27th Jul 2012
Cameras have always been popular as a means of capturing precious moments to revisit them later. It is therefore not surprising that festive occasions see a surge in their popularity. This article will guide you to buy the best camera to suit your requirements. The aim of this guide is to help you choose the best camera by functionality. It is therefore categorised into four price ranges starting from the lowest point and shoot cameras to the high end cameras priced in excess of Rs 20,000. We have also recommended camcorders to be bought so you won't miss a moment of this festive occasion.
Entry-Level Point And Shoot (Up To Rs 6000)
Cameras in this category have one basic requirement — to be able to shoot decent photos and not tax your wallet too much. Therefore, megapixels, zoom, image stabilisation, Full HD video capture, etc are not considered as basic requirements. These cameras are usually small and light, and may offer 720p HD video recording as well in addition to still photos. Being the most popular and bread-earning category for most manufacturers, this segment has been constantly evolving to introduce more features from the higher segments in an effort to make it more competitive.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-F2
MRP: Rs 6690
Street Price: Rs 4400 (Letsbuy.com), Rs 4450 (Flipkart.com), Rs 4850 (HomeShop18.com)
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-F2 comes with a decent image quality according to several online reviews optical zoom and a wide aperture of f/2.8. Weighing just 136 g, and with a price tag of just Rs 4400, this is our recommended camera in this category.
Canon PowerShot A1200
MRP: Rs 5995
Street Price: Rs 5815 (Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com; HomeShop18.com)
The Canon PowerShot A1200 has a good image quality and a very good macro performance. It has a wide aperture of f/2.8, shoots 720p movies at 24 fps, and even has an optical viewfinder to save battery.
Upper Entry-Level Point And Shoot (Up to Rs 10,000)
The cameras in this category have all the features present in the earlier category, but a few additional features such as better optical zoom, image stabilisation, more shooting modes, etc are added to make it more enticing, but priced a bit more.
Fujifilm FinePix T200
MRP: Rs 11,999
Street Price: Rs 8399 (Letsbuy.com), Rs 9000 (Flipkart.com), Rs 10,999 (HomeShop18.com)
The Fujifilm FinePix T200 is a compact camera weighing just 151 g and with a thickness of just 2.8 cm. It boasts of an above average optical zoom of 10x and a light sensitivity of ISO 3200.
Canon PowerShot A3200 IS
MRP: Rs 6995
Street Price: Rs 6785 (Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com; HomeShop18.com)
Good macro performance, a wide aperture of f/2.8, along with optical image stabilisation and a below average price tag makes this camera desirable.
Mid-range Travel-Zoom (Up to Rs 20,000)
The cameras in this category are obviously better than the previous categories and are therefore more expensive. Usually used by tourists and travellers, they have to be light enough to carry around and must have optical zoom of at least 10x. Image stabilisation is necessary due to the high zoom levels and manual controls are usually present. Full HD video capture is usually present with some limitation such as file size or time duration, or \ and no optical zoom while shooting. GPS functionality is also welcome, because it allows embedding location information into photos and videos. They usually have larger LCD viewfinders.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V
MRP: Rs 16,990
Street Price: Rs 16,200 (Letsbuy.com), Rs 16,600 (Flipkart.com), Rs 15,350 (eBay.in)
In addition to being an excellent travel-zoom camera in a compact body, this Cyber-shot has got optical image stabilisation, 16x optical zoom, GPS and 3D functionality to up the ante in its favour.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ10
MRP: Rs 24,990
Street Price: Rs 9,999 (Letsbuy.com), Rs 10,700 (Flipkart.com), Rs 12,370 (Infibeam.com)
This camera has got almost everything that a travel-zoom cam should have and the street price is simply irresistible.
High-end Super-Zoom (Above Rs 20,000)
These cameras are a bulkier version of the earlier category, but that is not just the difference. Better optics, image sensors, complete manual control with a better range of shutter speed and aperture size, ergonomics, etc are seen here. Being heavier, they prove to be steadier to shoot than the travel-zoom cameras. They come with the possibility to attach additional accessories such as telephoto lenses, filters, external flash, shutter control, etc. Raw image capture is also found in many models. In addition to LCD viewfinders, they come with optical viewfinders as well. Features such as show motion capture and the ability to shoot better photos in darker conditions is also present.
Nikon CoolPix P500
MRP: Rs 20,950
Street Price: Rs 20,322 (Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com), Rs 19,835 (HomeShop18.com)
The Nikon CoolPix P500 boasts of an amazing 36x optical zoom, a CMOS sensor for better low light performance, and 1080p video recording at 30 fps. It also boasts of a great wide angle lens of 23 mm, high speed movie shooting at 240 fps, and a burst speed of 10 fps. An excellent macro performance with a flip out screen and great image quality seals the deal.
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX100V
MRP: Rs 22,990
Street Price: Rs 22,500 (Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com), Rs 20, 300 (eBay.in)
The Sony Cybershot DSC-HX100V comes with a 30x optical zoom, a CMOS sensor for good low light performance, and 1080p video shooting at 60 fps. It has optical image stabilisation, a good macro performance, GPS, fast shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second, and a flip out screen.
While digital cameras are capable of video capture, they usually come with limitations. Camcorders step in to overcome those limitations 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.
Canon Legria FS405
MRP: Rs 14,995
Street Price: Rs 14,545 (Letsbuy.com; Flipkart.com), Rs 14,199 (eBay.in)
This camcorder brings a lot to the table at such a low price. It boasts of 41x advanced zoom, an EIS dynamic mode to reduce blur while shooting, and a long lasting battery. It is very portable, weighing just 220 g.
Sony HDR CX130E
MRP: Rs 24,990
Street Price: Rs 22,500 (Letsbuy.com), Rs 24,500 (Flipkart.com), Rs 24,990 (eBay.in)
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.
Diwali Special Buyer's Guide: Cameras
A complete guide to help you choose the best camera.
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