Foreseeing the upcoming competition from Canon, Nikon launched a really great entry-level camera beginning of this year. This decision might sound crazy to some people, but it has benefitted the company a lot. The Nikon D5500 has already become famous among those who are starting a career in photography. It is also proving to be a great video recording device.
APS-C Size Sensor with Expeed 4 Processor
This camera houses a 23.5 x 15.6 mm sensor that captures great dynamic range and accurate colors. It is supported by Expeed 4 Processor, which is the latest in the lineup. Fast data processing helps in clearing the buffer within no time and allows one to capture about 20 shots in one go. However, the continuous shooting speed of just 5 frames per second can be a problem for many. Low light performance has improved from the last generation and now images remain crystal clear at ISO 6400.
39 Autofocus Points
Unlike Canon, Nikon believes in filling the camera with as many autofocus points as it can. The Nikon D5500 features 39 auto focus points of which 9 are cross-type. But the camera struggles a lot when focusing the subject that can be a great problem while recording videos. Moreover, in manually focusing the camera is a little hard and can ruin those important moments.
Improved Form Factor
This entry-level DSLR is compact and easy to hold in the hand. The grip is wide enough to fit in the palm of any size. A special function button can be customized according users’ need. You would find the ‘I’ button located on the right side to be really helpful as it brings up all the shortcuts on the screen.
3.2 inch Articulating Touch Display
The D5500 is precious to Nikon in a sense that it is the first device from this brand to feature a touch panel. The screen is big and makes controlling everything really easy. When a user looks through the view finder, only the left side of the display gets turned off allowing the settings to be controlled from the right side. Moreover, this panel can also be flipped out and rotated up to 180 degrees.
One great benefit of this display is that you can directly touch the subject that you want to focus.
Capable Of Recording Videos in Full HD
Users can also record videos in full HD at 60 frames per second using this DSLR camera. Videographers will also love the flat profile feature as it gives great control over the colors during the final processing phase. At the top, there are two microphones that record stereo audio. However, a 3.5mm jack is also provided if you want to use an external microphone.
Everyone loves to share images on social media and with the inbuilt Wi-Fi that becomes an easy task. Just connect a smartphone with this camera and you are ready to transfer all the images wirelessly. One can also use a smart device to control the shutter remotely.
- Great sensor
- Continuous autofocus
- Flat profile
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Microphone-In jack
- Expeed 4 Image processor
- Easy to handle
- Articulating 3.2-inch touch display
- Records full HD videos at 60 frames per second
- Shoots great images in low lighting conditions
- Autofocus struggles a lot
- No headphone jack
Being an entry-level DSLR, the Nikon D5500 is a nice package for new photographers. New photographers will learn a lot from this camera. It has a good sensor that captures great quality images with high dynamic range. This camera is also much easier to use. The one single feature that has made this device popular in the market is its touch display that can also be rotated.
Pentax K-50 DSLR Camera
RICOH is famously known for offering affordable DSLR cameras with high-quality features under the name of Pentax, which is why we have decided to include one of its products in this article. The Pentax K-50 is a two-year-old DSLR camera, but it is still a popular choice in the market.
A Number of Color Variants to Choose From
The manufacturer has done a unique experiment with the K-50 by launching in dozens of color variants. Moreover, the display and interface color can also be customized according to the user’s preference. No other camera in the world gives such customization ability to the end customers.
Weather Sealed Body
Even though it is an entry-level DSLR with an affordable price tag, the brand Pentax has covered the K50 with a weather sealed body. This camera is suitable for rugged photography.
APS-C Size Sensor
This DSLR camera houses an APS-C sensor behind the shutter that captures stunning images. Resolution of 16 million pixels is enough for reproducing accurate colors. You will like the dynamic range and flexibility that the RAW images provide in the post-processing phase. Moreover, as RAW files are stored in DNG format, you will not have to wait for any software update to edit them.
However, I am not convinced with the low light performance of the K-50. One can bump the ISO level up to 51200, but the noise starts to fill up to the screen even at ISO 1600.
