Buyers guide: Cameras in Rs 30,000 range

Buyers guide: Cameras in Rs 30,000 rangeHave a Rs 30,000 budget for a new digital camera but I am I confused whether I should buy a DSLR or go for an advanced point and shoot. Please help me decide and suggest some options for both types of cameras.

— M Murali, Rintu Biswal, Anurag Katiyar, Kritika Agrawal
DSLR cameras come with a larger image sensor, superior in-camera image-processing engine and give users finer control of the aperture size, shutter speed, focus and exposure to light — all of which work together to result in excellent image quality if used correctly.

Depending on the subject and framing, the photographer also has the option to use lens that would work best for the situation: Macro for extreme close-ups, "pancakes" for portraits, wide angle for panoramas, or telephoto for distant subjects. However, due to the learning curve involved, opt for a DSLR only if you are willing to invest time to study the finer nuances of picture taking. Also, the costs of different lenses make this type of camera a fairly expensive proposition.

That said, beginners keen on picking up the fine art of manual photography can consider the 18MP Canon 1200D (Rs 25,000), which comes with a double lens kit (18-55mm stock and 55-250mm telephoto), the 24MP Nikon D3200 (Rs 24,000) or the 24MP Nikon D3300 (Rs 27,500), which includes a stock 18-55mm lens. To make things easier for novices, these shooters come with a "guide" mode or a supporting app to teach users about the different settings and controls.

On the other hand, if you want a simple, more manageable shooter, then go for an advanced point-and-shoot, fixed-lens camera. These are equipped with easy-to-use functions like auto focus, object tracking, filter effects and a number of preset scene modes (portrait, close up, landscape, fireworks, beach, sunsetsunrise, etc). Besides, you also get a fair degree of manual control.

Image quality is good enough for postcard-sized prints and web sharing. Here, you can get the 20MP Sony Cybershot DSC-HX400V (Rs 25,000) with 50x zoom lens; the 12MP Canon Powershot SX50 (Rs 22,500) also with 50x optical zoom lens, or the 16MP Nikon Coolpix P600 (Rs 20,000) with 60x optical zoom. All of these cameras come with image stabilization, sport a swivel LCD display, while the HX400V and P600 are also equipped with Wi-Fi for wireless file transfer