photo mag home
Best Digital Compacts, 2007
We take a look at the digicams that felt our love in 2007.
(by Mike Slocombe for Digital Lifestyles, 3rd Jan 2008)
Fujifilm FinePix F50fd (around £160)
It may look a little bit less than super-stylish, but don't let appearances put you off: the Fujifilm can takes great pictures and comes with a raft of smart-arse features like image stabilisation, face-detection technology, fast start up and a high ISO performance that is second to none in its price range.
Although we've never warmed to Fujifilm's fiddly interface - which feels even more outdated in 2007 - there is no mistaking that this is a fast, versatile, carry-everywhere camera capable of consistently knocking out pleasing results.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX100 (around £180)
Packing 12 megapixels, the Lumix DMC-FX100 is a lovely looking ultra compact, offering a usefully wide F2.8-5.6, 3.6X optical, 28 - 100 mm zoom lens, backed by image stabilisation.
The tough metal body feels good in the hand and there's enough auto/manual exposure options on tap to cater for fumbling newbies and wannabe Cartier Bressons.
The camera produced excellent images at the lowest ISO settings but, like all Panasonics before it, suffered badly when the lights went low, with noise reduction artefacts becoming visible at ISO is 200 and above.
High end compacts
Canon PowerShot G9 (around £300)
Building on the success of Canon's prosumer G range, the latest update sports 12 Megapixels, 6x 35-210mm optical zoom lens with optical image stabiliser, face detection and no less than 25 shooting modes, plus full manual control for photographers who like to fiddle.
It's a bit of a chunky beast, but mustard-keen snappers will find a lot to like, with pin sharp pictures, RAW mode, respectable ISO 200-400 performance, a huge feature set and a whopping great 3? screen at t'back.
Ricoh GX100 (Around £250 - £350 with viewfinder)
When it comes to innovation, Ricoh proved to be one of the most inspired camera manufacturers in 2007, and the GX100 was an absolute delight.
Sporting the same superb SLR-style control system seen in the GR, the 10 megapixel GX100 offers a very useful and versatile 24-72mm zoom range, backed by image stabilisation and RAW shooting options.
We loved the superfast snap focus mode, the removable, articulated LCD viewfinder and mass of manual controls and overrides, and with its all-black, compact lines, this is a great camera for street photography. The battery life is fantastic too.