Friday, 20 June 2008

Love Lumix Leica Lenses

I'm in the process of replacing my Canon PowerShot A70 and appear to have reached an impasse! Do I stick with Canon or switch to Panasonic Lumix?

My Canon PowerShot A70 is perfectly serviceable! However, I'd like to exert a similar level of manual control, I once enjoyed at Exeter College, with PENTAX cameras! I've managed to whittle my price-sensitive choices down to the following and would welcome readers feedback:

Canon

Canon IXUS 80 IS Digital Camera
Canon proudly presents a fresh new addition to its Digital IXUS range: the Ixus 80 IS. This ultra-compact camera is available in four discreet colours that enhance the smooth curves of its casing, and is loaded with leading technologies for fun, stylish photography. The successor to the Digital Ixus 70, the Ixus 80 IS puts all of Canon's know-how to good use to bring you flawless shots. Its features include a powerful 8-megapixel CCD sensor and a DIGIC III image processor, as well as an optical stabiliser, meaning you can say bye-bye to blur. Its remarkable ISO sensitivity of up to 1600 ensures photos turn out fantastically even in low lighting conditions, while its 2.5-inch TFT screen lets you take complete control of your creations. You'll be able to explore your creative side further with its various scene modes and photo effects, including Ai-AF face detection. Thanks to this technology, the Digitax Ixus 80 IS is able to recognise up to 9 faces in a scene and smooth out shady areas. Express your creative side with professional quality snaps with the Digital Ixus 80!

Panasonic

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55EB Digital Camera
The Lumix DMC-FX55 from Panasonic is the new and improved version of the FX33, with the same Auto Intelligent technology but with a larger 3" LCD screen! Behind its stylish design, the Lumix DMC-FX55 is equipped with an 8 effective-megapixel CCD sensor and a 3.6x wide-angle optical zoom, which can be expanded depending on the photo resolution. The optical zoom efficient goes up to 5.7x for 2 megapixels, allowing you to take detailed close-ups. The DMC-FX55 also includes the renowned Venus Engine III image processor and an Intelligent ISO Control mode (up to 6400 ISO sensitivity) to guarantee bright, continuous lighting even in darker environments. Meanwhile, the Mega O.I.S. optical image stabiliser counteracts camera shake to deliver clear images every time. The Lumix FX55 is also equipped with an Intelligent Auto mode that automatically adjusts the settings according to conditions so you don't have to! With the Lumix DMC-FX55, you'll have all of Panasonic's latest technologies in the palm of your hand!

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 Digital Camera
Powerful 18x Optical Zoom, 28mm wide-angle Leica DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens and unique Intelligent Auto Mode. The perfect choice for any photographer with varied photographic needs and high ambitions - Panasonic is pleased to introduce the new DMC-FZ18 8.1-megapixel Lumix camera, featuring a powerful 18x optical zoom (equivalent to 28-504mm on a 35mm film camera), newly developed 28mm wide-angle LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens and Panasonic's new and unique Intelligent Auto Mode. Panasonic's award-winning FZ series of Lumix cameras has been highly praised across the world, for concomitant realisation of both high performance and ease of use, and the FZ18 is no exception. Bridging the gap between high-end compacts and digital SLRs, Panasonic's DMC-FZ18 offers a level of control close to that of an SLR, but without the need for interchangeable lenses. Perfect for photographers on the move and families who want to shoot pictures outdoors for example, the FZ18 offers an easy way to enjoy the fun of capturing beautiful digital pictures.

Panasonic DMCFX500 Digital Still Camera
The DMC-FX500 features intuitive touch-screen operation on a large, 3.0-inch LCD to provide an advanced hybrid control system with both touch-screen and joystick control. In addition to the 25mm ultra-wide angle Leica DC lens with 5x optical zoom, manual operation controllability give users great creative freedom. A variety of advanced functions, including Intelligent Auto mode, HD motion picture recording and HD component output, together with slideshows enhanced with music, further enrich the camera and user experience.

Canon's IS range is revered, but Panasonic's Lumix line is snapping at its heals! Many Lumix models are fitted with Leica lenses that have been developed and designed by Leica's German optics engineers but are produced in Japan and some are effectively Leica branded cameras without the brand name and with different exterior styling!

It's almost a case of change for change's sake!