In a world packed with megapixel monsters it’s tough for manufacturers to differentiate their products from the competition by using this measure. So the eight on offer here is the same as can be found on many sub-£100 snappers.
But what this camera has that none of the competition can boast is a 7.1x optical zoom lens. This wide-angle beauty offers the 35mm equivalent of 28 to 200mm – that covers everything from extreme close up to top-draw landscape photography.
Other features include the now ubiquitous face-recognition technology, plus the first implementation of the new Smooth Imaging Engine III processing engine, which promises such niceties as getting rid of some of the unwanted noise that blights shots taken at higher ISO settings.
Add in a choice of vibration controls and a high-speed start off and you have a very impressive base for what could be an excellent value camera.
Build is bum
Build quality is a bit iffy, mind. We don’t particularly like the look of the camera, which is one thing, but the buttons aren’t really aligned properly, and the lens sounds like its grating as it creaks it’s way out of the body.
Also, we can see the point of the large screen – there’s no optical viewfinder for starters – but it takes up vast swathes of the back panel and sucks battery life like an LCD vampire.
In use, the new Adj (adjust) button makes snap adjustments easy. Just press it once and you have instant access to exposure compensation, white balance control and ISO settings, which can be adjusted up to a darkness-defying ISO 1600.
Elsewhere, the controls are nicely placed, and while we have issues over the feel of them, they tend to be highly responsive and the R7 operates quickly and efficiently.
The lens really is impressive, and zooms in a jiffy.
The results with it fully extended suffer from some barrel distortion though, and there’s a bit less detail towards the end of the edges of the image.
Elsewhere, detail levels seem very high, and the resultant pictures look natural and relatively smooth. However, look closer and there’s some unsightly noise in there, even at low ISO settings, and while the new processor seems to have made a difference at higher ISO scale it seems not to have much effect lower down.
Also, the flash seems to be quite hit and miss, sometimes lighting subjects competently, while at others they are left in the dark. Still, with natural colour reproduction and a very reasonably price point, this fully featured snapper is ideal for people who want long lens action, but without having to cart a super-zoom camera around with them.