Faster auto-focus and burst shooting speeds
The price of the Canon PowerShot G16 is an eye-watering £529.00 / $549.99, which makes it more expensive than the class-leading Sony Cyber-shot RX100, itself bested by the RX100 Mark II, albeit at an even higher price-point. Despite the improvements, we still feel that the RX100/RX100 II with its much larger sensor delivers even better results than the G16, making it our choice in the "pocketable compact camera for enthusiasts" sector of the market.
Built-in Wifi and GPS via a smartphone, 1080p60 HD video mode.
The G16 is an easy camera to underestimate, on the face of it, it doesn't seem like it has a lot to offer one year on from its predecessor and at first glance you'd probably guess that existing G15 owners would hold off for whatever the G17 might have to offer. But I think G15 owners will see it differently, and that means anyone else looking for an advanced compact as a DSLR understudy should probably think likewise and give the G16 some serious consideration.
Excellent build quality, Manual focus with focus peaking
The Canon Powershot G16 offers a number of improvements over the previous model, including a number of new and useful shooting modes including Handheld HDR, Star modes, and built in Wi-Fi for quicker sharing, although the lack of remote shooting will be disappointing to many.
Photos are impressive with excellent colour, detail and exposure, with numerous options to expand dynamic range.
Image quality is great, raw shooting option
The G16 may be starting to look a little dated, particularly when you compare it to something like Sony's sleek RX100, but that doesn't stop the Canon remaining a top-notch snapper all round. When something's right, it's just right - and the G16 largely represents that. It won't suit all photographers on account of its bulky size, but for those that it will, it'll be spot on.
The camera delivers image quality that's consistently good, certainly among the best in class.
Good photos and videos, Enhanced response (fps, focusing)
Although Canon has made some strides with the G16 - closing the spec gap with CSCs and DSLRs on paper - we can't give it our strongest recommendation. At $550 it's just too expensive for the level of quality it delivers. We suggest anyone looking for an enthusiast pocket zoom to take a serious look at the Sony RX100 II and spend the extra bucks ($749) or check out the less expensive RX100, which is the same price as the G16 but doesn't have Wi-Fi.
Impeccable build quality, Start-up has got much quicker
The Canon PowerShot G16 is a reassuring camera that does a good job. Its only real stand-out feature is improved responsiveness brought by the Digic 6 image processor. It'll be an ideal companion for users looking for a classic safe bet and who aren't tempted by originality or eye-catching innovations. This camera is certainly built to stand the test of time, but the G series also needs to move with the times, otherwise it risks being left behind.
Delivers excellent image quality
Ultimately, we prefer the X-A1 to the X-M1, as it delivers the same handling, features and performance, and, crucially, very similar image quality at a lower price. This is turn mitigates some of the issues that we had with the X-M1, principally concerning the lack of a viewfinder, so much so that we'd recommend that you save your cash and choose the X-A1 rather than the X-Trans, X-M1 version.
Most affordable Fuji CSC, Natural, vibrant images, Tilting LCD
Most photographers will tell you that image quality is their biggest consideration when selecting a camera, but the build and functionality of the camera are also key factors along with the price. Many manufacturers reduce the functionality and build quality of their more entry-level cameras in order to keep cost down, but Fuji is in the unusual position of being able to achieve the same thing while keeping these two elements the same.
Impressive performance, Outstanding detail and ISO performance
The Fujifilm X-A1 delivers an excellent standard of image quality, is an attractively designed camera and has a strong level of performance. While the lenses in the X series might not be the cheapest on the market, the X-A1 is well worthy of consideration in the entry-level CSC market.
Very good value for money, Excellent noise performance
The 16-50mm OIS kit lens, despite being a kit lens, delivers excellent image quality with a useful wide-angle to telephoto zoom range and includes a good sized lens hood. The combination of this lens and the compact body makes for a compelling package, with the added bonus of a good 3inch tilting screen and built in Wi-Fi connectivity.
Entry-level looks lavish and feels flimsy
When we reviewed the X-M1, we concluded that it was a camera with an excellent sensor in a chintzy body. The X-A1 keeps the same cheap suit, drops in a marginally inferior sensor, and charges you $200 less. Is that a good thing? It depends on what you're shopping for.
