AFTER looking like they’d be consigned to history by smartphones and their increasingly able cameras, compact cameras are making a comeback. With bigger sensors, vastly improved image quality, and an array of new user-friendly features, they’re once more able to justify their place in your pocket or bag. The cameras we will be looking at are:
THE camera’s combination of touch screen, dedicated exposure compensation dial and clicking control dial around the lens give a high degree of direct control for such a small camera and Canon’s iterative, evolutionary approach to camera interfaces.
The PowerShot G7 X is designed for photographers who want the power, control and even the image quality of a D-SLR, but in a camera small enough to fit in a pocket.
The G7 X is so interesting. It uses a 1-inch sensor big enough to produce great images but small enough to allow a camera design that can easily fit into a pocket.
THE Stylus SH-1 is the world’s only digital compact camera to feature 5-axis optical image stabilisation for both stills and full HD videos and features a leather-look grip and metal body, with plenty of dials and buttons for quick handling.
Aside from classic looks, the SH-1 features a 24x optical zoom, which offers an equivalent of 25mm to 600mm (in 35mm terms) and a 16 million pixel sensor. Other specifications include a three-inch touchscreen and inbuilt Wi-Fi.
AS connected cameras go, the Samsung Galaxy Camera 2 is an example of one done well. Having Android 4.3, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi with NFC, powerful processing, and a big, beautiful touch screen makes for a very good shoot-and-share experience. It delivers the app and connectivity options of your smartphone, but with the shooting flexibility of a long zoom lens.
For the Galaxy Camera 2, Samsung went with basically the same main characters — a 21x-zoom wide-angle lens, 16-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor, and a giant 4.8-inch HD touch screen
THE Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 is a premium compact digital camera with an electronic viewfinder, a 7x zoom lens, full range of manual shooting modes and RAW file support. The LF1 offers a 7x, 28-200mm f/2.0-5.9 zoom lens, large 1/1.7-inch 12 megapixel MOS sensor, integrated 0.2” electronic viewfinder, 3-inch rear LCD display, 10fps burst shooting, an ISO range of 80-12,800 and 1920×1080 50i Full HD movie recording. The LF1’s multi-function lens ring and rear control wheel provide full control over the aperture and shutter speed range, and there’s both Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity built-in.
A GREAT electronic viewfinder that doesn’t increase the size of the svelte Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is one of the camera’s highlights. Plus it offers excellent performance, photo and video quality.
Because the camera incorporates the newer Bionz X processing engine, you get some enhanced features over the M2, including Lock-On (tracking) autofocus and adjustable autofocus area size. For video shooting, it incorporates the higher bitrate 50Mbps XAVC S codec in addition to the veteran AVCHD and MP4 codecs; a dual-video record mode that will let you shoot low-resolution video for wireless upload alongside the better-quality video; Zebra (tonal clipping indicator); and clean HDMI output. Because Sony expects it to be used for video, it also has the Intelligent Active Mode IS, which compensates for shooting while walking, though it’s missing a mic input.
THE Fujifilm XQ1 is an advanced compact camera that offers a 12 megapixel 2/3-type X-Trans CMOS II sensor with built-in Phase Detection pixels and no low-pass filter, a 4x, 25-100mm, f/1.8-4.9 zoom lens with optical image stabilisation and a control ring, a Lens Modulation Optimiser which automatically corrects diffraction blur, 1080p movie recording at 60fps, fast hybrid auto-focus system (0.06 seconds), Wi-Fi connectivity, 12fps burst shooting and a 3-inch LCD monitor with a resolution of 920,000 dots. Other key features of the Fujifilm XQ1 include an ISO range of 100-12,800, full range of manual controls, Focus Peaking for easier manual focusing, raw image capture and development, an integrated manual pop-up flash, a range film simulation modes and creative effects, 360° motion panoramas, 3cm macro mode and an electronic level gauge.
ANDROID fans have been enjoying the extra-large screens of phablets for several years, and it appears Apple took notice. At its latest smartphone event, Apple unveiled a pair of new smartphones, including the supersized iPhone 6 Plus. It’s the biggest iPhone yet and marks Apple’s first foray into wild world of phablets.
Inside, the iPhone 6 Plus has the same A8 system-on-a-chip as the smaller iPhone 6, and basically every other feature remains the same between the two. One key addition here is optical image stabilization for the rear-facing camera, which is even more necessary with such a large device. The iOS 8 software is mostly the same, but adds support for dual-pane apps and horizontal home screens.
Built on 64-bit desktop-class architecture, the new A8 chip delivers more power, even while driving a larger display. The M8 motion coprocessor efficiently gathers data from advanced sensors and a new barometer. And with increased battery life, iPhone 6 lets you do more, for longer than ever.
More people take more photos with iPhone than with any other camera. And now the iSight camera has a new sensor with Focus Pixels and new video features, like 1080p HD at 60 fps, slo-mo at 240 fps, and time-lapse video mode. So you’ll have more reasons to capture more moments on video, too.
iphone 6 has faster LTE download speeds,* and it supports more LTE bands than any other smartphone so you can roam in more places. And when connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll get up to 3x faster speeds.
The breakthrough Touch ID technology lets you securely access your iPhone with the perfect password: your fingerprint. You can also use it to approve purchases from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store without having to enter your password.
Apple Pay combines the convenience and security of Touch ID and Passbook with NFC technology. So you can use iPhone 6 to pay in stores and within apps with a single touch.