I’ve been researching a pocket zoom camera for some months. As part of the exercise I’ve checked out some of the latest compact zooms. A combination of reading reviews and trying the odd model in the local stores. So not perfect robust but you can get some idea.  In practice I wasn’t very impressed with my findings.  The best I tried would be the Canon SX220HS. But not sure today for my budget it makes the grade. It’s a bit large but passes  my ‘shirt pocket’ test i.e. it fits. So with further reading and some decent help from Fuji UK , I’ve acquired a refurbished Fuji F70EXR. A fantastic small camera with 10x zoom. It’s a bit old now (2009) but you’ll find brilliant reviews on the web. (e.g. http://www.steves-digicams.com/camera-reviews/fujifilm/finepix-f70exr/fuji-finepix-f70exr-review.html ) For best results I recommend you check out http://kimletkeman.blogspot.com/2009/10/fuji-f70exr-how-to-shoot-it-mkii.html .  Here you will find optimal settings for the F70EXR. On the downside the video is poor by modern standards. But if you on a tight budget (I am) and you want a compact zoom, you could do a lot worse.

The gist of Kim Letkeman’s recommended settings is to use the camera at half the sensor’s resolution. This can make substantial improvement to the quality of the images, specifically with Fuji EXR sensor construction. I’ve taken some nice shots at full image size but only by keeping the iso at 100. To go beyond that , set up as per the above link. You’ll find this camera secondhand on ebay or from suppliers on Amazon. Unfortunately it’s no longer manufactured and hence no longer  available as a refurbished model unless an odd example comes into the company.

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