Faster auto-focus and burst shooting speeds
The price of the S120 is an eye-watering £449.00 / $449.99, up £20 in the UK, which puts it on a price-par with 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 with its much larger sensor delivers even better results than the S120, making it our choice in the "pocketable compact camera for enthusiasts" sector of the market.
One of smallest cameras with RAW & manual control
As it stands though the S120 can still be squeezed into most pockets which keeps it unique against most of its competition - indeed only the Lumix LF1 challenges it in this regard. And if it is a genuinely pocketable enthusiast-class compact you're after then you should be comparing the S120 very closely against the LF1 and also seeing what that extra 1cm of thickness gets you from the RX100 II.
Easy to take impressive star trail shots, Has built-in Wi-Fi
The Canon PowerShot S120 is a steady upgrade of last year's S110, with a slightly faster aperture, faster continuous shooting and a higher resolution screen. This might not be enough to tempt S110 owners to upgrade, but the star trail feature does offer something unique and the results we achieved during testing are quite impressive.
Small camera, plenty of control
With its handling improvements, brighter lens, 1080/60p video, and unquestionable pocketability, the S120 is a terrific camera either for DSLR owners looking for something svelte to slip into a pocket, or shutterbugs with no desire to lug a DSLR while on vacation.
Great Little Camera
The Panasonic ZS30 is compact enough to carry easily, has an incredably long, compact Leica lens, more than enough low light capability for most people - unless you are a pixel peeping nerd or a pro who has to make a living off of his/her talent as a photographer, and it has more neat features that most people will ever use. Is it a DSLR? NO. Is it a darned good compact camera? Yes. Is it an excellent, full-featured, long lens travel camera? Absolutely, yes!
Touchscreen interface, built-in wi-fi connectivity and GPS
While last years' Lumix DMC-TZ30 / ZS25 model was more of a modest upgrade rather than a radical departure from what had gone before, 2013's DMC-TZ40 / ZS30 feels like a much more significant step forward for Panasonic's wildly popular travel-zoom range. The TZ40 is veritably stuffed to the gills with cutting-edge features, while the combination of a 20x zoom, effective stabilisation system and good image quality is hard to resist.
1080p video with zooming, stereo sound and continuous AF
Impressive, but so far so similar to much of the competition. Where the TZ40 / ZS30 really differs from its rivals though is the implementations of various technologies. Amazingly it remains the only pocket super-zoom of its peer group to employ a touchscreen which genuinely enhances control and selective focusing. Of the models with GPS, the TZ40 / ZS30 is the only one with a built-in landmark database and mapping facilities.
Impressive zoom for such a compact body
The Panasonic Lumix TZ40 arrives at the same retail price as the TZ30 at launch. When you consider the added functionality - namely the connectivity features - as well as the all-round improvements to the specification, you have to say that then TZ40 is an attractive proposition.
On the whole the additions to the feature-set are successful and welcome, while the more general improvements are also positive.
Good picture quality, Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 has all the features needed to justify its travel zoom tag. It offers ample optical zoom, great for landscapes and distance objects, as well as built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, all in a pocketable body. It's a little on the expensive side, so some of the cheaper options may be more appealing, but the features and image quality certainly make it worth the money.
Solid build, 18 megapixel stills
Looking for one simple-to-use pocket camera with a creatively versatile zoom reach that will pretty much do it all? In offering a higher pixel count than its predecessor and newly adding Wi-Fi connectivity, the 18 megapixel, 20x optical zoom TZ40 is one of the more accomplished jack of all trades.
While in some ways its additions feel like a way of playing catch up with the rest of the 'travel zoom' market, the result is a snapshot camera that ends up a cut above.
Delivers outstanding still images
Even the price of the Ricoh GR is appealing. At £599.99 / $799, it's substantially cheaper than its direct competitor, the Nikon Coolpix A, and also cheaper than an APS-C DSLR or compact system camera with a good quality 28mm lens fitted. If you're certain that a 28mm fixed lens will suit your style of shooting, then the Ricoh GR represents something of a bargain and comes Highly Recommended.
