Compact digital cameras have seen a lot of changes in the market with entry-level adoption largely reduced by the ever-competitive smartphone camera scene. It is a golden age for these inexpensive point & shoot cameras as manufacturers continually incorporate features, connectivity options, optical zoom lenses and physically larger sensors that can rival more expensive cameras in some cases. Cheaper than the average smartphone, we’ve got a selection of digital cameras that’ll capture your attention.
The CyberShot W830 is Sony’s mid-range ultra-compact digital camera with a 20.1MP sensor and 8x retractable optical zoom lens that packs down flat when off. It’s a conventional point and shoot camera with automatic scene detection and intelligent auto-exposure viewed on a 2.7” screen but due to its very pocketable dimensions, does not provide manual exposure controls.
Sony has made this camera extra friendly with a smile shutter function that automatically takes a photo when the subject is smiling on camera. With 720p video capabilities and sensitivity of ISO 80-3,200, the W830 is an easy-to-use camera that is extremely pocket-friendly; in cost and in size.
When Canon says that the PowerShot SX620HS is a powerful zoom lens camera that will “easily fit in a pocket or purse”, they really mean it. The SX620HS is given a powerful 25x optical zoom lens that gives an equivalent range of 25-625mm in a body no larger than a pack of cards. It carries a high-resolution 20.2MP sensor on an equally high-resolution 3” LCD screen, has WiFi, NFC and intelligent automatic scene modes to make it a breeze to use.
This far-reaching compact camera is backed up with good ISO sensitivity of 80-3,200 and a hybrid Image Stabilization system to steady shots especially at longer focal lengths. That is a good thing as the lens isn’t particularly bright at f/3.2 at the widest and f/6.6 at the longest, requiring all the help it can get to get sharp and crisp photos in all situations.
All the hallmarks of a rugged action-oriented camera are present in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT30 Tough; dustproof, waterproof down to 8m, cold resistance down to -10 degrees, shock resistance from drops as high as 1.5m and all this in a body compact enough to slip into your board shorts pocket.
The FT30 sports a 16.1MP sensor and a flushed 4x optical zoom that starts from a wide-angle 25mm that is stabilized using Panasonic’s 5-axis Optical Image Stabilization technology. At the back is a 2.7” touchscreen LCD for easy setting changes in extreme environments and Panasonic’s own flavor of automatic and creative scene modes.
Footages are captured in 720p quality and bolstered in brightness with its integrated torch function which is very useful for underwater and caving adventures.
Reminiscent of Sony’s QX10 wireless cameras, the Altek Cubic is a smart miniature camera that uses WiFi and NFC for camera controls and viewfinder via a smartphone as this device has no controls or screen on itself.
Touted as being perfect for selfies, the Cubic brings a 13MP sensor and 3x optical zoom to the photographic table in a form factor that is highly portable and encourages creative placements.
At 65g and outfitted with a tripod screw hole, the Cubic is best used with monopods and tripods to maximize its size potential to get shots as if a 3rd party photographer is present.
Although lacking a screen and requiring a smartphone device to be connected, the Altek Cubic is equipped like a proper camera complete with xenon flash and 1080p capabilities.
Available in 5 distinctive and vibrant colours, the Nikon Coolpix A300 features the best in connectivity in compact cameras bearing a slim, pocket-friendly aluminum body. In its heart beats a 20.1MP sensor that is paired to a 25-200mm equivalent 8x optical zoom lens that is stabilized using Nikon’s Vibration Reduction technology found in their dSLR lenses.
This camera can also shoot macro photography as close as 2cm away from the subject. Coming back to connectivity, Nikon’s SnapBridge feature automatically downloads images taken into your smartphone via Bluetooth LE connection that is both fast and energy efficient. This feature also allows your smartphone to connect and access the A300 even when it is switched off.
Weighing only 118g, the A300 is a perfect camera companion that is always connected to you.
When asked, “How much zoom should a digital camera have?”, Canon’s answer is merely, “All the zooms.”. The Canon PowerShot SX430 IS is a bridge-style superzoom camera featuring a 20.5MP sensor and headlining 45x optical zoom lens bestowing it a near-ridiculous 24-1080mm equivalent range.
Seeking to be a best of both worlds solution, the SX430 IS is modelled after traditional dSLR camera handling in a travel-friendly compact size. With a prominent lens barrel, the Image Stabilized SX430 IS lets long-range photography to be easy and fuss-free through intelligent modes, a decent maximum ISO of 1,600 and comfortable handling other smaller compacts cannot provide.
For its abilities, this PowerShot is a marvel of engineering and miniaturization of the best telephoto technology today.
The Sony CyberShot DSC-WX350 is an outstandingly capable camera that performs where it counts with its 20x zoom lens that is stabilized with Sony’s Optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology. This stabilization paired with its back-illuminated 18.2MP sensor with a maximum ISO of 3,200 (expandable to 12,800) promises stable and clear photos in low-light situations that are rich and full of details.
Helping to make the most of this sensor is the BIONZ X image processor that allows 1080p videos to be captured as well as 10fps burst capabilities. Factor in WiFi, built-in creative effect filters, one of the best automatic shooting modes, and excellent autofocus and exposure metering; you’ve got yourself a highly potent travel zoom camera that won’t disappoint.
Taiwanese computer manufacturer Gigabyte surprised the world when it released the Jolt 360 Duo, a back-to-basics, no-frills 360-degree action camera that is even more surprisingly well-equipped with accessories right out of the box. Not intended to replace professional action cameras, the price is hard to ignore.
Using images and videos stitched from two 4MP sensors, this solid pocket camera produces 3008×1504 pixel photos and 1920×960 pixel videos that are completely seamless and viewable on its app or on VR goggles. It supports direct uploading of its contents to supported social media sites such as YouTube and Facebook directly from its app and boasts a rather decent battery life.
Despite the lower than average resolution of this camera, its complete set of accessories will have you experimenting and having fun with the world of 360-degree cameras in no time. Isn’t this what action photography is all about?
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