Very good still image quality, Eye-Fi wireless compatibility
I'm not sure K-30 owners will be rushing out to trade into a K-50 in order to acquire an Eye-Fi capability missing from their current platform, but folks looking for a new or first-time DSLR can rest assured the K-50 is a worthy successor to the K-30, and that's a ringing endorsement indeed.
Excellent image quality, Dustproof and weather resistant
The Pentax K-50 is a very strong offering from Pentax, with a few unique bonuses such as weather resistance and even the range of colours. The idea of personalising a camera is something relatively new in the UK, but why not? It adds a certain something and takes nothing away. A rugged and reliable all weather DSLR that is well worth a look.
Internal shake resistance, Can run on AA batteries
The Pentax K-50 makes for a good starter option, and we were impressed with the lightning quick speed of its operation at this price point - with auto focus being particularly impressive. However, we did feel that overall the translucent APS-C sensor equipped Sony A58, or indeed Pentax's otherwise very similar K-500 DSLR, offer a slightly better value deal for an entry-level camera.
The most compact Rebel, but few small lens choices
Whether this DSLR is your huckleberry depends on your priorities. This is new territory for Canon. This camera is sized to compete with mirrorless, but the EOS lens line doesn't have as many compact options to pair with it, so you may still end toting around a separate bulky camera case.
Like just about every DSLR save Sony's, it's better for stills than movies, and that's the best reason to buy it.
Touch-screen operation is seamlessly integrated
In summary the EOS 100D / Rebel SL1 is a surprising camera in many ways, not least that it delivers the typical EOS experience without too many compromises at all. It makes a compelling alternative to a compact system camera when paired with the smaller Canon lenses (including the EOS M), but we'd choose the more capable EOS 700D instead as a natural partner for Canon's larger optics.
World's smallest DSLR, Truly compact body
Overall I'm going to give the EOS SL1 / 100D a Recommended rating. It misses out on our top award as I honestly think most people buying an entry-level DSLR would be better-served by a mirror-less camera these days. But for those who understand the differences and would genuinely prefer a traditional DSLR, the EOS SL1/ 100D represents a compelling option and a decent upgrade over the company's previous entry-level model, the EOS T3 / 1100D.
Very small and light with good grip for small to medium-size hands
The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D is an ideal camera for consumer users looking for better image quality, with improved live view and movie-mode autofocus in a small body. Its touchscreen interface offers a modern set of digital controls in a camera that will still feel familiar to more traditional SLR users.
Small body size, Touchscreen
It's hard to know what to say about the Canon 100D. Canon has once again produced an incredibly capable DSLR, which produces excellent images.
The miniaturisation element is fun, and a nifty feat of engineering, but there's still no way that a camera and system such as this can compete with the likes of the Micro Four Thirds system in terms of weight and size.
Good design including rubberised handgrip
The Canon EOS 100D is an excellent DSLR that presents an interesting alternative to CSCs in terms of specification and size, as well as fitting in well with Canon's entry-level DSLR selection.
Although it's a lot more expensive than Canon's current entry-level DSLR - the Canon EOS 1100D - it's a far superior DSLR in terms of design, performance and build quality, and if your budget can stretch there's no contest between the 1100D and 100D.
Excellent image quality, Excellent colour
If you have an investment in Canon lenses, want as small a body as possible, and prefer an optical viewfinder, then the Canon EOS 100D delivers excellent images, is well built with good handling, despite the small size. For many having a true DSLR that is as small as possible will appeal, and the Canon EOS 100D certainly doesn't disappoint, although there are a few negatives due to the small size, namely the shorter battery life, slower continuous shooting (compared to the 650D/700D), and...
Small size, autofocus is swift
The EOS 100D may be small, but it still manages to pack in the power and we've generally been impressed. But, in saying that, you'll need to really want a smaller-scale DSLR in order to go out and buy one. For just £50 more the EOS 700D offers a more advanced autofocus system, larger build for what we think is a more comfortable use over an extended period, a better battery life and vari-angle LCD screen too.
Good ergonomics for its small size
Canon has miniaturised the digital SLR with the EOS 100D. If you want a small camera, but absolutely have to have a proper viewfinder, this is your best bet at the moment. It's surprisingly usable given its tiny dimensions, although its 18-megapixel sensor is getting on in age.
