Kodak is showing a new dual-lens camera this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. The slim EASYSHARE V570 (US$400) has two lenses: the regular 3x zoom lens, plus a second fixed lens for taking wide-angle pictures. Software inside the camera corrects (or not) the fish-eye distortion created by the wide-angle.
No word yet on how effective the wide-angle lens is, but I could see this being a great idea for interior designers, etc, trying to get pictures of room interiors. Also, I wonder about switching between the two lenses: is it automatic (like pressing the zoom lever back one more notch), or do you have to enter a wide-angle mode from the menu (like macro mode in some cameras).
What I don't like is Kodak's PR firm, Ketchum, hyping the camera as having "a total 5X optical zoom range." It doesn't. The camera cannot zoom from 1x to 5x. Instead, it has the fixed 23 mm lens + the 3x zoom lens (39 - 117 mm). It is too bad Ketchum doesn't understand that there is 2x missing from the equation.
Imaging-Resource has the technical details on how this camera works.