Posts by: "Joshua"

Gopro-hero6-black

The latest GoPro Hero 6 has been reviewed by ePHOTOzine, Pocket-Lint, and Trusted Reviews. The GoPro Hero6 Black offers 4K video at 60fps, and electronic image stabilisation when recording 4K video at 30fps. It’s waterproof to 10m. Reviews on Amazon have been mixed, with some people experiencing problems.

Positives include: Great video quality, electronic image stabilisation, improved image quality.

Negatives include: Most expensive GoPro Hero yet. Touchscreen can be fiddly.

Panasonic-Lumix-FZ330ePHOTOzine has published the first review of the new Panasonic Lumix FMC-FZ330, aka DMC-FZ300, the camera features a 24x optical zoom lens, with a bright f/2.8 constant aperture, and zooms to 600mm equivalent, from a wide-angle 25mm equivalent. High speed shooting, and 4K video recording is included.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is out, with a 16 megapixel sensor, 5-axis image stabilisation, FullHD video recording, microphone socket, vari-angle tilting swivelling touch-screen, 10-11fps continuous shooting, a super quiet shutter, live composite mode (very cool!), Wi-Fi, and a 40 megapixel shooting mode as well. It’s available in silver or black for £899 body only.

It’s been reviewed by a number of people, with detailed reviews available at ePHOTOzine.com, Robin Wong, DigitalRev (Video), The Phoblographer, Nicholas Goodden (who went on to buy it), SteveHuffPhoto Part 1, Part 2, AmateurPhotographer, and PhotographyBlog. We’ll add to this list as new reviews are published.

maginon-sz350-frontAldi UK has another budget digital camera, the Maginon SZ350, with a 35x optical zoom lens, 20 megapixel CCD sensor, 720p video, 3inch screen, optical image stabilisation, pop up flash, and blink detection. It’s priced at around £99. If you have one, feel free to post your thoughts, comments, reviews and photos below.

Full details on the Maginon website.

Alternative budget bridge cameras to look at include:
Panasonic Lumix LZ40, 42x optical zoom, £139 at Amazon UK.
Sony Cyber-shot H300, 35x optical zoom, £99 at Amazon UK (this one offers panoramic shooting).

CP+ is about to happen, and here are the latest digital cameras that have been announced.

Nikon Coolpix:
P340 – Entry level serious compact, 5x optical zoom, built in Wi-Fi
S9600 – 22x optical zoom pocket camera
S9700 – 30x optical zoom pocket camera, 3inch screen, manual controls
P600 – 60x optical zoom, tilting vari-angle screen
P530 – 40x optical zoom
AW120 (Waterproof, 18m)
S32 (Waterproof, 10m), 13mp

Olympus:
Stylus Tough TG-850 (Waterproof, 10m), tilting screen for self-portraits
Stylus SP-100EE – 50x optical zoom, with dot-sight
OM-D E-M10 – compact 16mp Micro Four Thirds camera with EVF, sample photos.

Fujifilm:
X-T1 – Weather sealed compact system camera, full review.

Pentax Ricoh:
WG-4, WG-4 GPS – (Waterproof) one with GPS
WG-20 – (Waterproof)

Panasonic:
Panasonic Lumix GH4 – interchangeable lens digital camera that records 4K video – Micro Four Thirds, 16mp sensor, 12fps continuous shooting for stills.

Casio:
Casio Exilim EX-100 – Serious compact with Raw, tilting screen, 10.7x optical zoom lens with f/2.8 aperture, and 3.5inch screen.

