New Camera Arrival
Having just written an Ode to my Casios in Business 2.0, I had to try something new…. The prior three photos in my stream are freehand shots from this FX-7.
Since I try to never use the flash indoors, I was curious about the Optical Image Stabilization feature (Mega OIS) built into the Leica lens array, a unique feature for a pocket camera. I’m not sure if I have figured out the correct photo conditions to take advantage of this feature (I tried chasing a flying bug with it =) but the photo tests by dpreview were pretty impressive. I wonder if the Casio Z55 and Z3 do so relatively well in low light because they go to f2.6 vs. the standard f2.8 in pocket cameras.
Compared to the Casio Z55, the FX-7 has a slightly better macro zoom (5cm vs. 6cm) and it is smaller, lighter, and dare I say, more stylish. The OIS feature is the most important one, but I have not had enough experience to compare that yet.
Major drawbacks vs. Casio:
1) short battery life. The battery mAh is 42% lower, and the circuitry and/or screen are less power efficient (50% by my estimate). The camera heats up noticeably during use. I am looking for a better aftermarket battery.
2) No cradle. Pulling batteries out to recharge, and draining the battery during photo uploading compounds the pain of short battery life.
Points of parity: 5MP with 3x zoom seems to be the sweet spot for pocket cameras. Both have a great assortment of automation features to help the novice take better photos. Both have a 2.5” LCD, which is essential in a pocket camera, IMHO. The viewfinder is an anachronism in cameras this size, and the much smaller area 2” screen (e.g., Canon SD400) is a pain as a viewfinder. When the Canon gets a 2.5” screen, it will be enticing with a 3cm macro and 2x the video resolution.