Here are a few cameras that you should make your own in the coming year. The sooner, the better, too - because, as always, newer cameras will come along and steal their thunder.
Nikon Coolpix P100
Here’s a point-and-shoot camera with manual settings you usually see in a professional camera. The Nikon Coolpix P100 is a 10.3 megapixel shooter that puts creative control in your hands with Programmed Auto (automatically selects optimal shutter and aperture settings) and Manual controls (provides full control over both). There’s 26x optical zoom lens (26mm-678mm) with a vibration reduction optical image stabilization technology for sharper images. Not to mention, an electronic viewfinder and a high sensitivity of ISO 3200 for low light photography. But most of all, it’s got the HD video recording feature at 120fps with stereo sound to boot. Costs $372.
Fujifilm Finepix J40
This new portable is super compact, and offers image sizes similar to DSLRs at 12.2 megapixel. It has a shooting mode for capturing panoramas, detects faces, has movie-making software, and prevents blurring of high resolution images with an anti-blur feature. With an easy-to-use interface expected of a point and shoot camera (17 scene modes), this one is low on cost and high on style with its double coated veneer finish. Most convenient of all is the Scene Recognition Auto (SR Auto) button that automatically sets the shooting mode based on the exposure and lighting. Costs $124.
Canon Powershot A650 IS
With 21 shooting modes and a superlative 12.1MP, you can create poster-size prints. Top this with 6x optical zoom lenses and optical image stabilization technology and you are assured of shake-free pictures. The integrated Digital Tele-Converter and Safety zoom offers all the benefits of digital zoom without the danger of interpolation. The camera’s Advanced Noise Reduction Technology safeguards images against graininess, even at high ISO speeds. The Face Detection technology works wonders when taking group photos, too – it can take clear pictures of up to nine people. For low-light conditions, the camera incorporates a special ISO 3200 scene mode which captures images perfect for postcard size prints. Costs $385.
Sony SLT A55V
The all-new Sony SLT A55V boasts superior image quality and built-in GPS geo-tagging, which means all pictures will also carry the name of the location where they were shot. It shoots at 10 frames per second with continuous autofocus – a feat matched only by Canon and Nikon’s professional SLRs. The video mode is great, but it suffers from sensor overheating. According to Sony, videos last for just nine minutes at 20 degrees centigrade before the camera takes a self-imposed break. The noise level is higher than its Nikon and Canon counterparts. Buy it if you’re looking for a near SLR at this price. Costs $653.
Smart-i Wireless Spy Camera
Touted as the smallest wi-fi camera in the world, the Smart-i Wireless Spy Camera weighs just 50g. No bigger than a walnut, it shoots video at a decent 640 x 480 VGA resolution and streams directly to a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or Android-powered device. Just download the free Smart-i app from the App Store and you can save the footage on the device itself. It shoots for a straight two hours on one charge. But the best part? You can fix it to your bike, car, pet’s collar or even an R/C plane as its range is up to 100 meters. But fair usage demands that you don’t use it in sub zero conditions or where the temperature exceeds 50-degree Celsius. Costs $115.
~Zahid H Javali