Buyer's Guide 2009: Best Of Compact Cameras
Top-of-the-line pocket cameras make pro features more portable
The DP1 is unique among compact cameras in that it's the only camera in this class to use an APS-C-sized sensor, the same Foveon X3 used in Sigma's SD14. The Foveon sensor is unlike other image sensors that interpolate colors based on the data of surrounding pixels; instead, the Foveon contains three separate layers of pixels, one dedicated to red, another to green and the third to blue. The APS-C-sensor size also means larger pixels than those in other compacts, and larger pixels translate to better light gathering.
With a fixed 28mm ƒ/4 lens and 2.5-inch LCD, the camera is surprisingly compact given the large sensor size. Image quality is outstanding, even at the higher ISO settings, which range from 100 to 1600.
|Size: 4.5x2.3x2 inches |
Weight: 8.8 ounces
File Types: RAW, JPEG, AVI
Estimated Street Price: $699
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H50
Looking very much like a compact version of the Sony Alpha DSLR line, the Cyber-shot DSC-H50 sports a 9.1-megapixel sensor and an optically stabilized 15x Carl Zeiss lens (31-465mm). The ISO range of 80-3200 is complemented by Sony's Nightshot infrared mode, which allows you to shoot in the dark.
The three-inch LCD conveniently tilts to give you a clear view at low angles and in bright sunlight. The H50 has a large buffer that lets you capture up to 100 images at 1.6 fps, even at full resolution.
Shooting modes include Scene Recognition and Face Detection, with a Smile Shutter mode that recognizes facial expressions to trigger the shutter. The camera also features a number of in-camera retouching effects, as well as slideshow playback complete with music that's stored on board.
|Size: 4.6x3.2x3.4 inches |
Weight: 19.3 ounces
Storage: Memory Stick Duo/PRO Duo
File Types: JPEG, AVI
Estimated Street Price: $399