Sony Alpha NEX-5

A distinctively-styled, ultra-compact, interchangeable-lens camera that can record Full HD video clips with stereo soundtracks.Although Sony claims its new NEX-5 as the world’s smallest and lightest interchangeable-lens camera, this can only apply to the camera body itself, which is similar in size and shape to Sony’s H-series digicams. Attach the low-profile E 16mm f/2.8 (SEL16F28) ‘pancake’ lens and the camera remains just pocketable; fit the E 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (SEL1855) zoom lens and you’d be hard pressed to get the camera into a jacket pocket.

Sigma DP2

A pocketable, advanced digital camera with a large Foveon X3 Direct Image Sensor and few automated functions.Although many photo enthusiasts have been looking forward to Sigma’s DP2 since the camera was first revealed at Photokina 2008, we’ve had to wait almost eight months to see a review unit. Physically and technologically similar to the original DP1 model (which Photo Review reviewed in March 2008), the DP2 comes with a standard-range lens that is considered more suitable for snapshots and portraits.

Sigma DP1x

A pocketable camera with a large Foveon sensor that delivers rich, natural-looking colours plus a wide dynamic range and supports raw file capture.Sigma’s DP1x features the same 20.7 x 13.8 mm Foveon X3 sensor and wide angle lens as Sigma’s first large-sensor compact camera, the DP1, which was released just over three years ago. This recent update is largely cosmetic and combines the rear panel interface design of the DP2s with the True II processor from the DP2. It also introduces a revised autofocusing algorithm.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

A compact, rangefinder-styled Micro Four Thirds System camera that accepts interchangeable lenses.In the GF1, Panasonic has challenged Olympus with a similar, rangefinder-like model that tackles some of the deficiencies of the E-P1 and exploits the not insignificant potential of the Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) sensor format. In addition, by providing HD video recording – using the AVCHD Lite format offered in the company’s digicams, the GF1 also confronts the main criticism levelled at the G1: the lack of video capture.

Olympus Pen E-P1

Olympus’s first Micro Four Thirds camera targets the gap between digicams and DSLRs for serious photographers and also supports HD video recording.The Olympus Pen E-P1 is the third Micro Four Thirds (MFT) camera to reach the market and is quite different from the Panasonic G-series models that preceded it. Capitalising on the heritage of the popular ‘Pen’ series cameras, which were launched 50 years ago, it comes with a Four Thirds format, 12.3-megapixel (effective) Live MOS image sensor that supports both still and HD video capture.

Nikon Coolpix P7000

Nikon’s latest digicam for photo enthusiasts who want a full range of controls plus support for raw files and HD video. It’s taken a while for us to get our hands on Nikon’s Coolpix P7000, although we’ve reviewed its main rivals: Canon’s PowerShot G12 and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5. There’s clearly a market for a competent, pocketable camera that supports raw file capture and offers P/A/S/M shooting modes. And it’s obvious the main players are watching their rivals because all three models provide similar functions.

Pentax K-x

A compact, feature-rich DLSR camera that comes in white, bright red and dark navy as well as basic black.Ever the innovator, Pentax is the first company to offer a DSLR camera in colours other than black and grey. The 12.4 megapixel K-x model will be available in a choice of white or black, as well as bright red and dark navy. Its small body makes the K-x one of the most compact, lightweight models in its class. However, this camera also provides heaps of in-camera adjustments plus the ability to record HD video clips.

Pentax K-m

A compact, entry-level DSLR with straightforward controls and plenty of novel features to satisfy more adventurous photographers.Pentax has used many features from last year’s K200D as the basis of its new K-m DSLR. The sensors, viewfinders and LCD screens in both cameras are the same. However, the K-m is pitched more at first-time DSLR owners. It’s as easy to use as an advanced digicam and offers some novel functions – including a swag of digital filters. But some features have been downgraded from its predecessor.

Pentax K-7

A sophisticated DSLR camera with controls and functions for knowledgeable photo enthusiasts.The K7 enters the Pentax range as a high-end model targeted at photo enthusiasts because its complexity makes it most suitable for experienced SLR photographers. Featuring a solid metal body, weatherproof sealing and a wide range of user-adjustable controls, it also supports high-speed continuous shooting at up to 5.2 frames/second and HD video recording at 30 frames/second. Pentax has also improved many of the components and functions that made earlier models attractive buys.

Pentax K20D

A ruggedly-built, high-resolution DSLR with live viewing plus some innovative and useful shooting functions.Pentax has designed its 14.6-megapixel K20D model to appeal to demanding photo enthusiasts but many of its features will also appeal to professional photographers. Like the earlier K10D model, the K20D is built to resist dust and moisture with seals protecting 74 different parts of the camera body. Physically the two cameras are similar, with identical body dimensions, although the new model has a larger LCD and is five grams heavier than its predecessor.