Sure, you had a yacht party to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Shah Rukh Khan was there, was he? You might have managed to score a couple of invitations to the coolest party in town. Heck, a Bollywood star might even have invited you on board his private yacht. But here’s what you need if you want to boast about it to your friends — photographic evidence.
So while it’s all good to make grand plans — a trip to Maldives with your girlfriend, Bangkok with friends, or that private yacht party — make sure you’re equipped with the right camera. Here’s all you’ll need (without breaking the bank).
Sony DSC TX55
For: The sexy camera hunter
Think your camera design must live up to your fashion sense? Few cameras out in the market can still beat this super-slim one launched last year. It’s just 12.22 mm thick, but still shoots at 16 megapixels, records HD video and sports a large touch screen. Plus, it costs half of what it initially did. And it’s available in pink!
Price: Rs 9,990
For: Those looking for the middle-ground
You want the output of an SLR, without that bulky, and let’s admit it, somewhat ugly, camera? The mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (MILC) is the latest in evolution. Without getting into jargon, this basically lets you use multiple lenses like an SLR, but is smaller and lighter, though not necessarily cheaper. The Olympus strikes the balance between price and output, at 12 megapixels, quick focus and a decent burst rate.
Price: Rs 21,000
For: Best cell phone camera at this price
Apple loyalists may think it blasphemous to even acknowledge an iPhone that’s two generations old. But if you don’t have cash to burn, get the iPhone 4. The five-megapixel camera still beats those on most other phones. And post Instagram, the pictures will look stunning anyway.
Price: Rs 26,500
Nikon D5100 SLR
For: The Nikon loyalist
Though you’re allowed to be terribly confused if you’re new to the business, most serious photographers are either Nikon or Canon loyalists. Think of it as Shah Rukh and Salman Khan camps. This one’s slightly more expensive than the Canon model featured here, but beats it on specifications — 16.2 megapixels, and a larger (3 inch) screen that swivels; perfect for shooting, say, a concert, with the camera held over your head.
Price: Rs 29,450 (body only)
Canon 1100D SLR
For: The wannabe serious shutterbug
Fancy yourself as the sort who will send their vacation photos to a National Geographic photo contest? Luckily, evolution has made cameras better and more affordable. Canon’s beginning-of-the-line SLR sports an impressive 12 megapixels, a CMOS sensor (better at low light situations), goes to 6400 ISO (which gives you better night shooting ability), and is capable of high-definition video recording. Get a 50mm (f/ 1.8) portrait lens if you can spare a little more cash.
Price: Rs 26,000 approx (with 18-55 kit lens); R7,000 approx (for 50mm lens)
HTC One X
For: The Android user
The One X sports one of the best cameras on an Android device. The 8-megapixel shooter comes with a powerful flash that beats the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S3 in low light, and has more manoeuvrability than the iPhone.
Price: Rs 29,899
For: Those who can’t be separated from their tablets
Are you the sort who would carry the iPad even to a Guns N’Roses concert? And then actually raise that giant thing to take a picture? Get the mini. Don’t expect digicam quality, but it still gives you pretty good 5 megapixel images. Plus, since it’s smaller, the guy behind, whose view you’re blocking, will be fractionally less upset.
Price: Rs 21,900 onwards
Apps to go
The ultimate word in digital photo editing is now available on your smartphone. Dodge, burn, crop and make your Facebook profile photo look flawless.
Platforms: iOS, Android
It’s a paid editing app ($5), so why would you want it over Photoshop? Apple’s App of the Year has amazing filters, editing tools and is extremely easy to use.
Another paid, but fairly cheap app ($1.99). Plus, it beats the free Panorama app in being able to capture 360 degrees in three different exposure modes.
If you just want to apply filters, make your photos look stunning without much fuss and share instantly, nothing still beats the good old Instagram.
Platform: iOS, Android
Pocket light meter
Cell phone meets serious photography. Using the phone’s camera, this app acts like a light meter, to give you exposure readings when shooting in manual mode with your DSLR.