In prime focus

Looking for high-end quality but not ready for a professional camera? Try our top picks

Before your next holiday or momentous occasion slips into just a fuzzy memory, stick it into snapshots by kitting up with some of the best cameras in town, from point-and-shoot cameras to an entry-level DSLR.

Canon PowerShot S110

Apart from carrying the much-lauded imaging capabilities of its predecessor (the S100) forward and improving them, the new shooter adds one major capability: Wi-Fi. This allows you to transfer images from the camera to a Wi-Fi-compatible printer or a tablet or phone, with a free app. The 3-inch LCD boasts a capacitive touch screen that is intuitive and very usable. This includes a Touch Shutter feature which mitigates camera shake very nicely while clicking.

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Price: 29,995

For specifications, visit: www.canon.co.in/personal/products/compact-cameras/powershot/powershot-s110

Nikon D3200

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Low-light photography capabilities are very good, though high ISOs tend to produce noise. Newbies will find the in-camera guide pretty useful. The SLR adept may whine about its slight shutter lag and somewhat slower auto-focus, but will appreciate the pro-exposure controls. The built-in flash is sufficient, albeit barely. It is compatible with Nikon’s new wireless mobile adapter that allows easy image sharing and a camera remote control via a free Android phone app. All in all, a super choice at the entry level if you think you have graduated to the DSLR toting class.

Price: 47,450 (with AF-S 18-105mm VR Kit Lens); 36,450 (with AF-S 18-55mm VR Kit Lens); and 30,750

For specifications, visit: imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d3200

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This one is by far the best in the point-and-shoot business—especially when it comes to low-light photography. Feature-loaded and function-packed though it is, you almost forget it has all those controls, so outstanding are its results. Bad light images show no noise (graininess) up to ISO 1600 or so. Auto-focusing is very fast though the flash takes time to recycle. Can’t say the in-camera charging deserves any praise either.

The F1.8 maximum aperture makes it ever so easy to throw backdrops out of focus and make the subjects stand out. Excellent imaging abilities aside, its support for the RAW format and full manual controls extends this camera’s appeal to amateurs and professionals as well. Despite the limited 3.6x, (28-100mm) zoom, the chunky 20.2 MP allows for a fair amount of cropping. Undoubtedly, here is one pocket camera that offers DSLR-like performance and output.

Of course, the cost of these accomplishments is also outstanding. But if you can afford it, don’t blink: Just buy it.

Price: 34,990

For specifications, visit: www.sony.co.in/product/dsc-rx100

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