11th May 2012
With the holidays season already here, this is probably the best time to purchase a good camera. A good break full of precious moments with your family is something you would want to keep for a long time. This guide will help you pick the best camera based on your budget and requirements. Apart from point-and-shoot cameras, we have also covered semi-SLRs and camcorders. Now you can take a bit of your happy vacation back home!
Low-End Entry-Level Point And Shoot (Up To Rs 6000)
If you're looking for something which is easy to use and shoots fairly decent photos, but does not put add a major dent to your wallet, you need something very basic. In this case, features such as megapixels, optical zoom, image stabilisation, and full HD video capture are not of too much relevance. Cameras in this segment are usually small and light, and may offer 720p HD video recording apart from still shots. Considering that most people prefer uncomplicated cameras, this is quite a popular category for most manufacturers, and so there are several options for buyers, and they also tend to come with some interesting features.
The L30 features a 10 mp CCD image sensor and up to 3x optical zoom. It comes with an f/3.9 aperture, which is a smaller opening as compared to other cameras in this category. A rechargeable Li-ion battery claims to let you shoot 160 pictures on a single charge. It offers 480p video capture at 30 fps. This camera is best suited for any one starting off with photography.
This snapper sports a 10.1 mp CCD image censor and an impressive 5x digital zoom. It features an f/2.7 wide aperture, which means you can manage decent shots in partial low lights as well. The camera can manage to shoot 720p videos at 30 fps, and is offers several shooting modes for still shots. Available in silver, black, red, and white versions, the only downside is that it runs on two AA batteries.
The A1200 offers good image quality and provides great macro shots as well. It has a wide aperture of f/2.8, and is capable of shooting 720p movies at 24 fps. If you prefer an optical viewfinder over the LCD screen, this is the camera to go with. Equipped with a 12.1 mp CCD image sensor, it offers effects such as toy camera and monochrome, along with several creative filters that let you have a bit more fun with your pictures. It is available in black and silver hues.
High-End Entry-Level Point And Shoot (Up To Rs 10,000)
Not everybody prefers a basic camera; some people expect a device with a few more features, but still want within the five-figure mark. In this segment, you can expect features such as better optical zoom, image stabilisation, and additional shooting modes among other things.
MRP: Rs 9000
Street Price (As On 11-May-2012): Rs 8800 (Flipkart.com; HomeShop18.com)
This 16.1 mp camera offers 5x optical zoom. Perfect for the adventurous types, it captures sweeping 360-degree panorama shots along with several photo effects such as toy camera, pop colour, partial colour, and soft high-key. With an aperture value of f/2.6, it can also manage 720p video recording at 30 fps. It is available in black, silver, gold, and violet colours.
With a 16 mp sensor, f/2.8 aperture, and 5x optical zoom, the A3300 takes good macro shots. It also offers interesting effects such as Fish-eye, Miniature, Toy Camera, Monochrome, and Super. The camera is available in silver, black, red, blue, and pink.
The best of the lot, the 16 mp Nikon COOLPIX S6200 packs in 10x optical zoom and comes with an f/3.2 aperture opening. It can record 720p videos at 30 fps, and offers several filters and effects in the still shot mode. The camera is available in black, red, white, and silver finishes.
Mid-Range Travel-Zoom (Up To Rs 20,000)
Cameras in this category are preferred by used by tourists and travellers, but are simpler to handle. Moreover, they need to be light to lug around, while offering a minimum of 10x optical zoom, along with manual controls and image stabilisation. Considering that travellers pick up such models, they usually provide full HD video capture and GPS functionality.
A good travel-zoom camera with a compact body, this IXUS comes with a 10.1 mp CMOS sensor. Optical image stabilisation, 12x optical zoom, and 1080p video recording at 24 fps make this a good deal. The camera is available in red, black, and silver.
This camera boasts of a 16 mp BSI CMOS image sensor and 10x optical zoom to help you take amazing shots. It features a mini-HDMI connector to play its Full HD videos (1080p) at 30 fps on a big screen display. The camera is available in silver, black, red, blue, gold, and pink.
High-End Super-Zoom (Above Rs 20,000)
These snappers are usually bulkier and offer better optics, image sensors, complete manual control with a better range of adjustable shutter speed and aperture size, and ease of use among other things. Some of these cameras also enable you to switch lenses and add filters. Overall, they offer the best possible point-and-shoot camera experience.
The P500 boasts of 36x optical zoom, a CMOS sensor for better low light performance, and 1080p video recording at 30 fps. It also features a wide angle lens of 23 mm, high-speed movie shooting at 240 fps, and a burst speed of 10 fps. Promising excellent macro performance, it comes equipped with a flip-out screen to help you compose great shots.
The DSC-HX100V comes with 30x optical zoom, a CMOS sensor for good low-light performance, and 1080p video shooting at 30 fps. It has optical image stabilisation, good macro performance, GPS, a fast shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second, and a partial flip-out screen.
While digital cameras are capable of video capture, they usually come with limitations. Camcorders step in to overcome these barriers and allow you to capture important memories as movies. Camcorders are available in SD as well as HD categories, and we have recommendations for both.
This camcorder is packed with features, and comes at quite a low price. It boasts of 70x enhanced optical zoom, Power OIS with Active Mode for stable shots, and is very portable at 220 grammes.
The Sony HDR CX130E can record 1080p videos and comes with 42x extended zoom. It boasts of a superior low light performance, a wide angle Sony G lens, a 3.0" large LCD, and Optical SteadyShot with Active Mode. You can pick it up in black, silver, or red variants.
Summer 2012 Buyer's Guide: Digital Cameras And Camcorders
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