Good lens, very low distortion and without any real corner softness
A niche product, and one that Ricoh should be applauded for designing in a market stuffed with 'me too' cameras, but one that its hard to wholeheartedly recommend. If it had breathtaking image quality the price would be irrelevant, but as it stands you're paying nearly as much as a Nikon D50 outfit for the camera (and a lot more if you include the optical viewfinder), and a lot more than you would for one of the several excellent compacts on the market with a zoom starting at 28mm.
Extremely sharp lens, Excellent noise performance
The Ricoh GR (V) is an impressive upgrade to the previous GR Digital model, with a 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, the Ricoh GR suddently becomes much more attractive, with an extremely sharp 28mm equivalent lens, the camera delivers excellent image quality. It's also available for noticeably less than other APS-C sensor compact cameras, and would make a great pocket camera where image quality rather than zoom is of the highest importance.
Image quality is exceptional, super-sharp lens
Image quality is in the bag, there's no doubt about that, but as a full package it falls into some of the traps that its similar competitors do too. That has a two-fold effect - it stops the GR from being a five-star product while simultaneously making it the best of its kind.
So many customisable options, settings and function buttons
With an aggressive pricing strategy, Ricoh should win plenty of photography enthusiasts over with the GR. Competing cameras like the Nikon Coolpix A are easier to pick up and start shooting with for beginners, but it seems like a waste for these cameras to stay in auto all the time. This is where the GR steps in - there are just so many ways to customise this camera, it's almost ridiculous.
All the customisation in the world would mean nothing if the GR wasn't able to take good photos.
Compact size large APS-C sensor, 28mm prime lens
As much as we like to save money, the Coolpix A is a better overall camera than the Ricoh GR. The Nikon's images are sharper and colors more accurate. The fact the Coolpix has built-in image stabilization while the GR does not is definitely a factor. Also the lack of a focus ring takes away half the fun of shooting with an enthusiast camera. The Ricoh can take solid photos with enough light but in dim settings it doesn't have the ISO chops of the Nikon.
Sensor is very well rounded
Overall, the Ricoh GR has proved itself to be a very capable performer and it joins the Nikon Coolpix A and the Fujifilm Finepix X100 in moving on the performance level of prime lens compact cameras. While they don't feature the versatility of interchangeable lenses, they make very high quality discrete cameras for street and social documentary photography, without having to make too many compromises in image quality along the way.
Great Camera! Love the Wireless!
I've had a number of PowerShot cameras. Really impressed with the picture quality of the camera and the overall speed. Colors and picture quality are quite good and the low-light performance is superior. The previous review focuses nicely on the picture quality, so I wil stick with the human factors.
Manual control and adjustment are simple to master, so you won't need to rely on the automatic settings. My only concern with the camera is hat the wifi settings are difficult to set up.
Finger rail grip, Better than average noise control
The SX280 HS is a compact, well designed, sturdy, and easy to use point and shoot digital camera with a 20x zoom. Compared to its competition, the biggest difference would seem to be in the resolution arena with Canon sticking with a reasonable 12-megapixels, while Panasonic, Sony, and other OEMs seem determined to push the 20 megapixel envelope. Constantly crowding more pixels onto tiny point and shoot sensors results in noticeably higher noise levels.
Quicker GPS and better image quality
Despite our quibbles with the wi-fi implementation and lack of touch-screen control, the inclusion of DIGIC 6 has brought a number of significant improvements to Canon's 2013 travel-zoom model, making the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS a real contender to the market-leading Panasonic TZ series.
