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Comparing Nikon P300 vs Canon S95 vs Panasonic LX5 Advanced Compact Cameras

2011-03-29 01:54 | Source
7813 reviews
On February 8 2011, Nikon announced the new COOLPIX P500 and P300 high-end compact digital cameras. 

The P300 is a brand new model for the P-series, aimed at those who are passionate about photography and want to use the full capacity of a superior compact camera. It features a 12.2 Megapixels backside illumination CMOS sensor, a super-fast Wide-Angle 4.2x Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens (24mm-100mm, 35mm equivalent) with a maximum aperture of f/1.8 for capturing stunning, tack-sharp images and Full HD (1080p) video. The COOLPIX P300 is listed for retail at $329.95 MSRP and currently selling at around $327. It is only offered in black color.

On August 19 2010, Canon announced three new high-performance PowerShot cameras - the PowerShot S95, the SD4500 IS (aka IXUS 1000 HS in Europe) and the SX130 IS Digital cameras. The PowerShot S95 premium compact is a successor to the popular S90 camera model, which was recently at #1 on the top 10 best selling camera ranking. This S95 model includes an upgraded sensor capable of 720p HD video recording as well as multi-aspect ratio shooting. The S95 also equipped with an HDMI port and stereo sound recording. It's also the first PowerShot to feature in-camera high dynamic range processing. With use of a tripod, the S95 will capture three successive images and combine them into one image with a wider apparent dynamic range.  The camera supports SDXC memory cards and some additional scene modes. Other than these features it inherits a lightly tweaked version of the S90's basic body design including the control ring, 28-105mm F2.0-4.9 stabilized lens, Digic IV image processor, RAW image capture and 3.0-inch LCD. For the advanced amateur shooters, the control ring allows the shooter to access manual control options and RAW shooting capabilities. The S95 is currently selling at around $364

On July 21 2010, Panasonic announced the Lumix LX5 which is the successor to the popular premium compact LX3. Boasting an improved set of features including a redesigned Leica lens with a longer zoom range, the LX5 also comes complete with redesigns to the sensor and processor, new 1:1 square aspect ratio, improved handling and several smaller changes. The newly developed super bright F2.0 ultra wide angle 24mm LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON lens minimizes distortion for stunning, true-to-life images with outstanding resolution and detail. The 24mm of wide angle offers extraordinarily large viewing space and now the optical zoom is extended to 3.8x (90mm) making the LX5 even more versatile. 

The 10.1 Megapixel CCD in the LX3 has been redesigned to achieve the expansion of dynamic range by increasing the sensitivity and the saturation. The Venus Engine FHD is also redesigned for advanced signal processing in both photo and movie recording. The high sensitivity made possible by the new sensor and the superior signal processing by the new imaging engine especially elevates the picture quality in low light situations. For the movie recording, the DMC-LX5 is newly compatible with long time high quality HD movie recording in AVCHD Lite in addition to the conventional motion JPEG format. A host of creative options including Creative Movie mode, My Color mode and Film mode are available for more extended expression not only in photography but also in videography. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 is currently selling at around $398. Here is the summary of review of the three advanced compact cameras by ePhotoZine:

"The three camera's provide a wide range of features, and go to show that the digital camera market is alive and well, with interesting, innovative, and competitive products, with each model differencing itself enough to make each camera worthy of your attention depending on your needs. All of the cameras are capable of producing excellent images, especially when compared to standard point and shoot cameras, however the strengths and weaknesses are what sets these cameras apart. With two of them the strengths are most obvious, with another, the weaknesses are the most apparent. How the strengths and weaknesses apply to you depends on what you want from a camera, and if you want the smallest camera of the three, then the most obvious choice is the Canon Powershot S95. 

The Panasonic LX5 is the most flexible and advanced with support for hot-shoe, and produces the highest quality images. While the Nikon Coolpix P300 is the fastest shooting with a backlit CMOS sensor and 8fps shooting, and also offers the highest resolution video. The Canon is the smallest with full manual support, including RAW, but unfortunately suffers from the lowest battery life, least grip-able body, and doesn't allow the use of optical zoom in videos, however, if you need the smallest camera with manual controls it's worth a look. Overall the Panasonic Lumix LX5 delivers excellent image quality, excellent build quality, excellent lens, rapid performance, and expansion options, making it an exceptional choice for any serious photographer, and is therefore my "Editor's Choice" and deserves high praise. The Nikon Coolpix P300 with smaller sensor produces good results, better than some expected thanks to the backlit CMOS sensor, and extremely rapid performance in the form of 8fps shooting, high speed video and full HD video recording, and is therefore Highly Recommended (and a close second)."

