Photo Review Reviews section

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX7

8 Rating

A high-resolution digicam that is small enough to slip into a shirt pocket and offers Full HD video recording.The Cyber-shot DSC-WX7 is one of five 16.2-megapixel cameras announced by Sony at the CES Show in January. Designed primarily for snapshooters, it’s the first to be available for review and also claims status as the first compact digicam with a 3D Still Image mode that can record stereo pairs with only one lens and sensor.

Casio EX-Z55

Casio’s EX-Z55 sports a lightweight aluminium body with a large 2.5-inch colour LCD and small optical viewfinder. It comes with 9.3MB of internal memory (enough for four high-resolution images) and an SD/MMC card slot. The retracting smc Pentax 3x zoom lens is reasonably fast and the camera is supplied with a docking cradle for downloading pictures and recharging the battery.

Casio Exilim EX-Z850

9 Rating

More adjustable controls than any other slimline digicam plus above average imaging performance.Casio has packed a surprising number of controls and functions into its Exilim EX-Z850 camera, which has an 8.1-megapixel CCD and 3x optical zoom lens. The sensor is larger than average, promising a wide dynamic range and low image noise. The camera’s well-designed, all-metal body sports a bright, 2.5-inch LCD, a very small optical viewfinder and a mode dial with eight positions.

Casio EX-P600

With its compact metal body and retracting Canon lens, Casio’s Exilim EX-P600 is an excellent travellers’ camera. Six resolution sizes are supported, with three JPEG compression levels plus an uncompressed TIFF format at all resolutions. The menu system is outstanding and the large 2-inch LCD screen is easy to view, even in bright conditions. The mode dial accesses full auto, Best Shot, aperture (A) and shutter (S) priority auto and manual (M) modes, along with movie and voice recording. In the A, S and M modes, pressing the OK button calls up a Manual Assist On-screen Guidance display that shows samples of the extremes of the selected control. Movies are recorded at QVGA resolution and you can add up to 30 seconds of audio to snapshots in the WAVE/ADPCM recording format.

Casio Exilim EX-Z600

8.5 Rating

An attractive, well-designed, slimline camera for novice photographers.Available in silver, blue, brown, black and red, Casio’s Exilim EX-Z600 is easily pocketable digicams and offers some handy features for snapshooters. Supplied with a USB cradle/battery charger, it boasts a 2.7-inch Super Bright LCD screen (but no viewfinder) and a fully-retracting, 3x optical zoom lens. Users can call up a rule-of-thirds grid on the LCD along with an intensity/RGB histogram. Multi-point and spot AF modes are provided, the former indicating areas used for focusing.

Canon EOS 550D

8.5 Rating

A lightweight, easy-to-operate DSLR with high resolution for creative photography.Canon’s EOS 550D slips into the company’s line-up between the EOS 500D and the EOS 50D and offers higher resolution than both models without displacing either. It boasts the same 18-megapizel sensor as the EOS 7D but has only one DiG!C 4 processor. A key feature is the addition of a new, high-resolution 3:2 aspect ratio LCD monitor and a redesigned interface. Video capabilities have also been extended to support Full HD movie recording at a range of different frame rates.

Canon EOS 1000D

8.8 Rating

A competitively-priced entry-level DSLR that provides a good price/performance ratio for first-DSLR buyers.Replacing the popular EOS 400D at the entry level of Canon’s DSLR range, the EOS 1000D brings yet another level to Canon’s DSLR nomenclature, reflecting the days of film, when Canon’s lowest-priced SLR cameras had four-figure model names. The 1000D has been designed for photographers who want to upgrade from a digicam to a more capable, better performing DSLR. It boasts the same 10.1-megapixel imager as the 400D but is smaller and lighter and supports Live View shooting.

Canon PowerShot A650 IS

8.5 Rating

An affordably-priced, high-resolution digicam with 21 shooting modes, Face Detect AF/AE technology and in-camera red-eye correction.Canon’s PowerShot A650 IS replaces two earlier models, the 10-megapixel PowerShot A640 and 8-megapixel PowerShot A630, bringing higher resolution (12-megapixels), a longer 6x optical zoom lens and optical image stabilisation. It retains the 2.5-inch vari-angle LCD of its predecessors but has a new DiG!C III image processor. It’s also 55 grams heavier, with a significantly larger body.

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Lens

8 Rating

A budget-priced tele-zoom lens with built-in image stabilisation.Canon’s new EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS is designed specifically for cameras with ‘APS-C’ sized sensors and combines light weight with a very low price tag for an optically-stabilised lens. On the EOS 400D and 40D cameras we used for our tests, its focal length range is equivalent to 88-400mm on a 35mm camera. It’s a fairly slow lens – and this is apparent in the viewfinder when you’re shooting.

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens

8.5 Rating

A first-rate wide-angle zoom for DSLRs with ‘APS-C’ sized imagers.The ‘EF-S’ designation is Canon’s way of labelling lenses with Short Back Focus, which indicates the distance between the sensor plane and the rear element of the lens is shorter than in an EF lens. Such lenses are designed exclusively for EOS cameras with ‘APS-C-sized’ sensors and cannot be used on Canon’s 35mm SLR cameras – or on the EOS 5D. The new EF-S 10-22mm ultra-wide-angle zoom lens covers fields of view equivalent to 16-35mm in 135mm format. An excellent partner to the EOS 400D we used for our tests, its wide angle of view is great for landscape and architectural photography, especially indoor shots.