Nikon Coolpix S8200
The Nikon Coolpix S8200 is a new camera designed for travelers that has 14x zoom and a 25-350mm focal range. The camera is just 32.7mm thick and has a 16.1MP CMOS sensor that is back-illuminated, can record full HD movies with stereo sound and has a 3 inch high resolution LCD. The camera also has 1 cm macro mode, lens-shift Vibration Reduction, fast auto-focus, startup time and shutter-lag, shooting mode dial and other nice features. The camera can make in-camera HDR pictures, can shoot continuous pictures at 6 frames per second and has a wide range of Portrait and Night Landscape modes and some special effects. It comes in three colors- red, black,and silver.
This camera is almost identical with its brother, S8100, and basically it is its replacement. The design of this camera is quite conservative, but still nice with its metal body finished in black with the front half rubberized for better grip. In the same time the S8200 is thicker than S8100, mostly due to the 14x zoom, but a bit lighter (only 213g).
The lens occupies most of the front panel, and this gives the impression of a bigger camera than in reality. The Nikon Coolpix S8200 looks good and its rounded appearance clearly helps distinguishing it from most of its competitors.
The camera boots extremely fast, in under a second and this is excellent news since most of the times you want to shoot a moving object. The focusing is also very fast due to the 14x zoom lens, thus your pictures won’t be out of focus, even when shooting moving objects.
The camera has few controls and this is normal since it is designed for normal users who just want to point and shoot. They placed a Shooting mode dial on the camera that lets you choose between 8 functions without entering the menu. Even if most of the times a normal user will choose Auto Focus, there are 18 scene modes available. The rear of the camera is dominated by the LCD with all the controls on the right.
The Coolpinx S8200 is able to record video at 1080p and stereo sound. All videos can be displayed on a full HD TV via the mini HDMI, but they don’t provide a mini HDMI – normal HDMI cable in the packet. The lens can also be used to zoom in or out when recording video, but they will focus quite slow in order to autofocus properly and to reduce vibrations.
The Nikon Coolpix S8200 is a normal response from Nikon in their attempt to keep up with the rest of its competition in this segment. The 14x zoom is something normal today and normal are most of functions implemented in this camera. Unfortunately the image quality is not as good as it should have and the price is a bit high. The Nikon Coolpix S8200 is clearly a step forward from S8100 but the price and the image quality could have been better. Because of these factors, the camera is mostly recommended for normal users who make pictures mostly in good light.
Olympus Pen E-PM1
The Olympus Pen E-PM1 is a very small and slim 12 MP compact camera. The auto-focus system implemented is probably the fastest in the world, the LCD is 3 inches and the camera can record at 1080i. You can buy the camera in several colors: grey, brown, pink, white, purple and black for just $499.99.
Since both Sony and Panasonic launched a series of really small cameras, Olympus didn’t want to fall behind and launched their version of World’s smallest compact camera the PEN Mini or E-PM1. The camera weights just 217g (the body) and it is measuring 109.5 x 63.7 x 34 mm; basically the camera is very similar in weight and sizes with its rivals from Sony, the NEX-C3 and from Panasonic, the DMC-GF3.
The Olympus Pen E-PM1 is the cheapest, smallest and lightest camera Olympus sells. The camera borrows a lot of features from E-PL3, its bigger brother, like the 12.3 MP sensors or the 3 inch LCD screen.
The auto-focus system is another feature used by both E-PL3 and E-PM1 and it is considered to be the fastest focus system available on the market. This is possible due the True Pic IV processor and to the 35 point range that is spread over the LMOS sensor. The camera does not have an electronic or optical viewfinder, so you must use the LCD when making photos or use the special accessory port V2 available on the camera that accepts external viewfinders.
The camera takes very good pictures, but not as good as its bigger brother, the E-P3, but makes better pictures than Panasonic Lumix G series and has some extra features like the body integrated image stabilization, stereo sound, and Full HD video. Unfortunately this camera doesn’t have a built in flash, instead you will find an external flash in the package. You can use a wireless flash, if you choose, as the Pen E-PM1 supports such a device.
Another good feature is the boost of low light sensitivity from ISO 6400 to ISO 12800 which very convenient in low light situations.
