Conclusion - Pros

  • Excellent results
  • High resolution
  • Virtually no purple fringing
  • Good dynamic range
  • Superb build quality
  • Very fast and responsive
  • Easy to use
  • Good movie mode
  • Decent macro mode
  • Good battery life
  • AF illuminator
  • Flash works really well at very close distances (throttles down well)
  • High resolution screen with high refresh rate
  • Wide range of optional accessories

Conclusion - Cons

  • Limited manual controls
  • No manual/custom white balance mode
  • Flash underpowered, occasional underexposure
  • Some edge softness at wide apertures
  • Small amount of chromatic aberration - not visible in normal shots
  • Visible noise in shadows at 200 and 400 ISO, though noise is lower than expected
  • Accessing some advanced functions via menus is a bit long-winded
  • Only two aperture settings
  • Design can exacerbate camera shake at lower shutter speeds
  • Limited continuous shooting capabilities
  • Some focus problems with nearby subjects, will take a picture without focus confirmed

Overall conclusion

I must admit I fully expected to be underwhelmed by the P150, and didn't expect the 7MP CCD to offer any significant advantage over the 5MP version used in many cameras, including the existing P100. So it came as a pleasant surprise to discover that the P150 is capable of capturing considerably more detail without a significant increase in noise, and that some of the problems of fringing and lack of dynamic range have been fairly convincingly addressed. The P150 is a truly pocketable camera that offers a compelling combination of high resolution, refinement and subtle tonal detail. It feels fast in use, rarely lets you down in fully automatic mode and its build and design are much more Swiss watch than Fisher Price. At under $500 the P150 is also very competitively priced.

On the downside there are some advanced features that serious users might miss - manual white balance, aperture and shutter priority, and the built-in flash is nothing to write home about, being a little underpowered. Focus is not 100% reliable either, but you only really get problems with very near subjects. Ultimately, however, this is a fantastic pocket camera that would equally well suit a beginner or a DSLR user looking for a 'carry everywhere' second camera. Whether you really need 7 megapixels is, of course another matter altogether, but if you do, the P150 should certainly be high up your shopping list. Nice.

Highly Recommended

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