Sony announce a high end compact with a large sensor: The Sony RX100

In a surprise move Sony have announced a new high end compact that contains an impressive 20Mp 1″ CMOS sensor like the Nikon 1 series.

The RX100 is petite to say the least (it will fit  into a shirt / coat pocket) but boasts a “fast” F1.8 – 4.9 (28mm – 100mm equivilent) lens.

What is sure to stir up the high end compact market is the inclusion of the 1″ CMOS sensor one that is almost twice as large as the main rivals (ie Panasonic LX5, Canon G12 and Olympus ZX1). This does promises much improved image quality although 20Mp does seem a tad ambitious to my mind for such a sensor. even if it is bigger than most.

What is certain is that the RX100 won’t be cheap. If its suggested retail price is correct it is in danger of coming close to Canon G1X which has an even larger sensor and is a terrific camera, not to mention several compact camera systems.

What adavantage the Sony RX100 does have is its size, its TINY.

Rumours  are hinting that the Panasonic LX5 replacement may also house a similar 1″ sensor, although one would hope that if true this sensor will have a more sensible pixel density (ie 12-14Mp?).

Either way this new tiny Sony compact that not much bigger than the excellent Canon S100 (but promising superior image quality?) is an interesting development.

Canon EOS 650D Mid Range DSLR Announced

Canon have announced an upgrade – replacement to the 600D in the form of the logically named Canon EOS 650D. The new camera features some quite interesting developments.

A  very brief list or highlights of some of the spec’s would include:

Improved AF which seems to be designed to improve both live view capture and video capacity.

All cross type focus points (9 in all)

A new  3″ articulated rear touch screen.

In camera HDR and multi shot noise reduction capture.

An improved frame rate (it’s now 5fps)

Improved metering

An all the above are powered by the new DIGIC5 processor

Therefore whilst it may look very similar on the outside to the 600D, Canon are most definately showing their true colours with the 650D.For Canon it would appear the future is not a pixel war with the likes of Nikon and Sony but enhanced AF, improved video capture and a low noise quest which to my mind is no bad thing.

Dpreview have posted an informative preview of this new mid entry DSLR from Canon.

Various Internet Reviews of the Canon EOS 5D Mk 3

Increasingly the Canon EOS 5D Mk3 is being reviewed on various sites.

This latest full frame addition to the hugely significant 5D family has certainly caused debate of late and it faces some very stiff competion from the Nikon D800s. Both Dpreview and photography blog have posted reviews. As a Canon EOS 7D owner myself I was curious to see if the much touted full frame superiority over APS-C cameras is real. From both reviews I have read it certainly seems so:  Photography blog’s conclusions regarding the Canon 5D3:

“The Canon EOS 5D Mark III builds on the success of its popular predecessor with a series of improvements that add up to a much better all-round camera for stills and video alike.While the 22 megapixel sensor doesn’t sound like a big improvement on the 5D Mark II’s 21 megapixels, in conjunction with the Digic 5+ processor it results in seriously impressive low-light performance, with an almost noise-free range of ISO 50-6400 and perfectly usable 12800 and 25600 settings”.

Very impressive stuff. Dpreview has an even more extensive review / test check it out.

Panasonic FZ150 Superzoom Review

Recently Dpreview published a full review of Panasonic’s FZ150 and pretty positive it was. As someone who has tested several FZ models I have always been impressed by the various models, amongst the conclusions reached by Dpreview:

Really useful 25-600mm (equivalent) lens range

Very good JPEG image quality, with provision for shooting in Raw mode

Lens impressively sharp with generally good sharpness at all focal lengths

Effective image stabilization

Good high ISO capability for its class (and much better than FZ100)

Excellent video specification and good, detailed results

Effective built-in mic (although stereo separation could be better) and provision for external mic

Although the FZ150 faces stiff competition from the new generation of megazoom compacts announced this year, it is still one of the best cameras of its type on the market. It combines an expansive feature set, great performance, and enough still and video options (and quality) to keep enthusiast photographers and casual videographers happy.

The FZ150 is a solid and capable superzoom camera that boasts impressive image quality considering it’s 24X optical zoom range. Sharpness is high, aberrations are well-controlled, and its capable optical image stabilization system makes working at its extreme effective focal lengths relatively pain-free

As you can see the Panasonic FZ150 probably holds onto the “Superzoom Crown” and at its current price its a bit of a bargin.

Test: The Panasonic TZ30 Compact Zoom

Recently I spent a few days in Lisbon playing with the Panasonic TZ30, Panasonics latest addition to its highly successful TZ range of compact travel zooms and a replacement for the generally well received TZ20.

The TZ range of compact travel zoom cameras are well regarded and have been hugely popular for some time. The combination of an impressive zoom range packed into a reasonably petite and portable body that offers user friendly, hassle free handling has consistently proved a winning formula over the years.

(Check out the test images at Flickr )