Be­yond smart­phones: Next level cam­eras to try out

Sun.Star Pampanga - - MILLENNIALS! -


you’re a self-con­fessed blog­ger or an In­sta­gram junkie, al­ways want­ing to get your feed look­ing gr eat , a smart­phone cam­era is your ba­sic tool. While it’s true that high-end smart­phones now boast in­cred­i­ble specs, they still lack the ver­sa­til­ity and func­tion­al­ity of DSLRs which gives you the best cre­ative shots you can get .

An­other down­side of us­ing smart­phones for pho­tog­ra­phy is that it has lim­ited bat­tery life, which can be frus­trat­ing es­pe­cially when your ATM (At the mo­ment).

Con­sid­er­ing go­ing back to us­ing DSLRs? Here are the best cam­eras to get your hands into:

(M.Zuiko Dig­i­tal 14 42mm 1: II R lens; 16MP; 503g)

Mir­ror­less cam­eras are rel­a­tively new and should of­fer the ver­sa­til­ity of a DSLR with­out the bulk. Like most other mir­ror­less models, this Olym­pus fea­tures an elec­tronic viewfinder and al­lows ac­cess to a range of in­ter­change­able lenses (although not as large a se­lec­tion as some DSLRs).

Bulk is also shed by the use of a mi­cro four-thirds sen­sor, which is smaller than the types typ­i­cally found in DSLRs and some com­pacts. The de­cline in im­age qual­ity this cre­ates is un­likely to be no­tice­able to most users –es­pe­cially if they are view­ing their images on screen.

For up­ping your In­sta­gram game, this is per­haps one of the best of the cam­eras tested. It comes with a range of on­board artis­tic fea­tures, in­clud­ing ef­fects and fil­ters, so you can have your pho­tos in­stantly In­sta­gram­ready. Sea­soned DSLR users shouldn’t be put off – this cam­era is also good for some street pho­tog­ra­phy or as a lightweight model for travel and hol­i­days.

(EF-S 18-135mm f/3.55.6 IS USM; 24MP; 1245g)

This is a se­ri­ous cam­era for en­thu­si­asts. If you’re a point-and-shoot user want­ing to up­grade, it’s a leap for­ward or if you’ve cut your teeth on a more ba­sic DSLR, this is a fantastic next step.

The 80D is a 24 megapixel, APS-C sen­sor cam­era, which should pro­duce high enough qual­ity images for most needs. It’s not cheap, but is packed with fea­tures that al­low you to get cre­ative and is com­pat­i­ble with an enor­mous range of lenses and other ac­ces­sor i es.

It has a vari-an­gle touch screen per­mit­ting in­ter­est­ing view­points or to get the fram­ing and an­gles just right when tak­ing a selfie. Menus and other con­trols, such as fo­cus and shut­ter ac­ti­va­tion, can all be ac­cessed on screen as well as the man­ual but­tons and di­als. It also has a very ro­bust body, weath­ersealed. If you’re look­ing for a ca­pa­ble DSLR and are se­ri­ous about pho­tog­ra­phy this is a wor­thy op­tion.

(24-70mm equiv­a­lent; 20.1MP; 295g)

Sony has been pro­duc­ing the RX100 for al­most five years and this ver­sion should ben­e­fit from a price re­duc­tion after the re­cent in­tro­duc­tion of the Mark V, although it re­mains an ex­pen­sive com­pact.

The RX100 IV packs a lot of punch for its size, pro­vid­ing high-qual­ity images and weigh­ing just un­der 300g. It has a 20megapixel cam­era, with a 1in sen­sor and ben­e­fits from a flex­i­ble LCD screen for self­ies or high- or lowan­gle shots.

Com­bine that with the ef­fects pal­ette that comes on board most cam­eras these days and it’s a hard op­tion to beat for spec­i­fi­ca­tions. How­ever, for up­load­ing pho­tos to so­cial me­dia this is an ex­pen­sive choice –stick­ing with your smart­phone or point and shoot might be the op­tion.

(Lux 24-75mm equiv­a­lent; 12.8MP; 405g)

There is some­thing sat­is­fy­ing about hold­ing this chunky com­pact –whether it’s the solid metal body, giv­ing heft, or per­haps it’s nos­tal­gia for what feels like a sim­pler build, with di­als for aper­ture and shut­ter speed.

But this is far from ba­sic. It is a rather high-end com­pact, given the price, with its 13 megapixel, fourthirds sen­sor, LCD screen and elec­tronic viewfinder, and red dot. The red Le­ica dot im­bues the cam­era with a cer­tain pho­to­graphic legacy. Yes, it will pro­vide great qual­ity images (that legacy is jus­ti­fied), but it’s an ex­pen­sive up­grade from a smart­phone.

Er­gonom­i­cally it’s a de­light. The dial-based con­trols will re­mind you of us­ing a man­ual film cam­era from what now seems like an­other era, even if it was just the turn of the cen­tury. It comes with a num­ber of cre­ative photo fil­ter modes, ideal for so­cial me­dia up­loads with­out hav­ing to spend too much time edit­ing or pro­cess­ing the images.

(24mm-720mm equiv­a­lent; 18.1MP; 282g)

If you’re look­ing for an all-pur­pose cam­era, the TZ80 is a solid choice. For a com­pact, it’s got a mas­sive x30 op­ti­cal zoom, which means you can get up close and personal (though at the far­ther end things do get a bit fuzzy).

It’s an 18-megapixel cam­era, although with a smaller sen­sor (1/2.3in) than other models fea­tured here. It comes with 22 cre­ative op­tions, so if you want to make your pho­tos look minia­tur­ized (or tilt­shifted), retro or add a star ef­fect, you can do it all in­cam­era be­fore up­load­ing In­sta­gram. It also has post fo­cus that al­lows you to change the fo­cal point of an im­age after you’ve taken it, so if any­one is pho­to­bomb­ing your selfie you can blur them out.

(18-55mm with f/3.55.6 zoom; 710g)

The D3400 is a solid, en­try-level DLSR aimed at those tak­ing their first steps aw ay from their smart­phone and mov­ing on to a cam­era with in­ter­change­able lenses to get a bit more cre­ative or spe­cial­ized with their pho­togr aphy.

It has 24 megapix­els on a crop sen­sor (APS-C) and has a guide mode that teaches you how to use the cam­era as you go along via the LCD screen on the back of a com­pact and fairly lightweight body (395g with­out a lens).

Like sev­eral other cam­eras here, along with the usual modes (night-time/ macro/ por­trait, etc.), it has spe­cial ef­fect modes in­clud­ing night-vi­sion, sil­hou­ette and se­lec­tive colour (tak­ing black and white images where only one colour hue is high­lighted).

It also has SnapBridge, which con­nects the cam­era to a smart­phone via blue­tooth to trans­mit your pho­tos as you take them to your phone. A nice fea­ture for those who want to quickly up­load their lat­est im­age to so­cial me­dia.

The D3400’s ad­van­tage over sim­i­larly priced com­pact and mir­ror­less cam­eras is the huge range of Nikon lenses and ac­ces­sories avail­able for ex­pand­ing what is a great starter DSLR.

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