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Another week, another set of digital cameras reviewed on the web, including the 36.3 megapixel Nikon D800 Digital SLR – the highest resolution Digital SLR available! There are also two new competitions worth checking out, you can win a Samsung memory card every day, or you can win one of three Kodak Hero 7.1 printers.

Nikon D800 DSLR Review – 36.3mp full frame Digital SLR.
Olympus Tough TG-620 Review – Waterproof Compact, 5x zoom.
Nikon Coolpix L810 Review – 26x ultra zoom.
Olympus Tough TG-320 Review – Budget Waterproof.
Nikon Coolpix P510 Ultra Zoom – 42x optical zoom! Another review here.

Olympus Tough tg-820
Here’s a round-up of some of the latest digital camera reviews and sample photos from the internet:

Nikon D4 DSLR Sample Photos Full Frame DSLR.
Olympus Tough TG-820 Waterproof Camera Review – with high speed shooting.
Olympus SP-810UZ 36x Optical Zoom Review – entry level ultra zoom.
Samsung WB150F 18x Pocket Zoom with WiFi Review – uploads straight to Facebook.
Canon Powershot G1 X Serious Compact Review – Large sensor.
Sony NEX-7 Premium Mirrorless Camera Review with 2.4 million dot EVF.

Olympus PEN Mini

If you’re not making a “mirrorless” / “compact system camera” (CSC) (or ILC*) then you’re not making / growing profit, and you’re not going to get very far in the digital camera market… particularly in Japanese or UK style markets (Europe for example).* see notes on Canon.

Lets look at some of the digital camera companies, and some of the things that have been happening over the last 12+ months:

Olympus: Ignoring all the bad stuff, they have grown to be the biggest selling Mirrorless camera company in Japan for 2012 (and possibly Europe / Germany – or at least Micro Four Thirds combined). Strengths in waterproof compacts. Extremely good range of mirrorless cameras this year – catching up with Panasonic for focusing speeds.

Panasonic: Growing Mirrorless market, particularly strong in the UK. The combined forces of Panasonic and Olympus on Micro Four Thirds (M43) makes M43 the most compelling mirrorless system, with sales in Japan for 2011 for Mirrorless 1. Pana, 2. Oly, and 2012 for Mirrorless 1. Oly, 2. Pana.

Nikon: Growing market share thanks to competitive DSLR products, and entry into Mirrorless market. Entry level mirrorless said to be selling increasingly well. Increasingly popular Coolpix range of compacts (year on year growth).

Sony: Bought Konica Minolta’s DSLR business, then launched the Sony A100, they said they were going to challenge Nikon and Canon for the top spot, and considering they came from nowhere, they’re now No. 3 in DSLR sales, it’s pretty impressive and something I didn’t expect if I’m honest. Extremely innovative with traditional DSLR, then the ultra fast “Translucent Mirror” SLT / SLRs with electronic viewfinders. Also No. 3 in Mirrorless after Olympus / Panasonic / Micro Four Thirds. Some would say leaders in the image sensor business (selling sensors to Apple for the iPhone, APS-C to Nikon/Pentax, Backlit CMOS sensors to everyone etc)

Pentax / Ricoh: Profitable DSLR business, fresh investment from Ricoh should inject new life into this area, and additional mirrorless APS-C camera should improve business further (with the potentially game changing camera). Ricoh are more of a niche market with premium GR Digital series (with cult following in Japan), and Leica M mount GXR (with APS-C sensor). Ricoh are profitable with a very successful print/copier business that is used in corporate and government environments for things like sending out mailings to 40,000+ people etc Serious stuff. Pentax / Ricoh combined could be a very interesting company to watch over the next 12 months. I expect growth. Pentax Q has some success in Japan as the smallest mirrorless camera.

Kodak: Ouch (recently filed for bankrupcy protection). Here is the perfect example that backs up the following statement: You don’t make profit from cheap “and cheerful” me too style point and shoot cameras. Sold sensor business (doh!).

Minox: Recently announced they aren’t going to make “cheap and cheerful” point and shoot cameras. Instead they’ll keep making those interested “Spy cameras” and “retro classics“.

Agfa/Vivitar/HP: See Kodak.

CASIO: Recently decided to close the Casio Exilim division in the UK (still available to buy through European distributers). Some innovation in High Speed cameras, but it’s very difficult to make profit from point and shoot cameras. Strong in Japan though. A mirrorless camera would really help you grow! (Why not bring high speed sensors and image processing to Micro Four Thirds?)

