BEST CAMERA: High definition or HD has become a household name now in metro cities as well as with B level cities. With the falling prices of LCD televisions, gaming consoles and BluRay players the hardware required to view HD content is now available in most homes.
Thankfully, now even the hardware required to record HD content is easily available in terms of camcorders and digital cameras that do HD recording. Until now, most of the larger DSLR and Prosumer cameras were able to record in HD resolution, but now quite a few manufacturers have dished out smaller point-and-shoot cameras that provide users with the ability to record 720p HD videos. Here are the top cameras that are sleek, sexy and provide great stills with outstanding HD videos.
Canon IXUS 100 IS (Rs 11,000)
The IXUS 100 IS is one of those few point-and-shoot cameras that truly defies the performance limitations of a small camera. It weighs a mere 115g with a shiny metallic body and is just 19 mm thick. The camera fits easily in the pocket of trousers and still manages to pack in a 2.5" LCD display monitor as well as an optical viewfinder.
It takes superb shots at 12 mega pixel resolution with 28 mm wide angle and has a Digic IV processor for ultra fast response. It records videos in unbelievable clear quality in 720p HD resolution and comes with a mini HDMI out port for direct connectivity to an LCD display. Though it is now replaced by the Canon IXUS 120 IS officially, the 100IS is available in the market and should be on top of your list for a slim HD recording camera.
Samsung ST5500 (Rs 17,990)
The Samsung ST5500 is one of the recent launches by Samsung in their compact cameras portfolio. It is one of the most feature-rich cameras available today with integrated WiFi, Bluetooth, shake and gesture controls with classy matte metallic finish on the body. Its price is further justified by a huge 3.7" AMOLED touch-screen display that is very responsive and easy to use. The camera snaps quality images at a resolution of 14 mega pixel, thanks to the full sized Schneider KREUZNACH lens and comes with a 7X optical zoom. The camera records 720p HD content in superb quality and has a mini HDMI out for direct connectivity as well. The interesting part is that it uses a microSD card instead of a standard SD card, so do keep this in mind before opting for the camera.
Nikon Coolpix S8000 (Rs 18,950)
The Nikon Coolpix S8000 is one of the best offerings from Nikon in a compact form factor. The camera uses a new thin lens barrel design, which provides for a whooping 10X optical zoom in a compact form factor. It has a 14 mega pixel Nikkor lens with extra low dispersion glass lens and lens shift vibration reduction resulting in beautiful images.
It is capable of clicking macros as close as 1 cm and has four anti-blur functions for minimal errors cause by camera shakes. The 720p HD video recording is great in quality, though the zoom cannot be used while recording. The most impressive factor is the speed of the camera. It has a recycle time of just 1 second, so you take a shot and in another second, it is ready for the next one, which is very impressive. The camera also comes with mini HDMI out for connectivity with LCD TV and monitors. Sadly, its one of the most expensive one as well.
Sony DSC-W350 (Rs 11,990)
The W350 cybershot camera from Sony is a 14 mega pixel snapper that boasts of a Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar lens with Sony's super HAD CCD. The camera uses a BIONZ image-processing engine for fast response especially during focusing. The camera boasts of effortless panoramic shots, thanks to Sony's Sweep panorama technology. The W350 has a bright 2.7" display with a metallic finish body. Moreover, the camera weighs about 120g and is just 17 mm thick.
The HD video recording is superb and even offers optical zoom while recording. Sadly, the camera looses out to the Canon in terms of image quality of still photographs. Moreover, Sony uses a proprietary port for connectivity and doesn't offer a direct HDMI connectivity option which is a further letdown. Nonetheless, the W350 takes superb HD video recordings with crystal clear video and audio.
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