Go shutter-crazy: The best compact cameras of 2014

We take a look at the best compact cameras of 2014

While basic point and shoot cameras are surely on their way out, now that smartphones are starting to sport better cameras, it’s the advanced point and shoot segment that has gotten interesting over the years. This year was no different and we were treated to some cutting edge camera technology in a pocketable form factor. One of the main features we saw on not just advanced point and shoots, but also on mirrorless cameras was the presence of an in-built wireless adapter and NFC chip inside the cameras. Every camera maker has their own dedicated camera app for not just transferring images wirelessly, but also for shooting remotely using the phone's screen as the shutter as well as settings controller. The emphasis on using faster lens having wide maximum aperture range and speedy focus was a common thread among the advanced compact cameras this year. So here’s a list of the best compact cameras of 2014.

 Go shutter-crazy: The best compact cameras of 2014

Winner: Sony RX100 III

Sony RX100 III improves upon the RX100 II, which in itself was a great point and shoot camera. It is not just an iterative update like the RX100 II was to the RX100, but adds in some major features such as a faster lens and a dedicated viewfinder, which can appeal to those who love street and documentary photography. It’s light weight and compact size allow you to easily carry it in your back pocket. Image quality is where the RX100 III shines, giving images with natural colours with image sharpness maintained at the centre as well as around the edges. Even while shooting fine objects such as leaves on a tree at a distance, the RX100 III is able to resolve it well at regular ISO levels. ISO performance is great till ISO 3200. Low light photography is also quite impressive. Video output is decent with ample scope for casual as well as semi-pro work. It does offer manual mode shooting and it supports the high bitrate XAVC S format, but sadly for using that format, you will need an SDXC card.

Nikon P340

1st runner up: Nikon Coolpix P340

Nikon Coolpix P340 offers impressive performance in still images. It is an ideal camera for those looking at a pocket camera for street shooting and want complete manual control. The dials on the camera help in quickly changing settings. Although we would have loved to see an extra function button. The wireless functionality is an added incentive if you like sharing images as soon as they are shot. The fast f/1.8 lens will ensure that you do not need to use very high ISO settings and the ISO performance upto ISO 800 is good. Although we were disappointed that the telephoto end aperture is unchanged from the Nikon P330. Also video performance is not one of its strong suits.


2nd runner up: Canon Powershot G1X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II has improved a lot from the older G1X, both in terms of speed as well as usability. Image quality and ISO performance are quite good, but looking at the competition it should have been even better. Addition of Wi-fi and NFC is another plus. Touch focussing is fast and responsive, and we did not face any focus locking issues during daytime. Fast aperture at the wide and telephoto end, gives you pleasing bokehs. For someone looking at a workhorse compact camera, the Canon PowerShot G1X Mark II is a good choice. If only it were priced sensibly.

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