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.
A generational camera
The x100S has fine enough image quality and speed, in such a reasonably sized package, that the next generation of camera doesn't appeal to me. The x200S could have twice the resolution and twice the speed and I simply wouldn't care. I'm not suggesting that the x100S is the pinnacle of fixed lens digital cameras. But I am saying that Fuji has achieved such a balance of features and performance with the x100S that I can't reasonably see myself upgrading or switching for the foreseeable future.
Capable of excellent performance
While we could certainly dock the X100S for a lack of newbie-friendly features, this is still a $1,299.99 fixed-lens camera; there's probably not many beginners willing to shell out that kind of money for a camera lacking the flexibility of a system camera. Those in this part of the market probably know their way around a RAW converter or two, and are willing to suffer a bit for their art. Especially for street photographers who don't want to shell out for a Leica, the X100S is a fine choice.
Compelling mix of intuitive handling, impeccable image quality
There's no denying that £1099 / $1299 is a lot of money to pay for a compact camera with a fixed lens, but the Fujifilm X100S offers so many improvements that if you ever found yourself looking longingly at its predecessor, there's very little reason not to take a much, much closer look at this new version. Quite simply the new Fujifilm X100S is one of the best cameras that we've ever reviewed and joins its illustrious predecessor as a worthy winner of our coveted Essential! award.
Fast Hybrid AF with manual focus aids, Hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder.
The Fujifilm X100S builds on the success of its predecessor, the X100, with a new sensor, faster, more accurate focusing and a raft of other improvements. Fujifilm has concentrated on improving what needed it and fixing (most of) what was broken, while leaving what what best and most loved well alone - namely the X100's retro styling, composition and traditional controls.
Detail-rich images, Bright lens
By taking some of the best elements of the Fuji X-Pro1, such as the sensor design and Quick Menu, Fuji has produced a worthy update to the X100, and many owners of this camera will feel sorely tempted by the X100S. The improved handling and image quality makes it a very desirable step up.
Excellent resolution and detail in photos
The Fujifilm X100s improves quite dramatically over the Fujifilm X100, with a new 16 megapixel sensor that delivers excellent noise performance and detail in photos. The X100s gives the same familiar controls as the original X100 as well as a higher resolution electronic viewfinder, that when combined with the hybrid optical viewfinder, makes this camera a unique proposition.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Intuitive handling and speedy performance
The new XQ1 is clearly designed to take on the all-conquering Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 (our Compact Camera of the Year in 2012) and the popular Canon PowerShot S-series. It essentially offers image quality somewhere between the two at a very attractive price that is lower than both, whilst offering the same appealing retro design and great build quality that epitomises the X-series camera range.
Higher-resolution screen, and improved video quality with stereo sound
In summary the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ35 is admittedly cheaper than the more expensive TZ40 model, but it does concede quite a lot of ground to achieve the more aggressive price-tag, and it doesn't offer that many upgrades over the previous TZ25 model. Therefore, while the DMC-TZ35 is certainly a very competent travel-zoom, it doesn't offer enough to convince us to save the extra outlay for its big brother, or more seriously for Panasonic one of its main rivals.
Broad 20x optical zoom covers every situation in slim body
The pricing and feature-set of TZ35 / ZS25 makes sense when compared to Panasonic's 2013 models and comes Recommended if you don't need the extras of the TZ40 / ZS30, but it's well worth keeping an eye on the price of last year's TZ30 / ZS20 while stocks last. At the time of writing, the TZ30 / ZS20 was discounted to a similar point as the new TZ35 / ZS25 in some regions, yet offered a touch-screen, GPS, 1080p video and faster continuous shooting in addition to the same 20x zoom range.
Excellent image quality, 20x zoom in a compact body
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ35 is an excellent choice for those looking for a very versatile travel camera. It has a very respectable 20x optical zoom lens packed into a very compact body, yet is capable of focusing at just 3cm for superb macro shots.
It could be improved if it had RAW shooting and a higher resolution screen.
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