The Register Columnists

George Cole

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Group Test Touchscreen Compact Cameras

Best Buys: Touchscreen Compact Cameras

Group Test So how did they do? At £120, the Nikon Coolpix S4000 offers great value for money and is a great way into the world of touchscreen cameras. But serious snappers will lament the lack of an optical image stabilisation system, no HDMI port, and disappointing picture quality. Group Test Touchscreen Compact Cameras The Fujifilm …
George Cole, 11 Aug 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-TX7

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7

Review The tiny power button on this Sony Cyber-shot seems rather superfluous, as sliding the lens cover switches the DSC-TX7 on or off rather neatly. The touchscreen is large, clear, bright and responsive. The on-screen icons are arranged vertically on both sides of the screen, and a nice touch is that you can customise the icon …
George Cole, 11 Aug 2010
Samsung ST5500

Samsung ST5500

Review When it comes to technology, Samsung steers its own course. First off, the ST5500 uses a 3.7in AMOLED screen and has an abundance of technology on-board including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and AllSave – part of the DLNA wireless content sharing standard. Samsung ST5500 So far, so good, but it’s a shame that Samsung has opted to use …
George Cole, 11 Aug 2010
Panasonic DMC-FX70

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX70

Review Panasonic has updated its camera design with the Lumix DMC-FX70, and very nice it looks too, with a stylish curve on the right side of the camera body and a lovely matt black and silver finish. Panasonic DMC-FX70 However, on switch on, the screen looks a bit cluttered with icons on the top, right and bottom of the screen. …
George Cole, 11 Aug 2010
Nikon Coolpix S4000

Nikon Coolpix S4000

Review A touchscreen camera for just £120? Well, if it was a dodgy brand you’d never heard of, you might not be surprised, but no one would describe Nikon in such terms. Nikon Coolpix S4000 According to retailers selling the Coolpix S4000, it’s going for half the suggested retail price, which either means Christmas has come early or …
George Cole, 11 Aug 2010
Fujifilm Finepix Z700 EXR

Fujifilm Finepix Z700EXR

Review This is the second cheapest touchscreen model, but you would never have guessed by its looks or design. It’s sleek, feels reassuringly solid and sports a rather nifty sliding lens cover, which turns the camera on or off. Fujifilm Finepix Z700 EXR It also includes Fujifilm’s Super CCD EXR sensor and a 5x optical zoom, although …
George Cole, 11 Aug 2010
Group Test Touchscreen Compact Cameras

Buyer's Guide: Touchscreen Compact Cameras

Group Test Most camera touchscreens are around 3.5in in size with the best being large, clear, bright and highly responsive, but not overly sensitive. Most touchscreens use TFT LCD displays, although Active Matrix OLED (AMOLED) technology appears on compacts too. The advantages of OLED technology over LCD are that the screens can be made …
George Cole, 11 Aug 2010
Group Test Touchscreen Compact Cameras

Touchscreen Compact Cameras

Group Test The runaway success of products such as the Apple iPhone and iPad, which make extensive use of touchscreen technology, has shown that consumers love this type of interface – provided it’s executed properly. When you think about it, touchscreens are a logical choice for compact cameras, which over time, have become smaller, …
George Cole, 11 Aug 2010
Canon Ixus 210

Canon Ixus 210

Review Canon Ixus 210 Canon’s first touchscreen compact, the Digital Ixus 200 IS was a disappointing offering, not helped by Canon providing both touchscreen operation and standard button control. Canon Ixus 210 The Ixus 210, however, is a different animal, offering just a three-way slider – for auto, program AE and movie modes – a …
George Cole, 11 Aug 2010

Ten Essential... Budget Compact Cameras

Product Round-up The credit crunch has made many of us cost-conscious consumers, and so it’s no surprise that more people are taking a closer look at sub-£150 cameras. And with summer holidays coming up, now's the time to take a peek. Naturally, at this price point, you're looking at a compact model, but you might be surprised by some of the …
George Cole, 12 Jul 2010
Samsung HMX-U10

