Flash is intelligent and does supplement ambient light
So if you're looking for a camera that will be good for a gap year around India, then it would be best to look elsewhere. But, if you want a small, pocketable, good looking camera with a few tricks up its sleeve, then take a look at the Canon PowerShot A3500 IS.
Built-in Wi-fi, and GPS via a smartphone
The PowerShot A3500 IS is one of the more compelling options in the Canon's 2013 compact range. The decision to fit entry level IXUS / ELPH models with the same 16 Megapixel CCD sensor and Digic 4 processor means that there's less of a gap than ever between high end PowerShot A models and lower end IXUS / ELPH ones.
Good value for money, Built-in Wi-Fi
The Canon PowerShot A3500 IS represents excellent value for money if you want a camera with Wi-Fi. Without Wi-Fi, the feature set is that of an entry-level camera, usually priced around or just under the £100 mark. The image quality also reflects the price level but the pictures are ideal for those who prefer to share on the web. Battery life is low, but otherwise the A3500 IS has a stylish, well designed metal body and is available in black, silver and red.
While I am no means an avid photographer, I do take numerous photos in varying light conditions at many different distances. From mere inches to far off shots, this camera has some great quality and focus.
The only issue I have had is while using the zoom at near max, the camera does not like to auto-focus. I have had to zoom back out some to let it re-focus and them zoom back in to sort of kick it back into gear.
Excellent value for money, Decent zoom range
The Fujifilm FinePix S4800 will appeal to those who are on a budget, but want a versatile camera that has plenty of zoom and full manual controls. This is ideal for those who want to test their photographic skills without the investment required for a DSLR. The battery has a decent life and image quality is respectable given the cameras price. What you don't get is a viewfinder which is useful for a camera with so much zoom and continuous shooting is quite slow.
Quality of the lens is great for a camera at this price point
The price of around £100 is perfect for this camera. It means it's easily accessible to many people who may be looking at their first camera but don't want the complications of a normal compact. It would make a great first camera for a younger person with the funky colours and digital filters to attract the "Instagram" generation.
Good colour reproduction, Available at a reasonable price
If you're looking for a cheap camera you can't go far wrong with the Nikon Coolpix S3500, particularly as most budget cameras have at most 5x optical zoom, here you'll find a 7x optical zoom lens for less than £90. It has a fairly limited set of features, but image quality isn't too bad, particularly for sharing on Facebook etc.
Cheap and cheerful waterproof camera
The Nikon Coolpix S31 is a great little camera for anyone that hasn't got the slightest clue about what photographic terms such as ISO means, or even cares about what it means. This is a camera that will work for you. It will determine the best shot and all you have to do is point it at something. You can zoom as well if you want to. The zoom is restricted to the size of the tube that the lens resides in.
Good value for money, Good macro performance
The Nikon Coolpix S31 is subtle improvement on the S30 and is one of the cheapest waterproof cameras on the market, so it's ideal for the kids. It's easy to use and image quality is fairly decent, with good colour reproduction meaning they'll look great when shared on Facebook.
We are very happy with this camera
The only thing that we have any trouble with is the "panoramic" feature that stitches several pictures into one wide one. It is not a feature very important to us the but the couple of times I have tried it I had trouble getting it to work. It said they camera was not moved horizontally enough to work.
Other than that, it is very easy to use. The buttons are well-located and the menus are clear and easy to navigate. Overall, we are very happy with this camera.
Pretty nice bridge camera for the price
All in all, if you are interested in a bridge camera with a long zoom range, you really can't beat the Pentax X-5. While the size might put off some, remember you are getting a zoom lens that goes from 22.3mm to 580mm (in 35mm equivalent focal lengths). It is far from perfect, but, given the cost, it is well worth the money.
Macro performance is excellent
Looking at first glance like a fully-fledged DSLR with its pretend lens ring and hotshoe flash cover, the Pentax X-5 soon reveals itself to be something of a wolf in sheep's clothing, leaning much more to the point-and-shoot end of the compact camera spectrum. Those looking for a fully-featured bridge camera will be disappointed, but for everyone else the X-5 is still appealing, especially given its low price tag.
Huge focal range, DSLR aesthetics
While this is a neat little package, you should be aware that there are many other premium compact cameras fulfilling a similar need and producing stronger image quality, offering faster lenses and heavier feature sets, albeit at a slightly higher price point. The Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and Panasonic Lumix FZ200, for example.
