Review posted for Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W100!
Featuring an impressive 8.1-megapixel CCD, 3x optical zoom lens, and a well-designed user interface, the Cyber-shot DSC-W100 offers quite a bit in its small package. Novices and advanced amateurs alike will appreciate its point-and-shoot automatic and full manual exposure control, and its six pre-programmed scene modes help with more tricky subjects. The large, bright 2.5-inch color LCD monitor is excellent for framing and reviewing shots, and the overall design and layout of the DSC-W100 is user-friendly and hassle-free. Dimensionally it's not too small and not too big, not too slim or too fat. Its size allows for both an optical viewfinder and a big LCD, as well as a good fit in the hand and pocket. We were particularly impressed with the printed output from the W100, which included enlargements up to 13x19 with decent quality, and 8x10 prints at ISO 800. Performance at ISO 400 is now quite good by comparison, with output at 11x14 looking like yesterday's 8x10s at this size. If you're looking for a good "take anywhere" camera with great versatility and good color and tonality, the Sony DSC-W100 deserves a close look -- especially considering its high resolution CCD and low price point.
Review posted for Canon PowerShot A700!
Featuring a 6x optical zoom, 6.0-megapixel CCD, automatic, partial, or fully manual exposure control, and a wide range of preset shooting modes, the Canon A700 is another fine addition to Canon's A-series of digital cameras. Built on the same long-tested design as many A-series predecessors, the Canon PowerShot A700 offers a lot in its compact package. Its combination of automatic and manual features make it very approachable for novices, but interesting for experienced users as well, the net result being a camera that will satisfy a broad range of interests and provide a good path for novice users to expand their photographic horizons as their experience grows. The 6x zoom lens is quite easy to hand-hold under reasonably bright lighting, but as the light fades, the Canon A700's lack of image stabilization will come to be more of a factor. I'd also like to see it equipped with a more accurate optical viewfinder, and its image noise at ISO 800 was on the high side. Bottom line though, this is a camera that will meet the needs of the average consumer very well, and one that's especially well suited to situations where both novice and experienced users need to share the use of the same camera. It would also make a great inexpensive camera for a budding photo student to explore the effects of shutter speed and aperture variations with. All in all, an easy Dave's Pick. Read our review of the Canon A700 for all the details!
Review posted for Sony DSC-T30!
The DSC-T30 continues a Sony tradition of high quality in the subcompact category, packing more features into a smaller space than most anything else out there, but this time with the added bonus of optical image stabilization. Like those of other recent T-series models, we found the lens on the Sony T30 to be of higher than average quality for a subcompact camera, and image quality was quite good as a result. The 7-megapixel CCD delivers plenty of resolution for large prints, and the smattering of scene modes makes it easy to bring back good-looking photos from what would otherwise be difficult shooting conditions. The biggest news of course, is the T30's Super SteadyShot image stabilization, which we found to be very effective. This will let you get crisp shots even when faced with hand-holding the camera under surprisingly dim lighting (assuming of course, that your subject is stationary as well). Of course, a tripod is always recommended when things get really dark, but we were very pleasantly surprised to see just how dark it could get, while we were still snapping sharp photos. The Sony DSC-T30 was a delight to use, and its Super SteadyShot image stabilization made a huge difference in our ability to hand-hold long exposures. This would be a great camera to take along on a vacation: Super compact, able to handle a wide range of conditions, and able to save a lot of shots from what would otherwise be fatal camera-shake blur. One of Sony's best to date.
Software Review: Nikon Capture NX!
Nikon and Nik Software have collaborated on the next release of Nikon's well-regarded NEF image editor, Capture. But this version also handles JPEGs and TIFFs -- from any camera (or scanner) -- and adds Nik's intriguing U Point technology, which makes image editing as easy as using a grease pencil. We got our hands on a beta copy of Capture NX and have started yet another Diary to chronicle our experience with it. In our first report, we illuminate U Point technology and describe what happened when we threw three typical image editing problems at NX. Read our Nikon Capture NX review for more details.
Review posted for Sony DSC-H2!
Like the preceding Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H1, the Sony DSC-H2 offers optical image stabilization with a very long zoom lens. The Sony H2 provides more manual exposure control than many other long zoom digital cameras, yet is easy to use in full-auto mode, and its seven preprogrammed scene modes help with tricky subjects. The design and layout of the H2 is very user-friendly, and the camera boasts accurate EVF and LCD displays. Occasionally modes can get confusing to those more familiar with Sony's other point-and-shoot models, but a brief look at the manual will quickly make it all clear. The Sony DSC-H2 is fairly fast on the draw, with faster than average shutter response, a smooth and responsive zoom, and very good shot to shot cycle times. Optical quality is very good, but we were disappointed with the high chromatic aberration and softness in the corners at telephoto; that's part of the tradeoff found in a very long zoom that we think most will find acceptable. In use, the camera was great for a day at the stadium, as well as chasing the family around the yard. We'd avoid the high ISO settings completely, relying instead on the Super SteadyShot to handle low light. That the Sony H2 does all its tricks with two AA batteries is impressive, and two spare NiMH AA's will give you another 400 shots. Overall, given the low price and good performance, the Sony H2 is a bargain in a 6 megapixel 12X zoom.
Review posted for Panasonic DMC-LZ5!
