Yesterday a client contacted me asking to recommend a compact camera that she could give as a gift for the Holidays. Last year I did a review of a few cameras so here’s my take on just 3 of the compacts out there: Nikon S9200, Canon Powershot SX230 HS, and Panasonic Lumix ZS10. They are all about $315 – $329 so not too bad on the pocket book. We took the Nikon S8100 & Nikon S9100 camera to Turkey and loved the results for a lightweight travel camera. Just missed the RAW capture I’m accustomed to. I did not miss carrying the weight of my usual equipment!
The S8200 now sports 14.1 megapixels with a 25mm – 350mm range. It a layperson’s language that means you can photograph a scene that’s more wide OR zoom way in to photography something that’s far away from you. With Vibration Reduction, most camera shake is a thing of the past. If you don’t want to download your images until you get back home, pony up for a good SD card. I took the Sandisk Extreme Pro 16 GB card with me to Turkey. Lexar also makes excellent cards and I use them as well.
If you’re a Canon fan, check out the Powershot SX230 HS. At 12.1 megapixels, you have plenty of resolution for large blow-ups. This lens is 28mm – 392mm, so again, you have plenty of range in a nice, lightweight compact. while both the Nikon and Canon give you the 1080p HD Video, and 3.0 wide LCD‘s for viewing your images, you might enjoy playing with the built-in GPS unit for tagging your images on Flickr.
One other nice camera in the compact line is the Panasonic Lumix ZS10. You’ve gotta love the Lumix line for their Leica lenses (very sharp)! This puppy sports a 24mm wide to 384mm long lens, giving you lots of range to photograph everything you see. Toss is the 1080p video, GPS function tags and you’re ready to go. Price: $314 This one is catching my eye!