for those traveling on work or vacation wanting to take memorable photographs while not carrying full-fledge equipment around,
a clear set of necessities in choosing digital cameras and camcorders among the new variety available Spring and Fall each year .

first they have to be as compact as possible, yet must boast much higher resolution than ultra-compacts, to detail when enlarged at least poster-size . and would help if the lens is bright, but sacrificed here with extended Zoom length -_-

improvements in optics from Apple’s iPhone is starting to cover basics, but except for the most casual traveler : best be left as a back-up .
so here introducing 4 set of choices, each for specific purpose .


yes, unlike an aspiring photographer the casual contender usually take turns on their favourite camera maker and I myself have migrated among Nikon, Canon, Pentax and even Olympus but after the Millennium have come back-and-forth between Panasonic and Sony .

all have Optical Zoom and Motion Stabilizer with Full-HD Video,
all introduced in Japan April 2012 and some awaiting into Korea in May .
prices are of lowest discount from larger outlets and
*two points to note :

  1. that original Japanese model numbers and export version may differ, usually with the only difference of available menu languages,
  2. local Korean product support centres have a rather strict regulation on caring for Official imports only, especially Sony


Panasonic Lumix SZ1 with 4GB Memory Card Korean import April 2012 W230,000
introduced in Japan as SZ7
16.1 Million Pixels – CCD 0.43″ 1/2.3 – 3″Monitor – x10 Zoom – Brightness F3.1~5.9 Close-Up 5cm – iso6400 – Face Recognition – Panorama – SDHC SDXC 123cc 2.1cm Thick 131g.

Zoom 35mm equivalent to 25~250mm !
and maximum Video recording until 4GB
available in White(-W), Pink(-P), Brown(-T) and Black(-K)
although only childish colors imported into South Korea, as usual

thin and ultra-portable yet with surprising Zoom range
perfect with matching cutsey carrying cases 😉
( May 12th Friday Update ) Sony DSC-W100 released a Week later for W332,000
is smaller and comes in more color options with better specifications, although a good W100,000 more expensive than SZ1 (or SZ 7 within Japan)
I would recommed this if you’re planning within this range, still the former SZ1/7 has more unique outer design // ah .. to choose


Sony HX30V selling in Japan from April 2012 Y39,800 (May 9th Update) Korean import selling from a whopping W599,000
1/2.3 CMOS Brightness F3.2~5.8 105MB inner Memory – Memory Stick Duo and SDHC SDXC
Zoom 35mm equivalent to 25~500mm !
available in Brown(T) and Black(B)

portable yet powerful, this can be the best of both Worlds //
( May 21st Update ) a lame additional introduction of HX10V
with not much difference except negligable reduced size AND weight and NO Wi-Fi -_-


Panasonic Lumix TS4 Korean import April 2012 W457,000
introduced in Japan as FT4
12.1 Million Pixels CCD: 0.43″ 1/2.3 – 2.7″ LCD x4.6 inner Zoom – Brightness F3.3~5.9 – Close-Up5 cm iso600 – Face Recognition 3D Water-Proof 12m Drop-Shock 2m -10C Freezing Temperature GPS – 20MB internal Memory SDHC SDXC HDMi-Out 176cc 2.65cm Thick

Zoom 35mm equivalent to 28~128mm
and maximum Video recording until 29 Minutes or 4GB
available in Silver(-S), Orange(-D) and Blue(-A)

for beach and under-water with optional silicone casing
although the actual device does not feel that sturdy hands-on, perhaps due to light-weight


and continuing on the oval-design from GF3, under-rated by Sony NEX series
Panasonic Lumix GF5 selling in Japan from April 2012 Y79,800
available in White(-W), Champagne(-N), Brown(-T) and Black(-K)

cute mirror-less interchangeable lens camera on-the-go still NO add-on Flash
with new sets of powered-Zooms lens optional



OK, for the laymen : so what really is the difference between (going in the order from classic-to-innovation, while mid-way is the most price-conscious) Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic and Sony ?(missing a couple of collectors’ delicate makers here from Germany and China)

absolute professionals and old-timers stick to Nikon and Canon, and for those on a budget : further Pentax and Olympus
while Panasonic and Sony, more-so because of electronics-base, are challenging new technology and amazingly, with style-to-match .

and even in the new arena : Panasonic has more variations even on exchangeable lens while Sony is more sleek in design with technological break-throughs in low-light and stabilizer .


another take on : “Have Gun, Will Travel”
– Korea Tech BLog, May 2012