As is tradition, InsideHW is trying once again to aid you in the chase for the new camera to carry along during the summer holidays. It’s all but easy to opt for a particular model that would suit you perfectly. This is almost never the case anyway, but we’ll do our best to try and help you make a good choice, so that you end up with a model adequate for your creative and technical requirements. This time, however, we chose not to split cameras into categories depending on price or class. Simply enough, the cameras we’re presenting are those that will get the most exposure on retail shelves and be the easiest to obtain. That isn’t to say that we haven’t got the ground covered; we tested both the more accessible and the more expensive and advanced models, so that everyone can make an easy choice, regardless of requirements and current financial standing.
Canon PowerShot G1X
We’re starting off with the most advanced and most expensive compact camera. The model in question is G1X, the heir to the well-known and reputed G-series. The tested model isn’t the typical representative of the best-equipped Canon series, though. Besides its bulkier appearance, the key difference is the new CMOS sensor that’s about six times larger (18.7x14 mm) than the sensor used in previous G-series cameras.
The production quality has remained the same, which means – good and careful. The camera has a notable rubber grip, but one that doesn’t fit the hand all too well, probably due to its thin nature and the camera’s large mass. The excellent movable display has a resolution of 920,000 pixels. It remains visible and legible even in broad daylight. There’s also the optical viewfinder, which is quite small and only covers around 80% of the frame, insufficient for precise framing. To make things worse, when you have a look through the viewfinder, you can also see a bit of the objective, which makes its usability questionable.
Canon G1X is rich with functions indeed. Besides the P, A, S and M modes, there’s also the fully automatic mode with 13 different scene presets, as well as a large number of creative digital filters. Compared to G12, the ISO range has been extended, bringing the maximum ISO sensitivity up to 12800, which is justified having in mind the size of the new sensor. The latest DIGIC V processor is
in charge of processing photos. The image stabilization system (Intelligent IS) is in its latest iteration and has proven to be excellent in practice. It offers the liberty of as many as four steps. Canon G1X is flexible with autofocus too, so besides manual focus, Face AiAF (facial detection) and Tracking AF (moving object detection), you can also choose the FlexiZone mode, in which you pick your focus field yourself. For those with larger appetites, the image can be recorded as JPEG, RAW and JPEG+RAW formats. The software ND filter is as present as ever. Since our expectations of this camera were high, our first encounter with it brought the first disappointment. The low agility of menu and the lacking autofocus speed simply don’t correspond to the class this camera belongs to (or at least tries to). We’d been expecting a slicker and more relaxed experience in use.
Luckily, after a few looks at the captured photos, we were quite pleasantly surprised. Canon G1X will definitely reward its owner with the remarkable quality of its photos. The colour display and white balance are excellent. The integrated objective has good sharpness throughout its range. Even chromatic aberrations are kept in check. Furthermore, ISO performance levels are so high that we can freely state G1X to be the best compact camera on the entire market in this respect. Feel free to use it up to ISO 1600, counting on some very usable photos. From ISO 3200 upwards, the quality starts to degrade, although noise still remains well-controlled. It’s unfortunate that macro performance isn’t on such a high level, mostly due to the minimum distance of an entire 20 cm in macro mode. It should also be mentioned that the flash causes the vignette effect against the objective at larger focus lengths, which isn’t something that should be happening in high-end cameras. The video quality is good, with no particular remarks.
If there’s any reason why you shouldn’t opt for this model, it’s the price, amounting to some 750€ at the moment. Indeed, for this amount of money, you can get yourself a DSLR camera with a kit objective, or some of the CSC models which enable more creativity and flexibility due to the objective switch feature. Either way, if money is not your concern, you’ll still get exceptional photo quality for a compact camera with G1X. Don’t expect to carry it around in your pocket, though.
Canon IXUS 500 HS
The new representative of the popular IXUS series stands as proof that many good things can be integrated into more compact bodies. Its particular body is pretty “angled”, has a stylish design and could be mistaken for a pack of cigarettes. Although not everyone fancies sharp edges, its cubical looks make it very pleasant to grip and hold. Minimalism is dominant all-around as far as design goes, which means that the buttons are comparatively small as well, a point which certainly won’t be the joy of users with larger fingers. We have to reproach the lack of a delete button, as deleting a single photo requires an incredible five presses. Another interesting detail is that the camera uses the microSD card format, which actually isn’t as good as it sounds, as these cards are so tiny that they often get misplaced or lost, especially if you change them a lot.
