Tuesday, January 6, 2009

P&S Camera Recommendations - Updated!

Sorry about the lateness on this, but here are the recommended cameras from Digital Photography Review (www.dpreview.com). This is the short and sweet version, but for the complete run-down on all the cameras, please go to their excellent site. The cameras are listed in order of preference, from most recommended to merely highly recommended, in this case. You won’t lose in picking any of these cameras.

Best Budget Cameras (under$150.00):
Sony Cyber-Shot W120
Panasonic Lumix LZ8
(My runner-up: the Canon PowerShot A590 IS)

Best Ultra Compact Cameras:
Tie for 1st: Canon PowerShot SD 790 IS and the Panasonic DMC-FX37
Runners-up: Sony T700 and the Nikon S210

Premium Compact Cameras:
Fujifilm F100fd
Canon PowerShot SD 880 IS

Enthusiast Compact Cameras:
Panasonic LX3
Highly Recommended: Canon Powershot SX110 IS and the Panasonic TZ5
(My recommendation: the Canon Powershot G10)

For the Enthusiast category, I see the Panasonic LX3 and the Canon PowerShot G10 as the best choices, with each having different strengths. The LX3 has the equivalent of a 24mm wide-angle lens (which is great), but it only zooms up to 60mm, which for most people isn’t enough telephoto. But its lens also has a wide f-stop at f/2. These days, that’s unusual. The G10 is more of an all-around choice. Its lens is the equivalent of a 28 – 140mm zoom. That’s darn near perfect for an all-purpose carry-around camera. The G10 also has a 15 mp sensor, while the LX3 has a 10 mp sensor. And the LX3 is much better in low light situations and high ISO settings than the G10. They’re both good cameras, but they are also very different from each other. Noticeably missing from DP’s list is Nikon. Nikon is devoting more energy towards SLRs than P&Ss, but with the rapidly dropping prices of SLRs, that kind of makes sense. Anyway, if you are looking for a new P&S camera, any of these deserve a closer look. Cheers.

And now:

This is a bit late for the Holidays, but their Super Zoom category, which is the fifth and last of the group P&S camera tests, was just published these yesterday (1-15-2009). These are cameras with wide-range 10X to 20X zooms and image stabilization features of one sort or another, like the Canon SX10 IS with a lens that is, equivalent in 35mm terms, a 28 – 560mm zoom. This sort of camera is a carry-all type of camera that will handle most if not all of your photographic needs.

Super Zoom Cameras:
Tie for 1st: Canon SX10 IS and the Panasonic FZ28
Recommended: Olympus SP-565UZ

It’s also interesting to note how many Panasonic cameras made their lists. Panasonic is one of the newest camera brands and not very long ago no one could have predicted how well they would be doing now. The switch from film to digital has certainly shaken things up in the camera business, to say the least.

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