8Cameras ThaT roCk
Canon PowerShot g1 X
We reviewed the Canon PowerShot G1 X last month and have been pretty much smitten with it ever since.
This 14.2-megapixel compact camera with its non-interchangeable, 4x optical (28mm to 112mm equivalent) lens may be small enough to fit in a coat pocket—OK, a big coat pocket—but it uses a 1.5-inch ( 18. 7
x 14mm) CMOS imaging chip that’s nearly as large as the big sensors in many DSLRs and some compact
system cameras. This translates to excellent image quality in both regular light and dim conditions at high
ISOs up to 6400. Though it’s a hefty camera for a “compact” model, we liked the solid, professional build
with its comfortable handgrip, plethora of external controls and very nice 3-inch swiveling LCD screen. And
like the Sony Alpha NEX- 7—the one other compact model we’ve shot with that makes us want to leave our
DSLR at home—the G1 X has a great 1080p HD video mode with stereo sound.
Pentax optio Wg- 2
While there are a lot of durable, waterproof compact
cameras on the market, our favorites have always been
Pentax’s WG series models. The latest is the 16-mega-
pixel Pentax Optio WG- 2 and it’s a great little camera if
you’re scouting a location and might need to get wet or
dirty doing it. The WG- 2 is the thirteenth generation of
Pentax’s Optio cameras and this little sucker is tough.
It’s waterproof to up to 40 feet, dustproof, coldproof,
crushproof and shock-resistant. Though image quality
has never been great for any tough/waterproof camera—there’s too much tradeoff between durable bodies and sensor performance—the WG- 2 is a good little
snap-shooter that can go where your pricey cameras
can’t. Here’s what we also like: The WG- 2 has six LED
lights around the lens for macro photography in difficult lighting and there’s an optional SportsMount Chest
Harness that lets you shoot 1080p HD video hands-free.
As far as new cameras were concerned, the Fujifilm X-Pro1 pretty much stole the show at CES last January
and it’s easy to see why. This 16.3-megapixel compact system camera uses interchangeable lenses and
sports a classic and classy design that recalls Leica’s famous rangefinder cameras. The X-Pro1 is not a rangefinder though, and costs a whole heck of a lot less than Leica’s digital M-series models. Along with using
an APS-C size, CMOS sensor, the X-Pro1 has a hybrid viewfinder that can switch between an optical and an
electronic set-up at the touch of
button. Interestingly, in an effort
to increase detail and improve
resolution, the X-Pro1 has no low
pass filter, an approach used by
most medium-format cameras.
At the time of this round-up, we’d
only shot with a prototype of the
X-Pro1 but expect big things from
this camera once we get a final
model to test.