Buy Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 Cheap

For the majority of people looking for a "pocket" camera - they can stop looking. This will honestly do for pretty much everything you really need. It's the newly released little brother to the more expensive ZS10/TZ20.

It is not perfect, of course, but even if you take a "money no object" approach to picking an upper premium compact camera - there is currently nothing on the market that is head and shoulders better than this - although there can always be a case made for different qualities.

Big Zoom - check

Good "glass" on the front - yep, Leica

Optical Image Stabilisation - uh huh, works quietly and efficiently in the background making your shots less blurry.

Good quality photos - sure - but with the caveat that a "full on" digital SLR will always do better. The photos come out are a nice colour (not too vivid - but also not too washed out) and they don't come out a funny colour under artificial lighting (some cameras can struggle and give you a funny tint under striplights or old fashioned tungsten bulbs).

Noise levels - the "speckly" bits on photos that you sometimes get in dark conditions - is definitely there - especially at higher ISO's - but you get this problem in dim lighting conditions even with all compact cameras to a greater or lesser degree. Even if you get an SLR camera - even up to a year or so ago - you'll find that they aren't infallible to this either.

HD Video - check, but in MPEG format. I think that this takes up more space than the newer AVCHD format on the SZ10/TZ18 - but I would be wary of getting a camera that uses this format if you have an older PC or laptop and especially if you have a netbook - in case the hardware can't cope. I guess Windows XP/NT/2000 users should definitely be careful - and to a lesser extent even if you have a Windows Vista machines you might think twice - especially if you are on a laptop where the hardware will always be slower than the equivalent price PC.

I have a mixture of laptops and netbooks running Windows 7 through to XP so didn't want to take the chance - especially as other family members and the kids will probably want to view some of the footage (family and my kids have the older machines whilst dad gets the upgrade LOL).

I do wonder if the AVCHD format on the more expensive ZS10/TZ20 is going to be a bit of an evolutionary dead end - just as BLU RAY hasn't really taken off - even though it's technically better than DVD - most people even if they have a big widescreen TV find that their DVD is fine (probably because the modern DVD players and TV's will upscale the DVD resolution to give a semi-HD picture quality). The ZS10/TZ20 I think gives you the option to record in both (I think I read that somewhere but if this a deal breaker you should check to be sure).

If you only want a great point and shoot camera this is brilliant and has loads of options. Not only that but the options are really well laid out and easy to understand - by which I mean the dials and menus are set out in a common sense fashion and also instead of just little symbols/icons to indicate that you are in portrait mode or landscape mode - there is a little text underneath which tells you what it will do.

I've had a number of Nikon's and Canon's - and for some reason they can still make cameras with menus and buttons that were laid out by Martians - they can be so unintuitive even for people who are really experienced photographers - and you have to keep referring to the instruction book to work out what to press or what menu icon you are looking for - and even then it doesn't stick in the memory because it's all so counter-intuitive.

If you think you might - in a little while - like to step up in your photography later and get a bit more creative - or you are thinking of this a second camera to augment your SLR - then you'll want to know that this has A LOT of manual control thrown in which is pretty unusual in the compact camera class and it has Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Full Manual modes which is quite a rarity in the pocket camera class.

If you are an experienced SLR user, I can tell you that the PASM options are pretty nicely implemented. Sensibly placed access buttons (the small round exposure button and Q Menu buttons to the right of the screen do this) and the menus are nicely set up to easily access the bits you want for Aperture / Shutter priority / full manual control. It'll never be as good as your SLR but you can't carry that around with you this easily and it won't shoot HD video either (or probably not unless you have the latest generation).

The 16x optical zoom is class leading. You can get really good close ups if you want to.

You should only compare OPTICAL zoom when you are looking at different cameras and ignore the Panasonic advertising guys (or anybody else )who point to the overall 20x zoom - because if you include the quoted digital zoom - the extra 4x zoom basically just crops your optical zoom photo in camera - and your laptop software will do that - only better - though I guess it might be relevant if you don't want to be doing with all that and just need an "okay" sort of photo).

