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Digital Cameras: Our Best of 2010

12 Dec Posted by Matt in News, Reviews, Stuff We Like |
Digital Cameras: Our Best of 2010

Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera

Nikon D3100: A 2010 highlight

As we enter the last few weeks of 2010, it’s a fairly safe assumption to say we won’t be seeing any new product announcements from the major manufacturers now until the beginning of 2011.

So, what have been the highlights of the last 12 months?

Digital Cameras: Best of 2010

2010 has been a big year for digital cameras and technology, here are some of our favourite models to hit the shelves this year…

Canon EOS 550D/Rebel T2i

Canon EOS 550D DSLR HD Video

Canon EOS 550D

Before 2010, shooting professional standard HD video on a digital SLR was neither cheap nor widespread.  Whilst the Nikon D90 and Canon EOS 500D/Rebel T1i could both do HD video the implementation of it wasn’t ideal, leaving demanding users who wanted full control and quality to choose the Canon 7D or 5D MkII.

The Canon EOS 550D brought full manual control of HD video to the masses, providing comparable results to the 5D MkII and 7D for a fraction of the price.

Headline-grabbing video abilities aside, the 550D is a fantastic stills camera.  The 18Mp image sensor keeps noise low, the 3″ LCD screen is sharp and clear, and results are consistently excellent.

Released: February 2010
Street Price: £620 (inc 18-55mm Image Stabilised EF-S lens)

Nikon D3100 DSLR Camera

Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100

Traditionally there has been a big leap between using a point and shoot compact and a digital SLR, leaving many beginner DSLR users scared to move the mode dial away from Auto.

A number of manufacturers have attempted to rectify this in recent times, but it’s the Nikon D3100 that really hits the nail on the head.  Building on the lower-end D3000′s Guide Mode, we reckon the D3100 could be the best beginner digital SLR ever.

The D3100 sits above the D3000 and below the D5000 in the Nikon range, but punches above its weight somewhat in terms of bang for your buck.  Annoyances we had with it’s D3000 predecessor have been fixed and HD video added, making this Nikon model truly great value.

Released: August 2010
Street Price: £450 (inc 18-55 Vibration Reduction Nikkor lens)

Fujifilm F70EXR

Fuji Finepix F70EXR

Fuji Finepix F70EXR

The Fujifilm F70EXR hasn’t got huge attention since being released, but it’s a great little compact camera (so great in fact that Mark has gone out and bought one).

Low-light performance is the headline feature here, something that you’ll really appreciate if you like to take pictures in bars and clubs or at partys.  Even for standard indoor shots not having to resort to using the flash will set your pictures apart from those taken with other cameras in similar conditions.  A 10x optical zoom and 10Mp image sensor will also be more than enough for sharp images printed beyond A3 size.

A built-in HDR (high dynamic range) mode takes two consecutive photos and combines them in-camera, creating an HDR image without the need for Photoshop.

Typical of other Fuji compacts, the movie mode is no award-winner. The F70EXR will only capture standard definition video, though at 30fps it’s smoother than some other models.

As an all round point and shoot stills camera you can do a lot worse than the Fuji F70EXR, and when the light drops you’ll thank its great low-light performance.

Released: August 2010
Street Price: £140

Canon PowerShot SX210 IS

Canon PowerShot SX210 IS

Canon PowerShot SX210 IS

Sporting a massive 14x optical zoom, the snazzy Canon PowerShot SX210 IS is a great all round point and shoot camera.  The PowerShot S95 may have a few more bells and whistles for the experienced photographer, but the SX210 excels in getting consistently brilliantly exposed and pin-sharp images in Auto mode.

Add to this silky smooth 720p HD Video recording with audio that outclasses most other compacts, and you’ve got a very attractive package.

Everything about the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS feels quality, from the excellent and large 3″ LCD rear screen to the metal bodied construction. The clever and intelligent Auto mode is a real winner that makes taking great photos (and videos) a true point and shoot experience.

It’s not the cheapest digital compact on the market, but it is one of the best.  If you buy one of these we very much doubt you’ll be disappointed.

Released: February 2010
Street Price: £200

Digital Cameras: What to expect in 2011

back-to-the-futureWe expect 2011 to be another big year for the digital camera industry, with new products starting to enter the market from as early as January 6th 2011 when the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas gets underway.

We’ll be rounding up the specific rumours of what we’re likely to see in 2011 very soon, but be rest assured that Canon and Nikon will be among those making waves next year.

 

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