Impressive Auto-Focus System
The camera uses phase detection method to focus on the subject and with the 9 auto focusing points everything happens really fast. Users will not suffer from any problem while capturing images at 6 frames per second on the continuous shooting mode.
Pentax has designed this device in a way that even a newbie can use it. A control dial at the top right side gives access to all the modes. On this dial, two slots are kept empty so that users can customize them according to their own needs. When you are shooting using a smart assistance of the software, the green reset button that is located just adjacent to the shutter button will help a lot.
The intensity of inbuilt flash can also be changed. Also, info button brings up shortcuts to all the needed settings on the display.
Video Recording Quality Is Good but the Features Are Not
This camera allows the end user to record video is full HD resolution at 30 frames per second. If you want higher frame rates, then lower resolutions can be selected. However, many videographers will be disappointed because of the rolling shutter effect. Also, the camera over-sharpens the footage and moiré effect can also be observed in some videos. The manufacturer has provided only a single microphone and there is not even an external jack on this camera.
- Good at action photography
- Decent dynamic range
- Weather sealed
- Shoots RAW in DNG
- Flash intensity can be changed
- Autofocus is quick
- Single microphone
- Over-sharpens the recorded videos
- Rolling shutter effect
I would not advise videographers to buy the Pentax K50. But it is a good solution for those, interested in professional photography. There is no other camera model that comes in a weather sealed body and offers many advance features at this price point.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Bridge Camera
Obviously, new photography enthusiasts are not encouraged to invest huge money for a premium DSLR in beginning of the career. What they want is an affordable compact or bridge camera that offers an advance control panel, better features, and suitability in terms of performance and capture of great shots in unfriendly situations.
Well, a piece of good news is many brands are offering serious devices in 30K camera segment. In this article, we will be reviewing one popular choice from them.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 is not only a photography targeted bridge camera rather it is also good at recording videos. It offers great image quality so the lens mounted at the back is also impressive.
24x Optical Zoom
The small size of the sensor has allowed this camera to achieve an amazing zoom level of 24 times. It comes with Leica DC Vario-Elmarit lens that offers f/2.8 aperture at all zoom levels, which is great for achieving extremely shallow depth of field.
Panasonic deserves a great appreciation from our side for making this camera really easy to use. All the controls are placed exactly where they should be. While holding the camera, your fingers will automatically rest on the most used buttons and dials. Various function buttons are also provided on this device, which can be customized by going to the setting menu. A separate video slot on the control dial and a record button on the body are making videography of live event easier by this Panasonic camera.
Rotating Display Panel
Shooting images in crazy position is not a hard task with this camera. Its display can be rotated and flipped at any angle of your choice. Although this bridge camera lacks proximity sensor, but a dedicated toggle has been provided to turn the main LCD off so that the users can see through the EVF.
Fast Auto-Focusing and Decent Quality Images
The FZ200 comes loaded with LSI VENUS Engine that processes the analog data at much high-speed. Its 1/2.3-inch sensor is capable of capturing decent images at 12.1 MP. High processing power also helps in quickly focusing the subject. However, there might be some occasions, especially while recording videos, when the auto-focus system will struggle a lot in deciding where to focus.
Slow Motion Video Recoding
Everyone likes slow motion videos and using this camera one can record SD (640 X 480 pixels) videos at a mouth-watering 240 frames per second. Full HD videos can also be recorded at 50 frames per second, which is not that bad. Optical Image Stabilization works flawlessly even when the subject is zoomed-in.
- 24x optical zoom that can be bumped up to 48x using intelligence mode
- Slow motion video recording
- AV Out and HDMI port
- Articulating display
- Comfortable design
- Easy to operate interface
- Continuous shooting at 12 frames per second
- F/2.8 aperture at all zoom levels
- Bad low light performance
- Autofocus system struggles many times
Panasonic makes the best affordable cameras and the FZ200 proves the fact. It allows one to capture high quality photos without much setup. Moreover, it is a perfect video recording device for YouTubers.