The point and shoot camera niche is an odd one if one contemplates the thousands of options available, yet there always are amateur photographers who do not wish to splash a ton of cash on something they do not use on a regular basis. Nevertheless, manufacturers are, at present, willing and able to provide decent performing devices for people on a low to medium budget.
The price, however, never tells the whole story in the case of any product. Looking for bargains could be the most uninspired move, especially in the case of digital cameras where so many features must combine to deliver the desired results.
Considering a few price ranges, the models selected here should be the benchmark for those interested in buying a point and shoot camera in 2018 India.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300/BC E32
The DSC-300 model from Sony is setting the benchmark for enthusiasts with a mid-range budget since 2014. In fact, considering the image quality it delivers, ease of use, and ability to perform decently in all genres of photography, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H300/BC E32 is the leading candidate for the best point and shoot camera under ₨ 15000.
Most point and shoot camera customers are beguiled by the maximum zoom and the resolution. This model does not impress in absolute terms – 35X zoom range and 20 effective megapixels, respectively – but it more than holds its own in relative terms. Not to mention the fact that these specifications do not guarantee an irreproachable experience.
The qualities of the Sony DSC-H300 take a bit of time and adjusting to become evident, one of the hallmarks of a solid relationship. Though it does not catch the eye from the design point of view, controlling the camera for actual photographing comes very natural after a short while. All the controls are logically placed, leading to a highly intuitive experience, though a left-hander might not totally agree with this statement.
The problems with this type of camera come at the actual digital level. The menu is extremely difficult to get along with, each and every option needing at least three steps to be taken. With that said, the results delivered by its pièce de résistance – the Sweep Panorama function – is what has kept this camera in high regard until today.
People should not turn to point and shoot equipment for video, and the maximum 720p footage the DSC-H300 captures is definitely not up to date. Yet this does taking a shot at the camera, thanks to the photo quality, evident from even the first Google search, has not yet been surpassed by models in this segment that, granted, possess more striking specifications.
Sony DSC W830 Cyber-shot 20.1 MP Point and Shoot Camera
Moving to an inferior category, we find the Sony DSC W830, which is maybe one of the few entry-level point and shoot cameras that offers image quality a significant notch above those taken by a high-caliber smartphone. This is a proper product, though not much more can be said about it – one would never sing its praises, nor launch into scathing criticism.
To get the essentials out of the way, the DSC W830 is of the ultra-compact type (just 93 x 52 x 23 mm) not needing its separate bag, and its 1/2.3″ CCD sensor delivers 20 effective megapixels, which is the industry standard at this point in time. However, when one considers the 8X optical zoom and a battery that does not support more than 200 decent performance shots, then the attractive price tag is instantly logical.
The 2.7 inch LCD display fitted on the DSC W830 suggests the same feeling of precariousness, as you cannot fathom anything even on the most overcast of days. Adding insult to injury, it suffers greatly in the connectivity department, as the USB cable is the only way to access your photos. The video capabilities are likewise quite disappointing, yet that was a foregone conclusion.
All in all, Sony DSC W830 Cyber-shot performs a respectable job and if the customer does not hold too many illusions about what a more-than-affordable camera can produce, it may be one of the best point and shoot cameras under ₨10000, even more than four years after its initial release.
Canon PowerShot SX540HS
Hovering around both sides of the ₨20000 mark for some time, the Canon PowerShot SX540HS sits on the higher end of the point and shoot camera category. Individuals who are not true connoisseurs may take it for an SLR camera at first glance. And who is to blame them, considering that it has a similar look and feel, even though it does not deliver the same kind of performance.
Those looking to buy this type of camera may get smitten instantly because the 20.3 megapixels CMOS sensor and the 50X zooming potential do not need great salesman talents. The maximum resolution is 5184 x 3888 px, and the images impress by the almost non-existent noise level and the accuracy of recorded colors. Furthermore, this is a camera for those that are always on the move – the brilliant image stabilization system meaning that one does not have to worry about supportive equipment. It should be noted, however, that it works best during the daytime.
A good point and shoot camera must score highly in the connectivity and usability evaluations. The SX540HS passes the grade with flying colors owing to the NFC connectivity, simple to use menus, great grip, rear dial, and built-in Wi-fi. And for those preoccupied with taking the perfect selfie, the manufacturer has made sure that this model is one of the few in its class that can be smartphone controlled.
Seeing as it performs better than average at capturing video (1080p Full Hd capabilities), it is hard to find fault with the Canon PowerShot SX540HS. Career critics may moan about the mediocre battery, the maximum 3200 ISO value, and the absence of a built-in viewfinder. While these certainly may be detrimental to some people, the reality is that this not yet 2-year-old release is highly recommendable for a large majority of consumers.
If you’re after something even better than the Canon PowerShot SX540HS , you will probably have to head to our guide on the best DSLR camera in India, or the best DSLR camera in India under 50,000.
Sony Cybershot DSC-HX400V
Of all the models presented here, the Sony Cybershot DSC-HX400V is the most expensive. It stands squarely in the bridge camera category and, as a corollary of these two characteristics, is the one with the most imposing specifications. Nevertheless, its core features are virtually the same as the Canon PowerShot SX540HS, meaning that conscientious consumers should be aware that the financial gap translates just into cosmetic differences.
A slightly more recent Exmor R CMOS sensor capable of producing similar quality 20 megapixels images, and an identical 50X zooming capability does not justify the fuss. In fact, some may argue that this model, which is already four years old, is nothing but a revamped edition of the Sony DSC-HX300V. That camera introduced to the brand’s lines these (then) revolutionary key specifications.
However, this is taking nothing away from a point and shoot camera that constitutes a perfectly enjoyable product. It is just that given the current state of the market, there are more advantageous devices. This one merely transcends the point and shoot category, and this reflects in the price.
But if you’d rather get a DSLR at this price point, check out our guide on the best DSLR camera under 30,000 here. For anyone with a slightly higher budget and a requirement for more advanced features, they may want to consider one of the DSLRs on our best DSLRs under 40,000 list.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant
This most affordable product on this roster is also the one that stands out from the pack because it is a blast from the past. That is because the Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant is not a digital camera, functioning in the old Polaroid manner. Many people would wonder what is the point of such an “antiquated” gadget in a world always demanding more state-of-the-art specifications, but they should not underestimate the power of nostalgia.
It truly is no point delving into specifications, yet if this idea of symbolic time travel appeals to you, then there are some things to be taken into consideration. First of all, one should locate the closest vendor that sells film, and also be prepared to buy and often change AA batteries.
As for the actual act of photographing, what you get is more in the realm of fortune. Though there are five exposure settings to adjust for lighting, what you see is never what you are going to get. The Instax Mini 8 looks like a toy and it actually is one – an overly expensive (if you take the film into account) third birthday gift.
So Which is the Best Point and Shoot Camera for You?
From less than Rs5000 to more than Rs25000, the items discussed above represent the best options for point and shoot cameras available in India at the moment. Eventually, things may very well come down to the kind of budget you have. If you’re on a tight budget, the first option we reviewed may be a decent option.
If the budget is not much of an issue for you, however, it would be hard to beat Canon PowerShot SX540HS as an option.