Samsung HMX-U10

Review The success of Flip’s pocket camcorders has seen a fair few manufacturers scrambling to grab a share of this potentially lucrative market. Many of us, it seems, quite like the idea of owning a product that lies somewhere between a cameraphone and a camcorder. Samsung’s HMX-U10 is for the person who wants a highly portable …
George Cole, 03 Mar 2010
Toshiba Camileo S20

Toshiba Camileo S20

Review Toshiba’s Camileo S20 is aimed at a very demanding consumer. The type of consumer who wants a highly portable pocket camcorder with HD recording, and yet, has a budget of just £120. So, the Camileo S20 seems to offer it all – price, performance and portability. But can it really deliver so much for so little? Toshiba Camileo …
George Cole, 24 Feb 2010
Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1

Fujifilm Finepix Real 3D W1

Review The world seems to have gone 3D crazy. Crowds are flocking to see the 3D movie Avatar; consumer electronics companies are promising 3DTVs and Blu-ray Disc players, and broadcasters, such as Sky, are set to launch 3DTV services. Fujifilm has also got in on the act with the Finepix Real 3D W1, a camera for the masses that captures …
George Cole, 05 Feb 2010
Sony Cybershot DSC-WX1

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX1

Review Sony is renowned for its stylish compacts, and the DSC-WX1 is no exception. It not only looks smart, but contains some interesting technology too. At around £300, the DSC-WX1 is aimed at the top-end of the compact market, but do its features and performance justify the price? Sony Cybershot DSC-WX1 Broaden your horizons with …
George Cole, 20 Jan 2010
Pentax K-7

Pentax K-7

Review Last February we looked at the Pentax K-m, a rather tasty entry-level DSLR. Yet the K-7 is a different kettle of fish from the K-m, it’s a more advanced model aimed at the enthusiast/semi-pro market. Pentax K-7 Environment friendly? Pentax's K-7 Measuring up at 96.5 x 130.5 x 72.5mm and weighing 750g with battery and card, …
George Cole, 15 Jan 2010
Canon Ixus 200 IS

Canon Digital Ixus 200 IS

Review Some digital cameras cry out to be touched. They’re sleek, they’re stylish and it’s hard resist the temptation to pick them up. Canon’s range of Ixus cameras falls into this category, and the Digital Ixus 200 IS takes this step a further by being the first Ixus to offer a touchscreen interface. Canon Ixus 200 IS Touching …
George Cole, 13 Jan 2010
Nikon Coolpix S1000pj

Nikon Coolpix S1000pj

Review Every now and again, you come across a product that makes you think: How on earth did they do that? Well, Nikon’s Coolpix S1000pj is such a beast, because it’s a compact digital camera with a built-in pico projector. Nikon Coolpix S1000pj The little picture show: Nikon's Coolpix S1000pj In fact, it would appear it’s the first …
George Cole, 08 Jan 2010
Ricoh CX2

Ricoh CX2

Review It doesn’t seem five minutes since we looked at the CX1 – well, back in April actually – so it’s quite surprise to find that Ricoh has already launched its successor, the CX2. Again, this is a super-zoom compact seemingly aimed at the enthusiast or the DSLR user who occasionally wants to pack something simpler and smaller. That …
George Cole, 20 Nov 2009
Fujifilm F200 EXR

Fujifilm Finepix F200EXR

Review The Finepix F200EXR is the replacement for the Finepix F100fd, which we looked at last January. Although there are a number of similarities between the two cameras – they have the same sized image sensor, optical zoom and camera body – there are some differences too, not least the Finepix F200EXR’s new EXR image sensor. …
George Cole, 18 Nov 2009
Olympus PEN EP-1