As far as features go, this IXUS really has a lot to be proud of. The first on the list is the objective with an optical zoom of 12x and a range of 28-366 mm, quite surprisingly having in mind the size of this camera. The next important thing is the CMOS sensor with a resolution of 10 megapixels, which promises good ISO performance and high-quality photos. As for the rest, we’ll emphasize the 3” display with a resolution of 461,000 pixels, full HD video recording (plus the option of slow-motion recording at 240 fps in 320x240), the DIGIC V processor and continuous shooting at 2.8 frames per second. With such specs, we can freely say that not even high-class compact cameras would have an easy time against IXUS 500 HS.
The actual real-world experience provided by this camera is very satisfactory. IXUS 500 HS is a very agile camera, and working with it is a pleasure. The device is ready to shoot after merely a second or so, while menu navigation is equally fast. Focus speed is excellent, as expected. If you’re looking for a really compact camera with excellent image quality, IXUS 500 HS is the model for you. Photos are sharp and colour balanced. Owing to the CMOS sensor of a reasonable resolution, ISO performance is also very good. The photos remain usable even at ISO 1600, which is a remarkable result. Noise only begins to appear at ISO 400, and even then very faintly, while the first details start to drop out at ISO 800. The new optical stabilization does its job very well, a commendation that can be extended to all newer Canon compact cameras. Chromatic aberrations exist, but the camera copes well with them, keeping them away from focus even in extremely contrasted scenes. Video is also as good as it gets, especially with the optical zoom remaining active during shooting, although the objective motor is a bit too noisy not to get recorded by the microphone, so you probably won’t be too eager to use it if sound matters.
Canon IXUS 500 HS is a camera that merges a small body with super zoom features. It can be used in a variety of situations, thanks largely to its large objective range, while retaining the ability to be housed in a pocket. It offers high image quality in its class, so that even more demanding buyer end’s up satisfied. The only possible drawback is its rather high price, currently standing at around 330€. Nevertheless, its aforementioned characteristics and performance earn it our award.
This very likeable camera with an attractive design and modest dimensions will definitely appeal to buyers looking for pocket-sized cameras. The front is made of metal, while the back is made of plastic. We applaud the presence of a rubber section on the front to serve as grip surface, so although small, FujiFilm T200 has a solid grip. Another nice detail is that the power button has blue backlight, staying on as long as the camera itself. A minor remark goes on account of the battery socket, which doesn’t indicate the orientation of the battery, and worse yet, neither do the connectors, so you’ll have to “experiment”. Production quality is very good, while the quality of the mode selection button leaves a bit to be desired.
This model’s specs are rather standard-fare. The sensor has a resolution of 14 megapixels, and the 2.7” display amounts to 230,000 pixels (could’ve been more). What separates this camera from the lot is the objective range of 28-280 mm (equivalent to 35 mm), bringing the optical zoom to 10x, which is pretty high for a camera this compact. It should also be noted that T200 has a few interesting software and hardware tools. For instance, you can pre-tag photos and videos before uploading them to Facebook or YouTube (unfortunately, not wirelessly, as the adapter isn’t included), create your own photo book, etc. There’s also the Face Recognition option in which you can identify the person on the photo and save him/her under an appropriate name. The next time you take a photo of the same person, the camera will recognize him/her among the folks in the photo and focus on that particular section. This way, you’re creating a name base, most useful for searching through photos for all images of a particular person. As for the remainder of the functions, we’ll mention HD-ready video (720p), smile detection and the “Motion Panorama” feature. As you can see, FujiFilm T200 seems to be targeting the younger audience. One drawback that needs to be mentioned is the rather short maximum exposure time at only 8 seconds. If you want to take photos at night, you’ll be forced to increase the ISO value, which degrades photo quality significantly.
As for real-world experience and impressions, they’re largely positive. A suitably quick focus up to 1 second (more than 2 in low-light conditions) and a decent menu speed make for a fairly comfortable use. The image quality offered by T200 is in line with its price of around 150€. Up to ISO 400, photos are excellent, with very good sharpness and details. Chromatic aberrations are present, but not sufficiently to be called upon as a flaw. Starting from ISO 800, noise significantly degrades the photo, so whenever possible, our advice is to stick to this value as the maximum one. Have in mind that, if you’re shooting at night, the flash doesn’t have enough power to reach people further than 3-4 meters away. Video quality is very good.Having in mind its price, amounting to some 150€, FujiFilm T200 has a lot to offer to amateurs. With very good image quality at lower ISO values, we can recommend it to everyone on a budget that’s searching for a very compact camera.