The Olympus Pen E-PM1 is the first product in a series of small, sexy and light DSLR PEN cameras, with brilliant design without any sacrifice to picture quality and features. The bigger brother, the E-PL3 looked like they made some compromise on some features, like the built in flash, in their pursuit of a better style. In the same time, all these compromises are understandable for the Olympus Pen E-PM1 due to its small size. Its small size has some downfalls: some buttons that are useful are missing, like the Delete Button, Shooting Mode dial, some Key controls or ISO button. The performance of the Olympus Pen E-PM1 is very similar with the performance of E-PL3, thus most users won’t see a real difference between these two; only those with more experience will notice the difference.
The VR-320 from Olympus is a small pocket camera with 14MP sensor and a respectable 12.5x optical zoom. The camera has some interesting features like HD movie capture, dual image stabilization, 3 inches LCD, Magic Filters, 1 cm macro mode, Intelligent Auto Mode, auto-focus tracking and others. You can buy this small camera in blue, red, silver and black for as low as $109.00 (black).
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a camera but get a good focal range, in the same time, then a travel zoom compact camera like the Olympus VR-320 is exactly what you need. The 14.5 MP sensor and the 12.5x optical zoom is not very common on a small pocket camera.
According to manufacturer the camera has a metal body, but in reality it feels more like plastic. The weight of this camera is around 158g, and its sizes are quite small: 100.6×58.2×28.5mm.
There aren’t too many things to say about this camera. The menu is quite simple and basic; the camera is able to record HD video and has a dedicated button for recording, but the resolution is only 720p and the sound is mono.
The zoom is very good, especially because of the dual image stabilization (software and mechanical) and they included seven Magic Filters and iAuto mode. You should understand that this was designed and is a point and shoot pocket camera. The back LCD has an aspect ratio of 4:3 and it is quite good, but in a bright day you will have some problems seeing if the picture was focused properly or not.
The design is not too fancy but rather functional and everything says that this is a budget camera with only the basic controls, all placed exactly where they should be. On the front you will see, like always, the lens which retracts when the camera is closed; on top there are the on/off, shutter release buttons and the zoom lever. The back, is dominated by the 3 inch LCD screen. Unfortunately they didn’t include a HDMI port, only a simple USB port on the back.
The camera boots quite fast, in one or two seconds and you can take pictures right after it boots up. If you don’t press the shutter release completely the LCD will show the image after exposure and focus. After pressing the shutter release completely, the camera will take the picture and save it on the SD card in 2-3 seconds.
From any point you will look at this camera you will notice that the Olympus VR-320 is a low budget modest camera with a small price and a good sensor and a nice 12.5x zoom. Don’t expect to make crystal clear pictures, this is a budget camera after all, but in normal daylight the picture quality is quite good, but not impressive. Magic Filters add a bit extra for this money, since only few manufacturers implemented such features on budget cameras. In the end, the camera does its job and the price is really great. You could not expect more from a budget small pocket camera.
Panasonic Lumix DMC ZS8
If you look closely, you may not find many differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8and its bigger brother the DMC-ZS10, but there are some. The DMC-ZS10 can record video at 1080p has stereo mic, touch screen and GPS, while the younger brother has not.
There are also some differences not that obvious like a higher speed sensor, better screen resolution, faster processor or 3D photos. In other words, the DMC-ZS10 has more features than DMC-ZS8 and costs $100 more.
However, if you don’t want these new features, or if you don’t want to pay extra for them then the DMC-ZS8 may be a good choice for you, especially if you want just a fast camera that can take great photos, has a pocketable body and can record 720p videos.
There is no difference between ZS8 and its brother the ZS10 when taking pictures. Both have the same sensor, thus the picture quality is pretty much identical. With enough light the pictures are very good but you will still find the same color noise so typical for Panasonic, even if it is much softer now. Because of this factor, the camera is designed mostly to be used outside. You can use it inside only if there is enough light.
For a pocket camera the video quality is quite good, even if the resolution is limited to 720p. Of course, the ZS-10 provides better video quality since it can record at 1080p.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8lets you take manual, semi-manual or fully automatic pictures and exposure modes. The camera also has intelligent ISO sensor that will adjust the sensitivity based on the brightness or camera/subject movement.
If you want to use the automatic shooting function, then the camera will use the Intelligent Auto sensor that combines lots of technologies in order to get the best picture. You can also choose from 29 scene modes, including an underwater mode, for which you will need a special casing, since the camera is not waterproof.
