Full Review Update posted for Canon PowerShot A640!
Going over the Canon A640 review again as we make it a Full Review, we just can't help reiterating how impressed we are with the image quality. Indeed, the Canon A640's lens quality might even exceed the Rebel XTi's kit lens. This sleek, black camera combines all the best of the A-series, with an impressive 10 megapixel CCD, a very good quality 4x optical zoom lens, and a big articulated LCD. The Canon A640 offers everything from full automatic to full manual exposure control, with a healthy set of Scene modes thrown in. Its articulating LCD is now bigger and still just as useful as past iterations, and the camera's reliance on AA batteries is a critical factor for many who want to have a ready supply of compatible batteries no matter where they go. The Canon A640's lens is superb, delivering excellent sharpness center to corner, and high ISO shots are some of the best we've seen. Thanks to its high-speed DIGIC-II processing chip, the Canon A640 is also very responsive, and its movie capability is impressive as well. Bottom line, the Canon A640 is destined to become a classic. Perhaps even a benchmark. It's just an excellent all-around digital camera. See our review of the Canon A640 for more.
Full Review Update posted for Nikon D40!
We've been pleasantly surprised with the Nikon D40's excellent performance in low light and its simple grace as a day-to-day shooter. The Nikon D40 is a natural fit in most hands. Its controls are where they should be for easy use, and the D40 is a well-behaved guest at parties with its pleasantly soft shutter sound. A big, bright LCD is great for reviewing photos from a wide variety of angles. The Nikon D40's low light performance at ISO 1,600 is startling, even without noise reduction turned on. It's so good that we don't really feel like we're pushing the D40 until we jump into ISO 3,200. The Nikon D40 stands up well against the competition -- even those with higher resolution -- with great image quality at all speeds, and near-perfect utility as a family camera. It's tough to ask for more. The Nikon D40 lives up to our expectations, and even exceeds them. See the full review for more on the superb Nikon D40. The Nikon D40 is one great camera!
Express Review posted for Olympus SP-510 UZ!
The latest camera in the Olympus ultra zoom arsenal is the 7.1 megapixel Olympus SP-510 UZ. The Olympus SP-510 features a 10x optical zoom lens that's equivalent to 38-380mm in 35mm format. The Olympus SP-510 employs Olympus BrightCapture technology with ISO sensitivity ranging from 50 to 4000 though at ISO 2500 and above the camera's resolution drops to 3 megapixels. While it doesn't have true hardware-based optical image stabilization, the Olympus SP-510 offers a Digital Image Stabilization mode instead to help reduce blur in long zoomed shots. The Olympus SP-510 has a large 2.5-inch LCD screen but with a below average resolution of just 115,000 pixels. Since framing shots on an LCD at full zoom is tricky business, the camera also offers an electronic viewfinder. In addition to a range of fully automatic settings including 21 beginner-friendly scene modes, the Olympus SP-510 has Aperture and Shutter Priority modes for more advanced photographers who want to expand their creativity. Check out the review for more on the Olympus SP-510.
Express Review posted for Nikon Coolpix S9!
Nikon continues to add to its popular Style Series of Coolpix cameras with the new 6-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S9, a lower priced model that keeps the attractive slim look of its predecessors while eliminating some features. Retailing for $250, the Nikon Coolpix S9 combines a prism-folded Nikkor ED-branded 3x optical zoom lens with a six megapixel image sensor, a 2.5" LCD display, and 15 beginner-friendly scene modes. The Nikon Coolpix S9 also includes a One-Touch Portrait button and a fun Stop-Motion movie mode that's easy to use. To get that low $250 list price, however, the Nikon Coolpix S9 has given up several key features. Click to see whether this slender, budget-minded Nikon S9 can get by on style and reputation alone.
Hands-on Preview posted for Nikon Coolpix S7c!
