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.
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.
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.
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.
Best-in-class ergonomics, handling, and build quality
We wouldn't recommend this camera to everyone. If you're looking for a point and shoot that's a cut above the rest but won't intimidate with too many control options, we'd suggest the G15 or RX100. If you want something smaller that still packs excellent image quality, something like the RX100 or the upcoming Fuji XF1 might fit the bill. But if you want the complete package, look no further: the P7700 is the best we've seen.
Excellent build quality, Numerous controls, Good in low light
The Nikon Coolpix P7700 is a very high quality camera that does a lot of things right. Its build quality is impressive, as are its quick shooting performance, sharp, low distortion lens, very good indoor image quality and excellent movie ability. It has every option a serious photographer could want. However there are a few issues I found troubling, especially for a camera of its overall quality and price.
Excellent image quality
Still commanding the same hefty price-tag as its predecessor with an RRP of £499.99 / $499.95, the Nikon Coolpix P7700 finds itself priced alongside key rivals such as the Canon PowerShot G15, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7, Samsung EX2F and Sony Cyber-shot RX100, as well as several entry-level DSLRs and the new wave of Compact System Cameras.
Wide range of physical controls
As the market for advanced cameras fragments and compact cameras with slightly larger sensors and fixed zooms become just one choice among many for enthusiasts and improvers, it's increasingly important for manufacturers to understand what their customers want and to provide it. It's interesting to note where Canon, with the PowerShot G15 and Nikon with the Coolpix P7700 take the same or differening views on this.
Overall image quality, Excellent LCD screen
The Nikon P7700 is a formidable advanced compact that is sure to appeal to plenty of enthusiasts looking for a camera that delivers full manual controls, a solid feature set and great image quality. While some may decry the loss of the optical viewfinder, the improved vari-angle rear LCD monitor does go at least some way to making up for it. Indeed, the only real disappointment is the slow write time when shooting Raw or full resolution JPEGs.
Large strap included, 3inch swivel screen
The Nikon Coolpix P7700 offers the most optical zoom in a "serious compact" camera, and the new lens is brighter than the old lens at both the wide and telephoto end of the lens. This in combination with optical image stabilisation and a 12 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor gives this camera much better low light performance than the previous model. Other updates include quicker continuous shooting, automatic panoramic stitching and full HD video recording.
Premium performer, premium price
The Nikon P7700 looks and performs every part the high-end camera; it's far better in almost every area than its predecessor, although the lack of a viewfinder (or ability to add one that works in conjunction with the zoom) is perplexing.
This Coolpix isn't shy of controls either. Buttons and dials not only come aplenty, but they're intuitive and easy to use, which puts control firmly in the user's hands.
Speed, good looks, and pretty pictures
While the Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is pricey and imperfect, it's still darn good. Plus, based on past experience, even if competitors I haven't yet tested can surpass it in design or speed, I don't think they'll be able to match the photo quality. (Canon might be able to if it matched a fast lens to the G1 X's sensor.) Despite its drawbacks, I'd still rank it as one of the best compact cameras I've ever tested, and certainly the best under $700.
Good autofocus and shutter lag performance
The Sony RX100 packs a lot of image quality punch into a truly shirt pocket portable compact digital camera. Shutter lag and autofocus performance are quite good, still image quality is on the high end of the pecking order for true compact digitals and the ability to operate in fully automatic mode along with complete manual controls and a RAW shooting option should appeal to a wide audience of potential users. Full HD video performance is pretty good.
Big sensor, pocketable compact form factor
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 is, without doubt, one of the most exciting compact releases in many years. That it comes at a time when other manufacturers - Canon, Fujifilm and Panasonic among them - are also releasing exciting compact models makes it all the more remarkable. Its unique proposition can be summed up in four words - large sensor, small body. That magical combination is what enthusiast photographers have been wishing for for a long time.
Excellent image quality
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 is one of very few compact cameras with a large sensor, and it's been a long time since Sony themselves put a large sensor in a compact camera with the previous model, the Sony Cyber-shot R1, dating back to 2005. Since then a re-surgence of "serious compact" cameras has happened, with most manufacturers having at least one offering, apart from Sony.
Customizable control ring and function buttons
Overall, we think that the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 offers the best compromise between sensor size and lens optics--utilizing a larger sensor of just the right size with a fast F1.8 aperture (at 28mm) while keeping things slim and compact. The svelte shooter offers reliable programmed modes, customizable buttons, fast autofocus performance and good image quality packed in a sleek chassis which may appeal to enthusiasts and beginners alike.
Colour rendition is excellent, with good levels of saturation
Offering snappy performance, excellent image quality and a sleek design, the RX100 proves that good things come in small packages. Sony's first large-sensor compact took its time to arrive on the scene, but it's just the camera that the advanced compact category needs. An advanced camera with more than enough controls to satisfy seasoned photographers, and plenty of automatic modes to welcome beginners, the RX100 is bound to find a place in many people's hearts.
Excellent image quality
The Sony RX100 brings digital SLR-like quality to a compact camera. It's a small camera that can capture wonderfully clear and well saturated images in JPEG mode and it has manual controls that allow experienced photographers to grab the reigns and take complete control of the capturing process. It even allows for manual focusing via a dedicated ring around its zoom lens.
Excellent stills, Impressive low-light results
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 doesn't come cheap, but it looks great and produces consistently first-class stills. Low-light performance can't be faulted, colour reproduction is excellent and movies are crisp, with a well-captured soundtrack. This is the best compact you can buy right now.
