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Kickstart Your Photography Dream With These 10 Basic Cameras

Point and shoot away!
by KC Calpo | Sep 29, 2016
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When was the last time you ever used a digital camera? We've become so reliant on our smartphones that most, including this writer, will say they haven't even owned one in years! While our phones are great at capturing all our daily vanities and inanities (and some include features that have mobile photographers in mind), we kind of miss using something made specifically to capture still and moving images—and do it so damn well you start harboring illusions of putting up your own studio.

But we're not that eager to lug around heavy DSLRs and another bag full of accessories and cards. We want something small, but powerful enough to handle subjects and scenarios that normally require more advanced equipment. And of course, it has to have Wi-Fi and/or NFC on board so we can immediately show off our shots online. Gotta live your best life, guys.

So we went on an online hunt and found these 10 compact cameras you can get yourself as an early Christmas gift. These babies aren't like the old point-and-shoots you remember from years back; they're as flexible function-wise as their bigger siblings, and come with some of their perks as well. We'd be surprised if these cameras didn't get you excited to pick one up again!

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Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

Let's start with this petite heavy lifter from Canon. It takes 20MP stills and full HD (1080p) videos at 30 frames per second, and gives you a sweet 25x optical zoom for those times when you don't really want to get that up close with your subject (No stalking, gents). We're also into the SX620 HS's Hybrid Auto mode: this compact cam records up to four seconds of HD movie footage before it takes a still image, with all the footage combined at the end of your day to make a Day in Review of sorts that you can post online.

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Underneath, the latest PowerShot has a CMOS image sensor and Canon's DIGIC 4+ processor and HS System; offers Creative Shot mode, Scene Detection and additional filters; a Remote Shooting function; and of course, Wi-Fi and NFC. It has a US$279.99 (around PhP13,500) SRP from Canon's US online store, but you can visit your nearest Canon Philippines store once it's stocked. We're expecting it to be in the P20,000+ range when it does hit local shores.

Canon PowerShot G9X

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Another awesome new member of the PowerShot family, the Canon G9X, ups the ante for budding photographers. Image sensor and megapixel count remain the same (CMOS; 20MP), but the image processor is boosted to DIGIC 6, aperture is now at f/2.0, full HD recording can do 60 frames per second, and with full manual control, and you can shoot in RAW format. This G also offers Star Shooting and Short Clip modes, along with the other ones mentioned above for the SX620 HS.

The PowerShot G9X is available at Canon stores for P23,998, as well as renowned camera retailer Henry's Professional (silver and black), and CameraHaus (silver only).

Nikon 1 J5

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If you want to see what the mirrorless camera fuss is about, start with the 1 J5. Better late than never, right? The best thing about this Nikon is you can choose and switch between any 1 NIKKOR lens or DSLR lenses (adapter required), depending on your requirements. Unlike our other compacts, this camera has a 180º tilting touch screen, great for those highly awkward positions we get into in the pursuit of The Perfect Sharable Photo. Record video at full HD with 60fps, take 20MP images with the 1 J5's CX CMOS sensor, and enjoy full manual control if you're bored with the presets. That smooth retro look matches our hankering for actual old-school cameras, too.

The 1 J5 isn't listed on the local Nikon website, but you can get it in silver for P25,900 over at CameraHaus.

Nikon CoolPix W100

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There are times when you just want a gadget that'll make it out of any situation without a scratch. The 13MP, 1080p/30fps-capable CoolPix W100 falls into the pang-harabas category: it's made to be water-proof (up to 10m), dust-proof, shock-proof (up to 1.8m), and cold-resistant (up to -10ºC). Onboard Vibration Reduction, filters, and Image Lock add to the fun of shooting and sharing. We're thinking this is an excellent camera for your typical outdoor adventures down to relatively extreme environments—or lend out to your younger family members without beads of sweat forming on your forehead.

We couldn't find a local listing for this CoolPix yet, so it would be best to go to your nearest Nikon outlet to ask and/or check it out when it becomes available.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV

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From fun and rugged, we go straight to sleek and top-of-the-line. The Sony RX100 IV has been repeatedly named as a top compact camera, and it isn't difficult to see why. 4K videos? Sure. 20MP, 16fps continuous shots? Yep. It can capture fast-moving subjects (1/32000 of a second), or go on super-slow motion (up to 40x, if you wish). Forget high-quality photos. We wanna make short movies with this baby.

Get the RX100 IV now at any Sony Philippines store for P49,999. Sleek and top-of-the-line comes with a certain price, you know.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX500

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For those who want a Sony cam without ripping a big hole in their wallets, the WX500 is a worthy option. Selfie-lovers, rejoice: this compact camera's 180º LCD screen gives you control over your angles, and helps you avoid any awkward 18MP shots. A 30x optical zoom allows you to shoot from afar; and this Cyber-shot does well with action and glamor shots as well, thanks to its multiple settings.

For P16,999, we have a clear winner. Click here to see where your nearest Sony Store is.

Olympus PEN E-PL8

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Here's another small mirrorless camera with that lovable retro aesthetic! Like the Nikon 1 J5 and Sony WX500's screens, which tilt upward, the newest Olympus PEN goes for the full tilt (except it chooses to go downward rather than up), facilitating flawless selfies — both as still images and short movies. Think of features Live Guide as the best tutorial for photography novices, and Live Composite as your entry into light-trail shots. Other perks: Change up your Micro Four Thirds lenses with any of the compatible Olympus (or Panasonic) lenses; shoot in JPEG, RAW, or RAW+JPEG; and do 16MP shots!

This camera hit the market just this month, and there's no word on if and when it'll reach the Philippines. We'll keep you posted. Until then, it's another gadget pipe dream of ours.

Fujifilm X-T10

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Similar to the other compacts we mentioned earlier, the X-T10 has that tilting LCD display, old-school design, top-notch X-Trans CMOS II image sensor and EXR processor II, and wide options for still images and short full HD movies. But what we're extra excited to see with this camera (aside from playing with the compatible Fujinon lenses) are its lauded Real Time Viewfinder and Film Simulations. Shall we get our Wes Anderson on?

If you're ready to make the X-T10 your next camera, Henry's Professional has it in black and silver for P45,990.

Fujifilm FinePix XP90

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Another Fujifilm camera following tradition is the FinePix XP90. The 16MP toughie can go up to 15m underwater, withstand up to a 1.75-meter fall, weather temps of up to -10ºC, and resist the dust and sand that seem to love us too much, post-beach trip. Not only is this rugged shooter more fit than we are, it also offers Interval Shooting mode for those popular time-lapse videos, and a dedicated Burst Mode button to quickly capture all the action.

For P11,990 (blue with 8GB SD card, CameraHaus), you'll get a great camera to accompany you in your outdoor adventures. Not bad at all.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

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The Lumix lineup is still going strong, with the LX100 among its most recent standouts. We're digging its 4K and full HD video capability, Leica DC Vario-Summilux lens, external controls for advanced photographers (e.g., for shutter speed, aperture, focus and exposure), up to 11fps in burst mode, shooting in RAW format, Multi Exposure and Stop Motion Animation modes, and all the filters we'll ever need!

The LX100 is available at Henry's Professional for P39,999, and comes in silver and black. If you want to buy via Kimstore, you'll need to preorder it, but you'll have a much lower price tag at P27,300.



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