Photo Review Reviews section

smc Pentax-DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL Lens

8 Rating

A lightweight standard zoom kit lens for Pentax DSLR cameras.The smc Pentax-DA L 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6AL lens supplied for us to review with the K-m camera body was not quite the same as the lens that is sold as a stand-alone item and shown on Pentax’s website. There was no green band on the review lens and no focus markings in front of the focusing ring and, although the dimensions of the review lens matched those of the lens listed on the Pentax website, it appeared to be less refined.

Pentax Optio 750Z

With its lightweight aluminium alloy body and smart ‘retro’ look the Pentax Optio 750Z will attract many buyers. The 7-megapixel sensor, 5x optical zoom lens and vari-angle monitor give this camera added appeal. The mode dial accesses 10 shooting modes: P, A, S and M modes, a User mode where up to three frequently-used functions can be registered, a Picture mode with12 scene settings, Panorama assist and 3D image functions, and a digital filter mode with nine colour settings. The Movie mode has two settings – VGA and QVGA – each with frame rates of either 30fps or 15fps. The well-designed menu includes two innovative controls: a ‘focus limiter’ setting that lets users restrict the lens movement to a specified distance range, and a digital exposure metering mode.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20

8.5 Rating

A new flagship model for Panasonic’s popular TZ (Travel Zoom) series of compact digicams.It’s been just over a year since we reviewed Panasonic’s last TZ-series camera, the TZ10. This camera has been so popular it’s little wonder the company waited until January 2011 before unveiling not one but two updates: the TZ20 and a simpler (and cheaper) model, the TZ18. Many of the features that made the TZ10 a success have been upgraded to better suit the target market: travellers looking for a full-featured, pocketable camera.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX7

Panasonic’s DMC-FX7 is small enough to take anywhere in a pocket or purse. Its mode dial, which is partly enclosed in the camera’s body, has six settings: normal picture mode, simple mode, macro mode, scene mode (with nine pre-sets), motion image mode (QVGA movies at 10 or 30fps) and playback. The simple mode sets all controls to auto and provides three picture settings: enlarge (for A4 prints), 10 x 15cm, and email.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT2

9 Rating

Panasonic’s latest waterproof, drop-proof, dust-proof and frost-proof camera with AVCHD Lite High Definition video recording.Hard on the heels of the popular DMC-FT1 comes Panasonic’s latest ‘rugged’ digicam, the equally slim, but even tougher, DMC-FT2. Resolution has been increased to 14.1 megapixels and the body of the new model is waterproof to 10 metres instead of three. It can also withstand a drop of two metres (up from 1.5 metres) and is usable at temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01

8.5 Rating

Some good still and video features in a pocketable body but the FX01 lacks key manual controls and an optical viewfinder.The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01 is almost identical to the Leica C-Lux 1. Aside from coming in a silver body, which is similar in size and weight to previous FX models, the most obvious difference between the cameras is the finger rest on the front panel of the FX-01. Panasonic supplies a lower-capacity SD card than Leica (although in both cases more memory will be required so this difference is hardly relevant). Leica has the better software bundle.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT1

9 Rating

A solidly-built, shockproof and waterproof slimline digicam that can record HD video clips with monaural sound.The Lumix DMC-FT1 represents a new concept for Panasonic: a tough, slimline digicam that is shockproof to 1.5 metres, waterproof to a depth of three metres and dustproof to the IP58 standard. Olympus has already been down this ‘tough camera’ track but Panasonic is the first manufacturer to add the ability to record high-definition movie clips in the new AVCHD Lite format with a frame rate of 30 frames/second.

Panasonic DMC-TZ15

8.8 Rating

A long-zoom digicam with a slim, pocketable body and above-average imaging performance.Panasonic’s new 9.1-megapixel DMC-TZ15 digicam is the latest in its ‘Travellers’ Zoom’ series of cameras. Replacing the 7.2-megapixel TZ3, it introduces a swag of new features that will appeal to point-and-shoot photographers who want a slim camera with a long zoom lens. The TZ15’s body is marginally smaller and lighter than its predecessor but just as pocketable and equally well-built.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1

8 Rating

A well-built Four Thirds system DSLR with a rangefinder camera control layout and dual-angle pop-up flash.Panasonic has described its new Lumix DMC-L1 as combining ‘analog operational concept and design’ and the new model looks and feels like a fusion of a rangefinder camera and the Olympus E-330 (on which much of the L1’s technology is based). With an RRP of $3,849, Panasonic is clearly capitalising on the prestige of the supplied Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm F2.8-3.5 lens and targeting Leica film camera users who have yet to move into digital capture.

Panasonic HDC-SD9

8 Rating

An ultra-compact HD camcorder for everyday snapshooters.Panasonic’s tiny HDC-SD9 camcorder represents the third generation of high-definition camcorders that record exclusively to an SD memory card. Designed for point-and-shoot video photographers, it is claimed as the world’s smallest and lightest Full-HD video camera. Featuring a 3CCD sensor system based on 1/6-inch (2.46 x 1.80 mm) CCDs, the SD9 also boasts a Leica Dicomar lens with 10x optical zoom.