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.
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.
Excellent LCD screen that's hinged on the side
In summary the Nikon Coolpix P7800 is essentially the same camera as last year's P7700, with the welcome addition of an electronic viewfinder that's good enough for regular image composition. We'd have liked to see Nikon address the performance issues when shooting RAW files, though.
Strong build quality, Impressive vari-angled LCD screen
Although the Nikon P7800 impresses on paper it fails to deliver when put through its paces, with its shooting performance a particular lowlight. When you consider the current price tag of just short of £500, while there are some redeeming features with the P7800 it's difficult to recommend in the advanced compact market.
Good noise performance, Pleasing colour reproduction
Ignoring the fact that you can't get such a small zoom lens for a mirrorless camera, the Nikon Coolpix P7800 is roughly the same size as a mirrorless camera with a pancake lens, but is also more expensive than a number of mirrorless cameras - each one will give better high ISO performance. However, if you want as much zoom as possible, with a bright lens, then the Nikon Coolpix P7800 is still unique in offering an f/2.0 - f/4.0 7.1x optical zoom lens in a compact camera.
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.
Full 1080p movie recording with stereo sound
£469 / $549 is undoubtedly a lot of money to pay for a compact camera with such a small image sensor, but if the image quality meets your requirements then the HS50EXR makes a compelling argument to be the only camera that you need. Super-zooms remain one of the few growth areas in the compact camera world, and its easy to see why when cameras as good as the Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR are being released. Highly recommended!
Good viewfinder, Pleasing handling, Impressive focus performance
There a lot to like about the HS50 EXR. Not only is it one of the best-specified superzoom bridge cameras on the market, but it also has the performance to match. It has an excellent viewfinder, lightning-quick focusing system and truly ergonomic design, and is only really let down by poor video quality and a few usability issues. Although it's far from the smallest and lightest superzoom bridge camera available, at its current price it's certainly one of the best on the market.
Good colour reproduction
The Fujifilm FinePix HS50 EXR updates the HS30/35 and offers a longer 42x optical zoom lens with manual zoom control, and is quite large compared to the previous model, with other cameras offering 50x optical zoom lens, such as the Fujifilm FinePix SL1000, and Canon Powershot SX50.
Decent image quality, raw capture option
We like the FinePix HS50EXR a lot: it's an accomplished superzoom that's put Fujifilm right back up there and in the mix and shown just what this brand can do. It can hold its head up side by side with the levels of its nearest competitors, it just ought to be a touch more cost effective by comparison.
Very fast focus, AF system
The HS50 EXR is one of the most fully-featured superzoom cameras currently available, with a superb focusing system, excellent viewfinder and ergonomic design to recommend it.
Despite sub-par video quality, images are detailed and relatively noise-free throughout the range and the ability to capture and process Raw files only furthers the standard achievable from the camera.
Good image quality, although not consistent
Unfortunately I can't wholeheartedly recommend the Q series cameras to those debating on choosing an ILC system. The Q7 just isn't consistent at giving the user a high quality image straight out of camera. With the Olympus E-PM2 being $50 less than the Pentax Q7 it makes more sense for the average ILC user to choose the Olympus unless a smaller camera with more physical buttons trumps image quality and AF speed.
Looks great and is a lot of fun
In conclusion if you equate small with beautiful then the retro-styled Pentax Q7 is worth further investigation. This may also mean you'll take it out with you more and achieve shots you might not otherwise have attempted. Yet whilst it looks great and is a lot of fun, predictably there are still better compromises between image quality and smaller form factor to be found elsewhere.
Truly compact system camera and easily pocketable lenses
The Pentax Q7 does well in everyday shooting, delivering image quality that's generally as good as the best enthusiast compacts. However, it under delivers for the entry-level ILC class in terms of resolution and high ISO performance. Though we had few serious complaints about its performance, it's hard to recommend among so many excellent fixed and interchangeable lens cameras that cost about the same.
Extremely small body, Good sized screen with decent resolution
If you're a fan of small gadgets, the Pentax Q7 is going to appeal to you, particularly with the range of colours it is available in. It's extremely small, yet packs all the features you'd expect to see on a DSLR, including the ability to change lenses. You've full manual controls, RAW shooting and 5 fps continuous shooting. The screen size and resolution hasn't been compromised and the body and 5-15mm lens have plenty of rubberised grip.
Small proportions, Large sensor, Respectable image quality
The fact that compared with larger, pricier CSC rivals the 12 megapixel Pentax Q7 appears like a bit of a toy may actually appeal to those who like their tech on the cute side. Plus on a creative note your subjects will certainly feel less self-conscious when you poke the Q7 in their face than when confronted with a full size DSLR.
The result is that you'll take shots that you maybe wouldn't have attempted with a larger camera.
Portability, Handling, Features, Build quality
It is undeniably a good quality product capable of excellent results, but will probably struggle to find a grip in a market dominated by larger, more capable rivals. It's probably worth a sober reflection that the Auto 110 was discontinued after seven years, with only two camera models and five lenses. Will the Q system go the same way?
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.
High quality electronic viewfinder, Classic camera styling
The Olympus Stylus 1, by using the styling of the Olympus OM-D series, which itself was styled on the old and classic Olympus OM SLR series, has not only brought about a stylish compact camera, but it's also brought about a genuinely useful and somewhat unique digital camera.
