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New advanced cameras pack features into small packages

Consumer Reports News: September 28, 2012 11:38 AM

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Traditionally, thin and lightweight digital cameras offer great portability—if you're willing to sacrifice some of the bells and whistles found in larger and heavier models. That's no longer necessarily the case, as we've seen with some of the advanced cameras we've tested recently in our labs.

Some new point-and-shoot cameras are now much easier to slip into your pocket or purse, but still offer the sophisticated features—better lenses (with larger glass elements), more controls, more manual features, and larger sensors—desired by most experienced photographers.

For example, the 20-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 advanced point-and-shoot has lots of advanced features and manual controls, including the ability to shoot RAW and a control ring (located at the base of the lens), which lets you select different settings, such as aperture or focus, depending on your shooting mode. But it's only about 1 3/8-inches thick and weighs just 9 ounces—about the same size and weight as the Nikon Coolpix S8200 (a basic model that lacks RAW capability and a larger sensor for better image quality).

Sony seems determined to continue to push the envelope on smaller advanced cameras. Recently, the company announced the 24-megapixel Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1, the first—and currently, the smallest—camera to include a full-frame sensor. Before now, full-frame sensors were generally found on only the bulkiest and largest D-SLRs.

For the details on other new cameras, check out our latest digital camera Ratings.

Terry Sullivan

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