The ZS6 is essentially the ZS5 in the body of the ZS7. The advantages of the ZS6 over the ZS5 include a stereo mic for movie recordings, a Mini-HDMI output for direct playback on an HDTV or monitor, and a 3-inch 460K-pixel display. The ZS6's lens, image processor, and sensor are the same for the ZS5, and as such we expect the ZS6's shooting performance and photo quality to be the same as the ZS5'… Read more
When it comes to kitchen appliances, bigger is not always better. What is always better--or best--is having the right appliance for not only the job, but for the space provided. While a refrigerator that features a cavernous capacity, complete with double doors and a rich feature set is surely nice for some, others may just want something that gets the job done in a small as space as possible. But back to those features: chances are some compromises will have to be made for those who consider smaller to be better. Unless an ice maker is on top of the … Read more
Having tested all the latest GPS-enabled compact megazooms, I can tell you that holding onto a signal isn't easy, particularly in a city. Casio's Hybrid GPS in its Exilim EX-H20G announced today looks like it is up to task, though.
The Hybrid GPS system combines a GPS receiver with a motion sensor that allows for autonomic positioning. Should you lose your signal, a three-way accelerometer and a three-way direction sensor combine to keep track of your movements in relation to the last coordinate received. The camera can then continue to track and geotag your photos even if you'… Read more
There's not much to say about Canon's update to its G series of enthusiast compact cameras: the PowerShot G12 is almost identical to its predecessor, the G11, but with similar enhancements to those rolled out in the S95. Most notably, the G12 includes 720/24p video capture--a much-needed boost over the outdated VGA movies--now with stereo audio and a Mini-HDMI connector.
Like the S95, the G12 also adds an HDR scene mode which combines 3 shots. Unlike some other implementations, however, it requires the steadiness of a tripod.
Here's a recap of its specs and competitors:
… Read more
While putting together a recent roundup of inexpensive megazooms, I realized Pentax didn't have one in its lineup--budget or otherwise. However, as of Wednesday, it does: the Optio RZ10.
Priced at a reasonable $219.95, the 14-megapixel RZ10 features a 10x f3.2-5.9 28-280mm-equivalent lens with sensor-shift image stabilization and a 2.7-inch, 230K-dot resolution LCD. It can do macro shots as close as 0.4 inch from your subject, has a 720p HD-resolution movie mode, and a burst-shooting option that can capture up to 40 photos at up to 9.1 frames per second (though that's … Read more
Given its roots, Nikon's lag in the increasingly crowded enthusiast compact market strikes me as odd. Not only does the company lack a competitor for the popular Canon PowerShot S90 (and its presumably potentially-as-popular replacement, the S95)--even Samsung has a competitor for that in the TL500--but its G11/LX5 competitor the P6000 has been languishing, unloved for 2 years. Nikon seems to be attempting to rectify that with the Coolpix P7000, in part by following the same path Canon took from the G10 to the G11. And really, the P7000 seems like a complete reworking of the P6000 rather than just an update.
The most notable step on that path is a welcome return to a lower-resolution sensor. Consumers will eat up those marketing-driven resolution boosts but the hobbyists always push back, in this case to the same 10 megapixels as the rest of its class. Like the G11, the P7000 goes a little retro-dial happy, with an exposure-compensation dial as well as a "Quick Access" dial behind the pop-up flash for calling up ISO, quality, histogram, bracketing and MyMenu settings; I'm not sold yet on a dedicated dial for the latter compared to the speed of using the four-way navigation switch on the back of the camera. Another recanted feature includes the GPS, though I'd've thought they would have replaced it with integrated Eye-Fi support. And I hope it wasn't dropped because Nikon attributes the failures of the P6000 to GPS' inability to carry it out of relative obscurity.
Other changes include a new sloping-top design with a completely new control layout, a longer zoom lens, larger LCD and HD movie capture. Here are the basic specs:… Read more
Nikon has a decent 10x compact megazoom in its 2010 Coolpix lineup, the S8000. Its photo quality definitely falters in low-light conditions, which could be corrected with the S8100. Along with using the company's latest image processing engine, the Expeed C2, this 10x compact (30-300mm, 35mm equivalent) is packing a 12-megapixel, backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. Like other BSI CMOS cameras we've tested, Nikon is promising improved handheld low-light photos as well as faster shooting performance.
Nikon claims the S8100 can shoot at 10 frames per second at full resolution for five shots; not as good as competing models but … Read more
Over the past year I've had several readers tell me various reasons they didn't buy Canon's enthusiast compact, the PowerShot S90. Everything from no HD movie capture and the lack of an optical viewfinder to no righthand grip and not enough zoom range. (I agree with the first two, no so much the latter two.) Well, the S95 was announced Thursday, and though there are a couple worthwhile "improvements," it looks like S90 owners might want to stick with what they've got.
The S95 uses the same larger-than-usual 1/1.7-inch type high-sensitivity CCD … Read more
Laudably, camera makers are steadily improving how rugged and weatherproof their products are. But there are limits, and being in a flamingis one of them.
So discovered Swedish photographer Petra Hall and her fiance, whose Canon EOS 7D didn't survive when the MG convertible it was in caught fire inexplicably. It and the 24-105mm lens attached were reduced to a camera-shaped mass of scorched, bubbled plastic.
Happily, no humans were injured in the fire, according to Hall's account of the fire. Gear fetishists, though, might want to avert their gaze before seeing the traces of the red band around the rim of the lens indicating it once was one of Canon's high-end and expensive L-series models.
But here's the happy ending: the SanDisk CompactFlash memory card survived within the camera, and necessary photos were retrieved with no trouble once the card was extracted from the camera body's remains.… Read more
Although Fujifilm was one of the first manufacturers to have a consumer-focused camera for capturing 3D photo and video with the FinePix Real 3D W1, it didn't seem to be all that popular--at least in the U.S. Maybe that's because it cost nearly $600 and the results could only be viewed on a special 8-inch digital frame that was nearly as expensive; through a computer using an Nvidia 3D vision-ready graphics card while wearing glasses; or $7 lenticular prints. However, that was 2009. The company is back with the follow-up, the Real 3D W3, and not only … Read more