It’s currently CES 2014 (Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas), and as expected, numerous new cameras have been announced, here’s a roundup of the new cameras announced:

Nikon:
D3300 DSLR, 24mp, entry level DSLR with a new compact zoom lens
CoolPix L29, 5x zoom
L30, 5x zoom
L330, 26x zoom, 20mp
L830, 34x optical zoom, 16mp
S2800, 5x zoom
S3600, 8x zoom
S5300, 8x zoom
S6700, 10x zoom
S6800, 12x zoom

Samsung:
NX30 – 20mp, Mirrorless with tilting EVF and screen
Galaxy Camera 2 – Android camera with 21x zoom
WB2200F – 60x zoom with dual grip ultra zoom bridge camera
WB1100F – 35x zoom ultra zoom / bridge camera
WB350F – 21x zoom travel zoom
WB50F, WB35F – 12x compact zoom

Sony:
Alpha A5000 – 20mp, WiFi, NFC, Mirrorless
Cyber-shot W830 – 8x compact camera, 20.1mp
Cyber-shot W810 – 6x compact camera, 20.1mp, with Party mode

Canon:
Powershot N100 – dual front / rear cameras – 5x zoom with Wi-Fi
Powershot SX600 HS – 18x pocket zoom camera
IXUS 265 – 12x zoom compact camera, with Wi-Fi

Fujifilm:
FinePix S1 – 50x weather sealed ultra zoom bridge camera, 16mp
FinePix S9400W – 50x optical zoom bridge camera with Wi-Fi, 16mp
FinePix S9200 – 50x optical zoom bridge camera, 16mp
FinePix S8600 – 36x “compact” ultra zoom bridge camera, 16mp
FinePix XP70 – Waterproof (10m), 5x optical zoom compact
Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 lens for X Mount cameras

Panasonic:
Lumix TZ60, 30x pocket/travel zoom, Wi-Fi, GPS
Lumix TZ55, 20x pocket/travel zoom, tilting “selfie” screen
Lumix LZ40, 42x ultra zoom bridge camera
Lumix SZ8, 12x zoom compact camera, Wi-Fi
Leica DG 42.5mm f/1.2 lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras

Kodak: details can be found on ePHOTOzine.
PIXPRO S-1 – 16mp Micro Four Thirds camera, Wi-Fi, tilting screen
+ Kodak 12-45mm and 42.5-160mm zoom lens
PIXPRO AZ651 – 65x optical zoom bridge camera
PIXPRO AZ525 – 52x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, bridge camera
PIXPRO AZ421 – 42x optical zoom, bridge camera
Smart Lens SL10 – 10x optical zoom add-on for smartphones
Smart Lens SL25 – 25x optical zoom add-on for smartphones

Sigma: 
50mm f/1.4 Art prime lens
18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS APS-C Zoom lens

Polaroid:
Polaroid announced some cameras too, seemingly mock-ups or prototypes, and whether they’ll actually be released or not is anyone’s guess. For example, last year they announced a number of mirrorless cameras with vague details (one looked like a Nikon 1 series copy, the other a Pentax Q copy), and we’re still waiting for them to be released. Although they did release one, the Polaroid iM1836 (the Nikon 1 look-a-like), it was quickly withdrawn from the market after Nikon sued them for copyright infringement. Anyway, here’s hoping they do release some of these cameras, as the Socialmatic certainly looks interesting:

Polaroid Socialmatic – Android, Zink photo printing, 14mp front camera, 2mp rear camera, 4.5inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi, due Fall 2014…
Polaroid Ultra Zoom / Bridge cameras, with Wi-Fi, and 50x, 40x, 35x, 30x, and 15x optical zoom depending on how everyone feels, and due Spring 2014.

Looking at the Christmas and Boxing Day sales on digital cameras, you tend to get a view of what is “old” and due to be replaced, based on what cameras are seeing the biggest discounts. For example, the Panasonic Lumix G3 is for sale at Argos (in the UK) for £235 with lens – a bargain for a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds camera – but you can easily see why, it’s been superseded by the Panasonic Lumix G5 and then the G6.

So for old cameras that have been replaced by newer models, it’s obvious why the price is so low… and it means you can often pick up a bargain if you don’t mind the older technology. But what about “current” cameras or old cameras that haven’t yet been replaced by a newer model… Here we’re talking about these cameras:

Canon EOS 1100D DSLR

The Canon EOS 1100D – there is no newer model to this, and it’s still available new, yet has been available for at least 2 and a half years – some places are selling it for £245 with lens (Amazon) – others for £160 with lens (Tesco in-store clearance). So next year, will we see a Canon EOS 1200D (or a new model altogether)?

