-angles and features a 5x optical zoom.
The two Schneider-Kreuznach C-Variogon lenses allow wide-angle photography at the equivalent to 23mm on a traditional analogue camera (see our news story for more details). For a compact, the V570 looks to offer significantly improved output in comparison to the average pocket-snapper. Kodak claims a 50x75cm print from the camera is "exceptional", but we'll reserve judgement until we've seen the results ourselves.
In the past it's been possible to generate extremely good output at A3 from a 6-megapixel SLR, so there's every chance Kodak is onto a winner here. It's useful to note that the colour clarity of the image sensor inside a digital camera tends to be more important than the raw pixel count when examining the quality of printed images.
For scenery-lovers, the more persuasive reason to consider the V570 is its ability to stitch together a series of extreme wide-angle photographs in-camera. If you're taking panoramas, there's not much else out there that will capture a scene on this scale with just a few shots. There's also the added bonus that no one is too fat to fit into a single photograph taken using this camera -- it's the perfect way to appease your overweight relatives. "Oh look, how lovely, you can see every flesh pleat of Uncle Roy's belly, not just the first three", your family will say merrily.
Visit our CES 2006 Special Report for more coverage.-CS