Olympus PEN E-P1 Micro Four-Thirds camera

Review Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. We used to looked back at past technologies with fond memories, but be grateful that we lived in the modern world. Now, it seems, some of us want a piece of both the past and the present, with gadgets combining an old exterior with a modern interior. Olympus PEN EP-1 Olympus' PEN EP-1: not …
George Cole, 13 Nov 2009
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6

Review Panasonic’s DMC-TZ6 could be considered the little brother or, if you want to be a little less charitable, a stripped-down version of the DMC-TZ7 we looked at in August. Both models are super-zoom compacts or Travel-cams, designed for the person who wants a big optical zoom in a pocket-sized camera. The DMC-TZ6 is around £60 …
George Cole, 06 Nov 2009
Ricoh GR Digital III

Ricoh GR Digital III compact camera

Review Sometimes, less is more. Take Ricoh’s GR Digital III. It’s a compact camera costing more than £500, but if you’re looking for masses of megapixels, countless scene modes, HD movie recording or even an optical zoom, then forget it. This is the digital camera equivalent of the fixed-gear bicycle; a product for enthusiasts who …
George Cole, 11 Sep 2009
Panasonic DMC-TZ7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7

Review Panasonic’s DMC-TZ7 has been around for a while now, although the company maintains it in its current range. It's not surprising, because it’s one of the few compact super-zooms on the market that includes HD recording – its closest rival is Canon’s PowerShot SX200 IS. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7 Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-TZ7 The DMC …
George Cole, 21 Aug 2009
Kodak Easyshare M420

Kodak Easyshare M420

Review Kodak’s Easyshare M420 is aimed at the person looking for a reasonably cheap and convenient, compact camera that will basically take care of business, allowing you to simply point and shoot. As Kodak’s founder George Eastman once said: “You press the button, we do the rest.” So, the Easyshare M420 is cheap, but is it cheerful? …
George Cole, 07 Aug 2009
Pentax Optio W80

Pentax Optio W80

Review There are some things you should never mix with water, such as a fine malt or electricity. Another is your digital camera, unless you happen to be the proud owner of a Pentax Optio W80. Pentax Optio W80 Waterproof and grit resistant: Pentax's Optio W80 This novel-looking camera is designed to be used underwater. It has a JIS …
George Cole, 24 Jul 2009
Nikon D5000

Nikon D5000 digital SLR

Review You’ve got to hand it to those marketing bods who are constantly on the lookout for a gap in the market. Not so long ago, digital SLRs were neatly divided into high-end/entry-level models, but now, consumer DSLRs come in a variety of specifications aimed at specific groups of users. Nikon’s D5000 is a good example. It’s …
George Cole, 17 Jul 2009
Sony DSC-HX1

Sony Cybershot DSC-HX1

Review These days you’re rather spoilt for choice when it comes to super zoom compacts, and so it’s simply not enough to offer a camera sporting an extra-long zoom; you’ve got to make it stand out in the crowd. Sony reckons the DSC-HX1 offers something special beyond a 20x optical zoom, to tempt the super zoom customer, including a …
George Cole, 10 Jul 2009
Nikon Coolpix S630

Nikon Coolpix S630

Review Some products remind you of certain things, and in the case of the Nikon Coolpix S630, it’s a banana. You can’t help but notice the curvature of the camera body, which sweeps gently towards the right. But although the Coolpix S630 comes in a variety of colours, yellow isn’t one of them. Nikon Coolpix S630 Nikon's Coolpix S630 …
George Cole, 03 Jul 2009
Vivitek H9080FD

Vivitek readies UK debut of world’s first LED Full HD DLP projector

Californian presentation and display technology company Vivitek is launching a full-frontal assault on the UK projector market, with the launch of the H9080FD, billed as the world’s first LED Full HD DLP home cinema projector. Vivitek plans to launch some 30 DLP projectors aimed at all sectors – corporate, education and consumer …
George Cole, 24 Jun 2009
Kodak EasyShare Z915