The Nikon 1 S1 – only been out for about a year, yet Tesco are selling it for £149 with lens. It’s either due a replacement (the Nikon 1 S2?) or will be completely discontinued.

Fujifilm XPro1

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 is another camera that has been widely reduced, and even offered with a free lens, meaning a replacement is likely (the X-Pro2?) and many rumor sites have suggested this is likely.

Sony Alpha a3000

Other cameras that have seen big reductions include the Sony Alpha A3000 – reduced from £299 to £199 – which would suggest that it is being replaced – yet it has only been available for a few months? Would they really replace the camera so soon? (Perhaps with a Sony Alpha A3100 or A3000N?) Many reviews have complained about the poor screen, and poor EVF, if both the screen and EVF are poor, then it can’t be a very nice camera to use… however if they released a newer model with a better screen and/or EVF at least you’d be happy with at least one of them. Others: The Samsung Galaxy Camera, now £199, it was £399 when new… so Samsung Galaxy 2 Camera anyone?

Either way you’d be wise to bare this in mind when shopping for a digital camera in the “sales” – most likely it’s due to a newer model either being available, or coming soon, but if the price is right and it takes good photos, then does it really matter?

Ed note: Guest post from a reader who wished to remain anonymous.

Maginon SZ 24

ALDI in the UK, are selling the Maginon SZ 24 (from the same group as TEVION and TRAVELER), a compact camera with a 24x optical zoom lens equivalent to 25-600mm, 16 megapixel CCD sensor, 720p video, 3inch screen, optical image stabilisation, ISO64-ISO1600, pop-up flash, it uses USB charging and a lithium-ion battery and comes with a 4GB SD card, and is priced at £119. Full details can be found on the Maginon website.

Buyers of the Maginon SZ 24 have complained about the short battery life – averaging around 100 shots – although the battery can easily be replaced by a higher power unit from ebay (or elsewhere).

ISO64Full Optical ZoomFisheye EffectISO500ISO80ISO64
ISO64ISO800Fisheye Effect

Maginon SZ 24 Sample Photos, a set on Flickr.

Olympus sell a very similar camera to this, the Olympus SZ-15, with roughly the same specifications, priced at £129 from Amazon UK, although you don’t get a free memory card with it. Or there’s a 14 megapixel version, the Olympus SZ-14, available for £119 from Amazon UK available in a number of different colours, and there’s even a deal where you can get a free case and 8GB SD card all for £119. Most reviews of the Olympus SZ-14 are quite positive, and there is a more detailed Olympus SZ-14 review here. Nice. PS – There’s a Casio version too, the Casio Exilim EX-H50, but that’s only available shipped from Japan.

Nikon announced two new Digital SLRs in the last couple of months, including the Nikon D610, and Nikon D5300, both with 24 megapixel sensors, the D610 a full-frame Digital SLR, the D5300 an APS-C sensor camera with no optical low pass filter, built in GPS, and Wi-Fi. You can read a review of the Nikon D610 at ePHOTOzine, where they say:

“For the cynical, this is the camera that the D600 should have been, with seemingly no sensor issues (we took over 3000 shots and could not see any problems), or for the not so cynical, this is a slight update on an already excellent camera.”

They’ve also published sample photos from the Nikon D5300 here, as well as a review of the Voigtlander 28mm f/2.8 Color Skopar SL II SLR wide-angle Nikon mount lens.

Update: Not long after I posted this, Nikon announced the new “retro” Nikon Df Digital SLR with classic styling, manual controls with external dials, a 16 megapixel full-frame sensor, and compatibility with older Nikon lenses, it will be available in black or black/silver with a price of around £2800 with 50mm f/1.8 lens.