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We Pick The Best In Digital Photography For 2012

By The SmartHouse Team | Tuesday | 13/12/2011

From Full HD video shooting to new mirrorless system cams, the digital photography space has seen some big changes this year. DSLRs that shoot 1080p videos while snapping incredibly detailed stills, video cameras that record in 3D and some truly defiant rugged cams that eat up whatever weather is thrown at them.

Click to enlarge
Best Compact Cam
Canon Powershot S95
$599 | www.canon.com.au

The S95 steps ahead of its newer competitors by bringing the full scope of manual control of a DSLR plus amazing image quality for such a small build in the form factor of a typical compact cam. Configure ISO, white balance, focus, aperture, all from a single dial, and proceed to take stunning images in RAW format just as though you were using any other typical point-and-shooter. Pros and enthusiasts looking for a pocket-sized pic-taker while the DSLRs taking a rest, look no further.

Highly Recommended
Nikon P300
$499 | www.nikon.com.au


Click to enlarge
Best All Weather Camera
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3
$549 | www.panasonic.comau

While many rugged cams are built tough but without the imaging grunt behind them to match, the FT3 comes out shining with higher picture quality than you'll find in most - rain, hail, or shine - and a gamut of functionality to boot. There's the in-built GPS, compass, altimeter, 3D capture, Full HD video and a whole range of weatherproofing. Its full feature set and fulfilled promise of rugged portability makes it a list-topper.

Highly Recommended
Nikon AW100
$349 | www.nikon.com.au


Click to enlarge
Best Budget DSLR
Nikon D5100
$1,199 | www.nikon.com.au

Pairing image quality and a rich feature set puts the D5100 at the top of any budding DSLR-owning beginner's list when up against the rest of the sub-thousand dollar market. Features like Full HD video recording, add-on visual effects and continuous autofocus in video mode, coupled with the beautifully simple build and on-screen interface, make the D5100 the best value (and simplest) DSLR you'll find.

Highly Recommended
Canon EOS 600D
$959 | www.canon.com.au

Nikon also picked up the Best Mirrorless Camera for its Nikon 1 V1, stepping ahead of Panasonic with its latest offering. You can see the full scoop here.

Read on to see which camcorder deserves your dollar.


Click to enlarge
Best Video Camcorder
Sony HDRCX700V
$1,699 | www.sony.com.au

Sony's expertise and long-running heritage in producing movie-grade cameras has filtered right through to the frontline products in its video camera range. Topping the range is its HDRCX700V high definition camcorder and comes equipped with an Exmor R CMOS sensor. The sensor is particularly adept to recording in areas of compromised lighting, reducing tonal gradation and upping image clarity and sharpness. Complementing astute imagery is in-built GPS for Geotagging and Optical Steady Shot for smooth video capturing, cushioning handheld jolts. There's plenty of video storage inside with 96GB of internal memory, and recorded vids can be played back on its 3 inch Touch Panel LCD, which is coloured by 921k dots and dons the faithful 16:9 widescreen ratio.

Highly Recommended
Panasonic HDC-HS900
$2,099 | www.panasonic.com.au

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