Kodak EasyShare Z915

Review Kodak is the latest company to enter the super-zoom market, with the EasyShare Z915. Equipped with a 10x optical zoom, plus a good sprinkling of features, it is aimed at the person who wants to get closer to the action with their compact camera. What’s more, it sells for less than £200. So do you really get more for less with …
George Cole, 19 Jun 2009
Canon Digital Ixus 95 IS

Canon Digital Ixus 95 IS

Review Some people want style. Others want simplicity. And then there are those who want both. If you belong to this last group, then Canon’s Digital Ixus 95 IS could be just the ticket. This compact camera is aimed at the point-and-shoot snapper who fancies a camera that looks good and takes decent pictures with the minimum of effort …
George Cole, 12 Jun 2009
Samsung WB500

Samsung WB500

Review Camera manufacturers are always looking for some unique selling proposition. In the case of the Samsung WB500, it’s been marketed as world’s first compact with the equivalent of a 24mm, ultra wide optical 10x zoom. But with a few other models, such as Panasonic’s DMC-TZ6 and DMC-TZ7, already equipped with a 25mm lens, this isn’t …
George Cole, 29 May 2009
Kodak Easyshare 1093 IS

Kodak EasyShare M1093 IS

Review “EasyShare” is a lovely name, isn’t it? It’s all soft and cuddly and suggests that your camera is friendly little thing that will let you share your images with all and sundry. Well, top marks to Kodak’s marketing bods for the name, but does the EasyShare M1093 IS deliver in terms of features, performance and ease of use? Kodak …
George Cole, 22 May 2009
Canon EOS 500D

Canon EOS 500D

Review Digital SLRs are generally aimed at three distinct groups: beginners, advanced users and pros. Occasionally, a model emerges that doesn’t fit so neatly into any of these categories. Take the Canon EOS 500D – a high-end, entry level DSLR perhaps? Then again, it could also be a low-end, mid-range camera. So is the EOS 500D simply …
George Cole, 15 May 2009
Canon PowerShot D10

Canon PowerShot D10

Review Go on, admit it, when you first clapped eyes on Canon’s PowerShot D10, you thought: “That’s a kiddie’s camera!” Well, the PowerShot D10’s bulbous shape, large buttons and brightly coloured face plate certainly give it the air of a child’s toy, but it’s really designed for outdoor activities like, climbing, snorkelling, trekking …
George Cole, 11 May 2009
Nikon Coolpix P90

Nikon Coolpix P90 bridge camera

Review You know, there’s a lot to be said for superzoom cameras. Instead of lugging around a DSLR camera and a stack of lenses, you can stick a massive zoom onto a camera that’s a little smaller than your average DSLR and simply carry that around. Nikon’s Coolpix P90 is a superzoom bridge camera with a whopping 24x zoom. It’s aimed at …
George Cole, 01 May 2009
Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS compact camera

Review So, you’re off on your travels and you’re wondering what type of camera to pack along with the suntan lotion and the insect repellent. A digital SLR takes great photos, but it’s a bit on the bulky side. A compact is highly pocketable but there are compromises when it comes to performance, while a hybrid doesn’t save you a great …
George Cole, 24 Apr 2009
Ricoh CX1

Ricoh CX1

Review The performance of compact cameras has greatly improved over the years, largely as a result of advances in auto technology. Improved autofocus, white balance and exposure systems mean that most pictures will turn out sharp and correctly exposed, while face- and smile-detection systems mean you're more likely to snap your subject …
George Cole, 09 Apr 2009
Pentax Optio E70

Pentax Optio E70L

Review A credit crunch camera or a model aimed at the digital beginner? You can take your pick when it comes to the Pentax Optio E70L. This budget camera costs less than £100, which is nice, but there’s a big difference between offering a low price and good value for money. Buying cheap can be an expensive mistake, so where does the …
George Cole, 27 Mar 2009
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS7

Review The sub-£200 digital camera market is a cutthroat sector with big-name - and not so big name - companies launching a plethora of models that offer an impressive range of features and an even more impressive performance. In other words, if you want to be a winner, you’re going to have to offer something that’s just a little …
George Cole, 18 Mar 2009
Pentax Optio P70

