CanonPowerShot G16 FujifilmX-M1
To say the Galaxy NX offers something different is an understatement. The user interface is unlike that of any camera you’ll have used before, and it takes a lot of learning to adjust your approach accordingly. Underneath all of this though is a CSC that’s capable of producing excellent images. The asking price for the Galaxy NX is high – £1000 for the body is a serious investment by any standards, let alone as an additional portable option. There’s also the fact that the Galaxy NX isn’t much smaller than many DSLRs, and some of the NX lenses are bulky. Of course, there’s an extra element to the portability of the Galaxy NX, in that it lets you carry with you all the connectivity you could ever want – that’s certainly something you can’t get with any other camera.
From the grip and direct access controls, through to the focusing speed and final image quality, the E-M1 comes as close to a DSLR as you can get without putting a mirror in it. But the Micro Four Thirds systemmeans it’s much smaller and lighter – an entire setup of camera body and several lenses could well weigh in at less than some DSLR bodies on their own. There’s a snag though – the price is equally as similar to that of a DSLR. In fact, at £1300 for the body alone, it’s more than the majority of APS-C DSLRs. The price with the 12-40mm kit lens takes you perilously close to the £2000 mark, by which point you could have invested in a full-frame DSLR. It has the potential to completely replace your DSLR system, but it’s a big outlay if you simply want to add an alternative to your existing kit.
When I first picked up the X-M1, the trouble I had holding it comfortably made a bad first impression. The controls are so close together and easily used without intention that I think the X-M1 would have been a better camera for being just slightly bigger. Nevertheless, the user interface is so simple and effective, it makes the camera a pleasure to use. The autofocus isn’t that quick, but that doesn’t take anything away from the image quality the camera’s capable of – images are excellent, even with the budget kit lens, and there are plenty of top-quality lenses available to squeeze more out of the X-Trans sensor. The best thing is that the X-M1 bundles this quality into an extremely compact, light and portable body that’s ideal if you want the advantages of both size and image quality.
As an alternative to your DSLR, any compact will bring with it compromises, and to some extent, that’s the case with the G16. Handling is more limited simply due to space, you’re limited by a fixed lens, and image quality and ISO performance are bound by the smaller sensor size. That said, the main shooting settings can be controlled just as easily thanks to the dials, and the advantage of having a fixed lens is that it collapses completely so you can slip the camera in your pocket. What’s more, the images and low-light performance aren’t far short of the better-endowed alternatives – if quality is that critical, then the chances are you’d opt to take your DSLR anyway. If small and light are your priorities, then the compromises may well be worth it.
Shutter 30secs-1/6000sec Metering patterns Multi, spot, centre- weighted Shooting speeds Single, continuous 8.6fps, self-timer 2-30secs MicroSD up to 64GB, internal memory 16GB Dimensions 136.5x101.4x56mm Weight 495g including battery and memory card LCD screen 4.8in HD touch screen Storage
Price £999 body only Contact www.samsung.co.uk Sensor 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS with DRIMe IV image processor Image dimensions 3648x5472 pixels ISOrange 100-12800 (100- 25600 expanded) Autofocus modes Single AF, Continuous AF, Manual focus Exposure compensation +/-3EV in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps
Price £1299 body only Contact www.olympus.co.uk Sensor 16.3 megapixels with TruePic VII engine Image dimensions 4608x3456 pixels ISOrange ISO 200-5000 (100- 25,600 extended) Autofocus modes Continuous AF, single AF, manual Exposure compensation +/-5EV in 1/3, 1/2 and 1EV steps Shutter 60secs-1/8000sec
Shutter 30secs-1/4000sec Metering patterns Multi, spot, average Shooting speeds Single, H5.6fps, L3fps LCD screen 3in with 920k dots Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I compatible Dimensions 116.9x66.5x39mm Weight 330g including battery and memory card
Price £599 body only Contact www.fujifilm.co.uk Sensor 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS with EXR Processor II Image dimensions 4896x3264 pixels ISOrange 200-6400 (100- 25,600 extended) Autofocus modes Multi, area, continuous, tracking, manual Exposure compensation +/-2EV in 1/3EV steps, AEB 3 frames in 1/3, 2/3 or 1EV steps
Price £528 Contact www.canon.co.uk Sensor 1/1.7 type 12.1- megapixel CMOS with DIGIC 6 processor Image dimensions 4000x3000 pixels ISOrange 80-12,800 Autofocus modes Single, continuous, servo AF/AE, tracking Exposure compensation +/-3EV in 1/3EV steps, AEB 1/3 – 2EV in 1/3EV steps
Digital ESP, centre- weighted, average, spot with highlight/ shadow control Shooting speeds Single, continuous 6.5fps with AF, continuous 10fps, self-timer 2-12 secs LCD screen 3in touch panel with 1037k dots Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I compatible) Dimensions 130.4x93.5x63.1mm Weight 497g including battery and memory card
Evaluative, centre- weighted average, spot Shooting speeds Single, auto drive, continuous 9.3fps, continuous with AF 5.7fps, self-timer LCD screen 3in with 922k dots Storage SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I compatible Dimensions 108.8x75.9x40.3mm Weight 356g including battery and memory card
Pros Image quality and low-light performance are excellent for the size of the camera, collapsible lens makes it pocketable, and focusing is fast and reliable. Cons Powered zoom is difficult to adjust precisely
Pros It’s compact and light but has an APS-C X-Trans sensor that produces fantastic images, the user interface is simple and effective. Cons The small body means the controls are cramped and easily knocked, the AF is sluggish and continuous AF is flawed.
Pros Handling is delightful and customisation gives flexibility, image quality is as good as an APS-C DSLR, Micro Four Thirds system is the biggest CSC system around. Cons The price makes it a big investment if it’s not your main camera.
Pros Large LCD screen is excellent for composing and playback, the sensor can produce excellent quality, and there’s all the connectivity you could want. Cons It’s not that much smaller than a DSLR, struggles in AF and ISO performance.
Photography News | Issue 2
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