Three 12MP ultrazoom compact-cameras: Pentax X70, Olympus SP-590UZ and Nikon Coolpix P90

Ultrazoom compact cameras have come a long way, really long if you consider that two out of three of these sport a 24x zoom lens.

This means, in 35mm jargon, an equivalent 26-624mm zoom. The Olympus SP-590UZ, goes even further, up to 26x (676mm equiv.)!

All three have image stabilization and vibration reduction features; they all reach the 12 megapixel peak and may give you something to think about when choosing your next camera: an ultrazoom compact with DSLR-level features.

Which is the best? Fair bet… each one has its own strong points, so check out for yourself!

The Olympus SP-590UZ: with a 26x optical zoom lens covering a remarkable 26-676mm focal length range, 10fps sequential shooting, and a 12 Megapixel CCD, nothing can escape the scrutiny of the SP-590UZ.
Photographers using the latest Olympus Ultra Zoom can further increase the power of its lens to 130x using the optional TCON-17N Teleconverter.
Luckily, Dual Image Stabilisation is on hand to protect photos from blur caused by camera shake, and Shadow Adjustment Technology has been included to bring out details hidden in darker areas of the picture.
So when photographers view their results on the camera’s 6.9cm/2.7” HyperCrystal II LCD, they know that they’ll be picture perfect.

The Pentax X70 12MP CCD Digital Camera with 24x Optical Triple Shake Reduction Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD is an all-purpose digital compact camera featuring a high-magnification optical 24x zoom and 6.25x digital zoom lens.
The camera has approximately 12 effective megapixels and utilizes a 1/2.33-inch CCD image sensor.
Its lens focusing distance is 4.6 – 110.4mm (approx. 26-624mm in 35mm format) with an aperture range of F2.8(W)-F5.0(T). The X70 is able to record up to 1280 resolution video and has an ISO sensitivity of up to 6400.
It has Motion Blur Reduction, Hi-sensitivity anti-shake mode (Digital SR), and Movie shake reduction mode (Movie SR).
The camera has a 33.6 MB built-in memory with support for SD/SDHC Memory Card expandibility.
The Pentax X70 has a 2.7-inch 230K AR coating LCD display and an electronic viewfinder (200K dots) and auto and manual focus, macro shots, exposure control, exposure compensation, scene mode, playback mode, shutter speed of 1/4000-1/4 seconds, built-in flash and “Red-eye” reduction. The Pentax X70 is powered by a rechargeable D-LI92 lithium-ion battery, measures 110.5×82.5×89.5mm and weighs 390g (without battery and SD memory card).

The Nikon Coolpix P90 12.1MP Digital Camera with 24x Wide Angle Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 3 inch Tilt LCD is among the first Nikon models to advertise the manufacturer’s “four-way” Vibration Reduction image stabilization concept. In addition to optical/mechanical image stabilization, the Nikon P90 utilizes motion detection (which detects subject motion and adjusts shutter speed and/or ISO accordingly), reduced-res high-sensitivity shooting at up to ISO 6400, and Nikon’s Best Shot Selector (which “automatically takes up to 10 shots while the user presses the shutter, and saves the sharpest image”).

Shooting Modes for All
Two new shooting modes on the P90 seek to expand the camera’s utility for different user groups. Aimed at soccer moms and serious shooters alike, the Nikon P90’s Sport Continuous mode captures up to 45 reduced-resolution shots at an outrageously fast 15 fps. Family photographers are also served by a new Smart Portrait System, grouping several auto exposure technologies (including blink detection, smile detection, face detection, and red-eye reduction) for easier access when taking shots of friends and family.
In the interest of enthusiast appeal, the P90 also packs in the typical P/A/S/M manual exposure modes, as well as an electronic viewfinder.

The Nikon P90 weighs in at just over a pound so it didn’t feel like we were shackled to a mid-level DSLR. The weight reduction can be attributed to the Nikon P90’s plastic body. It was obvious that Nikon sacrificed a little structural integrity in exchange for additional controls and features.

Articulating Screen: in this case, though, the big news is that the P90’s screen is articulating (Nikon calls it “Vari-Angle”), allowing the display to be tilted “as much as 90 degrees upward or 45 degrees downward,” according to the manufacturer.

The best three ultrazoom compact cameras around: now it’s up to you to choose!


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