HUGE catch-up on other sites' reviews!|
(Tuesday, June 25, 2002 - 04:25 EDT)
We've been even busier than usual lately, and have let slip on mentioning numerous reviews from our friends at the other three main digital camera sites, but it's time to make amends...
It has been quite some time since we've mentioned reviews from any of our colleagues at the Digital Camera Resource Page, Digital Photography Review and Steve's Digicams website, mostly because we've been busy with the steady flow of camera announcements, projects and the suchlike. Hence, we now bring you a mammoth round-up of reviews we believe we missed mentioning at the time, arranged by site - apologies if we've already mentioned some of these:
Digital Camera Resource Page
Digital Photography Review
- Casio GV-10: "[Consumers] won't be buying the GV-10 for its photo quality or feature-set. They'll be buying it because it's tough and can be exposed to the elements without being damaged. The only other low-cost, "tough" digicam I can think of is the Kodak DC5000. It looks to be superior in both photo quality and features."
- Canon PowerShot S200 Digital ELPH: "Like the PowerShot S330 I recently reviewed, the PowerShot S200 is one of my favorite micro cameras. It's great for taking everywhere, and the stylish body is both strong and eye catching. The camera has a good number of controls, including the ability to set the shutter speed manually. The photo quality was very good, though it did have some trouble in tough lighting (I don't think any other comparable camera would've done better, though)."
- Kodak EasyShare LS420: "The Kodak EasyShare LS420 is a camera that will likely be enjoyed by people just starting out in photography. It offers very easy operation, a useful dock for charging the battery and transferring pictures, and decent photo quality (in most cases). I did have some trouble with indoor photos (not of them came out, though I wasn't using a tripod), and there was the "cruise ship incident" shown earlier. What it really boils down to, in my opinion, is if the LS420 is the best value for the money. My thought is that there are better choices available. The LS420 isn't a bad choice, it's just not your best choice."
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC5: "I really wanted to like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LC5. It has a nice design, lots of manual features, robust performance, and good movie and playback modes. But ultimately, none of this matters if the camera takes bad pictures, and unfortunately, the LC5 has some of the worst photo quality I've seen on a higher-end camera."
- Fuji FinePix F601 Zoom: "[The] F601 is a worthy update to the FinePix 4800 and 6800. It has just about everything you desire on a digital camera, including full manual controls. The only exception is the lack of a TIFF mode and manual white balance. The F601's operation is robust, especially when it comes to turning it on, and playing back photos. The camera loses some points for a just so-so playback mode. Overall, though, the FinePix F601 Zoom is a nice choice for a midrange digital camera, and it gets my recommendation."
- HP Photosmart 812 / Kodak EasyShare DX4900: "The HP and Kodak cameras are true competitors, and were neck and neck in most areas (except movie mode!). They are both decent, "entry level" 4 Megapixel cameras. They are not comparable to more expensive 4 Megapixel cameras like the Canon PowerShot G2, in my opinion. Of course, these two cameras cost a lot less than the G2. Both cameras suffer from shutter lag and sub-par LCD displays. For things like photo quality, it's tough -- image quality is in the eye of the beholder -- so I ask you to make that decision."
- Samsung Digimax 350SE: "The Samsung Digimax 350SE is one of those cameras that is pretty good overall, but with one fatal flaw. For the 350SE, that's the very slow operation. From startup to zoom to shot-to-shot speed, this camera is much slower than average. It's very easy to miss a shot when you have as much focus and shutter lag as this camera. The 350SE's photo quality is average, and the features are pretty basic. In a world of low-cost 3 Megapixel cameras, the Digimax 350SE isn't your best choice."
- Olympus D-520 Zoom: "Despite a few annoyances, the Olympus D-520Z remains a good choice for those looking for a small and inexpensive 2 Megapixel camera. Those annoyances include the popup flash, reduction of features from the previous model, no sound in movie mode, and the lack of an AF illuminator. The D-520Z takes good photos in most situations, and is very easy to use. The Camedia Master software has also been greatly improved over the previous version."