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8 also has a really good wide angle lens - 24mm - which basically means you can get more scenery in the shot at the edges. The lower the number the better - and 24mm is currently the lowest I am aware of. The lower the number the more you can fit into the photo - so if you are looking at a nice panorama or want to take a photo with the whole table in the shot - you are more likely to get it with this lens than say if you compared it to other cameras - whose lens might start at 27mm, 28mm, 35mm. This small difference can be the difference between getting everything or maybe not quite getting everything into the shot that you want to.

 OVERALL it feels nice in the hand - and it is quite light. It has a cool solid feel metal body and all the buttons and switches feel like they will last.

Of course none of this would be of any use if the photos weren't top notch ... but luckily they are in my opinion. Sure, you can get a little better photos perhaps - but bear in mind if you are reading other reviews - a lot of this is personal preference - like how you like your TV at home to be set up with brighter or more vivid colours or more contrast etc.

In technical terms - compact cameras are never going to match SLR cameras - because their sensors just aren't as big. This is also one of the reasons that you get more "noise" (or speckly bits) in photos from pocket cameras. The camera reviewers who do this for a living always seem to forget they are reviewing a pocket camera - as they probably all have SLR's at home - and they get a bit obsessed about how the photo appears when you look up close with a magnifying glass. Surely most people simply look at their photo on their laptop/Mac/PC and go "ooh that's nice" before deciding whether to print it or not ?

Bottom line - this gives great photos that I am more than happy with even compared with my SLR (a two year old Pentax K20) - and if you want a compact/pocket camera with the ability to take great scenery or panoramic shots and then also zoom really close on things as well then this will do a great job for you. I think you'll be pleased with this as your main or secondary camera. Try not to get too hung up on specialist reviews - a compact camera is never going to give you technical quality photos of a large SLR - but you can video with it and even the newer SLR's don't do that very well - though heaven knows why not - maybe they just have a slow escalation marketing policy and are going to deliver that to the market as the desire for SLR's with video capability increases. And remember that if you wanted a whopping great SLR you'd have got a whopping great SLR.

Also - go and have a look at all the cameras "in the flesh" in a store - to see if the size suits you. There aren't any smaller camera's with this big a zoom, but there are plenty of camera's which are smaller and more pocket / handbag friendly.

IF you consider the size too big then you should definitely look at other camera's, but if the huge range zoom is just what you are looking for (like me) - then this is for you I reckon (unless you have a strong loyalty for one or other brand in particular I guess).

IF you really want lower noise on high ISO photos but don't want an SLR and still want the big zoom then do have a look around at the competition and check out the specialist website reviews.

IF you just want a nice pocket camera that gives you nice photos - but you are on a budget then you should look at the outgoing models from all of the manufacturers - but do have a look at Fuji as they have currently (March 28th 2011) some nice deals on their outgoing models which would give you good zoom and reasonable photos eg Fuji Finepix with 10x zoom 12MP photos.

And finally don't get hung up on the megapixels on a compact camera. The quality of the "glass" on the front of the camera is likely going to have just a big - if not bigger impact. Although there are exceptions - more expensive usually equals better glass. This is why getting a formerly $400+ camera which is currently being discounted due to a newer incoming model can be a worthwhile strategy - as the originally more expensive camera will generally have better quality lenses. Anything above 10MP is going to be fine 90% of the time - and more megapixels actually often means more grainy photos in darker conditions.

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Olympus PEN E-PL1 Camera Reviews

 The new Olympus PEN E-PL1 is truly greater than the sum of its parts, with a surprisingly small camera body packed with technology normally found in bigger, bulkier and heavier professional Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras and High-Definition (HD) camcorders. This third-generation PEN is built for shutterbugs who always wanted better pictures and considered a DSLR, but were intimidated by the bulky size and complex interface. The new camera's simple design and easy interface enable photographers to easily create amazing images never dreamt possible.

