Choosing a compact camera can be a challenge. The camera manufacturers play safe on point and shoot cameras by providing all the fancy features and bells & whistles. But what really matters is the image quality. If you are able to get high quality images in the auto modes and get a little bit of control over aperture and shutter speed, you are good to explore the creative possibilities with your point and shoot. Canon Powershot S110’s black and white mode for instance and the ability to shoot RAW makes it a desirable secondary camera even for the professionals. Nikon P7100 on the other hand is a true compact that neatly packs the features of DSLRs like exposure modes (P, S, A, M), exposure bracketing, virtual horizon and support for external speed-lights. However the point and shoots with DSLR like capabilities cost a little higher as compared to the basic ones. The camera recommendations don’t always work the same for everyone. Different people have different needs and demands, one working best for someone, won’t necessarily work best for another. Here are 7 noteworthy compact cameras of 2012; some very basic and others with the powerful features of DSLR in nifty packs.
Canon PowerShot SX260 HS
Canon PowerShot SX260 is a 12.1MP camera powered by DIGIC 5 image processor. It provides a 20x zoom on its 25mm wide angle lens and offers the frame rate of 10 fps at continuous shooting mode. You can view the shot as you compose on a 3 inch display. Its optical image stabilization lets you shoot crisp and sharp images even while moving. It effectively reduces the vibrations and shakes produced by hands. With this camera, you can also shoot 1080 HD video with stereo sound by just pressing a dedicated movie button. The camera also features a GPS tracker which helps you tag the shooting location while shooting the images. You can get this camera here for $265 approx.
Fujifilm FinePix AX300
Fujifilm FinePix AX300 is a 14 MP camera with 5x optical zoom through a wide angle zoom lens plus 6.7 times the digital. The camera captures the scene onto a 1/2.3 inch CCD sensor. You can see the view on 2.7 inch color TFT LCD monitor. Functionally it has 6 scene auto recognition modes, which offers face and blink detection; smile and shoot mode; auto red-eye removal; image stabilization and i-flash capability. The camera can also capture the motion panorama and auto stitch it. You can also record 720p HD video and take its output in NTSC/PAL. It is powered by AA batteries and supports high speed USB 2.0. It also makes browsing through the photos fairly easy with its searching function. You can get it here for $82.29. Check it out here!
Nikon COOLPIX S6200
The camera lets you record 720p HD videos with optical zoom and stereo sound in just one touch. It supports 10x optical zoom. Its vibration reduction produces sharp photos and movies. The photo is exposed on 16 effective megapixel CCD sensor. It has 20 scene modes which makes shooting with point and shoot all the more simple and easy. You can get this basic compact here for around $139.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX10V
Sony Cybershot DSC HX10V is a 18.2 MP with Exmor R CMOS sensor for superior low-light performance. This camera offers a 16x optical zoom. You can defocus the background like a DSLR with this camera. The camera also features high speed AF and a 3 inch LCD which comes in handy for composing the shot. This compact camera by Sony costs you $298 approx. Get it here.
Launched in Photokina 2012, this 20.2 MP camera is capable of shooting extremely low light shots on its Exmor CMOS sensor. It lets you zoom the scene 3.6 times through its bright F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens. You can also shoot 1080/60p video with manual control and dual record. You can see the view on 3 inch Xtra fine LCD display with bright whites and true blacks. This ultra-slim 213g, sophisticated aluminum body camera will cost you around $648. Check it out here.
Nikon Coolpix P7000
This 10.1 megapixel camera has a 1/1.7 inch CCD sensor and offers 7.1x optical zoom on Nikkor ED wide angle zoom lens. You can see the view on 3 inch ultra high resolution clear color display with 921,000 dots. Recording 720p HD video with stereo sound has been made easy with mic input jack and HDMI output. It has dial controls for key functions such as ISO, white balance, bracketing, exposure compensation and more. The camera uses SD/SDHC memory cards for recording the images. You have to pay $339 approx for this camera. Check out the specs and offers here.
Canon Powershot S110
Canon Powershot S110 is a 12MP camera which costs you around $446.95. This compact camera has a 24-120mm lens which is equivalent to 35mm. It can auto focus the subject for you through the lens and the good thing is that it also allows you to focus manually. The camera features a 3 inch TFT LCD screen containing 461,000 dots and 100% coverage. The lens operates in the aperture range of f/2.0 (maximum) at wide angle and f/5.9 (maximum) at telephoto. To freeze the action of moving subjects, the camera allows a fast shutter speed of 1/2000 sec and improves low light performance with ISO ranging between ISO 80 – ISO 12800. In high burst mode, the camera shoots 10 HQ shots/sec. The best feature of this camera is that allows you to shoot RAW.
Which one are you planning to pick up for the upcoming festive season?