Friday, July 29, 2011
Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:30 AM
"The so-called 'Travel Zoom' category was effectively invented by Panasonic, with the Lumix DMC-TZ1. Released in 2006, the TZ1 was the first camera with a 10x optical zoom lens that could truly be called 'compact', and although Panasonic had the field to itself for a while, it wasn't long before other manufacturers started to move into the same space. Fast forward to 2011, and almost all of the major camera manufacturers offer compact cameras with at least 10x optical zooms, up to almost 20x in some cases."
The travel zoom area is probably the last major growth area for compacts in light of compacts getting squeezed from smartphones at the low end and cheap DSLRs and cute mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras on the high end, so it would be nice to see some more innovation in this area, instead of so-so image quality tacked to a design that has not changed much from the TZ1's launch in 2006. Still, they are still popular enough, and DPReview takes a look at some of the latest round of travel zooms, and there's a surprise winner in the round-up. Hint: The brand starts with an "N". I always thought their compacts were on the lacklustre side, and in fact, the sample images are not very inspiring in some cases; the camera gets a win mostly in the way it handles and operates. Hit the link for the roundup!