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Compact camera buying guide.

Features to look for in a Compact Camera

Even though Smartphones are very rapidly substituting compact cameras, still there is a lot of fan following of these cameras by some enthusiastic Photographers, who wish to have a dedicated camera instead of a Mobile phone which is actually meant for communication in the real sense.

While exploring, look for the following key features before you decide on one.

1-inch sensor: One of the chief ways that manufacturers have improved their compacts is by increasing the size of the sensor. Whereas small 1/2.3-inch sensors are still used in many cheaper compacts (and, indeed, some smartphones), more advanced models often come with a 1-inch sensor that features around four times the surface area. You can expect a 1-inch sensor compact to offer better low-light performance and a higher dynamic range.

Wi-Fi: All of the cameras in this roundup offer built-in Wi-Fi as standard. This means you can connect them to your smartphone, transfer images from camera to phone, and then use your phone’s mobile data functionality to upload your images to social media or email them soon after they’ve been taken. Some apps will even allow you to control the camera remotely.

Image stabilization: If you’re shooting at slower shutter speeds or extended telephoto lengths, then the natural shake in your hands can result in blurred images. This is where image stabilisation (IS) comes to the rescue. Each manufacturer has its own name for the technology, but in essence there are two types: sensor-shift IS, where the camera’s sensor moves to correct handshake, and lens-based IS, where the lens makes minute adjustments to compensate instead. Either way, with IS engaged you should be able to achieve pin-sharp shots at much slower shutter speeds than would otherwise be possible.

4K video: While virtually all modern compacts can record at least 1080p Full HD, 4K video isn’t quite so universal yet. As such, not all of the cameras in this roundup provide it. Of course, you’ll get the full benefit of 4K video footage only if you have a 4K monitor or TV to view it on.

Aperture: Aperture refers to the size of the hole that allows light to pass through to the sensor. This hole is created by a set of interlocked blades at the base of a lens that contract and expand as you change aperture settings. It’s measured in f-stops – the higher the f-stop, the smaller the hole; the lower the f-stop, the wider it is. Lenses with especially low apertures – typically f/1.4 to f/2.8 – are much sought-after by enthusiasts for two reasons. First, they let in more light, thereby allowing you to use faster shutter speeds in low light. Second, they increase the depth of field effect, blurring the background behind an in-focus subject to make them stand out more.

Raw: All of the cameras in this roundup enable you to record still images as lossless Raw files. These are different from JPEGs because when you capture a JPEG image, the camera will process the image for you in-camera before discarding some of the data to make the resulting image file smaller. However, when recording images as Raw files the camera doesn’t process the image internally, but rather retains all of the data captured by the sensor. This gives you much more scope to process the image yourself using specialist applications such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop.

Viewfinder: If you want to get a more professional experience of shooting, then opt for a compact camera with an electronic viewfinder.

Size: Opt for a size that is actually small and compact. Smaller the size with as many features packed in is a perfect compact camera. If it gets bigger in size, why not go for a bigger and more professional camera anyways?

Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 Digital Camera | BH

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