A great all-arounder
I'm very impressed with where sensor tech has gone in general and very impressed with the sensor in the Mx-1 in particular. And it could be the Pentax processor doing a great job as well in how it handles the info from the sensor. From the quality pics I've taken, it seems that they've matched the lens to sensor quite nicely. I don't usually go above 1600 ISO and the photos are clean and crisp at this mark.
Good image and video quality
If you're looking for a compact to take the place of that DSLR on casual shooting trips, seek to upgrade from an entry-level compact, or are looking for your first digital camera and want something you can grow into as your photographic skills mature, you owe to yourself to include the MX-1 in your search.
Appealingly retro design
Pentax have mostly hit the nail firmly on its head with the MX-1, especially when you factor in its £400 / $500 price-tag, which is quite a bit cheaper than the Olympus XZ-2, Sony Cyber-shot RX100, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 and Samsung EX2F all were on launch, even without any drop in the actual street price.
Excellent image quality in JPEG and Raw, Solid build
Pentax's first entry into the premium pocket camera category is big on image quality but also a bit big for the pocket, which narrows its niche a little more than its competitors. Still, it's a very capable camera with a good set of features, a handsome finish, and an impressive sensor and lens combination.
Wide aperture lens
It's hard to get overly enthusiastic about the Pentax MX-1. While it is capable of producing some good images, and it performed reasonably well in our labs test, it just doesn't have the excitement or appeal of most of the other premium compact cameras on the market.
If you're a fan of Pentax, this might be right up your street, but the majority of consumers may find more to suit their needs elsewhere.
Metal top and bottom plates
The Pentax MX-1 has divided opinion in the office, with some liking the styling and others not as keen on the retro looks. It is definitely a unique looking camera, looking more like a classic camera in the silver and black finish. The camera feels good with a rubber grip at the front and back that is part of the cameras styling, although it is quite heavy in the hand.
Excellent design, look and feel
The MX-1 presents excellent value for money. At times during the review process, we thought that it was a much more expensive camera than its AU$499 asking price. With very good photo and video quality, the MX-1 comes recommended for photographers looking at buying an advanced compact camera with bells and whistles to keep things interesting for times to come.
Excellent color, noise control, and dynamic range
On the whole, we're thrilled with the G15's performance. It's a bold return to (most of) what made the G-series so great in the first place. In the future, we hope Canon will take a long hard look at the larger sensors found in some competing models and give some thought to merging the two tiers they've created with the G15 and G1 X, but for the time being, the company has set itself firmly on a path toward re-conquering the market.
Great image quality, Professional level mode dial with lots of physical buttons
As the newest member of Canon's G Series cameras, the Canon G15 does not disappoint. It is an all around excellent point and shoot for anyone ranging from amateurs to seasoned professionals. The 12.1-megapixel sensor paired with the Digic 5 image processor makes for a great combination. It is able to be used in a wide variety of settings due to the vast ISO range, the great 28-140mm focal length and the fast f1.8-f2.8 lens.
Well-designed camera with solid build quality
Though I'm still a little bitter about the removal of the rotating LCD, I have to say that Canon's PowerShot G15 is a great enthusiast camera. It takes very good photos, has plenty of features for both beginners and enthusiasts, offers good (but not class-leading) responsiveness, and has a huge selection of accessories.
Smart Auto shooting mode is accurate and easy in all situations
Canon's PowerShot G15 is a fantastic upgrade to the G12 and is perfect for anyone that doesn't want to fork over the additional $300 for the G1X. Fantastic image quality and performance compliment the fantastic set of features in this very easy to use compact camera. With a MSRP of US $499.99, it's not for everyone, but if you are interested in some of the best image quality and features you will find for under $500, this is definitely worth a look.
Full 1080p video shooting, faster 10fps continuous shooting
The new Canon PowerShot G15 is the most well-balanced G-series camera to date. It may not offer the admittedly more versatile articulating screen of its predecessor, the G12, or the DSLR-like image quality of its big brother, the G1 X, but the combination of greater portability, faster lens, higher-resolution screen and smaller size is a winning one.
Compact and lightweight - pocketable
The PowerShot G15 is a worthy successor to the G12, the question is, does it still have something to offer in a market teeming with options for enthusiast photographers looking for a compact DSLR back up? Canon has made some good calls with the G15, switching the CCD sensor for a higher resolution CMOS one and upgrading to the Digic 5 processor, opting for greater compactness by dropping the articualted screen and fitting a bright f1.8-2.8 zoom lens.
Good low-ISO image detail and reliable metering
The G15 is an evolutionary update from the G12, and on the whole the changes Canon has made look sensible and well-considered. The camera is clearly a well-refined product and a joy to use. It is very quick and responsive in operation, built like a tank and offers the most external controls in its class. Combine that with the fast 28-140mm F1.8-2.8 lens and you've got yourself an ultra-versatile pocketable tool that can be operated almost like a DSLR and earns itself our highest award.
Direct dials and buttons
A lot has changed since the Canon G12 was first debuted, and it's a shame that more excitement couldn't have been allocated to the Canon G15. For instance, a touchscreen, GPS and Wi-Fi would have been a welcome addition. Instead, it feels a little as if the G series has stagnated a little.
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