The E-PL1 equals an affordable and powerfully simple all-in-one package that travels with you to capture life in the high quality that your memories deserve.

Express yourself with in-camera creative features. Professional images are rarely unedited images. Video and still image pros use computer-editing software to render their images with effects that set their shots apart from the pack. Olympus appreciates that you may not have hours to spend retouching your images at the computer, so the E-PL1 incorporates editing effects inside the camera to save you time. Whether you apply in-camera creative effects while shooting an image, or apply them later to images captured without the effects, all are inside the E-PL1, so you can achieve dramatic results on the go without a computer or editing software.

The E-PL1 has six in-camera Art Filters, including a new filter called Gentle Sepia. This filter gives your images and videos a soft, warm sepia cast similar to historical images from the early days of photography. The sepia tones are softer and the blacks are a true black, unlike traditional sepia images. The new filter joins Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pin Hole, Grainy Film and Diorama (the filter that makes everything look as small as the E-PL1).

With the E-PL1's Multiple Exposure function available for still image capture, you are free to tell a visual story your way. The image capture options enable you to shoot one shot, then another and combine them in real time, or capture both shots separately and combine them within the camera later. Take a shot of your significant other, and overlay your self-portrait on top to figure out what your kids will look like. If you have kids already, overlay your kid's face on top of a shot of his or her favorite cartoon character for laughs. Your ability to manipulate space and time makes this new creative multimedia device a veritable time machine.
 You often can achieve greater photographic expression by framing a scene in a unique way. The E-PL1 provides four aspect ratios that serve as masks to frame your image to the desired proportions, including the standard 4:3 aspect ratio that is suited to an 8 x 10-inch enlargement; the 16:9 aspect ratio that will display beautifully on a widescreen television; and other popular aspect ratios, such as 3:2 and 6:6. The Multi-Aspect Shooting further expresses your creative vision when combined with in-camera Art Filters and Multiple Exposures.

With the E-PL1, you have your own living library of still images, HD video and audio to remix at your command. In playback mode, you can seamlessly mix stills and movies inside the camera to create a multimedia slideshow, and dub in one of three built-in dramatic background music options to provide a soundtrack for your cinematic creation. With so many creative options, there's no limit to what you can create. Choose whether or not you want to play back just pictures, just movies or a combination; also control playing back the whole movie or just a clip.
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Lensbaby Composer for Canon Mount

Technical Details
  • Slective focus lens, based on a ball and socket configuration, delivers smooth selective focus photography with unparalleled ease of use and greater precision
  • Features the Lensbaby(TM) Optic Swap System
  • Magnetically suspended disk aperture system allows f/2.0, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8.0, f/11, f/16, f/22 aperture settings. All aperture settings included.37 mm threads allow you to attach Lensbaby(TM) Macro Kit lenses, wide angle and telephoto conversion lenses, and other filters and accessories
The Lensbaby Composer is a manual focus SLR lens based on a ball and socket configuration that delivers smooth selective focus and other creative photography looks with unparalleled ease. It comes with the selective focus Double Glass Optic installed, which delivers a Sweet Spot of sharp focus surrounded by graduated blur. The Composer also features the Lensbaby Optic Swap System which includes several selective focus as well as other creative optic options. Photographers can simply tilt the Composer to a desired angle and then focus with a manual focusing ring. The Composer stays in the desired bent position without requiring a locking mechanism.

The Composer features a unique manual focus design which requires more rotation to move the optic as focus approaches infinity. This makes it easier to focus on objects at intermediate and distant depths than regular manual focus lenses.

