Digital camera production shows no sign of slowing, with models updated and replaced as frequently as every year. The early days of digital imaging saw significant changes with each model, while the mounting pixel race caused older cameras to pale into insignificance. Over the past few years, however, changes have become less extreme and, looking back, past models are still very usable. The second-hand market has grown for this reason, and it is possible to pick up a previously expensive model for a very reasonable price.

For this challenge we chose four digital cameras, from a professional DSLR to an advanced compact, that were once top of their game, to see if they are as fun to use and deliver as great an image as we remembered. There were many cameras that were considered for this challenge, and it was a tough decision as to which to leave out. At the professional end we chose the Nikon D2X, in the advanced semi-professional category the Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro, as an enthusiast DSLR the Nikon D90 and for an advanced compact the Canon PowerShot G6. We loaded up the cameras with fresh memory cards and headed out for a day’s shoot.