Canon PowerShot S100
The PowerShot range contains some of the leading compact cameras around. The PowerShot S100 epitomises everything that’s exceptional about this range, with a sensitive CMOS sensor for working in low lighting. There’s a dedicated High Dynamic Range mode for shooting images in high-contrast scenarios, and its latest DIGIC 5 processor is what makes this camera stand out. Capturing detail-rich RAW exposures, for more control when editing in Photoshop, is all part of the S100’s package. The camera’s 5x optical zoom packs an impressive f/2.0 aperture. This means you’ll never be short on any amounts of depth of field, and when used with its manual focusing ring there’s even room to control exactly where to put it.
Nikon COOLPIX S9300
The Nikon COOLPIX S9300 is at the forefront of the company’s Style series of compact cameras. The 16-megapixel CMOS sensor and EXPEED C2 image processor give high-resolution results. This super-zoom compact packs an 18x optical lens, built-in GPS and an Auto HDR mode for deeply rich tones.
Sony Cyber-shot HX10V
Sony’s powerful HX10V shooter features an Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ processor that boast excellent image quality. As well as being 18.2-megapixels for large image dimensions and print sizes, the camera’s autofocus operates at 0.13 seconds, quickly producing great results.
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ150
The FZ range from Panasonic is a prominent figure in the compact camera market. The FZ150 features first-class optics from Leica and zooms to a long 24x optical focal length. Use the camera’s versatile 3-inch flip-out screen to compose images and movies in changing scenery. The option to shoot RAW images as well as JPEGs is a big bonus if you’re planning on heavy postproduction in Photoshop. Lots of manual controls get you closer to the feel of a real DSLR, but with the advantage of being a smaller, more portable shell.
The SZ-31MR doesn’t skimp on the manual modes. There’s an adjustable Depth of Field mode that can even create interesting bokeh effects. Fully manual controls will enable both aperture and shutter speeds to be tweaked for getting that perfect shot.