Jar­gon ex­plained

Amateur Photographer - - Testbench Round-up -

Sen­sor size

One of the main ways that man­u­fac­tur­ers have im­proved their com­pacts is by in­creas­ing sen­sor size. While res­o­lu­tion still has a bear­ing on im­age qual­ity, it’s gen­er­ally ac­cepted that sen­sor size is more im­por­tant – and in this re­spect, big­ger is bet­ter. Whereas 1/2.3in sen­sors are still used in many less ex­pen­sive com­pacts, more ad­vanced com­pacts of­ten come with a 1in-type sen­sor that has around four times the sur­face area. While this doesn’t mean it is four times bet­ter, it will of­fer bet­ter low-light per­for­mance and a higher dy­namic range.

Built-in Wi-Fi

All the cam­eras in this round- up of­fer built-in Wi- Fi as stan­dard. This means you can con­nect them to your smart­phone, trans­fer im­ages from cam­era to phone, for email­ing or up­load­ing to so­cial me­dia. Some apps will also al­low you to con­trol the cam­era re­motely us­ing your smart­phone.

Im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion

In essence there are two types of im­agesta­bil­isaton (IS) tech­nol­ogy: sen­sor-shift IS, where the cam­era’s sen­sor moves to cor­rect shake, and lens-based IS, where the lens makes minute ad­just­ments to com­pen­sate. Ei­ther way, with IS en­gaged you should be able to get pin-sharp shots at much slower shut­ter speeds than you oth­er­wise would. All cam­eras in this round- up pro­vide IS.

4K video

While the megapixel race is mostly over for still-im­age en­thu­si­asts, for videog­ra­phers the race to of­fer the max­i­mum res­o­lu­tion pos­si­ble is still well and truly on. While vir­tu­ally all mod­ern com­pacts can record at least 720p HD and usu­ally 1080p Full HD, 4K video is not yet quite so uni­ver­sal and not all the cam­eras in this round- up pro­vide it.


Lenses with es­pe­cially low aper­tures – typ­i­cally f/1.4 to f/2.8 – are much soughtafter by en­thu­si­asts for two main rea­sons. First, they al­low you to use faster shut­ter speeds in low light and, sec­ond, they in­crease the depth of field ef­fect, blur­ring the back­ground be­hind an in-fo­cus sub­ject.


All the cam­eras in this round-up en­able you to record still im­ages as loss­less raw files, which gives the pho­tog­ra­pher much more scope to process the im­age his or her­self, us­ing spe­cial­ist ap­pli­ca­tions, such as Adobe Light­room or Pho­to­shop.

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