Camera has lenses for panorama and zoom

Published: Monday, January 23, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 9:11 p.m.
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Kodak's new V570 camera has a binocular front panel. The five-megapixel point-and- shoot has two lenses: one for wide-angle shots and another for standard photos.

The New York Times
The first thing you'll notice about Kodak's new V570 camera is its binocular front panel. This 5-megapixel point-and-shoot has two lenses: one for wide-angle shots and another for standard snaps.
The 23-millimeter wide-angle lens is perfect for shots of large groups or panoramic vistas. The other lens is just like the zoom lens in a normal camera.
Creating a system to switch from wide-angle to standard mode in a low-end digital camera would be prohibitively expensive. Instead of a complex mechanical solution, Kodak opted for the two lenses, each with its own image sensor.
The camera can electronically remove distortion caused by the wide-angle lens and includes red-eye reduction and a 5X optical zoom. It can also shoot video at 30 frames a second, and has multiple scene modes for different lighting conditions and subjects. The $399 camera is now available at most electronics retailers.
The V570 can stitch together three shots to make wide, 180-degree panoramic pictures of outdoor scenes. It comes with Kodak's EasyShare software and includes the Photo Frame Dock 2, which doubles as a digital picture frame by using the 2.5-inch color screen to display photo slide shows and video.
  • SAMSUNG PHONE OFFERS CHALLENGE TO BLACKBERRY: Samsung's latest smart phone, the SCH-i830, is an ambitious attempt to kick Research in Motion's BlackBerry out of the limelight. The phone - with the Windows Mobile 2003 Pocket PC operating system and a tiny keyboard - lets travelers work at home or abroad with aplomb.
    The SCH-i830 will be available from Verizon later this month for $600 with a two-year service agreement. It also supports quad-band GSM service, allowing you to pick up a prepaid SIM card anywhere in the world and keep talking without incurring roaming charges.
    The phone can receive e-mail and Web pages over a high-speed EV-DO wireless Internet connection, and it has an expansion slot that lets you add Wi-Fi networking. You can edit Word and Excel files on the 2.8-inch touch screen.
    Function keys offer easy access to frequently used programs like the phone dialer and menu selection shortcuts. The keyboard slides out from underneath the screen when needed.
    While it may be hard to pull the ubiquitous BlackBerry from the clutches of the die-hards, the SCH-i830 seems to include everything necessary for a trip overseas - or across the country - in an attractive package.
  • PORTABLE AUDIO WITH SOUND MEANT TO BE BIGGER: As portable audio devices proliferate, from iPods to satellite radios, demand is growing for products that allow listening at home. The Mini system from Zvox Audio has at least one advantage over most standard iPod speaker sets: it creates virtual surround sound and accepts audio input from just about anything, including televisions and game consoles.
    The 3-pound device, which is available at for $200, is about the size of an average laptop. It does not have a CD player or built-in FM radio, and it lacks a standard iPod dock: it is connected to an MP3 player through a headphone jack with the included cord.
    The Zvox is notable, however, for its speaker technology, called PhaseCue. The device has three speaker drivers and one 4-by-6-inch subwoofer inside, and can digitally mix the signals from each speaker to create a sort of sonic dance that makes the audio sound bigger, as opposed to just louder, as the volume is increased. The result is like listening to speakers placed eight feet away from each other - a sound that may even entice iPod listeners to forgo those space-age speaker sets sold in the Apple store.
  • IN PHOTO PRINTS, PERFECT COLOR IN MEANS PERFECT COLOR OUT: If your family looks a little green in your prints of holiday photos, it may not be a result of too much sweet potato souffle. It could be your monitor. If your monitor is not adjusted properly, color prints will not look the same as they do on your screen.
    Pantone, which makes color accuracy systems, has a new device called Huey that will set your monitor to Pantone standards, which are often used by photo printers as well.
    The device is a light sensor the size of a fountain pen. After it is attached to the monitor with suction cups, the included software displays bars of color. Huey reads the bars for accuracy, then adjusts the monitor. Once this is done, Huey goes into a stand on your desk to continuously check room lighting and adjust the screen settings.
    Although it will be a boon to photo buffs, Huey, available next week for $89 at, could also be helpful to online shoppers. Pantone says 85 percent of online retailers use its system to set image colors, so Huey makes it more likely that the sweater you are considering will actually be the color you see on-screen.
  • WHEN THE PHONE RINGS, LOOK AT THE FACE, NOT THE NUMBER: Who's calling? If you know, you can choose which calls to answer and which to postpone or ignore. That's even more important when you're driving, but it's not safe to read a Caller ID display on the highway.
    With the Parrot 3200 LS-Color, a hands-free kit for Bluetooth mobile phones, the standard Caller ID text can be supplemented with a color photo of the caller, so you can tell at a glance who is trying to reach you. This is not phone-company magic: the photos have to be copied into the phone, if it allows that, or into the car kit itself. The display also shows signal strength and the caller's name.
    The kit, available through car stereo installers and other electronics dealers for about $300, works with a vast majority of Bluetooth phones. It allows registration of up to five of the phones used by your family or company, and synchronizes with each phone's address book. A module installed in your car overrides the car stereo so calls can be heard through its speakers.
    For outgoing calls - when deciding whether or not to answer is someone else's problem - the 3200 allows voice-dialing from a 150-name address book.
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