*Canon: Recently the CEO stepped down as profits aren’t growing as quickly as expected. Canon are being challenged by Nikon on all DSLR fronts, and then also challenged by Mirrorless cameras. So whilst DSLRs was (and is) a profitable area, Mirrorless is challenging both compact cameras, and entry level DSLR. And at the bottom end of point and shoot, this is being challenged by smartphones with decent(ish) cameras. A mirrorless camera would really help your profits!

Fujifilm: Making a market for itself by selling premium compact cameras, X100 (selling like hotcakes, in the 100k region!), X10, X-S1 (Premium Ultra Zoom Bridge camera), X-Pro1 Mirrorless, and strong in Bridge / Ultra Zoom cameras that look like mini-DSLRs. Strong in waterproof market as they can undercut competitors on price, and presumably still make profit from it?

Samsung: Sells the NX mirrorless system, with a decent range of lenses and good image quality. Not sure how well it is doing worldwide, but a good system, that can often undercut competitors on price. Compact cameras seem to be leading the way for features: WiFi, App / Phone style GUI. Samsung don’t seem to be rated in Japan though, rest of world, yes. Compact cameras can undercut competitors, making them a popular buy.

Leica: Premium ILC / Mirrorless cameras, with a premium price – growing and profitable (as far as I’m aware). “Me Too” Panasonic cameras. Really they should get back into “bed” with Fuji and make “Me Too” (premium compacts) products from the Fujifilm X series (X10, X100, X-S1,X-Pro1) or join Micro Four Thirds 😉

Others? BenQ / Aigo / GE / Polaroid / Rollei / Praktica : – see Kodak, see Casio, unless you have an extreme niche (Ricoh) and are popular in your home market (Casio/Japan), or make a mirrorless camera then how will you grow?

Samsung WB850F
Samsung has announced a number of new compact cameras, all of them feature a metal body and a number of them have Wi-Fi built in so that you can backup or upload wirelessly.

ST200F, 10x zoom, WiFi, 3inch screen, Compact
ST88, 5x zoom, 3inch screen, Compact
ST77, 5x zoom, 2.7inch, Compact
ST66, 5x zoom, 2.7inch, Compact
WB850F, 21x zoom, WiFi, GPS, 3inch screen, Full HD, Manual, shown above.
WB150F, 18x zoom, WiFi, 3inch screen, manual controls, 720p.

Samsung DV300F FrontSamsung has announced the new DV300F, a compact 16.1 megapixel sensor with a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens (25-125mm with optical image stabilisation), 3inch screen, front 1.5inch screen, and built in WiFi for uploads to Facebook, flickr, youtube etc, as well as wireless backup of photos, remote control via an android / iphone app, and wifi logon browser so you can log into wifi hotspots. Full specifications at ephotozine.

Samsung WB750
ePHOTOzine has reviewed the new Samsung WB750 – it features an 18x optical zoom lens, 12.5 megapixel CMOS sensor, 10fps shooting, 3inch screen, manual controls, full HD video, and HDR shooting. The camera is available from Amazon UK.

“Full HD video comes with stereo sound, optical zoom and the ability to take 10 megapixel photos at the same time as recording. The camera has manual controls allowing you to set the shutter and aperture speeds, as well as shoot at 10fps at full resolution.”

Read more Samsung WB750 Reviews: Photography BLOG

Panasonic Lumix FZ100
NeoCamera has reviewed the new Panasonic Lumix FZ100 ultra zoom – we had a look at Photokina 2010 – it features a 25mm Wide-angle 24x Optical Zoom lens (25-600mm), 1,920 x 1,080 Full-HD Movie in AVCHD with Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, 14.1-megapixel MOS Sensor and Venus Engine FHD, iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode with Motion Deblur Mode and POWER O.I.S, Intuitive Manual Control and Creative Option Featuring My Color Mode, 3.0-inch Free-angle LCD with 460,000-dots, 11fps shooting, “Happy Mode”, and supports SD, SDHC and SDXC. The Panasonic Lumix FZ100 is available for £331

Read more Panasonic Lumix FZ100 Ultra Zoom Reviews: ePHOTOzine (vs the FX45), Trusted Reviews

More reviews from around the web:
Olympus SZ-10, 18x optical zoom, pocket camera: ePHOTOzine
Serious Compacts:
Olympux XZ-1 ByThom, ePHOTOzine
Samsung EX1 / TL500 ByThom, ePHOTOzine
Fujifilm FinePix X100 ByThom, ePHOTOzine
Sony Cybershot HX9v GPS ByThom, ePHOTOzine
Nikon Coolpix P300 ByThom, ePHOTOzine (also check out the P300 vs LX5 vs S95 Review here)