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P71: "The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P71 is one of my favorite low-cost cameras. With a list price of $399, you get a great point-and-shoot camera that takes nice photos in most situations. There are a decent amount of controls compared to the competition, as well. My only real complaints surround the movie mode: no sound is recorded, and the zoom lens cannot be used during filming. If you can live with that, the P71 is a great 3.2 Megapixel camera."
- Sony Mavica MVC-CD400 / Sony Mavica MVC-CD250: "My [conclusions] about the Sony Mavica MVC-CD400 [and MVC-CD250 are] very similar to the floppy-based cameras that I've reviewed. If you're sold on the CD-R/RW format, then [they're[ fabulous ... excellent photo quality, full manual controls, a very nice movie mode, a hot shoe, and a inexpensive media format. On the other hand, you've got a bulky, slow (in terms in read/write speed), and expensive digital camera with lots of moving parts. A CD-RW drive is a delicate instrument, so I've got to wonder how long these things last in real world use. Also, the [cameras aren't] what I call 'Mac compatible', as the CDs cannot be read in your CD-ROM drive."
- Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom: "The Olympus C-720UZ is far from being a perfect camera. But it still gets my recommendation, mainly because there aren't many other high resolution cameras with a big zoom lens. Photo quality was a mixed bag. Sometimes it was quite good, other times the purple fringing was quite noticeable. Other things that bothered me me were the lack of an AF-assist lamp, a limited movie mode, and no manual white balance. The good points include a mostly complete set of manual controls, that big 8X zoom lens, and nice customizable menus and buttons."
- Minolta DiMAGE 7i: "The DiMAGE 7i has a lot going for it, a big zoom lens which starts at a wide 28 mm, a five megapixel sensor and a feature set to rival any other digital camera in this 'market group'. The improvements made since the DiMAGE 7 are welcome and noticeable. Despite being almost a year old in design the updated 7i does manage to hold its own against the new competition. It has a very wide feature set including some unique features we've not seen elsewhere (timelapse movies for example). Minolta has proved itself capable of taking feedback and improving, something many other manfuacturers could learn from."
- Fujifilm FinePix F601 Zoom: "The F601 Zoom is a very capable high resolution compact digital camera. It provides a good range of manual features as well as an ease of use which means anyone can point-and-shoot with it. It's clean looks, good build quality and compact metallic case will ensure it sells well in certain parts of the world. On the negative side I would like to have seen control of the in-camera colour and tone algorithms, the 89% LCD frame view is also disappointing and can lead to a spoiled shot, it's also a shame that the higher sensitivities of ISO 800 and 1600 are limited to 1280 x 960 and only cover 94% of the shooting frame. There's also the nagging worries about SuperCCD image quality, with artifacts hard to avoid and large files sizes which quickly fill a 128 MB SmartMedia card."
That should be enough to keep you going for a while - if you're considering any of these cameras, definitely take the time to give Jeff, Phil and Steve's reviews a careful read. :)
- KODAK EasyShare LS420: "The Kodak EasyShare LS420 is a great way to get started in digital photography without emptying the piggy bank. The LS420's 38mm lens exhibits the least wide angle barrel distortion of any camera we've seen in this price range or above. Overall the image quality, color and sharpness of the images are very good for a camera in this price class and better than some at twice the price. The only thing that leaves you wanting for more is the movie quality, it just isn't very clear. If you know someone that has been getting the itch to go digital, the Kodak LS420 might be just what they're looking for."
- Sony DPP-SV88 Digital Photo Printer: "I don't know of any other device that performs all of the functions of the DPP-SV88. It can be had for around $700-800 so this is definitely a winner and gets two thumbs up from Steve for performance and value."
- FujiFilm FinePix F601: "As with all digital cameras the bottom line is image quality and the Fuji F601 Zoom delivers beautifully saturated color images that are very true to the original colors. The F601 Zoom is priced right ($599 MSRP as of 05/2002) and is a very sturdy and well designed camera that will serve you well, especially if what you want is an easy to use camera that delivers excellent images."
