Canon SX1

I’ve never been a big Canon fan. In recent years I think only the S90 (and then S95) really took my fancy. Otherwise, there always seems to be something better to be had, for less, from some of Canon’s less well known rivals. But I’m always open to new offerings, ideas and products. And Canon have gotten my attention with their new G1X. Look at the size of that sensor! It’s bigger than the one in my MFT Olympus Pen. Slightly more range with the lens than I have with my kit lens. It’s a brighter lens too.

True, my Olympus is an interchangeable lens system. But there are advantages to having a fixed lens, and I suspect there’s be a few add on type lenses available for the GX1 before too long. There’s only one thing wrong with the GX1 from what I can see. The price. Nearly $800?! I’ll have to dream on. shame. I’d love to give that beast a good work out around London after dark, to put those high ISO numbers to good use.


Redundant Camera Lust

This time next year I’ll be in Mexico London Cologne. I hope. One thing I do miss about the UK is the opportunity to go to shows, both in the UK and in Europe. Car shows, photo shows, any tech shows. At the moment Photokina is on over in Germany, and it’s a show I’d like to go see one day. Maybe next year. To check out all the latest cameras in the flesh.

There’s been plenty of interesting, dare I say exciting, cameras on show this year. Which normally sparks off a bout of camera lust, and scheming with a view to getting my hands on one. But to be honest I’m so happy with my Olympus Pen that I have no desires for a new model. Not even secretly.

Well, perhaps there’s a little camera lust still in me. If I were rich perhaps I’d be looking, but more with an eye on having myself a little mistress than on replacing the new love of my life. Five cameras stood out this year in particular. Which ones? These ones…

Top left is is an intriguing compact known only as the Olympus Zuiko. They’ve revealed very little about the camera, other than it’s got a fancy Zuiko lens on it. I suspect it’s going to be a very fast bit of glass, and pack a larger sensor in the mould of the Panny LX5 and Canon S95. But it has a port which will allow the use of Olympus Pen accessories, which is nice.

Top right is the new Canon SX30. I like the superzoom/bridge cameras, and if the specs and quality of the previous model are anything to go by, this could be the new class leader. It’s 35x zoom certainly heads the field – you do kinda wonder how far camera manufacturers can take this zoom thing! Alternatively you could buy a Leica V Lux 2, which is really a $450 Panasonic FZ100 with a Leica badge and a $1000+ price tag…

Middle is the new Pentax K-5. Poor old Pentax just don’t get the attention that Canon and Nikon get in the DSLR market, and they haven’t got an equivalent of Olympus’ Micro Four Thirds cameras to fall back on. Yet they produce top quality DSLR’s with specs and results that often outperform their more illustrious competitors, priced considerably cheaper. Not that this is a cheap camera. You’ll only get a couple of hundred bucks change from two thousand dollars. It’s not an entry level DSLR. But it is cool.

Bottom left is a new Fuji, the Fujifilm X100. A range finder with a fixed lens containing some very bright glass, painting pictures on a nice large proper DSLR sensor, with EXR tech and with all the manual controls you’d want, laid out on dials just as you’d want. Range finders are cool, but this one looks ubercool. I imagine the price tag, when revealed will be hefty. Alternatively, you could always go and pick up a Leica D Lux 5, which is a rebadged Panasonic LX5 with it’s price doubled….

Last, but not least, is the new Casio EX H20G. I know. Casio. Famous for cheap plastic watches with cruddy calculators. But along with Samsung they’ll really upped their game in the digicam world and have been seriously innovative whilst keeping their products at a respectable price level. This one is a jack of all trades that fits in a pocket and had the most advanced GPS system currently available – it can locate and tag photos even indoors or elsewhere that’s out of sight of a satellite.

Those are my five picks from Photokina 2010. Other people will have other favourites. The Canon G12 perhaps. Or the Nikon D7000 DSLR, or their G12 baiting Coolpix P7000. Perhaps the rather awesome Panasonic GH2. Or Samsung’s effort to crack the MFT type market, the NX100. The Olympus E-5 will surely have a few friends too.

Anything there to make you check how much you got in your wallet?


Canon S90

I started looking at potential ‘my next’ camera candidates pretty much as soon as I bough my current camera back in August 2008. Over the last couple of months I’ve been looking more earnestly – I hope to have a new unit for the new year. I love my Panasonic TZ5, and won’t be selling it. But it has been very well used, and a little abused. And I want a camera that has full manual control and top image quality.

I’ve looked at a few formats. I’d love a DSLR, but I just can’t bring myself to spend that much money. Truth be told, for the photography I do, it’s slight overkill anyway. I’ve looked at Bridge cameras (compacts with super zoom lenses) and have pondered the Canon SX1 and Panasonic FZ35. The Panny in particular is great value for money, and a pretty loaded feature set.

But I think I’ve found the camera I will actually buy. It’s a just released Canon model, the S90. The S range was a semi-pro range discontinued some years back. But having seen the success of the Panasonic LX3, Canon have brought the moniker back, and with a bang. What makes it a special camera, and why go for this over the new Canon G series, which has been the pros pocket camera of choice over the last few years?

The S90 was released a couple of weeks back alongside the G11. They share the same large sensor and the same processor. But whilst the G11 has a variangle lens and a few trump cards up its own sleeve, the S90 has received rave attention for three G11 killing features of its own. It has a bright f2.0 lens which offers great low light photographic possibilities. It has a very useful lens ring, which can be programmed to change different settings. And it fits in a pocket. Oh, and just to top it off, it costs about $70 less than the G11. It’s received rave reviews already and sounds very much like it’ll be knocking the G11 of its pro choice perch for many photographers. Now I just need to come up with the $430 it costs.