The digital cameras of the new era are packed with a multitude of features. As the name adverts, Point and Shoot cameras (P&S) allow you to point the camera at the object you want to capture and trip the shutter. You don’t have to be an expert to click pictures, as the camera is a smart assistant. But mind you, it’s not as smart as the expert photographer!
DSLR is the abbreviations for Digital Single Lens Reflex and refers to how the light enters the camera. DSLR cameras have more accessories available, such as interchangeable lenses and external flash units. These cameras give the photographer great control over the photography process and thus create images with the quality not always achievable with a Point & Shoot.
But today’s Point and Shoot cameras have travelled a long distance with technology, thus providing you with a plethora of manual controls, giving the user an experience that is pretty close to the DSLRs. The image quality is also equally comparable. The Point and shoot cameras are compactly designed to be portable and sleek enough to fit into your pocket. As these Point and Shoot cameras are shrinking in size, they are growing in features to give you the DSLR feel and quality.
Now your task of taking pictures is simplified but what remains is, to choose the right Point-and-Shoot camera with the DSLR qualities from the profusion of cameras available in the market. Here is a compilation of top 3 point and shoot cameras with DSLR features.
Top Nikon Cameras (India)
Nikon Coolpix P330
The grip is good yet light enough to be carried around. The buttons are easily accessible. It has a full set of manual controls. It maintains a relatively clutter-free finish and is comfortable in operation and fits easily in pocket
|Sensor type||BSI-CMOS sensor|
|Mode||Raw Mode (.NRW)|
|Zoom lens||24-120mm (equivalent) F1.8-5.6 optically-stabilized zoom lens|
|ISO||80-3200 (up to ISO 12,800 in manual mode)|
|Frames||10 fps shooting (for 10 frames)|
|Screen||3″ 921k-dot rear LCD screen|
|Battery||Approx. 200 shots per charge|
This comes with a shutter priority mode, aperture priority mode, full manual mode, and a user defined mode, offering the kind of control and flexibility of a DSLR. P330 can be attached to a WU-1A mobile adapter accessory that allows you to take pictures remotely over Wi-Fi from your mobile phone
The P330’s lens is the fastest in the current Coolpix lineup which offers a maximum aperture of F1.8 at the wide end. But the lens gets pretty slow, as you zoom in. At the 120mm telephoto setting, its maximum aperture is F5.6. This is wide enough but not exactly ‘fast’.
One does not expect DSLR quality images from a point-and-shoot, but the P330 performs well over all. It gives a good low light performance too.
There is no viewfinder. The 5X zoom is not the most powerful, you can’t use the flash in burst mode, whether fast or slow. There are no gridlines to help compose shots.
This compact camera bundles many DSLR-like features into a small package, with a rugged body, yet it weighs 7.1 ounces with SD card and battery installed.
Nikon Coolpix P520
The Nikon Coolpix P520 looks and feels very similar to a DSLR, with a substantial grip which is rubberized. Much of the button layout is also very similar to a DSLR.
|Effective pixels||18.1 megapixels|
|ISO||Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 2000, 3200|
|Focal length (equiv.)||24–1000 mm|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||550 g (1.21 lb / 19.40 oz)|
|Dimensions||125 x 84 x 102 mm (4.92 x 3.31 x 4.02?)|
The P520 is compatible with the optional WU-1a Wi-Fi module which lets you control it from your smart phone and share your photos. Full manual control, along with semi-automatic modes (such as aperture and shutter priority) is available.
Macro focusing is the main feature. Apertures at the wide end go from f3.0 to f8.3 with a total of 10 stops. There’s a small, but decent, electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a Vari-angle LCD for framing up your shots.
The Nikon Coolpix P520 is excellent, a step ahead than the P510. But the extra megapixels really don’t help much except with well-lit macro shots or frame-filling portraits, the P520’s shooting performance seems to have slowed some.
The Nikon Coolpix P520 doesn’t have Wi-Fi built in, but it’s compatible with Nikon’s Wu-1a wireless adaptor in case you would want to add the functionality. Battery life is a little low.
The slow autofocus in telephoto and the long shutter lag in low light is of concern. But if you don’t shoot anything that’s terribly fast-moving then there is no issue. While the Nikon Coolpix P520 is an excellent all-round performer, it is not the only one.
Nikon Coolpix A
The Nikon Coolpix A is a small camera in all respects, especially when you consider it contains an APS-C sized sensor. It has PASM shooting mode dial on top, and a pop-up dashboard menu on the LCD—DSLR users must be used to this. To add to this, there are plenty of additional body controls. It delivers DSLR-standard image quality with an excellent 28mm equivalent lens.
|Max resolution||4928 x 3264|
|Effective pixels||16.2 megapixels|
|Sensor size||APS-C (23.6 x 15.7 mm)|
|Focal length (equiv.)||28 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)|
|Viewfinder type||Optical (optional)|
The camera offers a 4-frame burst mode, and manual P/S/A/M settings, also several scene modes for different shooting situations. The camera can shoot in RAW/NEF. The Coolpix A is also Wi-Fi-ready through the optional WU-1a adapter. At 10.6 ounces, it’s as light as a feather, giving very similar image quality as the D3200 (25 ounces and same size image senor).
Although there’s no optical zoom, the shallow depth of field would please street photographers. It has a fast auto focusing system and a burst mode of 4 frames per second. The 16.2-megapixel camera utilizes a NIKKOR 18.5mm lens with an f/2.8 aperture. Beware, the lens does not have zoom. It’s a fixed focal length.
The Coolpix A offers excellent DSLR-standard image quality. It features Sharp lens with good consistency up to fairly wide apertures. Noise does take the edge off the very finest detail, still image quality is maintained.
Nikon Coolpix A is a very good camera indeed. It gives DSLR quality images with its fixed lens (without zoom). The interface is also quite friendly to the DSLR users. In effect it’s a DSLR features packed Point and Shoot camera, but still does not justify the cost.
This article was written by Viswalakshmy of Shoppingiwish. Viswalakshmy is an Electronic devices enthusiast and closely follows latest trends in the Indian gadget market.