Great value for money, Takes good pictures
Pentax have created a decent bridge camera which will appeal to those who want a DSLR style camera but don't want the bulk or perhaps don't have the budget required. There aren't many cameras available with this amount of optical zoom for less than £200, so you'd expect there to be a sacrifice made somewhere. There is with image quality, but it's not much of one.
Long zoom, Low price, Articulated screen
Line up these specs against the asking price for an X-5 and you'll see it's an absolute bargain. Naturally some corners have had to be cut to keep the price so low, but not to a degree that would leave a hobby photographer disappointed with the results. Overall, a good performance and a great zoom make it a very tempting entry-level camera.
Well designed body, Good handling, Affordable price
If you're looking for an affordable bridge camera, the chances are that the X-5 will be on your shortlist. The good news is that the X-5 is certainly a capable camera, and one which handles well and offers a decent level of performance in a generally well designed package. There are drawbacks - the LCD screen is poor, as is the EVF, while there are some image quality issues and the use of AA batteries will disappoint some.
Extremely simple operation to it and an easy to use UI
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 is an ideal camera for taking away on holiday and whipping out on nights out. It looks attractive, is very thin and small, making it easier to store, and at £89, it won't be too much of an issue if the kids get hold of it and drop it. It could also make an ideal first digital camera for a younger person. If you fit into this demographic, then take a look at this camera.
Well made, compact metal body, Respectable battery life
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 is an ultra-compact camera that is going to appeal to the younger generation. Yes, image quality isn't the best, but for sharing on the web you can't complain. It has a metal body, available in a variety of colours and battery life is fairly respectable. There are cheaper entry-level cameras on the market, but you'll struggle to find a smaller, more stylish one.
Easy point and shoot approach
Thank the lucky stars that the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 costs less than £160, because from an image quality point of view, it's not a very good camera. And this is a shame because the rest of it has been made well. You could argue that viewing the pictures at normal size will negate the noise issue because it's unlikely to be seen and it depends on how pedantic you want to be about it.
Excellent value for money, Decent screen resolution
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 is an excellent camera if you want lots of optical zoom, yet have a limited budget. You can shoot close-up objects with a 1cm minimum focusing distance, or zoom right in to distant objects. Photographers of all levels will find the camera easy to use - there's iAuto mode, scene modes and manual controls for more creative control.
Extremely thin and lightweight camera
There aren't a lot of above average or advanced features found in the Canon PowerShot ELPH 130 IS camera, but that may be a good thing. After all, Canon is aiming this model at beginning photographers looking for a good value in a basic camera, and by keeping the advanced features to a minimum, Canon is able to offer this latest ELPH version in the sub-$200 price point.
Compact, lightweight and stylish
The IXUS 140 / ELPH 130 IS is one of three basic IXUS / ELPH models in the bottom half of the range. Until 2013, the entire IXUS / ELPH range carried the HS suffix and all had CMOS sensors paired with the Digic 5 processor. That meant that even the lowliest IXUS / ELPH model shared similar characteristics with the flagship model, but now the picture is very different with Canon deploying an older 16 Megapixel CCD sensor and Digic 4 processor in many of the more affordable 2013 IXUS / ELPHs.
Small and sleek design, Fast autofocus
Although the Canon IXUS 140 is a perfectly adequate camera in most situations, the same can said of many high-end smartphone cameras.
If you're going to allocate precious pocket or bag space for a dedicated camera, then it must take much cleaner shots after dark, even at this price point.
Unfortunately for the Canon IXUS 140, other similarly-specced cameras - including its own sibling the Canon IXUS 125 HS - just work better in a greater range of scenarios.
Very easy to use camera, including on-screen explanations
Still, if you like the idea of owning a Canon camera, you want built-in Wi-Fi, and you like the rectangular look of the ELPH family of cameras, this easy-to-use model will provide adequate performance for beginning photographers. It also will be a better value if you can find it closer to the $150 or $125 price points, rather than the $200 suggested price.
Subpar low-light quality
We know there are still many people who don't own smartphones, or, if they do, they prefer to use two devices. If you fall into either of these two categories and you're looking for something like the 130 IS, there is a stronger option that we haven't mentioned, and that's Canon's ELPH 330 HS. We gave the 330 HS some harsh criticism, but for only $30 more, it's actually a far better camera than the 130 IS. You get a longer zoom, Wi-Fi, and better sensor and image processor.
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