This is one of the most accessible cameras in this roundup in terms of price. Compared to FujiFilm T200, it’s characterized by a plastic body, an objective with a narrower optical range (3x optical zoom) and the lack of the “Face Recognition” function. Although made of plastic, this model is of good quality and doesn’t feel cheap. The sensor has a resolution of an entire 16 megapixels, which is hardly a feat, but it’s obvious that Fuji was trying to attract less experienced customers by putting a large number of megapixels on the box. The display has the same size of 2.7”, with a resolution of 230,000 pixels. HD-ready video (720p) is similarly present. The camera covers nearly all of T200’s shooting modes, including the P-mode, so it doesn’t fall behind in this segment either.
Image quality is solid. Noise is controlled up to ISO 400. Above this value, in the same way as with the previous model, noise will degrade image quality significantly. Image sharpness isn’t all that great, making the photos “softer” than they’re supposed to be. Operational speed is good and the menu agile. It takes a bit more than T200 to properly focus, as expected from a camera in this price category.FujiFilm AV250 is a decent solution if you really don’t want to dish out too much on a camera. With its price of around 75€, it offers enough bang for buck, so it won’t disappoint you as long as your expectations are realistic.
Nikon 1 V1
Nikon 1 V1 is the only camera in this roundup that doesn’t belong to the compact class. It lies with the CSC (Compact System Camera) devices, such as Olympus’ popular PEN cameras. The Nikon 1-series doesn’t really bring a lot new to the table in terms of CSC design, as it’s a square-based, retro design typical of most models in this segment. The design itself is a matter of taste, of course. It should be noted that also on offer is the model J1, which is a cheaper and somewhat impoverished version of the camera we tested. All Nikon 1 cameras use the new CX sensor, smaller in physical size than 4/3 sensors, and far smaller than the APS-C format as well. Although sensor size matters, Nikon has decided to keep it as tiny as possible, in order to reduce the dimensions of the camera and objective, the consequence of which is the resolution of “only” 10.1 megapixels, albeit with high image quality. As for production quality, there is literally nothing to remonstrate about – V1 is made of magnesium alloy.
The main problem in the design section is the lack of buttons; many usual ones are absent, and the corresponding options need to be accessed through the menu. This wouldn’t be all that significant if the shooting mode wheel has the option of choosing shooting options. Unfortunately, in order to choose between priority for blend, shutter or manual, you’ll have to access the menu. This alone sets Nikon V1 primarily as an amateur camera, which isn’t to say that more advanced users couldn’t find many elements to justify owning such a camera in its own right; it’s a small, but powerful tool.
The camera has a CX-format CMOS sensor with a resolution of 10 MP, measuring 13.2 x 8.8 mm, with a 2.7x crop factor. The hybrid autofocus system with phase and contrast detection is integrated. The display has a truly high resolution of an entire 920,000 pixels. Interestingly enough, V1 has no built-in flash, but it can be easily connected to external Speedlight flashes or a GPS module. Furthermore, the device has both a mechanical and an electronic shutter, enabling continuous shooting at a stunning rate of 60 fps. Video is Full HD-enabled (1080p).
We were mostly satisfied with the performance of the tested model. Autofocus was largely dependent on the objective placed on the camera. The 10-30 mm kit objective, although optically fitting, remains a far cry from quality in terms of autofocus speed, with autofocus confirmation often incoming after one or more seconds. In low-light conditions, both models showed highly controversial results, again depending on the objective used, but it can’t be blamed entirely on that. In broad daylight, the objective that blew us away was the 10-100 mm one, focusing equally quickly as high-end objectives on DSLR cameras. White balance worked precisely in auto mode, with no significant corrections required. Light measuring was good, with occasional overexposure of highly contrasted scenes, which was admittedly easy to resolve by exposure compensation. The 60 fps “burst fire”, available only with the electronic shutter active, is something that enables even the fastest action to be captured. One interesting option was auto-recording a short video before continuous shooting starts, giving you an overview of the situation. Of course, this option can be turned off from the menu.
Photos produced by these models always depend on objectives, but in general, all configurations gave sharp images and truthful colors (perhaps only slightly pale), with no particular flaws at lower ISO values. Higher ISO values cause noise, but less even than Olympus’ PEN cameras with their 4/3 sensors in certain situations. It can only be concluded that the model at hand handles higher ISO values really well having in mind the size of its sensor. Auto white balance performance is also decent, even under artificial lighting, while videos are just great, as is the case with J1.
