Sony Cybershot DSC-WX300 Review

April 13th, 2013 127 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

Sony Cybershot DSC-WX300 Features
The Sony Cybershot DSC-WX300 has an 18.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor and 20x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 25-500mm, and can be extended to 40x with Clear Image Zoom. There is Optical SteadyShot to reduce blur when shooting handheld and you can also shoot at 10 fps.
Intelligent Auto recognises the scene and automatically adjusts the camera settings, with Superior Auto recognising when your subject is moving. Other shooting modes include iSweep Panorama and artistic picture effects which can be applied to both images and videos. When shooting portraits the WX300 will automatically remove skin blemishes, brighten teeth, widen eyes and cut forehead shine.
The built-in Wi-Fi allows you to transfer your images and videos to a smartphone or tablet and allows your mobile device to act as a remote control.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with Optical SteadyShot Active Mode to ensure they are as smooth and steady as possible
The WX300 has an extremely compact, metal body. It’s a pocketable camera and isn’t overly heavy, despite housing a 20x optical zoom lens. To aid grip there is a vertical groove on the front on the camera.
Measuring 21.6mm at the thickest point and weighing a mere 105g, the WX300 is portable despite housing a 20x optical zoom lens. The company claims that the WX300 is the smallest 20x shooter in its class.
This point-and-shoot features a versatile 25-500mm focal range which is useful for covering a variety of scenarios–from wide-angle group shots to faraway subjects. The WX300′s lens is also supported by an enhanced optical image stabilization mode which helps you get sharper stills and steadier videos in low-light conditions or when shooting at telephoto ranges.
Like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ40 we previewed, the WX300 is Wi-Fi-enabled which means you get to wirelessly transfer photos and videos to smart devices such as smartphone and tablets. In addition, shutterbugs have the ability to control the camera remotely using a proprietary app.
Based on its specifications, the WX300 is capable of recording up to 500 images on a fully charged battery, which is pretty impressive considering that typical long-zoom compacts average at about 260 shots
The LCD is a good size at 3 inches, resolution is also good and it is easy to view in varying lighting conditions. Alongside the screen are playback, movie record, menu and delete buttons, as well as a rotating wheel which also acts as a d-pad, giving quick access to the flash, continuous shooting and the photo creativity mode. The latter allows you to change the brightness, colour, vividness and choose a picture effect. The top of the camera hosts the on / off switch, zoom rocker, shutter release and mode dial. The buttons are generally small, but easy to press.
The menu system is easy to navigate, press the menu button the enter the shooting options, if you want to amend the camera settings, scroll down the bottom and you’ll find an option represented by a briefcase which gives access to them.
To use the Wi-Fi you need to install the free PlayMemories app. Pairing the devices and using the app is easy. You can transfer images and videos, as well as use the app to capture them as well. You can control the zoom and set a self-timer with the app.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Review

July 31st, 2010 110 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

The LX5 has a 3.0-inch LCD screen, Face Recognition / Detection, 720 high definition video capture and and the new Venus Engine FHD image processor. The LUMIX DMC-LX5 comes in either black or white and it’s slightly larger than the LX3 in width and depth.
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX5 features include:
  • 10.1 megapixel, 1/1.63-inch CCD image sensor
  • F2.0 Leica DC-Vario-Summicron 3.8x optical zoom wide-angle with 24-90mm (equivalent) focal range
  • ISO 80-1600 (up to 12800 high sensitivity at lower resolution)
  • 3.0-inch TFT LCD with 460K pixels  (backlight LED)
  • 720p HD video capture (AVCHD lite)
  • Face Recognition and Detection technologies
  • Venus Engine FHD image processor
  • POWER Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.)
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • A/V, USB 2.0, HDMI outputs
  • Stereo Microphone with Dolby® Digital Stereo Creator
  • Powered by a Li-ion battery pack (rated up to 400 shots per charge)
  • Accessories include External Optical View Finder, Wide Conversion Lens, Live View Finder, ND Filter, MC Protector, External Flashes and Leather Case

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8 Review

November 6th, 2009 120 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

Panasonic Lumix FP8
The FP line features a notably slimmer profile, measuring a slim 0.8 inches. It may be small, but it’s equipped with some competitive features. A quick spec check of the Lumix FP8 reveals a 12.1 megapixel sensor, 2.7 inch LCD, and 4.6x optical zoom range. The Leica-standard lens covers an equivalent focal length of 28-128mm.

The FP8 will record 720p HD video at 30 fps, and shooting modes include Panasonic’s iA Intelligent Auto mode for automatic scene selection. At the heart of the FP8 is a Venus Engine V processor, which promises more efficient processing and a boost in battery life. Panasonic will equip the Lumix FP8 with Power O.I.S optical image stabilization as well, which promises an improvement of 2x the blur-reduction of its predecessor, Mega O.I.S.