Grip is large and accommodating, offering great control
We'd recommend the K-30 to anyone looking for a sub-$1000 model to take to an environment where dust or moisture are a constant concern. Even if that's not an issue, the K-30 still handles great and offers performance similar to its peers from Canon and Nikon at this price point. It's not for absolute beginners and it's certainly not for video shooters, but the K-30 when paired with an appropriate lens-can go places other DSLRs at this price simply cannot.
Solid, weather-sealed body
Overall, it's pretty hard not to like the Pentax K-30. For $850 (body only), you get a well-equipped, weather-sealed D-SLR that takes great photos. Sure, I wish it had better battery life, stereo sound recording, and HDMI output, but aside from those issues, there's little to complain about. Whether you're a Pentax enthusiast or someone looking for a first D-SLR, the K-30 is certainly well worth looking at.
Image quality is excellent, producing noise-free images
The Pentax K-30 is a great alternative to similar offerings from the likes of Nikon, Canon and Sony, proving that Pentax can continue to deliver the goods in their core business, despite recent misfires in the world of compact system cameras. If you're looking for an intuitive, fast DSLR that delivers great pictures, then the Pentax K-30 certainly fits the bill.
Good detail at low sensitivities (even better in RAW)
The Pentax K-30 offers a comprehensive feature set, excellent high ISO performance and very flexible Raw files at an attractive price point and is therefore an easy recommendation for any stills photographer. However, if you are looking for a DSLR to shoot video with the competition offers better alternatives.
Stabilised sensor, Detail-rich images
The fact that the body is weather-proofed is a huge bonus as one of the main reasons why cameras area sent for repair is water damage. Of course to get the full benefit of the K-30's weatherproofing it needs to be matched with one of Pentax's WR (Weather Resistant) lenses.
Impressive image quality
The Pentax K-30 is a richly featured mid-range DSLR that combines features from the more expensive but older K-5 with more recent innovations present in the K-01 compact system camera. As such the K-30 offers enough to stand out from its peers, with the overall build quality and weather sealing a notable highlight. Image quality impresses too, as does the 6fps top burst speed.
Excellent colour, Adobe DNG RAW files
The Pentax K-30 offers a vast array of features including 6fps continuous shooting, built-in HDR creation, electronic level, and a weather sealed and compact Digital SLR body, all for a very reasonable price, making it the cheapest weather sealed Digital SLR available. The camera has a slightly un-conventional design for a Digital SLR, and being available in glossy white or blue, may not appeal to some, although it's also available in the more traditional black.
Colours are realistic
The Pentax K-30 shows off what a DSLR can do without blowing the budget. But that doesn't mean this DSLR scrimps on its features. Far from it, it blows most of the competition out of the water.
Not that most of its peers can survive a blast of the wet stuff. The weather-sealed body is a great feature to have, and something that would usually only be found in a pricier camera, but that doesn't detract from the K-30's ability to produce great images too.
Image quality for still images is very good
The Pentax K-30 is an excellent DSLR choice for adventure photographers and creatives who will appreciate its in-camera effects. For most outdoor situations, the 18-135mm zoom provides plenty of width and reach, yet doesn't add much weight to the overall compact package. Image quality for still images is very good, both for raw and JPEG formats, although we like the raws a bit better. And the assortment of in-camera effects, such as HDR and multiple exposure, encourages experimentation.
Simple control layout, stylish looks
The J2 may only be the junior member of the Nikon 1 family, but its significantly cheaper price and more targeted approach make it a better choice than the V1 for compact camera users looking to upgrade to a more advanced system. It is still expensive though compared to rivals like the Sony NEX-F3, Olympus E-PM2 PEN Mini, Samsung NX1000 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5, so you'll need to decide if the out-and-out speed and beginner-friendly approach are really worth the price of admission.
Good screen, Quick start-up
The Nikon 1 J2 is likely to capitalise on the success of its predecessor, but it's certainly not worth existing users upgrading. For those looking for their first compact system camera, the Nikon 1 is a good investment, while those who already own DSLRs may like to consider it for a second camera.
High speed shooting at 60fps, High resolution screen
The Nikon 1 J2 is the more compact, and more stylish looking camera from the Nikon 1 series available in six different colours, with matching lens colours. With a smaller sensor than the Micro Four thirds system, it allows smaller lenses, and the 10 megapixel sensor achieves an amazing 60fps shooting, high speed video and full HD recording.
Image quality is good enough
The Nikon 1 J2 is a subtle reworking of the original J1. A year has gone by since the original's launch, but this latest model isn't a big enough leap forward to warrant a brand new release.
The J2 still has its good points though: there's the hybrid autofocus system and fast burst mode; but the lack of an intuitive menu system for more demanding users and still no accessory port or hotshoe for flash or a viewfinder will limit the appeal for more demanding users.
Cool, compact body, Neat pop-up flash
Nikon has clearly taken an - if it ain't broke, don't fix it - approach to the 10.1 megapixel J2 compact system camera, which, while it doesn't make it an especially exciting model to review, you can see some sense in, particularly as Nikon is claiming its predecessor was the biggest selling model in its class across Europe.
Hybrid AF system
The first generation of cameras will always need some degree of tweaking before they really deliver what the user wants. While the J2 is a nice camera and offers some improvements over the J1, it doesn't feel like it has gone far enough to progress the Nikon 1 series. The J1 is, of course, the entry-level model and aimed more at the general consumer than the creative amateur. Hopefully, when the V1 is replaced, it will offer more.
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