The Nikon 1 series is a good choice if you want more than what a compact camera can offer, but remain confined to modest dimensions. The price with the 10-30 mm F3.5-5.6 VR kit objective is about 700€, while Nikon currently has four objectives for this model to offer: 10-30 mm F3.5-5.6 VR, 30-110 mm F3.8-5.6 VR, 10 mm F2.8 and 10-100 mm F4.5-5.6 PD-Zoom.
Nikon CoolPix L26
The remaining two Nikon cameras belong to the “newbie” series. The first one we’re presenting is named L26. It has a solid construction, despite being made of plastic, and the convex bit on the front makes the grip quite comfortable. The camera is small in terms of both dimensions and mass, so it fits into any pocket easily. The tested model had a silver-black color combination. CoolPix L26 is one of the simplest models in the roundup and has practically no advanced photo options whatsoever. You can choose between “Auto”, “Easy Auto”, “Smart Portrait” or one of the predefined scenes. We’ll put some emphasis on the “Smart Portrait” mode simply because it has the interesting feature to “iron out” facial skin. No mode gives you control over ISO values, which is definitely something to reproach. This is a camera clearly targeting absolute newcomers and people who don’t care about anything but the shoot button. Its specs are quite decent: a sensor with a resolution of 16.1 megapixels and a 5x optical zoom (26-130 mm range). The 3” display has an expectedly low resolution of 230.000 pixels. There’s also HD-ready video (720p). The camera is powered by two AA batteries.
Real-world performance turned out to be quite good, having in mind the camera’s class. It’s ready for shooting very shortly after power-up, and owing to the strong focus assistance lamp, focusing is done very quickly, faster than we’d expected. Since there’s no way to set ISO values manually, we were unable to do a typical ISO test. Nevertheless, certain conclusions could be drawn. At ISO 80, the sharpness and detail levels remain good, although sub-exposure is occasionally noticeable. Video quality isn’t something L26 can be very proud of. Although the resolution is HD-ready, the video lacks clarity, it’s fairly compressed, and you can’t use the optical zoom while recording. Overall, Nikon’s CoolPix L26 isn’t a bad choice if you’re keen on letting the camera do all the work. Otherwise, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Nikon Coolpix S2600
The last Nikon camera in this roundup also belongs to the entry level, but it’s a bit more advanced than L26. It’s very compact and thin (19.5 mm), which makes it easy to carry around for everyday purposes. It has rounded edges and a fairly elegant design. Compared to L26, its display is a bit smaller, its sensor has a resolution of 14 megapixels, and it doesn’t contain the “Easy Auto” mode. The objective is the same for both cameras, so S2600 also has 5x optical zoom. The key difference compared to L26 is that you’re able to control the ISO setting, choose the focus field and set the level of skin “ironing” in Smart Portrait mode. Of course, there’s also the slightly lower resolution, which, paradoxically for inexperienced users, enables better photo quality on the same-size sensor.
As for speed, it stands on the same ground as L26. It also has a strong focus assistance lamp, so you won’t encounter major trouble even in low-light conditions. If we compare the photo quality, CoolPix S2600 offers somewhat weaker results compared to L26, mostly in terms of sharpness. ISO performance is standard for the class. From ISO 400 upwards, noise becomes noticeable and affects quality significantly. However, S2600 didn’t have the sub-exposure problem. The video suffers from the same problems as L26; simply enough, HD-ready video would have to look better. Since S2600 belongs to the same price range as L26 (around 100€), we consider S2600 to be the better choice overall, mostly because of greater liberty when shooting. If you’re interesting in auto mode only, feel free to pick L26.
This camera, similar in class, price and features to FujiFilm T200, also leaves an impression of a high-quality product. The body is metal, black and without a rubber grip. The button quality is decent, in accordance with the camera’s price. The design is likeable, especially since the camera is a bit larger than the aforementioned T200. The camera menu is done in the typical Olympus fashion, with good response and ease of use. The sensor has a resolution of 16 megapixels, while the optical zoom of the objective stands at 10x – quite impressive having in mind its size. HD-ready video goes without saying. What needs to be pointed out about this model is the 3” display, with a resolution of 460,000 pixels, as well as the “Beauty make-up” mode. The latter means what it says, believe it or not; girls won’t have to put or improve their make-up before taking photos, as the “Beauty make-up” mode will provide them with the full range of cosmetics. Among other things, you can add lipstick, eye shadow and other cosmetic products directly to the photo. Besides that, there are predefined filters for use on photos, but also videos.