Composer Product Specs:
  • Great for a smooth and precise shooting style
  • Ships with the Double Glass optic installed (a multi-coated optical glass doublet)
  • Features the Lensbaby Optic Swap system
  • Focal Length: 50mm
  • Focus Type: Manual
  • Features a unique barrel focusing ring that becomes more sensitive (requiring greater rotation to move the optic in and out) as focus approaches infinity, making it easier to focus on subjects from 10 feet to infinity.
  • Aperture Type: Interchangeable levitating aperture disks
  • Apertures: f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22
  • Minimum Focus: about 18” (46cm) / Maximum Focus: Infinity Size/Weight: 2.5” (6.35cm) high x 2.5” (6.35cm) wide / 5.5 oz (155.9g)
Key Specs

    * Focal Length: about 50 mm
    * Focus Type: Manual
    * Aperture Type: Interchangeable, magnetic aperture disks
    * Apertures: f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22
    * Minimum Focus: about 18 inches (45cm) / Maximum Focus: infinity
    * Size: 2.25 inches (5.7cm) h x 2.5 inches (6.35cm) w / Weight: 3.7 oz (104.9g)
    * No electronic communication between the lens and the camera body
Composer Box Contents:

    * Composer Lens with Double Glass Optic and f/4 aperture disc installed
    * Aperture case containing f/2.8 through f/22 apertures
    * Front and rear lens caps
    * Microfiber bag
    * Microfiber lens cloth
    * User guide
    * Bend the Rules book

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Canon PowerShot G1X latest review

Bright, fast and more creative than ever: advanced technologies come together for an exciting new camera that moves beyond anything the G-Series has seen before. The Canon PowerShot G1 X digital Pocket camera will inspire advanced amateurs who have embraced the G-Series to explore new realms of photographic expression, and give pros an excellent camera that complements their creative demands. The new 1.5-inch High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor approaches DSLR size, with a light-sensitive area that’s approximately 6.3 times larger than that of the PowerShot G12 digital camera. The new 14.3 Megapixel sensor, combined with a new lens and DIGIC 5 Image Processor, creates the HS SYSTEM that delivers image quality previously impossible in a compact camera, with beautiful blur, lower noise, and extraordinary resolution in low-light shooting and can shoot at ISOs of up to 12800. The PowerShot G1 X also has 14-bit RAW capabilities for even greater creative control and Full HD Video recording. Manual settings and operability inherited from EOS cameras impart a high-level shooting experience, and open the door to new creative possibilities. Substantive luxury defines the design: a neatly clarified sculpture with a firm grip, huge Vari-angle LCD and optical viewfinder.

Canon DIGIC 5 Image Processor

The latest-generation Canon DIGIC 5 Image Processor brings phenomenal increases in processing speed and power. Improved chip architecture and algorithms deliver greatly expanded functionality with further refinement in image quality. Improved noise reduction produces clearer images when shooting in low light at high ISO speeds. Enhanced i-Contrast performance adjusts differences between light and dark areas to achieve even more natural-looking results. The faster processing speed also results in faster continuous shooting capability. The DIGIC 5 Image Processor also makes possible a new, highly advanced automatic white balance system. Whereas conventional white balance makes an overall adjustment based on a single type of light source, the new Canon Multi-Area White Balance analyzes several areas of the image to determine whether different adjustments are needed, for example, for the main subject and the background.

Canon 1.5-inch, 14.3 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor

Canon engineers developed a sensor for PowerShot G1 X digital camera that is nearly the size of an EOS DSLR camera’s APS-C sized sensor, and built with a similar pixel structure—each pixel site is larger, allowing more light to be captured—giving the PowerShot G1 X a completely different level of image quality than compact cameras that have come before it. At 1.5 inches, the sensor is approximately 6.3 times larger than that of the PowerShot G12 digital camera. This heightened degree of sensitivity, along with 14.3 Megapixels, delivers several distinct advantages. Noise is dramatically reduced at high ISO speeds for clear low-light and nighttime shooting. Resolution at low ISO speeds is incredibly rich and precise. And, most atypically for a compact camera, the PowerShot G1 X digital camera allows you to create the intensely beautiful background blur that is the hallmark of DSLR cameras.


