Category Archives: Cameras

A Good Advanced Compact: Sony RX100M2

For a while now I’ve been looking for a good, advanced compact camera – something that takes better photos than a smartphone but without the heft or bulk of a digital SLR. My quest brought me to the Sony RX100M2, an affordable, lightweight “travel camera” (or whatever you want to call this class of camera) that delivers excellent results.

The original RX100 was launched in 2012 and is now in it’s sixth iteration, each revision improving on the last. Unusually, all six versions are still made today and are available at prices ranging from around £300 to £1150.

Because I was looking for a simple point-and-shoot, albeit with greater control and higher quality than you’d normally find in a point-and-shoot, I went for the M2, the second in the series, which I picked up at my local John Lewis. 

The Sony RX100M2 features a Carl Zeiss f1.8 28-100 (equiv) lens and a 1″, 20.2MP CMOS sensor. Online reviews are excellent and at 280 grams it fits comfortable into a jeans pocket. 

The f1.8 lens makes it particularly good for low-light usage  whilst overall image quality is excellent.

I’m not going to go in to detail about the camera so check out reviews online to find out why I chose this little gem.

Olympus SP560

Despite now being some five years old, I still occasionally use my Olympus SP560-UZ, an excellent camera with a wealth of features and a good lens.

Being an ultra-zoom camera, the standout feature of course is the 18x zoom lens, equivalent to 27-486mm on a 35mm camera. There’s also the macro and super-macro functionality that allows you to focus as close as 1cm, which for me can be very handy when doing product photography with smaller items and need to show detail.

There’s also a wealth of other features, including aperture and shutter priority, as well as full manual exposure; optional 3×2 aspect ratio, ISO sensitivity up to 3200 and RAW mode. The digital image stabilisation is also very good.

As well as the useful macro mode, I like to take this camera out when I want to use something a little better than my point-and-shoot Canon IXUS but without the weight and bulk of my dSLR.

Point-and-shoot

Wherever I go I always make sure I have a camera with me. You never know when a golden opportunity might present itself so if and when that happens I want to make sure I’ve got something more than a camera phone to hand.

My current choice of point-and-shoot camera is a Canon IXUS 120 IS, a beautifully compact and well-built camera that not only shoots stills but also takes 720p High Definition video.

Some of the stand out features of this camera include a wide 28mm equivalent lens with 4x zoom, a large 2.7 inch screen, 80-3200 ISO sensitivity and optical image stabilisation (as opposed to the more common digital stabilisation found on compact cameras).

The IXUS is also a very stylish and pocketable piece of kit, at just 20mm think and the same size as a credit card. And, of course, it’s a Canon.

I’m very pleased with the images produced by this camera and the HD video is excellent. It’s small enough to fit in any pocket, although I often use a case. The 2.7″ display is also very good, with an anti-reflective coating.

Overall I’m very pleased with with the IXUS 120 and it’s a joy to carry around with me and use.