Saturday, 17 December 2011

Gadget of the Year 2011 - Digital Cameras


As is the case every year, this year too saw a whole bunch of digital cameras being launched. Each year, we recognize the best products this year. The task
Gadget of the Year 2011 - Digital Cameras
As is the case every year, this year too saw a whole bunch of digital cameras being launched. Each year, we recognize the best products of that year. The task is difficult, each time and it’s not any different this time around. Loads of features have been introduced to the new models. This year, there were a few models, which stood out in that list of the cameras. These were primarily mainstream cameras with good optical zoom lenses, some amount of manual controls very usable HD video recording capabilities. 

Second Runner-up - Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ20 was an amazing camera for its time. Priced at Rs. 27,990, back in May, it was pretty expensive, despite its great hardware. It has got all of the latest features, such as location recording; using the integrated GPS unit as well as 3D recording features. Image clarity at higher ISO sensitivity settings was also impressive. It has a 16x optical zoom lens and a 14.1 MP sensor onboard. This is another one in the mid-range cameras category that comes with full high-definition video recording features.
The Panasonic TZ20
The Panasonic TZ20


Key features:
  • Sensor Resolution: 14.1MP
  • Shutter Speed: 60-1/4000 s
  • ISO Sensitivity Range: 80-1600
  • Optical Zoom: 16x
  • Aperture range: f/3.3-5.9
  • LCD Size: 3-inch
  • Video recording 1920 x 1080 / 60fps

First Runner-up - Canon PowerShot SX230HS
The Canon PowerShot SX230 HS only has a 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, but a 14x zoom lens. The camera has been built rather well and has a good set of features. It has shutter speed and aperture priority modes as well, which makes it ideal for the photography enthusiast. Performance was also impressive when we tested it. Photos captured with sensor sensitivity set up at ISO 800 have little noise and the overall quality is good. HD 1080 resolutions are supported, while shooting videos as well. Performance in the video test was also impressive. Videos came out clear and there were no issues with exposure setting and focusing. The only downside is its price, which at Rs. 15,700 is a tad too high for what it offers. Other than that, it’s a great camera.
Canon's contender for the top spot - the PowerShot SX230HS
Canon's contender for the top spot - the PowerShot SX230HS


Key features:
  • Sensor Resolution: 12.1 MP
  • Shutter Speed 15-1/3200s
  • ISO Sensitivity Range 100-3200
  • Optical Zoom: 14x
  • Aperture range: f/3.3-5.9
  • LCD Size: 3-inch
  • Video recording: 1920 x 1080 / 24fps

    Gadget of the Year 2011 - Cameras - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V
    The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V may not be the most expensive camera around, but it has a lot going for it. The DSC-HX9V is like a compact camera, but is a bit larger than other products in its category. Stilll, you won’t have a problem fitting this into your shirt or a pant pocket. It came with a good 16.2 MP sensor and a massive 16x optical zoom lens in its small-sized body. There’s a few 3D shooting modes as well a full HD video recording capability built into this camera. It lacks some manual controls, but for the casual photographer, it has great quality, good features and it’s not priced too high, either. The DSC-HX9V was priced at Rs.16,990 when we reviewed it first in early November. Today, it's priced at around Rs.15,699. We really liked the camera and going by the feedback we received, it looks like a lot of our readers who bought it, liked it too.
    Compact size but it packs a punch
    Compact size but it packs a punch


    Key features:
    • Sensor Resolution: 16.2 MP
    • Shutter Speed: 2-1/3200s
    • ISO Sensitivity Range: 100-3200
    • Optical Zoom: 16x
    • Aperture range: f/3.3-8.0
    • LCD Size: 3-inch
    • Video recording: 1440 x 1080 / 25fps

    Honorable mention - Sony NEX-5
    Sony’s NEX-5 was one of the first unique cameras of the year. The NEX-5 was no DSLR, but it does bring a whole lot more to the table than any other point and shoot could – great features, quality and easy operation. Back when it was launched, it sold at close to Rs. 35,000. The camera, however, is a bit more affordable now - it sells for a little more than Rs.23,000. At this price, it’s still more expensive than our Gadget of the Year winner for the camera category. If you have a budget of around Rs. 25,000, the NEX-5 is your best bet.
    One of the most unique cameras all year
    One of the most unique cameras all year


    Key features:
    • Sensor Resolution: 14.2 MP
    • Shutter Speed: 30-1/4000s
    • ISO Sensitivity Range: 200-12,800
    • Optical Zoom: 3x (Bundled 18-55mm lens - E-mount)
    • LCD Size: 3-inch
    • Video recording: 1920 x 1080 / 25fps

    And that's our list of our top cameras, this year. With mirrorless cameras picking up pace, we're hoping to see a lot more action when 2012 arrives.

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