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Excellent camera for advance amateurs
Nov 30, 2008 11:48 AM 4203 Views
(Updated Nov 30, 2008 01:07 PM)

Picture Quality:

User friendly:

Value for Money:

Shutter Speed:

Battery life:

I was looking for a good quality digital camera for about a couple of years now.

I have always remained an analog photographer and a staunch Canon'ite and know a bit about different settings on a camera and how to compose a good picture. My eyes were on a decent digital SLR(D40 or Rebel XSi) but when I saw this model release about a month back for$399, I quickly grabbed this up.

Found it worth every penny spent on it. I would cover my review in different sections below:


Excellent Picture Quality:** This camera is far ahead of normal point and shoot cameras available in the market. Both the lens and the sensor in the camera is the best available in the point-and-shoot cameras. If one makes sure of proper lighting/light source, positioning of subject in the frame and the surroundings, this camera won't disappoint you and give highly professional level pictures.

Optical Zoom: This is the USP of this camera and is currently the highest available optical zoom in the market(20X zoom). The zoom is error free and simple to use, but a word of caution here, high zooming levels make a picture susceptible to blurs and jerks and also give a false sense of shallow depth(also known as distorted picture perspective by professionals). Prudent usage of ultra zoom feature of this camera is something I am still learning.

Excellent Image Stabilization: This camera features an optical IS feature which makes sure the pictures are as blur-free as possible. The IS feature is comparable to high end lenses at low zoom levels, at high zoom levels, well, even high end lenses tend to blur the picture.

True-wide-angle: The camera can go up to 28mm, giving amazing wide angle snaps, otherwise impossible by other point and shoot cameras.

High ISO: This camera boasts of ISO speeds up to 3200, which is again highest for any point and shoot camera. I have not yet used 3200 speed as it tends to make pics grainy, but nonetheless it is an amazing feature to try out in extremely low light settings.

Swivel LCD: My fear with a digicam was the LCD screen and its protection. This camera solved that problem automatically. Here one can swivel down the LCD and use electronic eyefinder for all the pictures. Otherwise, in difficult to catch perspectives, one can move LCD 360 degrees to get the best possible picture.

Powerful Autofocus: You don't want to experiment with Manual focus as you are scared of ruining the pictures. No worries, this camera has one of the most powerful auto-focus capabilities I have seen in any camera of this range. One needs to make sure of sufficient lighting to get the best pictures though.

Decent Manual mode: The camera has different pre-defined settings: automatic, scene mode, shutter speed priority, aperture priority and manual mode. I would not say that the manual mode is comparable to a DSLR but it does give a decent range to play around with for people who know a bit about photography and would like to experiment a bit with their pictures.

Some interesting Scenery modes: Two modes I really loved on the camera are called as color preference and color swap mode(these modes are currently available only in Canon cameras). You want to have just one color to become prominent in your picture and want everything else to be in black-and-white, choose either of the modes and viola, you would get a beautiful painting and not just a picture. I tried it in a rose garden, I chose red color preference and I got an amazing picture of brilliant red roses without any interference of any other color.


Bulky and Heavy: By all standards, this camera is bulky and heavy for a point-and-shoot camera. It cannot be carried along in hand all day long for casual shooting. One needs to use a neck strap and I know a number of people who would like their camera to fit in their trouser pockets. I would also suggest buying a basic tripod to make the best use of this camera.

Movie Mode: I use my Handycam for my videos but in rare circumstances when I might require to shoot a movie using this camera, it uses quicktime as the only movie format. I am not against Apple, but I do not find that format to be the most user-friendly.

No RAW support: I would expect a camera of this level to enable me take pictures in RAW mode.

No 9-point Focus: Again, a camera this expensive must have a 9 point focus.

All said and done, it is a very good camera in its family and a completely worthy of being the best in its class.

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