Excellent not-quite-pocket-sized camera
the X20 is a super camera. It's not the game-changer the RX100 is (sensor size and variety of features in such a small package), but what you do get is a superior lens, no optical low pass filter - for crispy photographs, an actually usable viewfinder, 12fps, superb build quality, and delicious, delicious bokeh! If you're cross-shopping the RX100 and X20, it's certainly a tough decision. If fitting a camera in your purse or pocket is important, the RX100 wins hands down. For build quality?
Outstanding build quality
If your head has been turned by the headline-grabbing X100S, but you really, really want a zoom lens, then the X20 is on hand to more than satisfy your needs. £519 / $599 is admittedly a lot of ask for what is essentially still a compact camera at heart, despite all the fancy trappings, but for us the Fujifilm X20 delivers such a winning combination of old and new that offers so many important improvements over the original model that we can heartily recommend it for new and X10 users...
Fast hybrid AF with on-sensor phase detect points
The Fujifilm X20 is a major upgrade to the X10, with a brand new 12 Megapixel X-trans sensor and EXR II processor providing improved image quality and low light performance as well as new shooting modes, 1080p60 video and faster continuous shooting. The new sensor's phase-detect AF points provide the X20 with one of the fastest and most accurate AF systems around, at least for stills.
Excellent in-camera Raw conversion
The Fujifilm X20 is a true enthusiast's compact, with solid build quality, a fast lens, unique optical viewfinder, and sharp, high resolution photos. It offers a wide selection of manual controls, easily adjustable settings (thanks to twin control dials, the Fn button, and Quick Menu), and 1080/60p video recording. Downsides include a mediocre, hard-to-access movie mode and sub-par battery life.
Excellent image quality
The Fujifilm X20 delivers high image quality, unique handling and features, as well as an optical viewfinder, in a well built and stylish camera, with full manual controls, raw shooting and flash hot shoe. If these are features you're looking for, and have the money to invest, then the Fujifilm X20 comes highly recommended.
Low ISO images are sharp and class-leading
The Fujifilm X20 is not only the camera that irons out its predecessor's orb-related imaging issues, it's also the camera that pushes image quality up a notch to class-leading levels.
The chunky, retro-styled build doesn't make the X20 the tiniest of models and the design, even just aesthetically, won't suit all tastes - but we're big fans and think its looks are just as stand-out as its images.
Class-leading fast and reliable autofocus
The Fuji X20 is an excellent premium compact and the only one to have a mechanical zoom. Its lens is equivalent to 28-112mm which is suitable for a wide variety of subjects and has a rather bright maximum aperture. The X20 offers complete manual controls and an efficient interface, including dual control-dials and plenty of external controls.
1080p HD video @ 60fps
The lens is the same as the X10's and has the same push-on cover. We noticed an improvement in the functionality of the focusing ring, which is now more sensitive and allows you to adjust the speed at which focus is changed. Turn it quickly to re-focus rapidly, or slowly for greater precision.
Excellent compact system camera
All in all the Panasonic Lumix GF6 is a surprisingly capable camera that will more than satisfy a lot of people's needs, including both casual snappers and more serious photographers alike. You'd be hard-pushed to find such a well-rounded, well-connected, and, well, great performing camera without spending quite a lot more, making the new Panasonic Lumix GF6 richly deserving of our coveted Highly Recommended award.
Excellent low-light AF performance, Stop motion intervalometer
Given the current obsession with retro styling and rangefinder chic, it would be easy to pass over a camera like the Panasonic Lumix GF6 in favour of something superficially more classy. But while it may not look as sexy and desirable as models like the Olympus E-P5 and the Fujifilm X-M1, the Lumix GF6 has a huge amount to offer photographers of every ilk.
Excellent screen, Digital filters, Built in Wi-Fi
The Panasonic GF6 is one of the best compact system cameras currently on the market, especially for the beginner user.
Although it is the next in line after the Panasonic GF5, it's perhaps elevated slightly above that, being a little more comparable to the Panasonic GX1, with which it shares its sensor.
Image quality is fantastic, while usability, thanks in part to the touchscreen and sensible menu system, makes it one of the more pleasurable cameras to shoot with.