The Nikon Coolpix S7c taps into some smart electronics to compensate for the compromises inherent in small camera design. As a result, the Coolpix S7c is as attractive for its image quality as it is for its styling. The hidden benefit is that you can send the images from any T-Mobile HotSpot to anyone with an email address. With no buttons or levers protruding, The Nikon S7c easily slips into a pocket so it's with you when you want to take a picture. And when you light up that 3.0-inch LCD with your images, it's even more attractive. Between capture and playback, the Coolpix S7c provides a lot of picture-taking intelligence. The ED glass makes the most of the Nikon S7c's small lens, and the Feature System provides Nikon exclusives like face detection auto focusing, in-camera red-eye removal, and D-Lighting. The Scene modes are easily accessed, especially Portrait, which has its own button. Everything else is fun to find with the rotary multi-selector. In short, the Nikon Coolpix S7c is a smart choice. Click for more on the Nikon S7c.
Express Review posted for Olympus Stylus 740!
Slim and light, the Olympus Stylus 740 has stunningly good looks, a unique menu system, a 5x zoom, and an all-weather chassis. The Stylus 740's 2.5 inch screen is bright and vibrant indoors, but more difficult to use outdoors, even on cloudy days. We were impressed with its high ISO images and its digital image stabilization feature, but had more trouble both with using the Stylus 740 and appreciating its images. The Zoom lever was also hard to control, jerking the image composition in too tight or out too loose. The Shutter button was so hard to press I should have left digital image stabilization on all the time. While the Olympus Stylus 740's LCD menu system seems scattered (in nine positions, just like the control buttons) and hard to follow, the built-in help system is a good idea, even a great one. See our review for more detail on the Olympus Stylus 740.
Hands-on Preview posted for Nikon Coolpix S10!
Shooting with the Nikon Coolpix S10 was fun. Any camera this small that can both swivel and reach out to 380mm equivalent has to stimulate enjoyment in its owner. Coupled with Nikon's innovative digital features -- including face recognition, Best Shot Selector, and D-Lighting -- the Coolpix S10 could only be bettered by a camera with image stabilization. Well, the Coolpix S10 also has that, in the form of Nikon's optical Vibration Reduction technology. It all worked very well, this zoom in a small package. They may have tried to make it too small, however, because it is difficult to get a grip on the right side and see the vibrant 2.5 inch LCD, but I found holding the Coolpix S10 with two hands helped, and made it easier to swivel and compose anyway. As expected our test results do reveal some chromatic aberration at both wide and telephoto ends of the zoom range, but we thought it was kept under control, probably thanks to Nikon's use of ED glass in the Coolpix S10. As for image noise, ISO 800 shots were only usable at 4x6, but the ISO 50 shots were quite good at 11x14, and ISO 400 shots made a decent 8x10. There's little arguing with having such quality from a zoom this long in such a small and convenient package as the Coolpix S10, especially at the street prices we're starting to see. And the special Nikon-only features included will all come in handy as you use the camera. We have to call the versatile and fun Nikon Coolpix S10 a Dave's Pick.
Hands-on Preview posted for Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd!
For users who are considering a digital SLR but aren't quite ready to take the plunge, the Fujifilm Finepix S6000fd offers a compelling argument for staying with an all-in-one. From a distance -- and even from up close, actually -- it's easy to mistake the Fuji S6000fd for a digital SLR, though the camera's 10.71x (28 - 300mm) lens is not detachable. Nice touches like a rubberized ring-grip around the lens and full manual zoom control via the barrel give this camera a professional feel, and the grip is probably better than most small SLRs on the market, with a form that just feels right. The S6000 is replete with fun and helpful technologies such as Face Detection, i-Flash, and the ability to shoot at light sensitivities of up to ISO 3200, making the Fujifilm S6000fd suitable for anyone. The best news is that Fujifilm's image quality is excellent from the 6.3 megapixel Fujifilm S6000, easily enabling 13x19 prints of excellent clarity. Even ISO 800 images are good at up to 11x14 with minimal loss of quality, and ISO 3200 shots are still usable at 5x7. That's an impressive performance from an all-in-one like the Fujifilm S6000fd, especially at the under-$400 street price. See what we thought of the Fuji S6000fd in greater detail!
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