Gear of the Year 2011: Best Enthusiast & Best Superzoom

Gear of the Year 2011

 

Best Enthusiast Compact

 

WINNER: Fujifilm FinePix X100

Price: £900

Website: www.fujifilm.co.uk

When the X100 appeared, as if by magic, at 2010's Photokina trade show we were more than taken by surprise. But in a good way. At WDC we often have an inkling of what's in the pipeline, but Fuji had taken it upon themselves to very secretively whip up a brand new high-end compact that looked like it was born in the 1950s but was able to outperform modern-day digital cameras.
The X100 embodies an innovative hybrid viewfinder, an f/2.0 35mm (equiv.) fixed-focal-length lens and a DSLR-sized 12.3MP APS-C sized sensor. It's a street photographer's dream that's glorious to use. But it's the camera's images that truly take it to the next level. The X100 produces the best images of any compact camera we've seen. Ever. Granted you'll need to pay for the privilege, but boy is it worth it.

RUNNERS-UP 


Olympus XZ-1
Nikon Coolpix P300
Canon Powershot S95

Best Superzoom Camera

 

WINNER:  Panasonic Lumix FZ150

Price: £385

Website: www.panasonic.co.uk

Although Panasonic hasn't reached the dizzying heights of the 35x zoom market, the FZ150's 24x optical zoom still covers an impressive 25-600mm and has a sublime optical image stabilisation system. But what makes the FZ150 a real winner is its souped-up focusing that leaves all other current superzooms in the dust. It's quick off the mark, and that's an absolute essential when dealing with distant subjects. It's also possible to shoot Raw files - something lacking from the majority of the competition and another pointer that sets this super superzoom apart from the rest.

RUNNERS-UP 


Fujifilm FinePix HS20
Sony Cyber-shot HX100V
Canon Powershot SX40 IS