Slightly superior image quality to peer group, but not by much
In short the Lumix ZS30 / TZ40 is a better-featured camera that avoids much of the annoyances and limitations of the SX280 HS, but it's also more expensive; in some regions not by a great deal, but the gap can be greater in others. If you think the limitations of the SX280 HS would frustrate you, then I'd definitely recommend you spend the extra on the Panasonic ZS30 / TZ40. But equally there'll be those for whom they're non-issues or things they can happily workaround.
20x optical zoom, Wi-Fi and GPS
What we have here is an excellent and well performing compact camera that offers lots of flexibility both to beginner users and those looking for something a little more advanced.
It would also be a good camera for anybody looking to learn a little more about photography, since you could start on the fully automatic settings and work your way through the manual options.
GPS and Wi-Fi built in, Excellent image quality, Excellent colour
The Canon Powershot SX280 HS offers a lot of optical zoom in a compact camera body and has a number of features that the traveller will find appealing including both GPS and Wi-Fi. Image quality is very good with excellent colours and good levels of detail. The 14fps high speed shooting mode will also appeal, although it would be nice if it was available in all of the modes, and could have been used for an automatic HDR mode.
Best-in-class image quality for a 20x zoom compact
The SX280 HS doesn't add much compared to its year-old SX260 sibling. We would rather have seen the addition of a touchscreen LCD and broader, more accessible autofocus options added on instead of the Wi-Fi feature which, in its current state, is just a bit of a faff to use. It will come in for occasional use though, so better to have it than not.
Powerful 20x zoom, Sharp images in well-lit/daylight situations
When it comes to compact superzooms, Canon puts together a pretty impressive list of specs with the Powershot SX280. Cameras like this show the performance and features of advanced point-and-shoots continue to evolve and there's still a place for them amidst the rise of cell phone photography, but still come with some drawbacks. However, for a user looking for a new point-and-shoot with a super zoom lens, the SX280 makes a nice choice.
Excellent still image and video quality complete with RAW support
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 ultimately straddles the divide between the photographer-centric LX7 and the company's extensive range of compacts, providing both a cheaper and in some ways more capable alternative to the former, and a good upgrade path from the latter, depending on your point of view. We've been very pleasantly surprised by the LF1, so much so that we can highly recommend what is an excellent compact camera.
Electronic level, Full manual control
Although Panasonic has undoubtedly created a very likeable and capable camera in the Panasonic LF1, we can't help but be a little underwhelmed by it overall. Aside from the electronic viewfinder, it doesn't offer anything too different from those that are already on the market.
Gets even better!
Overall this camera is a great improvement from last year's HX20/30V and a great upgrade for anyone who is a fan of the HX handheld series. Improved image quality, 30X zoom and longer battery life is what sold me and I'm glad I upgraded. This camera makes me feel confident I won't miss a shot and able to take a good shot no matter how far the subject is. A wonderful vacation camera. I have purchased the HX5V, HX9V and HX20V each year they came out.
Provides excellent results from ISO 100-400
So while the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V's bigger zoom, built-in wi-fi and better controls represent a significant step forward, the image quality and wi-fi implementation leave something to be desired, with potential UK owners having to completely miss out on GPS.
30x optical zoom in a pocketable body, Good image quality
The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX50 is the first pocketable camera to have 30x optical zoom. Despite being pocketable it is a little on the bulky side and fairly heavy. There are other features that make it ideal as a travel camera - built-in Wi-Fi and a good battery life. You can also shoot full resolution images at 10 fps. There's no RAW shooting, although there are full manual controls.
Compact design, Excellent GPS and Wi-Fi
If you were looking for a travel-zoom camera in the past, we'd have gone straight to recommending a Panasonic. Sony's new HX50V crams 20 megapixels -- too many, really -- on its tiny sensor, with a 30x zoom lens and all the trimmings you could want. It's a great all-round camera, although it's not made for dim or dark environments.
Great Compact point & shoot for the money, battery is a non- issue
The feel and user friendliness of this camera is outstanding. The controls are simple, the instructions (PDF on-line only) are clear and easy to follow, and the image quality is great. You are not going to shoot that perfect close-up shot of a running back diving across the goal line with this camera, but for every day snapshots it offers a nice, cost effective solution to carry in your pocket every day.