As we previously said, the main feature of this camera is speedy shooting (between 0.4 and 0.8 seconds). However, its bigger brother, the ZS10, is faster. The ZS8 can capture a max of 1.5 pictures per second, while the ZS10 can take up to 15, without AF.
The DMC-ZS8 is a good compact camera and is quite similar with its predecessor, the ZS5, with some differences: the camera is a bit bigger, has better sensor, longer lens and a larger LCD. Even if the LCD is good, it won’t improve the picture quality. The buttons are located almost in the same place, as in DMC-ZS5, thus if you already have a ZS5, you will have no problems using this camera. The menu is basically the same, with minor changes. If you consider that it worth to spend $100 more for the extra features of the ZS10, you are free to do so, even if most of these new features aren’t needed or used by most of regular users. Even so, the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8offers a good value for its basic price.
Nikon Coolpix S100
The Nikon COOLPIX S100 was launched just recently and is an impressive camera with 16 MP CMOS sensor, 3.5 inch touch-screen (OLED) and 5x optical zoom. The camera is able to record video at 1080p and can even record video in 3D.
If you don’t look too carefully you may think that this camera is one of those cheap models that you can find in all hypermarkets. You couldn’t possibly be more wrong. All moving parts are inside, the zoom included. A metal cover protects the lens when you don’t use the camera and it is designed in such a way that won’t broke, unless you intend to stuck something between the cover and the camera.
Even if the camera appears to be quite big, in real life it is smaller than a regular smart phone like iPhone.
The sensor of this camera is rather new and backside illuminated. The technology is quite new and provides better sensors for camera since they are now able to capture all the light, compared with the old sensors that were quite limited at this.
The Nikon COOLPIX S100 has an impressive 3.5 inch touch-screen on the back and, because of this there is only 1 button on the entire camera: the shutter release. The idea is quite simple and elegant, and this way you will have to use the touch screen most of the times, which is not a bad idea. You can even take pictures by just tapping the touch screen. The screen is very good and provides bright colors.
The camera is designed for two types of customer: the point and shoot ones and those technology freaks that want the latest technology implemented in their camera.
The camera is pretty fast: it can start in just 2 seconds. Also, it can take a picture quite fast, in under a second. The battery is lithium-ion and it must be inserted only one way, even if the battery is perfectly symmetric and thus, may give the false impression that you can insert it either way.
The menu is quite intuitive and easy to use, but the main aspect of the camera is the 16MP sensor and the ability to video at full HD 1080p.
The look of this camera is quite common but don’t get fooled by this, the camera has the latest technology implemented and an impressive picture quality. The quality of the pictures made with this camera let us speechless. The functions are quite limited and this indicates quite well the target public of this camera, regular persons who just want to make pictures, and not the semi-professional photographs. The camera was designed to be easy to use, and it really is. The menu has only the basic functions, thus every option considered unnecessary was dropped out. There is a slight problem with the location of the HDMI and USB ports, which are located under the camera, but this won’t bother you too much. The Nikon COOLPIX S100 is impressive, especially for its price, around $265.
The Samsung PL120 is a compact size digital camera which doesn’t look all that different from most other cameras. While it doesn’t look that special at first glance, the camera does come with a CCD sensor of 14.2MP, the ability to record videos at 720p quality, wide-angle lens of 26mm, a small LCD located at the front, digital frames and special filter effects. The camera comes in red, purple and grey and it costs around $150.
The small screen which is located in the front is something which was launched by Samsung a couple of years ago and it can be very useful when you want do take a self portrait.
As far as the specs go, Samsung PL120 is about the same as any other camera of this level. The LCD has 2.7 inches, the optical zoom is 5X and it comes with face recognition and a 14.2MP sensor. The camera lacks the image stabilizer, because Samsung prefers to use a digital variant.
The button which activates the small 1.5 inch screen from the front gives you four different options: activating the screen, activating the self shot mode and the mode used to photograph kids. The mode used to photograph children will show a cartoon on the camera’s screen, plus it will play funny sounds, making kids laugh or smile. The fourth option available is jump shot, which has a count down from 5, after which it will take two photos.
The tripod bush is made from plastic unfortunately, but the public which will use this camera will usually not have a tripod with them when they take photos. The battery is dedicated and it’s lithium ion and located together with the memory card in the same compartment.
