Snap that: Top 5 pro-cameras!By Sophie
It may seem like graduation will never arrive, but when it does be aware that it is the optimum moment to squeeze something snazzy out of your parents, who, naturally, will be gushing with pride after your fantastic results!
However if the aged parents are not on hand to cough up, a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera is still a fabulous investment to mark the passing of your transition into adulthood.
It is the ultimate gift for grown-ups; a coming of age acquisition which will ensure you capture each of your successes in colour perfect clarity.
However as this is such a big investment we have compiled five of the best current DSLRs and top shot cameras to help you make an informed choice!
1. Panasonic GF3 approximately £374.99
A good transition camera which stands between small singled lens cameras and bigger, chunkier DSLRs.
The basics: 264g, 12.1 mega pixel, shutter speed range 60 seconds to 1/4000th of a second.
The good: light and easy to handle, it is the smallest interchangeable lens camera with built in flash; very quick 23 Auto Focus points; movie mode; good colour balance; 6 modes to shoot images including sepia and high dynamic; 3.2 frames per second for continuous snapping.
The bad: no optical viewfinder; no mode dials, touch screen only; no Hot-shoe for an extra flash appliance or viewfinder; relatively short battery life.
2. Canon Eos 1100D, approximately £349.00
Great for first time SLR users, this camera has a professional feel but boasts beginner settings, guaranteeing excellent easy images.
The basics: 495g; 12.2 megapixels; shutter speed range 30 seconds to 1/4000th of a second.
The good: good quality movie recording mode; 9 point Auto Focus; high ISO meaning good quality results for low level lighting; live view; creative auto mode to automatically aid artistic ideas; a guide displayed on screen for each setting change; easy to use for new DSLR users; 3 frames per second; good battery life.
The bad: poor grip on the camera; small screen for viewing images; relatively heavy; not the best option for fast continuous shooting; expensive accessories.
3. Nikon D3100, approximately £399.95
A camera which punches above its weight; great all rounder with a wide range of filters and built in image editing features for fabulous snaps the way you want them.
The basics: 505g; 14.2 megapixels; shutter speed range 30 seconds to 1/4000th of a second.
The good: very good video recording, 3 frames per second for continuous shooting; very easy to use with built in tutorial mode; 11 Auto Focus points; automatic mode which selects the best shooting conditions for your subject; fantastic range of image filters and design features to re-format your photos; performs very well in low lighting.
The bad: sometimes under performs slightly in lighter conditions rather than dark; images can suffer from ‘noise’ disturbance in extreme lighting conditions; relatively heavy.
4. Olympus Pen E-PL3, approximately £449
Another slender bodied compact system camera, this is an extremely fast option for the impulsive stylish snapper.
The basics: 313g; 12.3 megapixels; shutter speed range 60 seconds to 1/4000th of a second.
The good: very fast 35 Auto Focus points, 3 inch screen, stylish metal body, 5.5 frames per second (great to capture your friends walking across the stage); six fun art filters; very fast off to shooting response; titling screen.
The bad: very sensitive sound pick up when filming, poor grip, no built in flash- clip on flash included, relatively low battery life, no view finder, when reviewing images the photo does not fill the entire screen, however the screen is filled during filming.
5. Nikon D5100, approximately £572.95
This Nikon model is fantastic when photographing and filming and has the same 16.2 megapixels and ISO settings as its big brother, the Nikon D7000, worth around a whopping £1,400!
The basics: 560g; 16.2 megapixels; shutter speed range 30 seconds to 1/4000th of a second.
The good: flip out vary angle screen, great when using a tripod; 11 point Auto Focus; special effects mode including night vision, which allow you to shoot in that mode, instead of re-touching afterwards; great in low light; very high quality live view screen; robust build; for a camera of this quality it is relatively light; lots to learn from extensive manual as well as automatic features; fantastic at focusing on quick moving subjects; excellent dynamic range; great for filming.
The bad: it is expensive, and whilst it vastly improves on the Nikon D3100, for a beginner photographer wanting a camera for everyday use, you may not need the extra features.
Did you like this feature? Do you already have one of these cameras? Let us know what you think in the comment box below!
Canon Eos 1100D, approximately £349.00
Nikon D3100, approximately £399.95
Olympus Pen E-PL3, approximately £449
Nikon D5100, approximately £572.95