Photo Review Reviews section

Olympus Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED Lens

8.5 Rating

The compact, standard zoom kit lens for Olympus DSLR cameras.Usually supplied with the company’s DSLR cameras, the Olympus Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED is a compact standard wide angle zoom lens covering focal lengths equivalent to 28-84mm in 35mm format. This covers all kinds of general photography, including family snapshots, scenery and portraiture.

Olympus SP-590 UZ

8 Rating

A compact digicam with the longest optical zoom range currently available plus a special Bird Watching mode.Twenty-six times optical zoom is a big ask for a compact, small-sensor digicam, even with optical image stabilisation built-in. Yet that’s what Olympus is offering in its 12-megapixel SP590 UZ model. Equipped with P, A, S and M shooting modes, the SP590 UZ is designed to appeal to photographers who want an extended zoom range without the hassle of carrying extra lenses. Many compromises have been made to achieve these objectives.

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3

8.5 Rating

The first PEN series camera with a tilting 3.0-inch widescreen monitor screen.The PEN Lite E-PL3 sits in the centre of the new PEN camera range and features the same image sensor and processor as the flagship E-P3 as well as that camera’s FAST AF system and support for 1080i Full HD video capture. With an RRP $200 less than the E-P3’s, a few features have been lost. The LCD screen has lower resolution but it tilts and provides 16:9 viewing. There’s no built-in flash, no grip moulding, four fewer Art Filters, no level gauge and top flash synch is 1/160 second (instead of 1/180 second).

Olympus Pen E-P2

8.5 Rating

The latest Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera provides a clip-on EVF and some improvements on the previous model.Olympus is hoping the improvements provided in the new Pen E-P2 will attract new buyers to its MFT System. However, there have been few major changes since the Pen E-P1. A stylish black finish differentiates the new model from its predecessor. The AF system has been tweaked with a firmware upgrade and enhanced with a new Continuous-Tracking AF function. A new accessory port is provided for the new super high-definition electronic Live Viewfinder (VF-2), which is supplied with the camera.

Olympus Pen E-PL1

8.5 Rating

The first model in the 12.3-megapixel Olympus Pen series of interchangeable-lens compact cameras with a built-in pop-up flash.The Olympus Pen E-PL1 is a third-generation model in a series of cameras pioneered by Olympus with the aim of providing small, interchangeable-lens cameras with sensors significantly larger than those in digicams. While offering the same 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor, SSWF dust removal system and TruePic V image processor as the E-P2, the new model is smaller and lighter in construction, with an aluminium front panel and polycarbonate rear.

Nikon Coolpix S8

7.5 Rating

A smart-looking, solidly-built, slimline digicam for snapshooters and travellers.Only 20mm thick at its widest point, Nikon’s 7.1-megapixel Coolpix S8 is almost shirt-pocketable and very smartly designed. Its metal body has a semi-matte finish with a gentle curve on one side to accommodate your fingers when you’re shooting. The 3x optical zoom lens tucks inot the top corner of the camera body behind a metal cover so you must guard against including the fingertips of your left hand in shots. A 2.5-inch, high-resolution LCD covers two thirds of the rear panel, leaving little room for the button controls, most of which are tiny! But no viewfinder is provided.

Nikon Coolpix S510

8.5 Rating

An affordable, well-built, pocketable digicam that offers a useful set of features for snapshooters.Nikon’s Coolpix S510 features an 8.1-megapixel CCD image sensor and 3x optical zoom lens plus a 2.5-inch, high-resolution LCD monitor with anti-reflection coating. Targeted at point-and-shoot photographers this model supports Nikon’s Face-priority AF, In-Camera Red-Eye Fix and D-Lighting functions. It’s one of the first digicams to use a similar EXPEED image processor to Nikon’s latest DSLR cameras, which claims fast response times and lower noise at high sensitivity settings.

Nikon Coolpix S700

8.5 Rating

A high-resolution, slimline digicam with features and performance that will suit snapshooters.Nikon’s Coolpix S700 has many of the same features as the Coolpix S510 model – including the EXPEED image processor – but sports a higher-resolution (12.1 megapixels effective) image sensor and larger LCD monitor. Its zoom lens covers a marginally longer focal length range (equivalent to 37-111mm in 35mm format) and supports closer focusing than the S510. Designed primarily for snapshooters, it’s available in ‘Titanium Silver’ and ‘Urban Black’.

Nikon Coolpix S4

8.5 Rating

“Twist-and-shoot” convenience, above-average picture quality and use of AA batteries make this long-zoom lens camera a good choice for travellers.Nikon has returned to ‘twist-and-shoot’ styling for its 6-megapixel Coolpix S4 camera, which is the first ‘slimline’ model with a long zoom lens. With a maximum aperture of f/3.5, the 38-380mm (equivalent) lens is relatively fast and it’s partnered with a 2.5-inch LCD monitor to allow easy shot composition. The lens isn’t stabilised, although electronic vibration reduction is available in Movie mode. No viewfinder is provided.

Olympus E-620

8.3 Rating

A compact, lightweight DSLR camera with built-in image stabilisation and a wide range of adjustable functions.Positioned between the E-520 and the E-30, the new Olympus E-620 is another ‘in-betweener’ model offering features from both cameras. Claimed as the smallest and lightest DSLR with built-in image stabilisation it is smaller by roughly 12 mm in all dimensions and almost 250 grams lighter than the E-30. Despite having the same 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor and TruePic III+ image processing engine as the E-30 the E-620 lacks much of the finesse of the higher-priced model.