Picking a camera that takes videos and pictures might seem like an easy task, since by default, the majority of cameras on the market should be able to do this job. However, the fact that there are so many cameras on the market is actually a hindrance. The abundance of these cameras does not mean that they all have a same level of quality. Instead, it needs to be assessed the quality of the videos and pictures that are taken. This list will focus on easy to use cameras without having to swap out lenses and what not.
GoPro Hero 8 Black.
The GoPro line of cameras are known predominantly for being action cameras. However, there are a lot of budding videographers that are using their GoPros like a conventional camera to take videos and photos. The benefit of the GoPro Hero 8 is that it has a variety of recording modes available, at a variety of resolutions. Tied to this is the image stabilisation that is built into it, as well as it having a rather excellent low light mode. This is known as Hypersmooth 2.0 and has improved upon the already excellent iteration from last year. There is the option to record video up to 4K 60FPS, and there is also the option to record in slow motion at 1080p Full HD. Likewise, it is possible to live stream directly from the camera which is something that is relatively unheard of amongst cameras.
The quality of the photos is also excellent on the GoPro Hero 8. A nice touch is the ability to have a time lapse created. Additionally, photos taken on the GoPro Hero 8 can be saved in the RAW format, as the option to capture pictures in HDR mode.
Coming soon are the optional Mods for the camera. These will add in additional microphones, as well being able to add on a light to the GoPro in order to get excellent results in areas where the lighting is extremely poor. One mod that will really be a huge bonus to those shooting video is the option to have a flip up display. This will allow vloggers to see exactly what they’re shooting which is a huge bonus. Additionally, the camera is voice activated, which allows users to take a picture or video quickly and easily. It goes without saying that since it is a GoPro, it is also shock proof and also waterproof. The 8 also has a Gorilla Glass cover over the lens of the camera.
- The reimagined shape is more pocketable, and folding fingers at the base let you swap mounts quickly.
- Vloggers, pro filmmakers and aspiring creators can do more than ever imagined—with quick-loading accessories like flashes, microphones, LCD screens and more.
Canon Powershot SX620
For those that are looking for a no frills compact camera that will take video and pictures, the Powershot SX620 is a worthy choice. It is easily the cheapest camera on this list, but that certainly does not mean that it is of subpar quality; far from it.
Despite it being a compact camera, it actually has WiFi and NFC built in. The benefit of this of course is that photos can be quickly transferred to another, compatible device without removing the SD card.
With respect to the recording resolution, it can record a maximum of 1080p Full HD. The still images that are captured are also brilliant, thanks to the 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor. With respect to the zoom levels on the camera, it has a 25x Optical Zoom. This is much better than a digital zoom since there will not be any artifacts when zooming in (which can sometimes happen with a digital zoom). Likewise, there is the option to turn on image stabilisation meaning that the clearest and most stable shot will be taken time after time.
Another area that the SX620 excels at is its ability to take pictures in marco mode. Generally speaking, when in macro mode, it can be difficult to take a clear shot due to any shakes in the hand being more apparent since the focus is greatly concentrated. However, in the case of the SX620, it actually has it’s own specific stabilisation mode. Considering that this is a handheld, compact camera, this is actually a really impressive feature. This feature is also available when recording videos in marco mode.
For those that are just starting out with photography, there is also the option to use what Canon calls “Smart Auto”. What this effectively does is detect what the lighting conditions etc are like and it will automatically apply the best photos to the shot that has been taken. This of course can also be turned off and camera options are fully customisable for those that wish to do things manually. For those in a pinch though and want great looking pictures time after time at a low price point, the Powershot SX620 is an excellent choice.
- allows for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos
- Image Processor helps deliver stunning image quality
Panasonic Lumix ZS70.
For those that would like a compact point and shoot camera, but with exceptionally high quality photos, TS90 is a great option. In the USA, it is known as the ZS70 because of marketing reasons (just to confuse things). However, despite the different names, one thing is for certain; this camera packs a lot of punch for its price point.
Unlike the Powershot listed above, the Lumix offering from Panasonic has a 30x Optical Zoom, as well as the sensor being a highly sensitive 20.3 Megapixel offering, ensuring that the quality of the photos taken is always excellent. A handy feature of the Lumix is that after the photos have been taken, they can be cropped on the camera, instead of having to do it on the PC. It’s a nice feature to have, especially if you’re sending it on to other people via the Wi-Fi. Much like the GoPro Hero 8 listed above, it is possible to save photos in the RAW format. This ensures that no quality in the resolution or the colours of the shot is lost.
One thing that many people don’t like about compact cameras is that they don’t have a viewfinder on them. A big complaint about the lack of a viewfinder is that in bright situations, it can sometimes be hard to see the LCD screen on these cameras. Therefore, if you can’t see the screen, then you can’t be 100% what will and won’t be in the picture. However, Panasonic have thought about this problem and have developed a work around. Rather than using a conventional view finder that would take up space on the compact design, there is instead an electronic viewfinder. This is a rather ingenious addition to the camera. It works
Moreover, it is also possible to record video in 4K, 30FPS. The camera will save this as an MP4 file meaning that the file size will not be excessively large. The quality of the video captured is nothing short of exceptional, and getting 4K footage at this price point is a real bargain.
Another excellent feature with the Lumix is the fact that the display actually flips up. This means that for those that are looking directly into the camera whilst recoding on their own, they are able to see exactly what is being recorded.
- Get in Close and Detail: 20.3 Megapixel MOS sensor plus 30x Zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR Lens (24-720mm), plus 5-axis Hybrid O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer)
- Eye Viewfinder: 0.2-Inch 1, 166k-dot EVF (electronic viewfinder) with eye-sensor for easier viewing under sunny outdoor conditions
One thing to be aware of is that when recording 4K video, a high speed SD card is required ( as well as high capacity). The reason for needing a high speed card is the fact that due to the high bit rates of 4K, it is writing a lot of data to the card within a narrow time window. If the card is too slow, then it will not be able to write the data and the recording will stop.
There are two variants of memory card currently used in the three cameras listed above; SD and micro SD. The Powershot and Lumix cameras use an SD card and the GoPro Hero 8 uses a microSD card. I would recommend for both types though that the San Disk Extreme Pro cards are used. They are able to write the larger volumes of data rapidly, and are designed to be used for 4K footage.
- Ideal for Android smartphones and tablets, and action cameras, and drones
- Up to 170MB/s read and 90MB/s write speeds for fast shooting and transfers
- Shot speeds up to 90MB/s, transfer speeds up to 170MB/s
- Perfect for shooting 4K UHD video and sequential burst mode photography
Last update on 2020-01-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising APIAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.