Top 5 small cameras of 2010By Mike Joubert 13 December 2010 | Categories: feature articles
2010 saw high-definition (or at least 720p) video recording being incorporated in a number of compact cameras, while the likes of Sony, Panasonic and Olympus did a lot to shrink the size of larger sensor cameras into more manageable units. Here is our best of the smaller-sized cameras we reviewed in 2010.
Canon Ixus 210
Small, stylish and with an extremely functional 3.5" touch-screen, we’ve had more than a good time with Canon’s Ixus 210.
Canon’s second foray into the world of touch-screens showed how to really implement a touch-screen well, making browsing through the menu structure an intuitive affair and helping with playback. It had us wishing Canon would implement touch on all of its snappers.
We said: "The 210 feels like a mature product; it’s not only stylish but its touch-screen functionality is fantastic."
Full review: http://bit.ly/ixus210
Olympus PEN E-PL1
Olympus bought some retro coolness to the photography world with their E-PL1 PEN camera. Far less bulky than a regular dSLR, it employs the micro four-thirds standard which ensures sensor size bigger than compact cameras’ but smaller than dSLR’s.
This time around it also included a flash (the previous version didn’t) while including one-touch 720p video recording. The white version should appeal to the hipster in everyone.
We said: "Olympus has created a great camera for entry-level users who don’t want to struggle with DSLR complexities."
Full review: http://bit.ly/penepl1
Samsung took on some tough competition when they released their advance EX1 compact. The Ace up its sleeve? A super fast f1.8 Schneider KREUZNACH lens that brings decent depth of field to the compact market.
It helps make decent portrait photography possible; is decently wide at 24 mm; and also assisted in some of the best low-light performance we’ve seen from a compact so far.
It might not have the amount of features of the Canon G12, but we’re already looking forward to the EX1’s next incarnation.
We said: "With good low-light abilities, strong build quality and a gorgeous 3" AMOLED display, Samsung enters the high-end compact arena guns ablazing."
Full review: http://bit.ly/samex1
Sony Alpha NEX-3
Because of its diminutive size it’s easy to think the NEX-3 contains either a small compact or a micro four-thirds sensor. Don’t be fooled, since you’ll find the same APS-C sensor commonly located inside of most full-size dSLRs.
Apart from very decent pictures and excellent 720p HD-ready video, the NEX-3 blew us away with its 3" tilt-able screen containing a massive 920 000 pixels.
Our only qualms were its lack of flash and that this made-for-amateur camera made you dig through the menu system for its different settings.
We said online: "Sony deserves a round of applause for their superb 3" screen with a delicious 920 000 pixels."
Full review: http://bit.ly/alphan3
As far as manual shooting options and attention to detail are concerned, the Canon G12 was in a different class to any of the cameras we tested this year.
The G12 improves on its predecessor with the long overdue inclusion of 720p HD video with stereo sound, while now also sporting a scroll wheel at the front for even better control of your settings.
It’s far from perfect, since Canon can take a sniff in Samsung’s direction to learn from their EX1’s speedy and wide-angle lens, but with shooting options surpassing entry-level dSLR cameras, the G12 can indeed be crowned king.
We said online: "If you’re looking for a compact with some serious shooting capabilities, you won’t find better than the G12."
Full review: www.bit.ly/g12review
Most Read Articles
Have Your Say
What new tech or developments are you most anticipating this year?