Tuesday, May 22, 2007

4 newest compacts: DSC-S800, DMC-FX100, IXUS 950 IS and Coolpix P5000; Panasonic’s sensor race: Compact vs. SLR.

4 new enthusiast compact cameras have appeared in May. I pay attention to these equipped gadgets because they are packed with high-end features. Some of these specialties such as: optical image stabilizer, 1/1.72-inch large sensor and powerful image processor used to distinguish great SLR cameras. But now beautifully designed luxurious all-metal bodies are filled up with these groovy features. And compact cameras become more and more interesting as hi-tech innovations. I find some mfrs.’ desire to chase consumers’ attention deflects them from its course. As a result we have 12, 2 megapixel sensor compact cam such as new Lumix FX-100.
Panasonic DMC-FX100 announced on 22nd May 2007 is a digital camera with 28mm wide angle zoom lens which incorporates a new 1/1.72-inch large CCD with 12.2-megapixel rich recording resolution. It’s a cool feature but Panasonic’ SLR Lumix DMC-L1 with 7, 4 megapixel 4/3 –inch sensor is crying. This super-high resolution rates the camera as the first one in its class but makes it a little expensive for a compact. Moreover it has a feature strongly appreciated worldwide and now considered to be a useful and practical for photography. It's an optical image stabilizer. Many consumers want to get much with a small body. This Panasonic compact satisfies them. With the FX100, you can shoot hi-definition 1920 x 1080 pixel photos that are ideal for full-screen viewing on a wide-screen (16:9) TV. Not only can you capture beautiful still images – that new model also records wide aspect VGA (640 x 480) and WVGA (848 x 480) motion images at 30 frames per second. If this wasn’t enough, the FX100 can also record wide-aspect HD (1280 x 720) motion images at 15 frames per second.
Nikon has shown its activity producing great SLR cameras such as: D40, D80 and D200 while resting in part of SLR-likes and compacts. (For more information look at posts: 'Nikon D200, Nikon D80 and Fujifilm S5pro: for Pro, for Amateur and for Artist’ or 'Nikon from D50 to D40, Panasonic DMC-L1 vs. Olympus E330 – which is great?’). It woke up in May offering a new 10 megapixel Coolpix P5000. It has an appealing combination of features in a remarkably compact format, including full photographic control, flash hot shoe and add-on lens capabilities. It demises the best specialties of my favorite Coolpix 8700 (look at 'The summary table of the best SLR-like camera specifications’). It's a big leap forward from the previous series cameras, with a more complete feature set, the Lens shift VR (Vibration Reduction), a flash hot shoe and a much more sensible design. Previous models were designed on a pack of cigarettes. It does come with a decent level of expandability added on lenses, flash etc. and it's very keenly priced. So this is the camera to put Nikon on the enthusiast compact map with: 10 megapixel 1/1.8-inch CCD sensor; 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor lens; ISO 64-1600 (3200 in 5MP mode); BSS (Best Shot Selector) identifies and saves the sharpest image automatically from ten sequential shots; P/A/S/M modes plus 16 scene modes; Macro shooting enables shooting from as close as 4cm (1.6 in.). It weighs 200 g (7.1 oz.) without battery and SD memory card, its dimensions are 98 x 64.5 x 41 mm (3.9 x 2.5 x 1.6 in.) and price abt. $350. Let’s turn to Nikon.
Instead Sony announced its own Cyber-Shot DSC-S800 with adequate for compact 8.1 effective megapixel resolution 1/1.8-inch Super HAD CCD sensor. This compact has an excellent ‘full-metal jacket’ body and weighs (without battery) just 185g. Good news for consumers is that it has very useful, supplied with a NiMH AA battery pack which allows taking 390 shots between charges. The Sony S800 features a special high sensitivity mode of ISO 1250 (REI), high-quality 2.5-inch TFT LCD screen, 6x optical zoom with 2cm macro for close-up shooting, 56MB internal memory and Motion-JPEG (30 fps movie mode with audio) with 16:9 mode for playback on a widescreen TV. I think that this compact price will be much adequate than of 12 MP Panasonic DMC-FX100 or 12 MP Sony DSC-W200.
Canon has announced the new PowerShot SD850 IS (IXUS 950 IS). This compact has an eight megapixel 1/2.5" (5.8 x 4.3 mm) CCD sensor mated to a four times optical zoom lens in a compact 90 x 57 x 26 mm (3.5 x 2.2 x 1 in) metal body. Canon SD850 also features optical Image Stabilization (hence the IS suffix), a 2.5" "PureColor" LCD monitor and face detection for optimizing AF, exposure and flash (up to nine faces). Face Detection can also be used in playback mode for red-eye removal. The SD850 also has a 1 frame per second 'spy camera mode'. It weighs 195 g (6.9 oz) and its dimensions are 90 x 57 x 26 mm (3.5 x 2.2 x 1 in) for the same $350-400. I think that Canon allows this gadget at the price not adequate to a 8 megapixel Compact. How I can forget my cheap Canon A95 that took a lot of great images in Thailand for my family (look at my Thaitramp blog).
Actually I will choose the Nikon Coolpix P500 but it’s only thanks to my nostalgia on Coolpix 8700. Still Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-S800 can become more preferable if it costs not more than$300.


prefer said...

Which camera will give me the most bangs for my buck? I want to buy a new digital camera for personal use. I don't know if I need 7MP or 8MP etc. What is the optimal zoom? What are the most cameras I can get for the cheapest price?

fototramp said...

It's not such important to have 7MP or 8MP sensors. Look at Canon PowerShot A550 etc. or A630. I'm using Canon A630 as my second cam (first is the SONY A100) and I can't say anything bad about this Compact. In the other hand the Nikon L12 is a good purchase.

Anonymous said...

The SD850’ advantages are much more interesting. Canon SD850 zooms to 140 mm -- SD800 only goes to 105 mm; SD850 has 8 MP -- SD800 only has 7 MP; SD850 uses Canon's new UA (ultra-high refractive index) glass, which they claim is an upgrade and has face detection.