Wi-Fi built in - remote operation, Great image quality
The Panasonic Lumix GF6 offers almost everything you could want from a mirrorless camera, with the most likely complaint about it likely to be the lack of flash hot-shoe, making it less appealing to the more serious photographer. For the majority of people having a built in flash will be preferable, and the re-introduction of the mode dial will make the camera easier to use for every level of photographer.
Affordable, Tilitng hi-res screen, Improved resolution
When we reviewed the GF5, one mild criticism we had was that Panasonic had hardly tinkered with it in comparison to the GF3. It seemed very much 'more of the same'.
The step on between the 12 megapixel GF5 and 16 megapixel GF6 is thankfully a little more pronounced, and, resolution aside, we now get the expanded ISO range, compositional convenience of a tilting LCD, plus wireless connectivity options to bring the latest model bang up to date.
Remote shooting of both photos and video clips
Panasonic's Lumix DMC-GF6 represents the latest iteration of the company's entry-level compact systems cameras. Similar in size and body styling to the GF5, the GF6 has a lot more to offer to enthusiasts. Its resolution has been increased to 16 megapixels and it features the latest Venus Engine image processor, along with integrated Wi-Fi plus near field communication.
Solid performance, good value, Nikon nails it again!
This camera may be the best APS-C in its class so far. After Nikon's quality control issue with the full-frame D600 (sensor oil spot problem), Nikon may be able to win back its trust with this new release, again aimed at enthusiasts and amateur photographers. Being an amateur photographer for years and have invested quite a sum in Sony, Canon and Nikon bodies and lenses, I myself settled with Nikon in personal preference.
Design is easy to use and comfortable to handle
The ultimate irony of these cameras is this: when the D5100 first came to market we awarded it both Camera of the Year, and Budget DSLR of the Year. It was just such an amazing deal, with rare levels of performance at the price point. But after two years and little improvement for the D5200, this great camera didn't hit us with the same impact its predecessor did. Like we've said countless times in the review, the D5200 is a fine camera, but it's not $300 finer than the old one.
Good still and video image quality
The D5200 is a nice little camera with no glaring deficiencies and would make a fine first DSLR for someone moving out of the compact digital ranks. It would be a great follow-on camera for someone who's cut their teeth on an earlier model Nikon DSLR but doesn't want to go all the way to the prosumer D7100. I'm just left wishing Nikon had added a few more external controls and some weather sealing.
Undoubtedly a great all-round DSLR
The new Nikon D5200 may not reinvent the wheel in any way, but it is undoubtedly a great all-round DSLR that's well-suited to a lot of different users and experience levels, exactly what a mass-market camera should be, and judged on that criteria, the Nikon D5200 is once again a very worthy winner of our Highly Recommended award.
Impressive 39-point AF system, Continuous shooting speed of 5fps
Costing £649 body only, or £719 with the 18-55mm VR kit lens, the D5200 currently costs around £320 more than the equivalent D5100 package. The developments to the D5200's internal specification - most notably the 39-point AF system and 24.1MP sensor - result in a truly impressive specification for a consumer model. It delivers stunning image quality and is a pleasing camera to use, but is it really worth the additional £300 or so?
Produces detailed images, Excellent ISO performance
When we reviewed the D5100 in April of 2011 we were impressed and gave it our highly recommended award. The biggest change on the D5200 is the upgrade to the 24.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, with the D5200 producing 5 star quality images. The D5200 can also shoot at a faster rate of 5 fps in continuous shooting.
The D5200 is compatible with a number of accessories such as the Wireless Mobile Adapter (WU-1a) allowing sharing of images with mobile devices.
Good picture quality, vari-angle LCD screen, decent autofocus system with motorised lenses
We love the D5200's low-mid sensitivity shots which are among the best in class, and the 39-point autofocus sensor is quality too. But a lack of the usual array of Nikon quick-access DSLR buttons, no touchscreen, banding hidden in shadow areas of raw files and poor movie clips hold the model back. The new sensor is a double-edged sword that brings both good and bad to the table from what we've seen.