Picking up speed
Another tech improvement to this class of Lumix cameras is a faster 0.96 second claimed start-up time and quicker auto focus operation. Panasonic offered us a little hands-on time with the FP8 last week, and I can say that their claims of faster AF seem justified. Even in a dim conference room, the FP8 snapped into focus quickly. Though I don’t yet have our own lab data to back it up, I’d say it could compete with the fast performance we saw from the similarly-styled Sony T series.

Panasonic has taken a slight design departure in the control layout of the FP8, eliminating a center button in the four-way direction pad. The iA shooting mode has also been given a dedicated button on the top side of the camera, and the buttons on the back panel emit a blue LED glow.

The Panasonic Lumix ZR1 will feature a 0.3mm aspherical lens, trimming down the size of the whole camera body. The Leica 8x optical zoom lens will reach an equivalent focal length of 25-200mm. Behind the glass is a 12.1 megapixel sensor and the latest optical image stabilization also on-board the FP8.

Buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8

Canon Powershot D10 Review

June 20th, 2009 197 Comments   Posted in Digital Compact Cameras

The Canon PowerShot D10 represents Canon’s first foray into the all-action world of adventure cameras. The Canon D10 is waterproof up to 10 meters / 33-feet deep, freeze proof from -10°C / 14 degrees Fahrenheit, shockproof up to 1.22 meters / 4 feet, and is fully protected from dust. More regular features include a 12 megapixel sensor, 3x zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilization, 2.5 inch LCD screen, and new Smart AUTO, Blink Detection and FaceSelf-Timer modes.

Ease of Use

The Canon PowerShot D10 is certainly very distinctive, with toy-camera-like looks that you’ll either love or hate. Our review model had a turquoise blue and silver colour scheme, which can be customised by purchasing an optional coloured Front Cover Set. This is a well-made digital camera with a sturdy metal body and excellent overall finish. It’s just about small enough to fit into the palm of your hand, featuring a 3x optical zoom lens that’s equivalent to a focal length of 35-135mm. The maximum aperture is a fast f/2.8 at the wide end and a respectable f/4.9 at the other extreme of the zoom range. The PowerShot D10 is quite bulky, measuring 4.9cms thick when turned off, making it more suited to a small camera bag than a trouser pocket, but it only weighs 190g without the battery or memory card fitted.

As with most Canon cameras that we’ve reviewed before, the PowerShot D10 is one of the better models around in terms of build quality. Even the tripod mount is metal instead of plastic and positioned centrally in-line with the lens. The only minor criticism is the lack of any handgrip on the front, with just a smooth, flat finish embossed with the Canon logo, making it more difficult to hold than it really should be. Also, changing cards or batteries is not possible while the camera is mounted on a tripod, because the compartment door hinge is too close to the tripod socket.

The Canon PowerShot D10 has relatively few external controls, 14 in total, which reflects the fact that this is quite a simple camera in functionality terms, with only limited photographic control on offer. All the controls are clearly labeled using industry-standard symbols and terminology. As this camera will spend quite a lot of its life underwater, it thankfully has large On/Off and Shutter buttons, and the optical zoom is operated by buttons on the rear, rather than a more fiddly push/pull lever. We would have liked the zoom buttons to have been a little bigger though for quicker access in more unfamiliar shooting environments.

Located on top of the PowerShot D10 are the Print Transfer, Camera/Movie and Play buttons, plus the On/Off and Shutter buttons, and on the bottom are the metal tripod mount and sealed battery compartment, which also houses the SD memory card slot. On the rear of the PowerShot D10 is the 2.5 inch LCD screen, with all the rear controls located to the right. You can directly access the various focus and flash options by clicking left and right on the navigation pad, whilst up and down are respectively used to set the exposure compensation and timer options. There is sadly no dedicated button for ISO speed, which is a commonly used feature, although you can work around this by optionally setting the Print Transfer button to one of 7 available options (which include ISO speed).

Virtually all of Canon’s compact digicams offer a few little known but advanced functions, and the PowerShot D10 is no exception. These well-kept secrets, which you usually only learn about if you read the user guide attentively, include auto-focus lock (AFL), autoexposure lock (AEL) and flash exposure lock (FEL).  To lock the focus on a subject for a series of consecutive shots, press the Left button on the four-way pad once while holding the shutter release depressed halfway. To lock the ambient exposure, do the same with the Up button. Flash exposure lock is achieved the same way when the flash is set to Forced On. AEL is available in Program, Quick Shot and Movie modes (you needn’t hold down the shutter release for AEL when you are in Movie mode though).

Buy the Canon Powershot D10 Online