Photo Review Reviews section

AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR II Lens

8.5 Rating

An extended range zoom for Nikon APS-C camera owners who want a single lens that covers most popular focal lengths.The AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED VR II is a minor redesign of a previous lens. It features a new zoom mechanism for reducing zoom creep (the lens slides forward when tilted). A new zoom lock switch has been added and the multi-layer Super Integrated Coating (SIC) has been improved to provide better image quality and contrast. Otherwise, it’s identical to the original Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens.

Nikon Coolpix S710

8 Rating

A slim, high-resolution digicam with an advanced suite of manual controls.The S710 is the flagship model in Nikon’s S (for Stylish) range of Coolpix cameras. Featuring a 14.5-megapixel CCD sensor and 3.6x optical zoom lens with VR lens-shift stabilisation, it provides a useful range of user-adjustable controls in a compact, solidly-built body. Image processing is based on Nikon’s EXPEED chip, which promises fast response times and adds some potentially useful automated functions.

Nikon Coolpix P80

8 Rating

A stylish 18x zoom digicam with a 10-megapixel sensor and P, A, S and M shooting modes.Nikon’s Coolpix P80 combines a 10-megapixel sensor with an 18x ‘superzoom’ lens that offers wide-angle shooting at the equivalent of 27mm in 35mm format. The overall zoom range (which extends to the equivalent of 486mm) provides a useful span of focal lengths with relatively wide maximum apertures. The camera body is compact and well designed with a comfortable rubber-coated grip and thumb rest. Weighing just over 390 grams with battery and card, it provides a useful suite of manual controls.

Nikon Coolpix P500

8 Rating

A smart-looking digicam with a 36x zoom Nikkor lens, 12.1-megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS sensor and Full HD video recording. Nikon’s 12-megapixel Coolpix P500, which was announced in early February, is the higher-featured model of two that replace the Coolpix P100, which has been on sale for roughly a year. Featuring a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, it boasts a 36x zoom Nikkor lens, the longest so far in a Coolpix camera. It spans focal lengths from the equivalent of 22.5mm at the wide position to 810mm at full tele zoom.

Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm/F3.5-5.6 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. Lens

8.5 Rating

A high-quality extended zoom lens for Four Thirds System DSLRs.Panasonic’s new Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm lens was announced at the end of August 2007 but has only recently become available locally. Although designed by Leica, it is fitted with Panasonic’s Mega O.I.S. optical image stabiliser and Venus Engine LSI microprocessor. Developed for the company’s Four Thirds System DSLR cameras, it is the first Leica D lens to extend to the equivalent to 300mm in 35mm format.

Leica Digilux 3

8.5 Rating

Retro styling and a high-performance lens will attract traditionalists to this capable DSLR camera.In its new Digilux 3 DSLR, Leica has once again partnered with Panasonic to produce a digital camera with a body design that’s reminiscent of Leica’s rangefinder cameras but with electronics that are purely Panasonic. However, this time, the liaison between Olympus and Panasonic has also contributed to the new camera’s design and functionality. The image sensor appears to be the same 4/3 type Live MOS chip that was developed by Panasonic and first used in the Olympus E-330.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE G600

Like all Konica Minolta G-series cameras, the DiMAGE G600 has a sliding lens cover/on-off switch, which unveils a line of flickering blue LEDs when the camera is powered up. This takes roughly 1.3 seconds. The LEDs double as the self-timer lamp and shine whenever the shutter button is half pressed. The G600 sports a new ‘A* Image Processing System’ (A*IPS), which converts the exposure, focus and white balance data from the sensor into image data. The camera is pre-set for ‘basic’ shooting, a point-and-shoot mode, but also has a ‘details’ menu, which is accessed via the set-up menu and contains lots of user-adjustable settings.

Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z2

Konica Minolta’s DiMAGE Z2 offers 10x optical zoom and 4-megapixel resolution, with a plastic body and EVF. The camera’s design and small LCD panel make using the EVF preferable in most shooting situations, despite its tendency to become streaky in bright conditions. Autofocus is fast and focus confirmation is provided in the P, A, S, M and sports modes when continuous AF is selected.

Kodak EasyShare CX7530

Kodak’s CX7530 combines ease of use with affordability and features, design and construction that equal or better most similarly priced cameras. The chunky plastic body has a 1.8-inch indoor/outdoor display and is equipped with 32MB of internal memory (which holds 17 high resolution images), plus an SD/MMC card slot.

Fujifilm FinePix F610

[ia] On test, the F610 produced images that were sharp but rather saturated, fairly contrasty and slightly over-sharpened. Low light usage is only possible in the Night Scene mode. Shots taken at ISO 160 were noise-free but at ISO 400 noise was visible, and at ISO 800 quite obvious. High ISO settings tended to reduce image sharpness. The white balance was an average performer. Video capture was generally very good and the vertical camera body was easy to hold.