As for real-world use, the camera turned out to be very good. Fast menu navigation and quick focus for its class offer an excellent overall experience. Only the playback mode takes a bit longer to start, quite unexpectedly. Photo quality was decent. Photos are well exposed, natural in color and slightly lacking sharpness. From ISO 400 upwards, quality degrades quickly and visibly, but remains usable all the way up to ISO 1600, despite a significant degradation in sharpness at ISO 800 and upwards. Having in mind its class and not-exactly-budget price of 140€, this amounts to an average result.Today’s market is oversaturated with cameras in this category, all of which bear similar traits, which makes buyers choose after design or particular features that distinguish a certain model. If you belong to the younger female crowd, Olympus VR-340 may very well be interesting to you due to its make-up mode, and since it’s available in pink as well, the two features might just give it the critical advantage over all others.
Another very accessible model in this roundup comes from Panasonic. It’s made very clear as soon as you’ve unpacked the camera that you’re dealing with an entry-level product. It’s made entirely of plastic, including the buttons. Regardless, the production quality isn’t bad and there’s no bothersome crackling in the body during use. It has a simple design and typical button configuration. Interestingly enough, it’s powered by two AA batteries, like certain other cameras from this roundup, so if you’ve forgotten to charge your set of rechargeable batteries, you can easily just buy a couple from the closest convenience store. As a beginner’s model, Panasonic LS5 has average capabilities. We’ll point out the 26 mm wide, 5x optical zoom objective with true optical stabilization. There are also predefined scenes, if you’re looking to let automatics do everything for you. More creative users will be limited to ISO, white balance and exposure compensation settings. The camera records video in HD-ready (720p) resolution.
The feeling this camera gives in use is average. Focus speed is good for its class, while menu navigation could’ve been more agile. Panasonic DMC-LS5 can’t pride itself on high photo quality, as photos suffer from low sharpness and presence of noise even at the lowest ISO values. Video is of average quality too, with insufficient details for a true HD-ready resolution.This model’s selling points are definitely the objective width of 26 mm and a price of around 65€. Still, there are models out there that cost about the same, while offering better photo quality, so if the said objective width doesn’t mean a lot to you, there’s no need to turn to this model in particular.
If you’re looking for a high-resolution camera, Sony HX20V might just be the right model for you. It’s of very high quality and has a metal body with a rubber grip, always an advantage. It’s compact enough to fit in a larger pocket. Its flash “jumps out”, and the camera is able to tell whether to pull it out or not by itself, automatically. Peculiarities of this model include the sensor with a resolution of 18 megapixels, and the presence of the famed “M-mode”, which enables you to set all parameters manually, including blend opening and exposure time. There are a few other interesting functions and characteristics as well, such as a CMOS sensor, an excellent display with a resolution of 921,000 pixels, focus selection and tracking, GPS adapter, 1080p video recording with stereo sound and 3D photography. We also mustn’t fail to mention the large-range 25-500 mm objective, offering an optical zoom of an entire 20x, which classifies this model as an ultra-zoom camera. We do have to reproach the weaker light capabilities of the objective at f3.2 to f5.8 at a focus length of 500 mm.
In action, the camera turned out to be very fast. It’s ready for shooting in about one second, while menu navigation is also very agile. The focus system is brilliant, one of the best we’ve seen on compact cameras up to now. The camera focuses almost instantly, and the focus speed isn’t any less impressive even in low-light conditions. Focus tracking also works very well and is able to follow even objects moving fast through the frame - excellent work by Sony. We were very eager to find out whether a CMOS sensor this small would be able to cope with a resolution of 18 MP. As expected, the photo quality is less than marvelous. However, this isn’t just the fault of the noise created by the sensor, but also a very aggressive noise reduction algorithm which degrades image sharpness. Unfortunately, this reduction can’t be manually controlled. Noise is visible even at lower ISO levels, although it doesn’t impact sharpness in such circumstances. Starting from ISO 400 and upwards, noise gets more intensive, sharpness degrades quicker, so we don’t really recommend going over ISO 800, unless you absolutely have no choice.