It's not a DLSR.
Excellent image quality for this class of cameras
Canon Powershot SX170 IS clearly qualifies as a "best buy" for budget conscious shutterbugs who want a lot of bang for their camera buck. The SX170 IS would be an almost ideal choice for a first digital camera, an excellent choice as a primary family camera, and a very good choice for travelers who want an inexpensive, feature rich, dependable, and relatively inexpensive P&S digicam that is capable of producing consistently excellent images.
Build and performance is acceptable given its asking price
The Canon PowerShot SX170 IS - build and performance is acceptable given its asking price, so those who have little to spend will find equally little to complain about. Though picture quality is a little so-so for our tastes, at least the camera looks good and feels good in the palm, which at this currently contracting budget end of the market actually counts for quite a lot.
Full manual mode, Lithium ion battery, Easy to use
If you're looking for a point and shoot capable of a little extra then the SX170 will probably tick all of your boxes and more. There's very little counting against this camera - a little bit of extra tech like Wi-Fi capabilities or full HD shooting would be nice but it certainly performs well without enough without them. Easy to use, good value for money and rugged enough to survive life's knocks and bumps - the SX170 consistently and happily comes out on top.
Good battery life, Decent image quality
The Canon PowerShot SX170 IS is an ideal camera for those who want a cheapish camera which is pocketable, yet packs a little more zoom. It's easy to use and there are a range of filters for creative photography, so will appeal to those who like to upload shots to sites such as Facebook.
Great street photo camera
I got the camera in a national chain electronics store, impressed by being lightweight, can put it in my shirt pocket, great dynamic range with good light, get an extra battery if you are trigger happy, I got about 300 plus pics from the battery it went to two bars, not completely depleted.I must say that the iso range is very decent, after the new LR 4.4 appeared, I could get excelent image quality on to iso 3200, from 6400 on is very acceptable, had to edit my opinion given the LR update.
Great image quality, Small footprint despite large APS-C sensor
Although the Nikon A does a great job at capturing sharp, high quality images, this is not a camera for the masses. So who is this camera designed for? Due to the inflexible 18.5mm fixed lens, many casual photographers will be quickly disillusioned by the lack of zoom.
Screen is more than adequate for image composition in even bright light
Which leaves the Coolpix A in something of a quandary - smaller and more pocketable than its rivals, but with slower auto-focusing and no built-in viewfinder. It's definitely an interesting camera in its own right that would make a great second camera for Nikon DSLR owners, but ultimately a few crucial shortcomings and some fierce competition limit its appeal to a wider audience.
Excellent image quality in both Raw and JPEG
The Coolpix A offers DSLR-standard image quality and an excellent 28mm equivalent lens in a well-polished, pocketable camera. Its user interface will be immediately familiar to Nikon shooters and its results are dependably good. It's not the only game in town, though, and while solid in most respects, it's not class-leading in any respect.
Good build quality, Controls are sensibly arranged
While it is considerably smaller than the Fuji X100S, the Nikon Coolpix A doesn't have a viewfinder built in - there's an optional optical finder available.
It also lacks the traditional aperture ring and shutter speed dial that give the Fuji X100S some of its appeal, but exposure adjustments can still be made quickly and easily.
First class image quality
The Nikon Coolpix A is the first APS-C compact to genuinely fit in a pocket - a great achievement. That makes it damn expensive, but Nikon has done an awful lot to ensure that it meets the premium price tag. Build quality is exemplary and image quality is first class.
There are, however, areas where the Coolpix A could be improved. The sluggish AF performance is a concern, especially in less than perfect shooting conditions.
