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Digital cameras 2012 test

We compare DSLRs, Micro Four Thirds, Four Thirds and some bridge cameras, including models from Canon, Nikon, Panasonic and Leica.
 
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  • Updated:26 Mar 2013
 

02.What to buy 2012 test

To make it into our high-end cameras recommended list, the camera must get an overall score of 70% or more. It must also get an image quality score of 70% or more.

Cameras that get an image score of 70% or more - but don't necessarily get an overall score of 70% or more - are considered to be good performers and are well worth considering at the right price.

 

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13 CHOICE buys

Canon EOS 60D + Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS

Scored 74/100 | $140074%

Good points:

• Long zoom starts at 28.8mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up very quickly.

Bad points:

• Some evidence of colour aberrations in wide mode and in tele mode.
• Monitor has some reflections and contrast is reduced in bright conditions.
• Audio has scratching noises when zooming in video mode.

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Kit + G X Vario 12-35 mm

Scored 74/100 | $299974%

Good points:

• Zoom starts at 24mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• Minimum aperture fixed across entire zoom range.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up quickly.
• Very good video quality.
• Very good viewfinder quality.
• Continuous focusing in video mode.

Bad points:

• Monitor turns blue and contrast is reduced in bright conditions.
• Audio has grinding noises when zooming in video mode.
• Changing lenses can require some force.

 

Canon EOS 60D Kit + EF-S 18-55mm IS

Scored 73/100 | $85073%

Good points:

• Zoom starts at 28.8mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up very quickly.
• Good video quality.

Bad points:

• Tendency to overexpose in bright outdoor light conditions.
• Monitor has some reflections and contrast is reduced in bright conditions.
• Audio has scratching noises when zooming in video mode.
• Strong diffuse reflections from side lighting in tele mode. (No lens hood used).

 

Nikon D7000 + AF-S G 16-85 VR

Scored 73/100 | $279973%

Good points:

• Zoom starts at 24mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• Two SDHC memory card slots.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up very quickly.
• Good video quality.

Bad points:

• Audio has scratching noises when zooming in video mode.
• Lens mount indicator is small and not easy to see in some circumstances.

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 + G Vario 14-140mm HD

Scored 73/100 | $229973%

Good points:

• Long 10x zoom starts at 28mm which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• Starts up very quickly.
• Good video quality.

Bad points:

• Monitor has severe reflections and contrast is reduced in bright conditions.
• RAW images are noisy and have reduced resolution at ISO1600. JPEG images have increased noise at ISO3200.

 

Canon EOS 600D Kit + EF-S 18-55mm IS II

Scored 72/100 | $90072%

Good points:

• Zoom starts at 28.8mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• Starts up quickly.

Bad points:

• Monitor suffers from reflections in daylight.
• Scratchy noise if changing focus or zooming when recording video.
• Strong reflections from side lighting in tele mode. This is still apparent, but less severe in Wide mode. (No lens hood used).

 

Nikon D7000 Kit + AF-S G 18-105 VR

Scored 72/100 | $209972%

Good points:

• Zoom starts at 27mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• Two SDHC memory card slots.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up very quickly.
• Good video quality.

Bad points:

• Audio has scratching noises when zooming in video mode.
• Lens mount indicator is small and not easy to see in some circumstances.

 

Olympus E-5 + Zuiko 14-54 mm II

Scored 72/100 | $219972%

Good points:

• Zoom starts at 28mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• Two memory card slots, SDHC and Compact Flash.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up very quickly.

Bad points:

• Monitor suffers from reflections and a loss of contrast in daylight. Contrast and brightness are reduced in poor lighting conditions.
• Some vignetting in wide mode.

 

Sony alpha 55V Kit + 18-55mm DT SAM SAL1855

Scored 72/100 | $129972%

Good points:

• Zoom starts at 27mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up very quickly.
• Good video quality.

Bad points:

• Tendency to underexpose in bright outdoor light conditions.
• Poor overall audio performance.

 

Canon EOS 60D Kit + EF-S 18-135mm IS

Scored 71/100 | $120071%

Good points:

• Zoom starts at 28.8mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up very quickly.
• Good video quality.

Bad points:

• Tendency to overexpose in very low light conditions.
• Monitor has some reflections and contrast is reduced in bright conditions.
• Audio has scratching noises when zooming in video mode.
• Strong reflections from side lighting in tele mode. (No lens hood used).

 

Canon EOS 7D - EF-S 18-135mm IS

Scored 71/100 | $160071%

Good points:

• Zoom starts at 28.8mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up quickly.
• Good video quality.

Bad points:

• In Auto mode, tends to overexpose in both bright and low light conditions.
• Colour saturation tends towards yellow in some circumstances.
• Some evidence of colour aberrations in wide mode, but not in tele mode.
• Auto-focus is unreliable close up in movie mode.
• Monitor suffers from reflections in daylight.
• Scratchy noise if changing focus or zooming when recording video.

 

Leica V-Lux 4

Scored 71/100 | $100071%

Good points:

• Long 24x zoom starts at 25mm which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• Minimum aperture fixed across entire zoom range.
• 70MB of internal memory.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• Good monitor and viewfinder scores.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up quickly.
• Continuous focusing in video mode.

Bad points:

• Pictures indoors without flash are somewhat pale and have a slight blue tint.
• Video images are sharp when the camera is still, but lose sharpness when panning.
• Buzzing and grinding noises if changing focus or zooming when recording video.
• RAW images are noisy at ISO1600 plus.
• Reduced resolution in wide and tele modes.

 

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

Scored 71/100 | $79971%

Good points:

• • Very long zoom (24x) starts at 25mm, which is good for indoors and landscape photography.
• 70MB of internal memory.
• Minimum aperture f2.8 across entire zoom range.
• HDMI connection built-in.
• Starts up quickly.
• Monitor can be tilted in vertical and horizontal directions.
• Continuous focusing in video mode.

Bad points:

• Pictures indoors without flash are pale and have a blue tint.
• Video images in low light conditions lose sharpness when panning.
• Audio has buzzing and grinding noises when focussing.
• Noise increases and resolution is reduced at higher ISO settings (1600 or more).