ModelCoolpix P300Powershot S95DMC-LX5
StyleAdvanced CompactAdvanced CompactAdvanced Compact
LCD Screen3-inch TFT-LCD with Anti-reflection coating with 921,000 dots3.0-inch TFT color with wide viewing angle w/ 461,000 pixels, 100% coverage3.0-inch TFT Screen LCD Display (460K dots), AR Coating
Memory CardsSD memory card SDHC memory card SDXC memory card with 90MB internal memorySD/SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus Card, HC MMCplus CardBuilt-in Memory, SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card
Resolution4000 x 3000 (12M)Still Image: 16:9: Large: 3648 x 2048, Medium 1: 2816 x 1584, Medium 2: 1920 x 1080, Small: 640 x 36016:9 Aspect Ratio (Still Image) 3968x2232 (9M) / 3328x1872 (6M) / 2784x1568 (4.5M) / 2208x1248 (2.5M) / 1920x1080 (2M) / 640x360 (0.2M)
File FormatsStill pictures: JPEG Audio file format: AAC stereo Full HD: 1920x1080p / 30fps Movie file format: MPEG-4 AVC H.264Still Image: Exif 2.3 (JPEG) RAW (CR2 (Canon Original)); Video: MOV (Image: H.264; Audio: Linear PCM (Stereo)) Still Image: JPEG(DCF/Exif2.3) Image with Audio: JPEG (DCF / Exif2.3) + QuickTime Motion picture: AVCHD Lite, QuickTime Motion JPEG
Focal Length4.2x zoom, 4.3-17.9mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 24-100mm lens in 35mm [135] format)3.8x zoom 6.0 (W)-22.5mm (T) f/2.0-4.9 (35mm equivalent: 28-105mm)3.8x zoom, f=5.1-19.2mm (24-90mm in 35mm equiv.) (25-95mm in 35mm equiv. in movie recording)
Shutter Speed1/2000-8 sec. (M mode)Auto (1 - 1/1600 sec), 15-1/1600 secStill: 60 - 1/4000 sec
Aperturef/1.8-4.9f/2.0 (W) - f/4.9 (T)F2.0 - 3.3 / Multistage Iris Diaphragm (F2.0 - 8 (W) / F3.3 - 8 (T))
ISO SensitivityISO 160-3200 Auto (auto gain ISO 160-1600) Fixed range auto (ISO 160-400, 160-800)Auto, ISO 80, ISO 100, ISO 125, ISO 160, ISO 200, ISO 250, ISO 320, ISO 400, ISO 500, ISO 640, ISO 800, ISO 1000, ISO 1250, ISO 1600, ISO 2000, ISO 2500, ISO 3200 equivalent in P ModeAuto / i.ISO / 80 / 100 / 200 / 400 / 800 / 1600 / 3200 / 6400* / 12800* (* by pixel mixed readout) High Sensitivity (ISO 1600-12800)
White Balance SettingsNot SuppliedAuto, Preset (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Flash, Underwater), CustomAuto / Daylight / Cloudy / Shade/Flash / Halogen / Color Temperature / White Set 1 / 2
Flash ModesTTL auto flash with monitor preflashesAuto, Auto w/ Red-eye Reduction, Flash On, Flash On w/ Red-eye Reduction, Flash Off; FE lock, Safety FE, Slow SynchroAuto, Auto/Red-eye Reduction, Forced On, Slow Sync./Red-eye Reduction, Forced Off,Flash Synchro; 1st / 2nd
Flash Range[W]: 0.5 to 6.5m (1 ft. 8in. to 21ft.) [T]: 0.5 to 2.5m (1ft. 8in. to 8ft. 2in.)1.6-21 ft./50cm-6.5m (W), 3.0 - 9.8 ft./90cm - 3.0cm (T) (when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto)0.8 - 7.2m (Wide/ISO Auto), 0.3 - 4.4m (Tele/ISO Auto)
Shooting ModesBack Light Beach Black and White Copy Close Up Dusk/Dawn Fireworks Show Food Landscape Museum Night Landscape Night Portrait Panorama Party/Indoor Pet Portrait Portrait Scene Auto Selector Snow Special Effects Sports SunsetAuto, P, Av, Tv, M, C, Low Light, Special Scene (Portrait, Landscape, Kids&Pets, Smart Shutter*, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, High Dynamic Range, Nostalgic, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Stitch Assist), Movie (Standard, MiniaPortrait, Soft Skin, Self-Portrait, Scenery, Panorama Assist, Sports, Night Portrait, Night Scenery, High Sensitivity, Food, Party, Candle Light, Baby1/2, Pet, Sunset, Hi-Speed Burst, Flash Burst, Starry Sky, Fireworks, Beach, Snow, Aerial photo
Maximum Movie Resolution1920x1080p1280 x 720 (24 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps);1280x720 pixels,60p(CCD output is 30p) (AVCHD Lite, SH: 17Mbps / H:13Mbps / L:9Mbps) / 30fps (Motion JPEG)
Maximum Movie Frames Per Second30 fps24/30 fps30 fps
Maximum Movie DurationTo capacity of memory cardN/AAVCHD or AVCHD Lite with picture quality set to [FSH or SH] approx.140 min MOTION JPEG with picture
Macro Focus[W]: Approx. 1.2 in. (3 cm.) to infinity2.0 in. - 1.6 ft./5 - 50cm (W) 12 in. - 1.6 ft./ 30 - 50cm (T) 1cms
Metering224-segment matrix, center-weightedEvaluative, Center-weighted average, SpotIntelligent Multiple / Center-weighted / Spot
Image StabilizationYes, Lens-shift VRYes (Lens-Shift)Yes, Power O.I.S. (Off / Auto / Mode1 / Mode2) Photo & Movie
Self TimerCan be selected from 10 and 2 seconds durationCustom (0 - 15 sec. (in one-second increments), 20/25/30 sec.)2sec / 10sec
Video Out (TV Playback)Yes, NTSC PAL HDMIYes, NTSC/PALYes, AV Output (NTSC), mini HDMI
BatteriesRechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12Rechargeable Battery Pack NB-6LID-Security Li-ion Battery Pack (3.6V, Minimum: 1250mAh) (Included)
DimensionsHeight: 2.3 in. (58.3mm) Width: 4.1 in. (103mm) Depth: 1.3 in. (32mm)3.93 x 2.30 x 1.16 in. (99.8 x 58.4 x 29.5mm)4.32 x 2.58 x 1.69 in
Weight6.7 oz. (189g) with battery and SD memory card6.00 oz. / 170g .51lb
Other InfoTop Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution Up to 7 shots at approx. 8 frames per secondContinuous Shooting Normal: Approx. 1.9 shots/sec. (when shooting in P mode), Approx. 3.9 shots/sec. (when shooting in Low Light mode); AF: Approx. 0.7 shots/sec. (when shooting in P mode), Approx. 1.0 shots/sec. (when shooting in Low Light mode); LV: Approx. 0.8 shots/sec. (when shooting in P mode), Approx. 1.1 shots/sec. (when shooting in Low Light mode)Continuous Shooting Mode Full-Resolution Image, 2.5 frames/sec Max. 5 images (Standard mode), Max. 3 img (Fine Mode)High-speed Burst Mode: approx. 6 frames/sec (img priority) approx. 10 frames/sec (speed priority) recorded in 3M for 4:3,2.5M for 3:2,2M for 16:9,2.5M for1:1)
Release Date2011-02-082010-08-182010-07-21