The Panasonic DMC-LZ5 is a nice little camera at a very affordable price, particularly considering that it sports a 6x, optically stabilized zoom lens. Panasonic is very justifiably proud that they've managed to bring optical image stabilization to their entire product line, from top to bottom. The Panasonic LZ5 did quite well overall in our testing, delivering good bright color, good resolution, and only moderate lens distortion. The huge 2.5-inch LCD screen is great for sharing your photos with friends, and makes the menus easier to see, but the difficulty of seeing the screen clearly under bright lighting often left us wishing for an optical viewfinder as well. Shutter response was also on the slow side of what passes for average these days, and high-ISO shots were only usable up to a print size of 5x7 inches. All that said though, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ5 delivers very good value and good picture quality at a surprisingly low price. (Especially so in light of its image stabilization, remarkable at this price point.) While not a first choice for sports or other fast-paced action, the Panasonic LZ5 is a great little "all-around" camera with a nice long zoom lens, all in a compact, inexpensive package. Read our Panasonic LZ5 review for all the details!
Review posted for Samsung Digimax L50
The Samsung Digimax L50's good looks and small size make it a welcome companion, and its big 2.5-inch color LCD monitor makes it an entertaining one, too. Though primarily designed for the point-and-shoot consumer interested in both style and portability, the L50 has some useful audio and video features as well. The 5.0-megapixel CCD captures high resolution images usable up to 11x14 inches, but they're really sharp only to 8x10. The L50's 2.8x optical zoom lens covers the most common shooting uses. We did have a few quibbles with it, mainly its very odd and enigmatic menu system. It was a little slow focusing on kids indoors and out, unfortunately, and its low light and flash performance were weak. Though chroma noise and detail held together at high ISO, color washed out noticeably, making for a sickly look in photos of people. Still, we enjoyed shooting with the Samsung L50. It's not a Dave's Pick, but it is an impressive showing by Samsung in the subcompact arena.
Review posted for Sony DSC-W50
Featuring a 6.0-megapixel CCD, 3x optical zoom lens, and well-designed user interface, the Sony DSC-W50 updates the popular Cyber-shot line with a thin, compact body style perfectly suited for travel. Exposure remains under automatic control, something novices will appreciate, and its seven preprogrammed scene modes help with more tricky subjects. The Sony W50 is a very responsive camera, with low shutter lag in daylight conditions, and excellent shot to shot speeds. It also sports very good battery life, a very capable movie mode, and excellent download speed. Finally, Sony makes a line of accessory lenses, filters, a slave flash, and even an underwater case for it as well, greatly expanding your options beyond what you'd normally expect from a compact digicam model. The bright 2.5-inch color LCD monitor is excellent for framing and reviewing shots, and the overall design and layout of the Sony W50 is user-friendly and hassle-free. If you're looking for a good "take anywhere" camera with great versatility and good color and tonality, the Sony DSC-W50 deserves a close look.
(NOTE: The Sony W50 is a near-twin of the Sony W30 that we reviewed just a short while ago. The only noticeable difference is that the LCD on the W50 is a half-inch larger than that on the W30. In our testing though, we found that the W50 tended to produce images with a bit more of a warm cast than those from the W30. As a result we tend to favor the image rendering of the W30, but the difference is slight. Compare the test images from the two cameras and make up your own mind. -- After all, that's what the Imaging Resource is all about!)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS2 posted
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LS2 is just a simple point and shoot digital camera at first blush, with a 3x zoom in a small, simple body. Panasonic's MegaOIS Optical Image Stabilization technology makes it all the more exciting, however. Image stabilization helps you capture images in lower light at low shutter speeds without raising ISO, and Panasonic has incorporated it across their lineup. Unfortunately, the LS2 needs the optical image stabilization to make up for its shortcomings in terms of low light and flash performance. Auto white balance performs well, nonetheless, and we appreciated its tame approach to sharpening and color saturation. The Panasonic LS2 also offers 5 megapixel resolution good macro focusing, and excellent battery life. The Panasonic Lumix LS2 is a good little camera, and clearly one of the best bargains on the market for an optically stabilized digital camera. It just missed being named a "Dave's Pick," but it deserves your serious consideration if you're looking for a unique camera at a great price. You really can't match its combination of 5 megapixels, optical image stabilization, easy battery compatibility, and a low price making for a excellent and inexpensive travel digital camera.
Canon EOS-5D guest review by Sean Reid posted!
A couple of weeks back, we announced that we'd be partnering with Sean Reid, a practicing professional photographer with 20 years experience, to bring our readers the benefit of his unique perspective. Reported from the viewpoint of a practicing pro, Sean's analysis nicely complements our own more purely technical approach, and helps us address the needs of both advanced amateurs and pros, without shortchanging either. The first fruit of this relationship is Sean's guest review of the Canon EOS-5D. Check it out, it's a very worthwhile, interesting read, and provides a nice counterpoint to our own view of the 5D and its place in the market. (Be sure to also check out Sean's excellent subscription-based site, ReidReviews.com. The annual fee of $26.50 is a paltry amount relative to the richness of the material he's developing there. - And if we can convince enough of our readers to subscribe, it'll help insure that Sean and ReidReviews.com stay around for our own enjoyment. :-)
Top 3 photos this month win:
1 Canon PIXMA PRO-100
2 Canon PIXMA MG6320
3 Canon PIXMA MG5420