This is a great camera
The sensor is very good. Maybe two thirds to a full stop better than the a57 at ISO 3200. The EVF is now OLED so it's clearer, brighter and more detailed than the LCD finder in the a57 it replaces. In my week of use I've found the finder to be really good and the performance of the sensor to be equally good. I am not a beginner and also own Sony's full frame a99 and their previous full frame camera, the a850. I've owned the a77 camera as well.
Excellent OLED electronic viewfinder
The new Sony A58 offers most of its predecessor's design, features and performance at an aggressive price-point, which can only be good news for us consumers. Look under the hood and you do find a few corners have been cut to keep the cost down, but all things considered, this is simply a very good interchangeable lens camera at a very attractive price.
Picture Effects, Low light performance
Overall, Sony has produced a very good camera in the Alpha a58, and we're sure that anybody who buys one will be very pleased with its performance. At its current retail price of £449 / US$599.99 / AU$799 with the 18-55mm kit lens, it also offers excellent value for money, especially compared with its closest rivals.
Comfortable handgrip and handling
The entry-level DSLR market is one of the most competitive in photography and, as a result, anything that a camera can do to stand out is more than welcome. Sony had achieved this with past SLT range cameras, but the Sony A58 is a step back. The full resolution continuous shooting rate of 5fps isn't even best in class - other similar DSLRs shoot faster and maintain that speed for longer.
Good image quality
The screen on the A57 was a very nice 3inch screen with 921k dots, and it's a shame to see a smaller, lower resolution screen on the A58. However, with a low introduction price of roughly £440 with 18-55mm kit lens, the A58 feels more like a replacement for the A37 rather than a replacement for the A57, with those looking for a more advanced camera better off looking at the Sony Alpha A65.
Good levels of detail, Comfortable handgrip
The Sony A58 seems to be a muddied compromise between the two cameras it replaces, but it just doesn't do enough to excel in any one area, and with such stiff competition in the shape of the Canon EOS 650D, Nikon D3200 and Pentax K-30, it's hard to recommend the A58 above them.
Outstanding sharpness scores
The Fujifilm X-E1 is all of the fun and none of the frivolity of the X-Pro1. The decision to exchange the hybrid OVF for lower costs will make a lot of consumers happy, but keeping performance at basically the same level is the real achievement here. We loved having this camera in-house and hate to see it go. Anyone whoâ?? s been watching this series but put off by the price should take a second look.
Intuitive handling, fantastic image quality
Retailing for £749 in the UK and $1000 in the US for the body-only, or £1149 / $1399 with the new 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS lens, means that you can buy the X-E1 with a great kit lens for less than the body-only launch price of the X-Pro1 (although obviously this is now significantly less). It also pits the X-E1 directly against the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Sony NEX-7, both of which are great cameras, but both of which are quite different in their approach.
Excellent image quality, Superb high ISO noise performance
The X-E1 is a great follow up model to Fujifilm's X-Pro 1 providing most of what the more expensive flagship model offers at a significantly lower price point. For purists, an optical viewfinder on a rangefinder style camera will be a must-have feature and the X-Pro 1's hybrid viewfinder is a technological wonder. But if you can live without an optical viewfinder, the X-E1's EVF is one of the best around and is arguably better suited to an interchangeable lens camera.
Unique camera design makes you want to take pictures
Overall, we really enjoyed shooting with the Fujifilm X-E1, and I'm very pleased with the images I got out of it. The camera crashed on occasion (it wouldn't be a new X-series camera if it didn't have some bugs...), leaving buttons unresponsive, and focus and exposure sometimes delivered odd results, but powering off usually cleared the error.
Stunning image quality
While it might be tempting to think of the X-E1 as a stripped back X-Pro1, that does it something of a disservice in that the X-E1 is a great camera in its own right. Gifted with the same premium grade construction and finish, the X-E1 feels more refined and balanced than it's more expensive sibling.
Impressive colour reproduction
The Fujifilm X-Pro1 and X-E1 are the definition of retro digital cameras, and the moment you pick it up, you'll be reminded of an old film camera from the past. With manual controls on the lens and body it is very easy to adjust settings and the menus and controls are well thought out and easy to get to grips with. The electronic viewfinder is excellent with an extremely high resolution and is great to use, although it's a shame the 2.8inch screen isn't larger and a higher resolution.
