Battle of the Budget CSCs

Three affordable CSCs aimed at the novice user but designed with very different intentions fight it out against each other...

may csc group test

As the range of Compact System Cameras (CSCs) has increased, the sector as a whole has become more varied. Some, for example, offer viewfinders built in to their bodies, while others have these as optional accessories. Some are designed to be as streamlined as possible, while others are shaped like DSLRs with a defined grip and a range of physical controls.

Perhaps most interestingly, some offer the same types of sensors used in compact cameras, while others incorporate those found in DSLRs. This in itself has a significant impact on the size of cameras and lenses, as well as the type of results possible from each.

The three CSCs on test exemplify this well, with each seemingly designed for a different type of user, and each also using a sensor that's sized differently from those in the other two.

So what kind of impact do these differences make to the handling, performance and image quality on each? Let's see...

 

INTRODUCING THE THREE COMPETITORS...

NIKON 1 S1 - £480

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NIKON 1 S1 REVIEW

Pros:

Fast AF

Stable and clear screen

Excellent AWB and metering

Superb video quality

Cons:

Lack of direct controls

No lens- or sensor-based VR (only electronic)

Lens not as wide as others

Key Specs:

Sensor- 1in CMOS type, 10.1MP 

Output Size- 3872 x 2592 

Focal Length Magnification Approx.- 2.7x 

Lens Mount- Nikon 1 

Shutter Speeds- 30-1/16,000sec 

ISO- 100-6400 

Drive Mode- 5, 15, 30, or 60fps 

Movie Mode- 1920x1080p, 30fps 

Display- 3in TFT, 460k dots 

Focus Points- 41 

Dimensions- 102.0 x 60.5 x 29.7mm 

Weight- 240 g (including battery and memory card)

Find the best deals for the Nikon 1 S1

PENTAX Q10 - £380


CLICK HERE TO READ THE PENTAX Q10 REVIEW

Pros:

Light weight

Plenty of physical controls

Decent flash performance

Includes hotshoe

Cons:

Some fiddly controls

Inconsistent image quality

AF could be faster

Slow shot-to-shot times

Key Specs:

Sensor- 1/2.3in backlit CMOS, 12.4MP 

Output Size- 4000 x 3000 

Focal Length Magnification Approx.- 5.5x

Lens Mount- Pentax Q 

Shutter Speeds- 30-1/2000 sec (exp. to 1/8000sec)

ISO- 100-6400 

Drive Mode- 5fps 

Movie Mode- 1920x1080, 30fps 

Display- 3in LCD, 460k dots 

Focus Points- 25 

Dimensions- 102 x 58 x 34mm 

Weight- 180g (excluding battery and memory card

Find the best deals for the Pentax Q10

SONY NEX-3N - £400

CLICK HERE TO READ THE SONY NEX-3N REVIEW

Pros:

Articulated LCD

Excellent Power Zoom Control

Good noise control (next to others)

Cons:

LCD is noisy and can be difficult to see outdoors

Indicator lamp poorly placed

Warm AWB

Key Specs:

Sensor- APS-C CMOS type, 16.1MP 

Output Size- 4912 X 3264 

Focal Length Magnification Approx.- 1.5x 

Lens Mount- Sony E 

Shutter Speeds- 30-1/4000sec 

ISO- 200-16000 

Drive Mode- 2.5fps 

Movie Mode- 1920 x 1080, 50i/25p 

Display- 3in LCD, 460,800 dots 

Focus Points- 25 

Dimensions- 109.9 x 62 x 34.6mm 

Weight- 210g (excluding battery and memory card) 

 

Go to the next page to find out how they compare...