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★★★★★

“I bought this camera for my girlfriend because we...”

Written on: 08/01/2010 by bobjbrown (34 reviews written)

I bought this camera for my girlfriend because we were going on holiday and wanted her to have a reasonable camera to do some "birding" while in the Gambia. I have been so impressed by this camera that she had little chance to use it.



I have just reviewed th 1277 images captured in the last 4 weeks, and have been comparing them to my Oly. DSLR.



I am in awe of how such a small and resonably priced camera can offer such excellent image quality!



Upsides:



This is very light and reasonably inexpensive when compared to a DSLR.



There is no need for interchangeable lenses.



This is an extremely flexible camera and is as happy taking snaps in auto focus as it is photographing back-lit birds perching on high branches against a white out sky.



The optical zoom is fantastic as is the image stabilisation, though i do tend to use shutter priority to eliminate shake at high telephoto lengths anyway. Results areas good in every respect as my DSLR with a 500mm lens when viewed at "normal" postcard image size. The image becomes noisier at large magnifications. If you're a casual user rejoice in the reach of the lens, the noise won't be significant.



The iA setting works very well in most settings, though the use of aperture, and shutter priority, and fully manual modes make this camera incredibly versatile, as well as incredibly creative.



Battery life was excellent with around 400+ shots per charge.



It seems very tough and robust. Backwoods Gambia is very dusty, and I more than anticipated a failure due to dust ingress but the lens operated perfectly smoothly, after beeing blown out) even after being dropped onto a dusty ground. More than tough enough for a beach holiday!



The viewfinder is excellent for very bright conditions where the LCD screen is virtually invisible. Like an SLR the viewfinder is wysiwyg so its feasible to preview the image accurately. Using it also adds significantly to battery life.



On the downside:



AutoFocus isn't quite precise enough for me, and the electronic view not really clear enough for manual focus ( Which, by the way, I think is absolutely great idea!) - This may be a harsh criticism as I am used to photographing small objects at long distances, through a cluttered foreground. So I may be being hypercritical.



Summary:



I would be more than happy to use this camera in most situations.



I would fully reccomend it.