The Canon HS SYSTEM lets you take bright, clear photos in an even wider range of shooting situations.Canon PowerShot G1 X HS System at Beautiful low-light shots are possible with minimal noise and maximum detail in highlight and shadow areas. The system is the result of two technologies brought together in PowerShot cameras: a high-sensitivity imaging sensor, which is able to capture more light; and the DIGIC Image Processor, which actively reduces noise with high-speed image processing. The 14.3 Megapixel Canon CMOS sensor in the PowerShot G1 X incorporates advanced light reception technology that enhances sensitivity. The new DIGIC 5 Image Processor provides a major boost in noise reduction, expanding the usable range to an amazingly high ISO 12800. The HS SYSTEM thus lets you use higher shutter speeds to capture clearer images with reduced noise and blur.

Shooting and Recording Modes Including 14-bit RAW + JPEG

The PowerShot G1 X offers a host of shooting and recording modes ranging from fully automatic to fully manual, plus Full HD movies and full-resolution High-Speed Burst HQ at a maximum of 6 frames*. The camera recognizes 32 shooting situations, automatically optimizing settings for achieving the highest quality shots on the go. Alternatively, you can exert complete creative control over the look and feel of your images. 14-bit signal processing, just as in EOS series cameras, gives images notably rich detail and smooth gradation. Compared with 12-bit processing, 14-bit offers a 4x increase in RAW data, makes a visible impact, giving images rich detail in both highlights and shadows as well as smoother, more natural tonal gradation for outstanding image quality.

*Continuous shooting speed is 4.5 fps.

Canon Full HD Video Advantage

In addition to the HS SYSTEM, the combination of the advanced CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5 Image Processor in the PowerShot G1 X digital camera makes it possible to shoot crisp, clear high definition video. Imagine the fun and excitement of being able to shoot spectacular 1080p Full HD video with stereo sound that you can later watch on your HDTV or download to your computer to share with family and friends. In addition to being able to shoot Full HD 1080p video at 24* frames per second, the PowerShot G1 X digital camera can also shoot 720p HD video at 30** frames per second....

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Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 Reviews

Don't let the Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS digital pocket camera   slim profile and appearance fool you. This clever little slick device can stand out from the crowd, but it also will deliver brilliant  still pictures, ultra-detailed 1080p Full HD video, serious functionality and a wealth of effects and automatic settings. You will be surprise how  is packed into such a slim point-and-shoot. Let your imagination run wild and let Canon's HS system,  a 24 mm lens, 5 x optical zoom and 12,1 Megapixels help you snap great photos everywhere.

Incredibly Thin. Incredibly Powerful.

Thin Is In

Less than an inch deep and weighing just under five ounces, will fit the PowerShot 300 HS right in your pocket, but plenty of power packs in its compact body. A 24 mm ultra wide angle lens with powerful 5 x optical zoom a gives you the flexibility to shoot in any number of situations and the optical image stabilizer keeps things from getting too wonky when you're zoomed in close .If you're out partying, or n just walking around town, you don't need to sacrifice style for power — the PowerShot ELPH 300 HS has covered to capture great photos effortlessly.

Technical Details
  • World's thinnest digital camera with a 24mm ultra Wide-Angle lens and 5x Optical Zoom and Optical Image Stabilizer.
  • Canon's HS SYSTEM with a 12.1 MP CMOS and DIGIC 4 Image Processor improves shooting in low-light situations without the need for a flash
  • Full 1080p HD Video for exceptional quality with stereo sound, plus a dedicated movie button for easy access.
  • Get high-speed shooting in a point-and-shoot camera: High-speed Burst Mode captures 8.0fps and
  • Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings for the camera based on 32 predefined shooting situations.
  • Super Slow Motion Movie records video at high speeds to allow slow motion playback.
  • Zoom optically while shooting video and keep footage stabilized with Dynamic IS.
  • And lowers noise levels at higher ISO settings.
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