When Kodak introduced the V570 at CES last January, some editors, including myself, were confused by Kodak's decision to include a fixed-focal-length 23mm lens, along with a 3X optical 39mm-to-117mm zoom lens, in the company's first dual-lens camera. Then, when Kodak announced the V610, with its 10X optical zoom (combined) dual-lens design, the V570 seemed like the proof-of-concept for the dual-lens genre. Kodak's newest design in this space, the V705, goes back to the V570's lens combo, upping the sensor to a 7.1-megapixel CCD, adding a few features, and offering three colors: Silver Essence, Midnight Black, and Absolute Pink.
Aside from the colors, the V705's body is almost identical to the V570's, complete with the automatic sliding lens cover emblazoned with Ultrawide and 5X. The 5X part is actually a bit of marketing hype, since it includes the gap between the 23mm lens and the start of the 3X zoom at 39mm. Kodak employs digital zoom to fill the gap, but remember, it'll rob you of a bit of resolution, though not all that much, since it's only about 1.7X worth of digital zoom. Since there are two separate lenses, there is some parallax error when switching between the two, much like when you close one of your eyes, then switch back and forth between your left and right eyes. It is most noticeable when doing close-up and macro photography.
With snapshooters in mind, the V705's features include 22 scene modes, red-eye reduction, exposure compensation of as much as plus or minus 2EV in 0.3EV stops, 640x480-pixel video recording at 30fps, and 32MB of internal memory, so you have a little extra in case your card runs out of space. Kodak also includes in-camera editing options, including cropping, digital frames, and the company's Perfect Touch auto image fix. This displays your original image next to a processed version of it to let you decide if you like the autofixed version; you then have the choice of saving it as a new image or replacing the original. Like the V570, the V705 includes a panorama shooting mode, and since the 23mm lens is so wide, you can make a 180-degree panorama with as few as three shots.
The camera's sensitivity range exceeds that of the V570. While the auto ISO feature goes only from ISO 50 through ISO 200, you can manually select from ISO 50 to as high as ISO 1,000.
While the V705 doesn't come with a dock, it does come with a custom insert for use with a dock, and it's compatible with Kodak's EasyShare Photo Frame Dock 2 and Camera Dock Series 3, as well as their current Printer Docks. Since it doesn't come with a dock, Kodak includes a small plug, similar in size to a travel cell phone plug, which fits a small hole on the right side of the camera to let you charge the 720mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
In our lab tests, the Kodak EasyShare V705 took a while to get going but gave adequately speedy performance after that. The time from pressing the power button to capturing its first image measured 3.6 seconds and time between subsequent shots was 1.2 seconds without flash, and 2.1 seconds with flash turned on. Shutter lag was barely there, measuring 0.3 second in our high-contrast test and 0.6 second in low-contrast. In continuous-shooting mode, we got seven VGA-size JPEGs in 3 seconds for about 2.3fps and seven 7.1-megapixel JPEGs in 3.4 seconds for about 2.1fps.