Compared to... Kodak V610

The V610's most obvious competitor is the Panasonic TZ1, reviewed last week. The TZ1 has a similar zoom range (though it only uses a single lens), and offers image stabilization (albeit in a less compact format, and with a million fewer pixels). We have included samples for each camera's lowest sensitivity setting (V610: ISO 64, TZ1: ISO 80), ISO 400 and ISO 800.

Note: The V610 doesn't have a custom (measured) white balance function, so these are the most neutral results we could get using one of the preset white balance presets. The color cast in these shots is purely down to the white balance being unable to correct completely our studio lighting.

Studio scene comparison (TZ1 @ ISO 80, V610 @ ISO 64)

  • Kodak V610 : Program AE mode, ISO 64, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation

  • Panasonic DMC-TZ1: Program AE mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.33 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Kodak EasyShare V610 TELE
Panasonic DMC-TZ1
ISO 64, 1/49 sec, F4.8
ISO 80, 1/57 sec, F4.9
1,019 KB JPEG
2,272 KB JPEG

Whilst there's no doubt that the Panasonic TZ1 wins hands-down when it comes to detail and sharpness despite the lower pixel count, the Kodak's image is not terrible; far from it. The output is clean, has rich, vivid (yet fairly accurate) color, and a fair amount of detail. On the other hand, it is soft, particularly in the corners, and certainly isn't pulling anything like the amount of detail from the scene you'd get from a 'serious' model (Canon S3 IS, Panasonic FZ7 etc). Of course this isn't a camera that's competing with those models, and given the remarkably compact dimensions the lack of biting detail is forgivable. Less forgivable is Kodak's decision to use such harsh compression, which produces small files, but files with visible JPEG artefacts, which limits how much sharpening - and enlargement - they can bear. Note also that the sharpness of the wide lens is considerably lower than this.