Image quality is excellent, build quality is superb
It's not cheap and the autofocus speed isn't going to see off its nearest competitors, but the X-E1 is a tool that never takes its eye off the image-quality ball, all wrapped up into a super chic retro-styled body. It looks great, its images look even greater, and that's where this retro snapper wins. However the limited selection of current XF lenses may be seen as an issue and this pro-targeted model isn't going to suit all tastes or needs on account of its AF system.
Extremely low image noise up to ISO 6400
The Fuji X-E1 follows the X-Pro1 with the same 16 MP CMOS sensor that delivers class-leading image quality thanks to its unique X-Trans sensor which does not use an anti-alias filter.
The X-E1 is an excellent successor to the X-Pro1. While it does not address all issues, it improves upon the X-Pro1 considerably with a better EVF in a smaller body, faster performance and even a considerably lower price tag.
Retro styling, Less daunting than the X-Pro1
The 16.3 effective megapixel, 1920x1080 pixels Full HD video shooting Fujifilm X-E1 competes directly with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 in the retro styled compact camera system stakes. While, if you prefer the more modernist look, the Sony NEX-7 and cheaper Sony NEX-6 likewise offer an eye-level viewfinder, as well as the larger format APS-C sensor for almost DSLR-style picture quality.
Great image quality up to ISO 1600, Fast focusing
The Olympus E-PM2 is surely not a camera for everyone. Advanced users will find the lack of buttons and the need to dig through menus to be extremely frustrating. For the best experience, it would be wise to leave the camera in aperture priority--therefore balancing the need to manipulate exposure settings and the need to concentrate most on shooting what's in front of you.
Smallest, lightest and crucially cheapest PEN body
In summary the Olympus E-PM2 is a much more intriguing camera than its entry-level price and bottom-of-the-range positioning in the Olympus compact system camera lineup would first suggest. Not many manufacturers offer the same image quality as their flagship camera throughout their entire range, but that's exactly what Olympus have done with the release of the E-PL5 and now the even smaller E-PM2.
OM-D image quality in smaller, lighter, cheaper body
The Olympus PEN-EPM2 is a point-and-shoot mirrorless camera which does exactly what a novice will need it to. For more adventurous users, there's a lot of functionality hidden beneath the skin (including the image quality of the OM-D) making the E-PM2 a potentially very attractive second camera.
Excellent image quality, ISO noise performance
The Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 features an improved design, with better handling and controls than the previous Mini E-PM1, as well as a great 3 inch touch screen. The camera doesn't feature a panoramic mode, but does include a built in HDR bracketing mode, although unfortunately this doesn't auto-stitch the photos. The Live Time feature inherited from the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is an excellent feature.
Affordable, good image quality, fast single autofocus
A solid compact system camera, the E-PM2 succeeds in improving on its E-PM1 predecessor across the board. Image quality is good, though a more premium lens will get the most out of the camera. We're definitely fans of the E-PM2, but its the all-round better, easier-to-control but otherwise rather similar E-PL5 which wins in our book.
Very low image noise, Reliable metering
The Olympus PEN E-PM2 is a very compact and light mirrorless camera. It was launched in late 2012 with the E-PL5 which shares the same internals and adds a traditional mode-dial and tilting LCD. Olympus based both these models on the sensor of their highly-acclaimed OM-D E-M5 flagship camera.
This new sensor delivers quality images combined with a speedy performance. Image noise is very low, delivering clean images until ISO 1600 and usable ones until 12800.
Smart-looking interchangeable-lens camera for point-and-press shooting
The E-PM2 is a nice little camera for snapshooters making their first foray into interchangeable-lens photography. However, it won't encourage them to develop their photographic skills and understanding because it is simply too difficult to access and adjust most of the key camera settings (particularly lens aperture and shutter speed settings). For this reason, it's also ill-suited to photo enthusiasts.
Compact, lightweight and inviting
While some might gravitate towards the Sony NEX-3N for its larger APS-C-sized sensor, there's no doubt that the E-PM2 is a solid performer. Micro Four Thirds makes an excellent system for beginners, with plenty of room to grow. Also, there's the distinct benefit of being able to use the same lenses on Panasonic bodies, so you have a greater range of kit to choose from should you buy into the system whole-hog.
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