Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 review posted
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX9 seems about average at first, with a 3x zoom in a small, stylish body, and a big 2.5 inch LCD. But when you learn it has Panasonic's MegaOIS Optical Image Stabilization technology added, despite its average 3x zoom, that's better than average. Image stabilization is becoming a hot feature, capturing sharper images in lower light at low shutter speeds without raising ISO. Unfortunately, the FX9 needs the optical image stabilization to make up for its shortcomings in terms of low light and flash performance. Indoor shots will come out quite yellow, unfortunately, unless you go through the trouble to set white balance manually, which is a bit of a burden. Still, the Panasonic FX9 also offers 6-megapixel resolution, very bright color without oversaturating skin tones, good macro focusing, and excellent battery life. The Panasonic Lumix FX9 is a good little camera, and clearly one of the best bargains on the market for an optically stabilized digital camera. You really can't match its combination of 6 megapixels, 3x zoom and optical image stabilization for anywhere near its price. Read the review for our usual comprehensive report.
Fujifilm FinePix S5200 review posted
The updated Fujifilm FinePix S5200 offers great value with a 10x optical zoom and 5.1-megapixel CCD in an amazingly small package. The S5200's higher resolution is a welcome improvement, providing great image quality for a budget-priced digital camera, and its 10x optical zoom is excellent for distant subjects. Its color is more accurate than that of most consumer digicams, although that means it's less saturated on bright colors than most consumer cameras. The S5200 has a lot going for it in terms of appearance, as well, seeming for all the world like a digital SLR; this translates into a great grip on a superbly balanced camera with a solid feel. The Fuji S5200 has just about all an enthusiast user could want in terms of expanded photographic controls, including full Manual exposure mode for ultimate creativity. About all it lacks relative to its competitors in the 10x zoom category is image stabilization. Given its price and its 5-megapixel resolution, its lack of stabilization really can't be counted against it. For everyday shooting indoors or out, under bright or dim lighting, the S5200 does very well and really sets a benchmark for an affordable long-zoom digicam with enthusiast features. See our FinePix S5200 review for more.
Sony DSC-S600 review posted
The entry level of Sony's digital camera lineup, the Sony DSC-S600 is a capable 6.0-megapixel digital camera, aimed at novices and consumers looking for a "no fuss" digital camera for travel, but we found its images somewhat contrasty for our taste and its images showed a bit more optical distortion than average at both ends of its zoom range. It packs a sharp, high-quality 3x optical zoom lens with a wider than average maximum wide angle setting, seven preset Scene modes and a handful of other creative options in to a very small, well-built package. As noted, we found its contrast levels a bit high, to the extent that it tended to lose detail in strong highlights and shadows when faced with harsh lighting. Some consumers will like the "snap" that the high contrast gives its images, but we suggest that you check out our test images for yourself, to decide whether you're a member of that group or not. Still, the Sony S600 is versatile enough for a wide range of shooting conditions, has good shutter response (particularly if prefocused), and enough shooting modes to satisfy most consumers. Not a bad choice by any means, but we feel most users would be better served with somewhat lower contrast and a bit less optical distortion at maximum wide angle and telephoto focal lengths. Read our Sony S600 review for all the details.
Review posted for Fujifilm FinePix E900
The 9.0 megapixel Fujifilm FinePix E900 is an impressive followon to last year's 6.3 megapixel FinePix E550, which was good enough to earn a Dave's Pick. Its color is very good (if somewhat subdued), resolution excellent, and noise levels at even high ISOs are tamed very well. The FinePix E900 isn't the fastest in terms of AF speed, but it's right there in the respectable department. If you prefocus, it's a great family camera, with its f/2.8 lens handling wide angle indoor scenes very well. The E900 serves a range from rank beginner to sophisticated photographer making it a great choice for dual- or multiple-user households. I was impressed with the camera's performance in many dimensions, but most impressed with the print quality. For a point & shooter in such a small package to deliver acceptable 13x19 images even at ISO 800 was quite the head-turner. If you're looking for a fast, high-resolution digicam that works well in low light, the E900 is worth a closer look.
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