What Digital Camera Christmas Wishlist
- Wed, 7 Dec 2011
2011 has been a year of innovation and evolution in the photography market, with a number of new compacts, CSC and DSLRs making waves. We've also seen some truly impressive accessories and other imaging products, such as mobile phones, come on leaps and bounds this year.
As a result the What Digital Camera team has chosen our favourite products of the year;
News And Features
The smartphone vs. compact camera war has raged over the past few years, although the launch of Apple's latest iPhone has lead some to claim the technology giant has struck a fatal blow. It's held in such a high regard that renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz recently recommended it as ‘the snapshot camera of today' and, in looking at some of the images captured with it, it's easy to see why.
The upgrade from iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S was viewed as relatively minor by some Apple aficionados and although there was a lack of wholesale changes, the imaging side of things received a welcome tweak. The camera now features an 8MP sensor, offers HD movie capture at 1080p as well as featuring new optics with a maximum aperture of f/2.4 - all of which combine to make the iPhone 4S a great shooting option.
The camera side of things is bolstered by the smartphone functionality of the 4S. A whole host of apps are available to satisfy any photographer's curiosity, whilst sharing images amongst friends is as easy as simply pressing a few buttons.
Contract constraints mean I'm currently waiting until next May to get my hands on one (or maybe the iPhone 5?) so if Santa could arrange for an early upgrade I'd be most grateful.
We've seen a massive range of cameras this year, from entry-level compact cameras to top-of-the-range DSLRs, but my favourite camera this year and one I desperately want in my Christmas stocking has to be the Fujifilm X100.
As soon as you pick it up, you want one. Its a lovely thing to behold - the classic design looks the part, while the fit and finish is excellent. The hybrid viewfinder and unfussy controls make it a pleasure to use, and while the fixed lens may be a bit restrictive for some, the ultra fast f/2 lens delivers excellent results. Combined with the 12MP APS-C sensor, you'll have a compact camera that'll trouble even the best APS-C DSLR when it comes to image quality.
Simply put, the most enjoyable camera I've used in ages.
Digital Production Editor
I'm going to be controversial and pick a compact this year. Not because the DSLR showing has been so minimal, or the CSC market over-loaded, but because the Sony HX9 stood out as a perfect companion for me. The long zoom was versatile and quick, the focus equally rapid and the amount of options available meant a long country walk resulted in a wealth of decent imagery. The HD video was decent enough and, although it wasn't too reliable, the GPS made it far easier to archive the shots afterwards. A cracking camera.