- Atech Flash Technology PRO II Flash Card Reader: "The PRO II is reasonably priced (~$50), it works and it reads and writes almost every type of flash memory card except Sony's Memory Sticks. I had no problems unplugging and plugging it back in with the computer running so it is a real "hot swappable" device. I saw no card compatibility problems, it worked flawlessly with CF cards from 8MB to 512MB, the 1GB Microdrive, 64MB and 128MB Secure Digital and 8MB to 128MB SmartMedia cards -- did I forget anybody?"
- Epson Perfection 2450 Photo Scanner: "The EPSON Perfection 2450 Photo is probably an ideal solution for a photographer or graphics person needing a flatbed unit to complement a 35mm film scanner. It gives the ability to scan larger transparencies as needed and performs as an exemplary flatbed unit. For professional photographers or serious amateurs in need of a flatbed scanner, the EPSON 2450 gets my vote. It also would be my first choice for individuals needing a flatbed scanner, who can derive benefits from the ancillary transparency scanning -- such as a hobbyist / amateur photographer with medium format transparencies."
- Addonics Mini DigiDrive 7-in-1 Flash Card Reader: "The Addonics Mini DigiDrive is reasonably priced at $49, it reads and writes every type of flash memory card used in digital cameras. I had no problems unplugging and plugging it back in with the computer running so it is a real "hot swappable" device. It has no compatibility problems and works flawlessly with CF cards from 8MB to 512MB, 1GB Microdrive, 64MB and 128MB MMC and Secure Digital, 8MB to 128MB SmartMedia cards and 8MB to 128MB Memory Sticks."
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P2: "The DSC-P2 is a good choice for anyone that wants a camera that can be easily carried in their pocket or purse and wants to just point and shoot. Its rugged alloy body and built in lens protector means that it will take a a fair amount of abuse and still function properly. We feel it will make a great camera for those going on vacation, just be sure to purchase a larger Memory Stick and a second battery."
- Nikon D100 first-look (no conclusions drawn yet)
- Canon PowerShot A200: "The bottom line is that this is an excellent camera for those that just want to take good pictures without fussing with any controls, or for those that want some creative control. Turn it on, point n' shoot -- you're done. And confident of a good image. Not bad at all for just $299(06/2002)!"
- Canon S820 Color Bubble Jet Photo Printer: "The S820's print quality is 'awesome' and looks like what you get from a pro color lab if you can remember the 'good old' days. I even got acceptable 8.5x11" prints from full-frame Canon A30 (1-megapixel) images using the Photo Optimizer PRO setting but you really need at least 2- megapixel or higher resolution images when making prints that size. The 4x6" borderless prints look exactly like real film prints and seriously doubt that anybody can tell the difference unless using an 8x loupe."
- Toshiba PDR-3300: "I think the PDR-3300 will do well against competing three megapixel cameras because of its aggressive pricing ($349) and consistently good image quality. Size and weight considered, it's the kind of camera that you don't mind taking along on all-day outings. In automatic mode it is very easy to operate and qualifies as a "no brainer" point-n-shoot that anyone should be able to use. It physically resembles a compact 35mm film camera so those that are new to the digital world will immediately feel comfortable with it. For those users that like playing with knobs and dials, there's plenty of manual camera features to stimulate your creative side."
- Olympus C-720 Ultra Zoom: "The bottom line: Excellent camera, good price, long focal length 8x zoom lens and the usual Olympus image quality that we have come to expect from their cameras. The overall color balance, saturation and sharpness is excellent. Some users will no doubt end up with blurry pictures occassionally when zoomed all the way out due to camera shake as this long focal length zoom is not stabilized like the 10x lens on the C-2100UZ. If I was asked to rate the C-720UZ on a 1 to 10 scale of price to performance I would give it a solid 8."