The Samsung PL120 comes with a number of filter effects, something which is not unusual in compact cameras these days. In total, there are ten special effects, including fish eye, negative, custom RGB, retro, defog, sketch, half tone dot and miniature.
Even though this is a simple enough camera, it still does quite a bit and it does have some nice features, like the small monitor in the front or the cartoon use to make kids smile.
The camera is quite small, but the back of it is quite crowded. Since the body is small, all those buttons on the back are a bit too much.
The best thing about the Samsung PL120 is the small screen located in the front, which is great for anyone that does self portraits a lot, or for people that want to take better shots of kids. If the animations provided on the camera are not enough, there are others you can download from the Samsung site.
The quality of the build is very good and the camera is solid overall, especially for the price.
The shots taken with the Samsung PL120 are decent enough. They might not impress you, but their quality is good nonetheless. It has realistic colors, they’re sharp and the dynamic range of the sensor is decent.
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Review
The Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 is an extreme sports camera. This means that you can take your camera with you literally any where you go. You don’t have to worry about the weather. You can easily capture under water photos or even your favorite sport in the rain.
The Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 is a cost effective sports camera. In fact, this camera offers many more features than any other camera in its bracket. Not everyone can afford a high end camera. If you are a high school student then you cannot afford to buy a professional sports camera and this is where Kodak EasyShare fills the gap.
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 Product Description
The Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 is among the best cameras in its category. When you see all of its features you will understand why. Here are some of the cameras best features:
- It’s pocket size. It is just 6.2 ounces in weight which makes it very light and easy to carry. Moreover its physical dimensions include 3.6×1.2×3.6 inches. Overall it is a small and light weight camera which you can keep in your pocket and carry any where you want.
- It is available in many colors; the new model blue is by far the best.
- Be it any kind of adventure sport, from hiking, rock climbing to under water diving. This tiny little camera can survive it all. Moreover its light weight makes it easy to carry with you anywhere you want. It will be there to capture all of those extreme moments.
- It is a 12 Mega Pixel Camera with 2.4 inch LCD and comes with face detection technology.
- Includes AA batteries which are very powerful and last for quite some time.
- It allows you to easily share pictures with friends and tag them in the photos taken by the Kodak EasyShare Sport C123. You will be happily sharing you pictures with all your friends by use of the simple sharing feature.
- Smart capture adjusts the settings to capture the perfect picture.
The Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 comes with a unique share button feature which enables you to share your pictures on any social networking site. All you have to do is press the sharing button and choose your favorite social networking site like Facebook, Twitter etc. Your photos will be automatically uploaded and shared with your friends on that particular social networking site. You can even tag your friends in these photos and make them aware of the images you uploaded.
This feature will automatically adjust the camera settings to give you the best picture possible. It will detect what type of scene the camera needs to use. It will automatically adjust to give you sharp pictures. It will also clean up the picture to give you true to life colors.
Waterproof and Dustproof
The Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 allows you take images underwater as well as many other extreme conditions. It can take pictures as well as record videos up to 10 feet under water. It is also dust proof and therefore can be taken on hiking trips to capture pictures there without risking the photo or video quality. The dust proof feature allows you to shoot with this camera in any kind of natural surroundings. It also has the underwater white balance that helps to make the blue tones of underwater images unnoticeable. The pictures will be lively and have true colors without the usual blues that disrupt the quality of images taken under water.
- Highly waterproof.
- Highly dust proof.
- Can survive any kind of environment and therefore can shoot in extreme conditions.
- Produces clear underwater pictures by removing the blue effects of water.
- Sharing feature allows you to share pictures and automatically tags them in Facebook.
- Face detection software is also available.
- Very affordable price.
- Good for kids.
- It is not a digital camera and therefore does not have all of the technical features of a digital camera.
What Customers Say
Customers give this camera a four star rating on Amazon.com. Most users feel that for the price it is available at it offers way more than one can ask for. Many customers agree that the camera gives good quality under water photos. It is great for every day use and it also holds up well in salt water. One customer was unhappy about the battery life saying that it was extremely poor.
All in all this is an inexpensive camera that takes decent pictures in any environment. If you are looking for a camera for a kid then this is highly recommended as it is the best camera for rough usage and adventure sports. You can purchase this camera online at Amazon.com. You can typically save about 20%. Plus the Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 is available for free shipping as well.