Nikon Coolpix P300 Sample Photos on Flickr

Nikon Coolpix P300 Camera Reviews Roundup

PhotographicCentral - Dec 18 2011
"Overall I find the Coolpix P300 to be a camera that won't dazzle you, but it's very functional and does the majority of photo work pretty well. I find it's strengths lie in its versatile focal length, especially for indoors and for scenery. Long zoomers look beyond the P300- it's not that kind of camera. Also worth noting is that the P300 is very lightweigh..." More »
Not Rated
CNET US - Sep 13 2011
"The P300 turns out very good photos for a point-and-shoot that will stand up nicely to 10x13 prints or smaller and Web use. However, even at its lowest ISOs, subjects look a little overprocessed when viewed at full size. In fact, if you are looking for photos good enough to heavily crop and then use at large sizes, this camera isn't for you. Though its sens..." More »
70out of 100
MacWorld - Aug 16 2011
"In our lab's subjective tests for image and video quality, the Nikon Coolpix P300 performed well, serving up above-average still images in Auto mode that exhibited outstanding sharpness for a point-and-shoot camera. The Coolpix P300 earned scores of Very Good for both image sharpness and lack of distortion, while on exposure quality and color accuracy it ne..." More »
70out of 100
Digital Camera Review - Aug 11 2011
"Looking at the specifications for the P300 it becomes fairly obvious why the camera earned a "P" (for performance) designation from Nikon. The inclusion of the backside illuminated sensor is a promising technology in the field of noise reduction; manual shooting controls are generally found on cameras catering to more serious shooters; full 1080 H..." More »
80out of 100

Nikon Coolpix P300 Reviews Roundup [Total 16 Reviews] »

Nikon Coolpix P300 Camera Recent User Reviews

this is an excellent choice. I bought it to replace an older ..., R. Holt - Sep 21 2014
For a small portable camera, this is an excellent choice. I bought it to replace an older and slightly larger Nikon that I thought I had lost. I found the old one eventually but prefer this because of its smaller profile. My only complaint is that the cover for the battery/SD card compartment opens too easily. I will use it until affordable and indestructible smart phones are ava...

I love love love this camera, Jennifer L. Polk - Aug 14 2014
I love love love this camera! Great things do come in small packages! This camera provides lots of options for a great variety of photo techniques. It provides wide angle with a decent zoom. I didn't buy this camera for the zoom I bought it for all of the settings it provides. You can use Auto setting to let the camera pick the settings, which it does very well, or you can manuall...

Easy Point and Shoot Camera!, Anthony McGehee "da_hammar" - Jul 01 2014
Verified Purchase ( I was looking for a camera that would function well in bright light as well as night time and still be able to take a good picture. This camera worked perfect every time. My family went on a short cruise and the pictures that I was able to capture will bring back fond memories for years to come....

I really like this camera!, Anna - Jun 14 2014
Verified Purchase ( I read this to be one of Consumer Reports best camera in Dec of 2013 and they were right! You don't need anything better. I had my mother take it with her to Rome and the picture turned out so incredibly as well as the HD filming. It was as if you were there. There is no pix-elation on the pictures or the film!...

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