Top compacts for SummerBy Mike Joubert 29 September 2010 | Categories: feature articles
Now that a number of digital compact cameras also incorporate HD-ready video recording, your old 5 megapixel shooter is due for an upgrade. Here is our selection of the hottest compact currently available.
Canon PowerShot S95
It continues to be very pocketable, while still incorporating the adjustable ring at the front. This "ring of power" is a revelation, allowing you to assign different functionality to it, for example using the ring to quickly change your ISO, zoom, exposure compensation or speed.
The S95 now incorporates High Dynamic Range for those shots that are difficult to manage on only one exposure; enhanced manual control and Hybrid IS technology to assist getting clear shots while taking macro pics.
With 720p video recording with stereo sound at 24 frames per second now also on-board, we see no reason not to choose this as your new best photography friend.
FujiFilm FinePix REAL 3D W3
Its 3.5" screen contains a Lenticular sheet that splits the image slightly differently for each eye, resulting in a 3D image. Resulting prints of course will of course nullify the effect (unless printed on FujiFilm lenticular paper), but the effect can be carried over to 3D tellies. Now to find enough blue paint for that home-made Avatar fan film.
Going to such extreme lengths of course leads to some serious shaking, so thank heavens for Olympus' 2-in-1 anti-blur solution. Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization teams up with Digital Image Stabilization to send shakes and shivers to the floor for the full-count.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX9
It also sports a lovely 3.5" touch-screen and is the only camera on our list with full 108i HD video recording capabilities. To top this the TX9 includes 3D Sweep Panorama, which displays your images in 3D glory on compatible 3D televisions.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
The LX5, the follow-up to the highly likeable LX3, is no different, incorporating an F2.0 LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens with a ultra wide angle of 24mm, ideal for landscapes photography.
Panasonic has also upped the light sensitivity and saturation of the CCD sensor, and, like most of the cameras featured here, incorporates 720p video recording. In the premium compact camera segment, the LX5 should definitely be on your shortlist.
A 24mm ultra-wide angle Schneider KREUZNACH lens, rated at an extremely speedy f/1.8. It's ideal for portraits where you want the face in-focus, but the background blurred - an effect very difficult to achieve with slower lenses commonly found on compacts.
With RAW support and a robust body, the EX1 looks set to take on the likes of Canon's G12 and Panasonic's LX5.
Nikon Coolpix L110
It can also record HD ready video at a very decent 720p resolution, while recording the sound in stereo. With Nikon's Best Shot Selector you're ensured of at least one decent pic, since the S5100 shoots 10 sequential shots and selects sharpest image - ideal for raucous parties and the likes.
With a zoom lens extending up to a very nice 15x, the S5100 will also come in handy if you need just that little bit of extra zoom.
Canon PowerShot G12
The G12 sports, at long last we might add, 720p video, with the other big news in-camera High Definition Range photos achieved by combining different bracketed shots. Also new is an extra dial at the front that makes it even easier to adjust the settings.
The G12 is most probably the premier high-end digital compact and its good to see the King return in such good fashion.
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