Pentax Optio P70

Review Everything about the Pentax Optio P70 suggests fun. It’s got an ultra-thin, sleek design, is available in several colours - our review sample came in a rather fetching marine blue - and is crammed with features designed to make digital photography a hassle-free experience, including face recognition, smile detection and enough …
George Cole, 09 Mar 2009

Sony DSLR-A900 Alpha 900 digital SLR

Review If cameras were rated on specifications alone, Sony’s Alpha 900 would be a hard act to beat. Let’s consider the evidence: there’s a full-frame Exmore CMOS sensor packed with 24.6 million pixels - and, please note, this is the effective number. The sensor measures 35.9 x 24mm. Other goodies include a built-in image stabilisation …
George Cole, 02 Mar 2009
Canon PowerShot G10

Canon PowerShot G10

Review Camera manufacturers are forever searching for the Holy Grail. They know there’s a vast army of people out there who want a camera that’s small enough to slip into a pocket, but which also delivers top-notch performance that’s closer to a digital SLR than a compact. Canon PowerShot G10 Canon's PowerShot G10: photo geek friendly …
George Cole, 20 Feb 2009

Pentax K-m entry-level digital SLR

Review We’ve all been there: you go into a store with a fixed budget in mind then spot a product that makes you think: 'Hmm. If I spend a bit more, I can get an even better model than the one I had planned for.' Well, if you’re setting out to buy a high-end digital compact, you could well change your mind if you clamp your eyes on the …
George Cole, 06 Feb 2009

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12Mp µ4/3s camera

Review You know the saying: if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck. Well, Panasonic’s DMC-G1 looks like a digital SLR, has interchangeable lenses like a DSLR – but it isn’t a DLSR. No sir, the G1 ushers in a new generation of cameras designed to blast a hole right through the middle of …
George Cole, 30 Jan 2009

Fujifilm Finepix F100fd compact camera

Review Some digital cameras are designed to sit on a shop shelf and shout: 'Here I am! Take a good look at me!. They're brash, bold and designed to poke you in the eye, from a stylistic point of view. Not so Fujifilm’s Finepix F100fd. Some might describe its design as conservative - a bit boring, even - but we think 'understated' is …
George Cole, 22 Jan 2009

Canon Digital Ixus 980 IS compact camera

Review There’s an ‘R’ in the month, so it must be time for another Canon camera. Okay, we exaggerate a little, but you have to admit, Canon does churn out new models at a rate of knots. At the time of writing, the 980 IS is the top-of-the-range Ixus, so what does it offer to earn this position? Canon Digital Ixus 980 Canon's Digital …
George Cole, 15 Jan 2009

Nikon D90 digital SLR with HD video recording

Review Life can be a confusing business. You’ve got mobile phones that double up as cameras, and cameras that record video. Well, prepare to be even more confused as cameras begin to capture HD video. Nikon’s D90 proudly claims to be the world’s first DSLR to record HD video. So does this mean the end of the camcorder as we know it - …
George Cole, 05 Jan 2009

Fujifilm FinePix S100 FS digital camera

Review Who wants a bridge camera these days? After all, you can always opt for a super-zoom compact or an entry-level digital SLR. Well, according to Fujifilm, the FinePix S100 FS “provides the manual controls and functionality of a DSLR without the bulk, hassle and expense of additional lenses”. At first glance, you’d be forgiven for …
George Cole, 04 Dec 2008

Nikon Coolpix S710 compact camera

Review The Coolpix S710 was one of four new compacts released by Nikon this autumn. It's the top-of-the-range model, so the person likely to buy this camera is someone looking for more than a basic compact but less than an entry-level DSLR. Will they be delighted or disappointed? Nikon Coolpix S710 Nikon's Coolpix S710: clean and …
George Cole, 19 Nov 2008