Summer is a time for holidays—schools and colleges have their breaks, and if you’re trying to make plans with your family, this is when adults take vacations too. And when travel is on the cards, photography can’t be far behind. Everyone wants memories of the places they visited and nothing quite captures that as well as a good photograph (or even a video).
A couple of decades ago, taking pictures was the preserve of the professionals and specialists, and cameras were expensive gadgets. Not anymore. Today, you can get a decent camera without a severe dent in your bank account, or right in your phone itself.
If you are looking to grab a camera for some photography this summer, without investing too heavily (well, at least initially) here are some options well worth checking out. We’ve included links where you can buy these cameras from, although with online deals, the prices may vary by the time you click.
Nikon Coolpix W100
Buy it online: Rs 8,999
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For those seeking a simple point-and-shooter that can take all the bumps and exertions of lots of travel, this is perhaps the best option. Its specs will not make onlookers gasp in amazement—it comes with a 13.2-megapixel sensor, 2.7-inch LCD and just 3X optical zoom, and has a rather simple, basic design.
What makes it a good option for the holidays (apart from a reasonable price) is that it’s water resistant (it can go upto 10 metres underwater), very tough (it can be dropped from 1.8 metres without damage), and super simple to operate. It’s one of the best options for anyone wanting to grab a camera just for good old point and snapping, and can also deliver full HD video.
It delivers very good results in normal light conditions, comes with Bluetooth connectivity and is solid and simple enough to use even for a child.
Canon EOS 1300D
Buy it online: Rs 22,999
DSLRs are getting more affordable, and for enthusiasts who don’t want to start spending in the pro-gear range, the Canon EOS 1300D is a great option.
if you feel you are in the mood to get into some serious photography done this summer, then we would recommend starting out with the Canon EOS 1300D. At Rs 22,999, it does not cost the Earth and still delivers a very good 24.1 megapixel sensor. You can start out with the kit lens (18-55mm) and then gently keep investing in other lenses—Canon cameras have a number of options—as your skills improve and/or your needs increase.
For instance, you could add a special lens for portraits or a telephoto lens for wildlife photography in future. This is a long-term investment for people getting serious about photography.
Small, yet powerful
Buy it online: Rs 23,999
If you want a powerful camera that is still small enough to slip into your pocket, yet versatile enough to use for a party with friends, or a 30x zoom shot while birdwatching, then the Sony HX90V is your choice.
It has powerful hardware, as apart from 30x optical zoom, it also has a very good 18.2-megapixel sensor. There’s a tiltable LCD display that can be flipped 180-degrees if you want to take selfies, and an OLED viewfinder too. It also supports Wi-Fi to upload your photos on the go, at a price that is pretty reasonable for what you’re getting.
This is the perfect device for someone who wants it all, but doesn’t like the size or long-term cost of a DSLR.
For the thrill seekers
Noise Play Vlog
But it online: Rs 5,999
Action cameras—most famously the GoPro—are small and rugged cameras that you can strap on to your bike, or wear on top of a helmet, to record things as they take place, whether you’re climbing a mountain, or out for a hike, or just documenting your life.
But although the GoPro made the category famous, its price might put people off. Enter the Noise Play Vlog. This tiny camera packs in a 16 megapixel sensor and is capable of shooting 4K video. Water resistant packaging means you can take it underwater, and it’s also rugged enough to mount on a vehicle. It has electronic image stabilisation to ensure you get clear videos and snaps, no matter how shaky things get.
There is a handy burst mode to capture three to five images per second, options to add effects, Wi-Fi connectivity and best of all, the option to add an external microphone if need be.
Click and print
Buy it online: Rs 7,900
Instant cameras—where you take a picture and then see it printed out in front of you from the camera itself in a matter of minutes—are back. They might not deliver the sort of detail and colours that modern digital cameras do, but they give you a printed copy of what you have clicked, laden with retro looks and feels.
If you like to pin real photographs to boards and albums instead of just sharing snaps on social networks, then one of the best options for beginners is the Instax SQ6, which looks like the Instagram logo, and comes with multiple shooting options (including even a selfie mode), delivering pictures that are slightly larger than basic instant camera models.
It’s easy enough to use, and usually delivers good results, although the pictures look a little retro. It’s the perfect companion for people who want immediate results on their travels. Just be ready to shell out about Rs 650 for film cartridges, which give you ten shots each.
On your phone
Redmi Note 7 Pro
Buy it online: Rs 13,999
Purists might scoff at the idea of taking photos with your smartphone, but the best camera is the one you have with you. And there’s no gadget we ever spend as much time with, as we do with our phones. Now, if you’re buying a flagship phone, like the Apple iPhone XS, Google Pixel 3, or the Samsung Galaxy S10, then you can be pretty sure the camera is also top-notch, and many of these phones are now being used for professional photography.
But even if you’re buying a budget-friendly phone, you can still get a good camera and for this, we would recommend the Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro.
You can read all about the phone in our review, but what you need to know here is that it packs in a massive 48-megapixel sensor, as well as a secondary 5-megapixel camera for adding depth of field. The camera can be a little inconsistent, but is capable of capturing an amazing amount of detail, allowing you to zoom in and see things that you would have otherwise missed.
Video is quite good too—you can shoot 4K video, if you wish. And as we mention in our review, it’s a really good phone as well, so if you’re looking to buy a new smartphone and care about photography, this is one to keep in mind.