Excellent noise performance
The Nikon Coolpix A offers a large APS-C sized sensor with a wide-angle Nikon lens, in a compact pocketable body with Digital SLR like controls and options that will be familiar to anyone who's used Nikon Digital SLRs. Therefore the Nikon Coolpix A would make an ideal compact camera for Nikon DSLR users, or alternatively for anyone looking for a premium compact camera with DSLR image quality and low noise.
Excellent sharpness in center of frame
The Nikon Coolpix A is the smallest digital camera with an APS-C sensor and is similarly-sized to a compact camera. This incredible achievement puts the image quality of a DSLR in a camera that fits in a coat pocket. The compromise is that its lens offers a fixed 28mm-equivalent wide-angle field-of-view. This is obviously not for everyone but those who are happy with a bright F/2.8 prime lens will be very impressed by the Coolpix A.
Excellent image quality, Robust shooting design
The Coolpix A won't be for everyone, especially photographers who are looking for an electronic viewfinder - or any viewfinder at all that isn't an optional extra. It also lacks the retro-inspired look of the X100s, though it is a lot more compact.
What the Coolpix A does have going for it is image and lens quality in spades. The APS-C sensor puts this camera in a league of its own, and the Nikkor lens delivers sharp and detailed images time and time again.
Delivers decent image quality
So despite a few reservations about the image quality in low or high contrast light, the Olympus XZ-10 is a competitive addition to the ever-growing numbers of "premium" compact cameras aimed at the more discerning photographer. You could certainly do a lot worse than carry an Olympus XZ-10 in your pocket.
Touchscreen, Art filters
The premium compact camera market is one that is packed with some serious competition, but the Olympus XZ-10 more than holds its own against most of the competition.
Images are great, and for the most part handling is also a good experience, while bonuses such as the touchscreen and art filters make it more appealing than some of its rivals - such as the Nikon P330.
That said, Canon has managed to include Wi-Fi in the S110, while Sony has opted for a larger sensor in its RX100.
Decent image quality
The Olympus XZ-10 is a slighter cheaper version of the XZ-2, but offers slightly more optical zoom. It is a smaller and lighter camera, but this does mean you sacrifice the tilting screen. The XZ-10 also lacks other features such as Wi-Fi and GPS which you might expect to find on the latest serious compact cameras. Put this aside, you'll still find an ample set of features, including 5 fps continuous shooting, full 1080p HD video recording and a close focusing distance of 1cm.
Impressively low shutter lag times and fast AF
We're not quite sure what user group the XZ-10 is targeted towards. For starters, it has a bright f/1.8 lens, but it has been paired here with a reasonably small 1/2.3-inch sensor. Then there's the photo montage feature, which seems to be targeted towards entry-level users, but then the camera has RAW capture and full manual exposure controls.
Better JPEG image quality
Still, there aren't too many other negative aspects to put you off the Nikon Coolpix P330. The price may have gone up slightly in comparison to last year's model, but the extra features and better image quality help to explain that away, and it's still quite a lot cheaper than most of its main rivals.
Great image quality
This is a camera that's basically an "almost there" for Nikon. While image quality is fantastic, we can think of several ways that this camera could be improved to make it even better.
The most notable problem we have is with the speed of the camera, and it would also be great to see other improvements to the usability of the camera, such as a touchscreen or a dial around the lens.
RAW shooting added, VR built in
The Nikon Coolpix P330 updates the previous model with a lower 12.2 megapixel sensor, although with a larger sensor size, image quality is improved and the new 5x optical zoom lens provides a more versatile zoom range, from a wide 24mm equivalent. The camera has a large number of advanced options, and the camera speed is decent, so long as you're not shooting a large number of RAW files, as write times for this are noticeably slow.
Close-up macro mode, raw capture available
The Nikon Coolpix P330 is a definite step forward compared to its predecessor, and it throws the P-series into the high-end compact camera mix. But it's also a game of two halves.
Image quality is a step up the image quality ladder, the price point is very competitive and the new 24-120mm f/1.8-5.6 equivalent zoom is versatile.
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