Color reproduction is very good. Video is of excellent quality, and when we add that you can use optical zoom even while recording, we believe that many will grin happily. Sony has also offered a large number of creative filters for achieving a desired effect immediately during shooting, without the need for post-processing in a desktop application. Specs this rich come at a price, specifically one around 430€. We can say that it’s largely justified, as HX20V has a metal body, manual mode, CMOS sensor, an excellent display and one of the fastest focus mechanisms in its class. We always consider lower resolutions to be a better solution on compact cameras, simply because photo quality must always come first, and we can only regret Sony’s decision to stick to its guns instead of offering a resolution of around 12 MP. We believe that such a decision would’ve made photos an entire grade better. Furthermore, there’s no option of shooting in RAW format, which would’ve eliminated unwanted noise reduction. In any case, Sony DSC-HX20V is an excellent camera, able to fulfill even the needs of more advanced photographers. If you’re prepared to dish out enough money to afford it, and you’re looking for a serious compact camera, we believe that the tested model could be your ideal companion this summer.
If you thought HX20V was rich with functions, wait until you see what HX200V has to offer! Firstly, there’s its DSLR looks, good enough to make even the author of this article confused at first glance. The matte black, high-quality plastic body and rubber grip make this camera appear more serious than the beginner’s DSLR models in Sony’s Alpha series. Let’s have a look at the additional niceties brought forth by HX200V compared to HX20V. The biggest difference is certainly the objective, with a range of 27-810 mm and an optical zoom of 30x! It contains a ring that can be assigned to different functions using the switch on the objective itself; it can be used for manual focus or zooming. The display, although it shares the size and resolution with Sony’s other camera, has the ability to tilt, which enables additional flexibility if you’re shooting close to a horizontal surface. There’s also an electronic viewfinder with diopter correction. A wheel has been added for quick-changing certain parameters, such as ISO value (which can’t be changed from the menu, unlike the case with HX20V), blend and exposure time. The tested model also introduces blend priority and exposure priority modes, which gives the photographer maximum creativity and capabilities close to DSLR cameras. It’s of critical importance that the menu contains settings for noise reduction (the main flaw of HX20V) and sharpness levels. We also can’t forget the use of a software ND filter, which can be very helpful with highly contrasted frames.
All commendations and reproaches made on account of HX20V apply here as well, except for one important detail. After reducing the noise reduction (the irony!) to its minimum value, photos made at lower ISO sensitivity were of better quality, with more pronounced details. This option enables the tested camera to offer a better photo quality overall than HX20V, giving the chance to the excellent CMOS sensor to show its true face. Stabilization works great, so we were able to get sharp images even at the maximum zoom level on a cloudy day. Finally, it should be noted that chromatic aberrations are more pronounced than usual, which was expected from an objective with this kind of range.
Although it costs more than its brother, HX200V is worth its price of 520€. What you get is an objective with an excellent range, high photo and video quality, a movable display and numerous software settings, including blend and exposure priority modes. If you need a high-quality, universal camera, without actually wanting to tread on DSLR ground, Sony’s DSC-HX200V offers great flexibility and functionality that advanced enthusiasts will definitely make good use of.
After testing such a large number of cameras from different classes and price ranges, it would be inadequate to compare them directly. In general, all cameras in the sub-150€ range produce photos of similar quality, so you should pick out your favorites based on design, dimensions, particular features or, ultimately, momentary pricing. It’s hard to pronounce a single victorious model in this category, so we won’t do it just for the sake of having one. Olympus VR-340 was closest to getting there, as it gives solid photo quality, a display with a resolution of 460,000 pixels and an optical zoom of 10x, and if you want to pass even cheaper than that, FujiFilm’s AV250 is a decent choice.
This roundup didn’t create a typical competitive environment in the mid-range, with only Canon’s IXUS 500 HS camera fitting the bill, earning it a well-deserved award. As for all other cameras, they belong to the upper class in both price and spirit. Whether you should go for Canon’s PS G1X or one of the two Sony models really depends on your preference and affinities. Sony’s HX200V has proven to be fantastic, especially because of its focus speed and large objective range. It’s also significantly cheaper than Canon’s G1X. If you don’t care that much about shooting in RAW format and aren’t looking for top-notch ISO performance, Sony is definitely the better choice, so it’s awarded accordingly. Nikon, as the sole representative of the CSC class in the roundup, has shown us many advantages, mostly in the form of changeable objectives, but also a few flaws, such as small sensor size and underperforming ISO. If you want a ticket to the CSC world, Nikon is a good choice for its compactness, but you should definitely look into Olympus’ PEN models, which didn’t end up in this particular roundup.
We hope we’ve been able to offer you at least some insight into the current market trends and situation. Our advice for you is to try and remain focused on getting a camera that will suit your particular needs, so that you can depart to (and return from) your vacation satisfied, carrying some excellent photos of unforgettable moments.