The middle of the month has rolled around again, meaning it's time for another comparison courtesy of DCR's Head to Head series. In this month's bout, two high-end, wide-zoom compacts - the Fujifilm FinePix F100fd and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35 - head into the ring for a wide-angle smackdown of epic proportions: "Two cameras enter, one camera leaves!" Or something...
In conjunction with tonight's E-520 release, Olympus has offered up details about a new consumer-grade wide-angle lens for the Four Thirds system: the lightweight and compact Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 provides the equivalent of an 18mm lens at the wide end on Olympus's DSLRs, offering amateur shooters a reasonably priced wide-angle lens that accounts for the Four Thirds system's 2x crop factor.
Entering a crowded field of compacts that offer some manual control, the Nikon Coolpix P60 targets casual and family shooters looking to do a bit more with their cameras. With 8.1 megapixels of resolution, a 5x Nikkor zoom, and an electronic viewfinder, the handsome P60 has all of the specs to compete. In some ways, though, what stands out the most about the P60 is just how much the latest Coolpix doesn't stand out, offering solid if unremarkable performance. Will early-testing flash problems or other lurking issues mar this otherwise well-rounded device?
Waiting until the last minute to pick out your Mother's Day gift again this year? No worries: we've got you covered with a special "Mother's Day Edition" of our DCR Summer 2008 Buyer's Guide that features our favorite compact camera picks for every kind of photographer and every budget. From ultracompact to ultrazoom, a record number of new point-and-shoot cameras this year means more appealing choices than ever, making it easy to find a camera that's a perfect fit for mom, or for that college or high-school graduate you're shopping for.
Fujifilm's F series compact digitals with the Super CCD sensor have enjoyed a reputation for better than average high ISO noise performance dating back to at least the F30. When the F50fd got a healthy boost in sensor resolution on the same-sized sensor, noise performance slipped a bit, at least by Fuji standards. Now the F50fd has been joined by the Fujifilm FinePix F100fd, and the question on the minds of many Fuji fans is whether the new model - with a current-generation sensor and new processor - will restore the FinePix line to its former prominence as the undisputed low-light leader.
Since CES in January, we've been speculating on the impending release of a Wi-Fi enabled compact camera from Panasonic. The official announcement came today, with the unveiling of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ50. Built around the compact long-zoom TZ platform that has been a popular line for the manufacturer, the new TZ50 features the TZ5's basic specs sheet: 9.1 megapixels, a 10x Leica wide-angle zoom, and the ability to record HD video. What it adds to this highly successful formula is the ability to upload images to the web directly from the camera via built-in 802.11b/g wireless LAN.
Nikon unveiled a pair of new ultracompacts this evening: the Coolpix S52 and physically identical Wi-Fi enabled Coolpix S52c. The latest additions to Nikon's Style line, the new 9.0 megapixel cams use the 38-114mm 3x zoom from their predecessors, the Coolpix S51 models. A 3.0-inch LCD dominates the back of the new models, which continue Nikon's trademark "wave-surface" ultracompact body design.
I have to admit that as much as I love SLRs, the compact camera market captures a portion of my photography heart as well. There is something so novel about being able to slip a camera into most any pocket and get pictures anytime: try doing that with an SLR. The latest compact I have been playing with, the 12 megapixel Pentax Optio A40, is a fun little camera that works great as a back-up, but does it do enough to be an all-in-one picture taking device as well?
In the compact digital camera world, standard zoom lenses have tended to start out in the low- to mid-30mm focal range at the wide-angle end of the spectrum, a 35mm-equivalent length that isn't really all that wide. Every so often you'll come across a 27 or 28mm, but those have tended to be the exception rather than the rule. As a brand, Panasonic's lineup has a fairly high concentration of 28 to low-30mm lenses, but the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35 breaks new ground in the compact wide angle sweepstakes: a 4x optical zoom starting out at 25mm.
When the Olympus E-420 was announced a few weeks back, there was lots of talk from the company about how compact and light their latest entry-level 10.0 megapixel DSLR was. With lots of smallest/lightest/fastest claims bandied about out there, we were appropriately skeptical. As it turns out, though, they weren't kidding.
Having hit consumers with a barrage of new compact digicams just last month at PMA, Panasonic is back at it again today with the announcement of the ultracompact, 10.1 megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500. As a new flagship model for the FX line, the newest Lumix comes with a wide-angle Leica zoom lens, 1280x720 video recording capability, optical image stabilization, and - most notably - a 3-inch touch screen LCD.
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