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IT Show 2014 - Cameras, Printers & Storage Buying Guide

IT Show 2014 - Cameras, Printers & Storage Buying Guide


Cameras

IT Show 2014 Buying Guide

The IT Show 2014 will be held at Marina Bay Sands, from the 27th February to 2nd March, at Levels 1 and B2, from 12 noon to 9pm. As usual, admission is free.

If you find traveling with your new purchases quite a hassle, there's also a free shuttle bus service every 15 minutes from Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre to SUNTEC Singapore throughout the four show days. The first bus leaves at 11am; the last one departs at 10.30pm. For those who are driving, we've got a handy article to give you guidance on where best to park and what it would cost.

There will be a ton of products at the show, so in this handy buying guide we'll be giving you tips and tricks on what to look for in a great product. Whether you're buying a new camera, printer, monitor or storage, here's what you need to know before you buy your next gadget. But just before we begin, check out our video roundup of top 10 new gadgets you might want to have a hands-on at the IT Show and who knows, you might get some of them!

 

Buying Guide Index

 

 

HardwareZone IT Show 2014 Portal

For more on the IT Show, including maps, brochures and Twitter updates, click on through to our IT Show portal.

 

Camera Deals at the Show

Here are some highlighted camera deals at IT Show this year. There weren't a lot of fantastic deals, most brands appear to be selling at or near the suggested retail prices. And for some of the smaller discounts the stalls were offering, you could probably match or get better prices out there in the shops.

Canon EOS 100D

We love how beginner-friendly the EOS 100D is. It's small and light, with clever design that makes handling easy. Anyone with a smartphone today will find the touch-screen familiar, and it's great how autofocus is responsive even when shooting with the rear, high-resolution LCD monitor. 

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$999 (with 18-55mm kit lens), S$799 (body only)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free 8GB SDHC memory card, EOS 100D user guide
  • IT Show Online Warranty Promo: Mild Enthusiast Crumpler Bag
  • Purchase with Purchase: EF S60 f/2.8 lens at S$659 (U.P. S$899)
  • Brochure

Location

Booth 1305

Nikon D3300

If you're looking for something a little flashier the entry-level Nikon D3300 comes in vividly shiny red, black and gray. The camera has a 24MP sensor with no optical low-pass filter (for clearer-looking photos) with a max .ISO of 25,600 (for shooting more clearly in low-light).

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$919 (with 18-55mm kit lens)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free DSLR bag, 8GB SD card, tripod, card-reader, cleaning kit, 16GB SD card, dry cabinet
  • Brochure

Location

Booth 1325

Olympus Stylus XZ-10

The Stylus XZ-10 has fast glass with a wide f/1.8-2.7 lens, but we found it a little laggy for an advanced compact. But a discounted offer price of S$358 makes it worth considering as a standard compact for everyday use. Although it was S$298 at last year's Sitex show (cough).

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$358 (U.P. S$548)
  • IT Show Promotion: 8GB Toshiba FlashAir SD card, camera case, 3-month local extended warranty
  • IT Show Free Gifts: Additional Olympus battery and S$50 NTUC voucher.
  • Brochure

Location

Booth 1423

Fujifilm XF1

This is a 'good if you can get it' deal. The XF1 was slashed down to S$299 as we were walking past Fujifilm's booth, according to them it was a special hourly deal for a limited number of sets. If you're at the show looking for a compact, no harm passing by Fujifilm's booth to check if the promo is happening again.

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$699 (hourly promo if you can get it)
  • IT Show Promotion: Case, 8GB SD card
  • Brochure

Location

Booth 1309

Casio EX-TR15

The EX-TR15 isn't something we'd normally get, but it seemed to be quite popular at the show with a queue for the package deal, so we thought we'd share it here. The TR15 can rotate around its hinge for easy selfies, you can even remote control it with a smartphone for more selfies.

IT Show 2014 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$1,158 (bundled with JE10 camera)
  • IT Show Promotion: 2 x 8GB microSD card, camera case
  • Brochure

Location

Booth 1213

 

 

IT Show 2014 Cameras Portal

 

Cameras Buying Guide

There are tons of choices today for buying a digital camera, and what you'd like comes down to how much power/quality you want, versus your budget and the amount of gear you want to carry. For example, a DSLR camera will get you more power and image quality than a compact camera, but it'll not only cost you more but is also bigger and heavier to carry.

 

DIGITAL CAMERAS TODAY

So just to lay it out first; among digital cameras you have roughly three categories: Compact cameras, Mirrorless system cameras and DSLR cameras. Inside each category, you can find subsets of consumer, prosumer and professional models, each better than the last, but also more expensive.

 

Compact cameras are easy to understand, just point and shoot. The basic models go for around S$200-S$300, better ones hover around S$500. There are also advanced compact cameras, which today can range from S$600 to even S$999. The basic models are mostly automatic point and shoots, while the advanced compacts give you power with manual features.

Mirrorless system cameras come with interchangeable lenses, which can provide you with much more flexibility than the fixed lens in a compact camera. For example, you can mount a wide-angle lens for landscape shots, and then swap out the lens for a zoom lens to shoot wildlife.

Mirrorless cameras give you image quality somewhere between a compact and a DSLR camera (some come with image quality equal to that of DSLRs), but they have the benefit of being smaller and more portable than DSLR cameras. However, their prices aren't in-between, but are similar to those of entry-level to mid-range DLSR cameras, from around S$1000 to S$2000.

To learn more about mirrorless system cameras, check out our Mirrorless Camera Guide.

DSLR cameras give you superb image quality, but they're bigger than compact and mirrorless cameras. However, you get the best performance, not just in terms of image quality, but also handling and build quality. 

DSLR cameras can be divided into two categories; those with APS-C sized sensors and those with full-frame sensors. APS-C sensors are smaller than full-frame sensors, but a modern-day APS-C DSLR can land you very good image quality. Full-frame sensors provide the best image quality but the cameras are bigger and also cost more, starting from around S$3000.

Sensor size can also impact the lenses you can use, some lenses designed specifically for APS-C cameras cannot be mounted on full-frame sensors without some penalty, like vignetting or cropping of the frame.

 

 

What to Look Out for

So what should you look out for when buying a digital camera today?

Megapixels: Not as important as you might think. Most cameras today will come with 12 to even 24MP, which is more than enough resolution for most people. Megapixels are important for printing large, but at 10MP you can already print up to A4 size with good quality.

Sensor Size: A better indicator of possible image quality than megapixels. Most of the time, a larger sensor size will get you better image quality. Most of the advanced compact cameras have larger sensors than basic compact cameras, mirrorless cameras have sensors larger than compacts, and DSLR full-frame cameras have the largest of all.

Zoom Range: If zoom is important to you, you're in luck. Compact cameras today can zoom all the way from 10 to 20x. More important than the zoom ratio though is how good the camera's image stabilization is, because the further you zoom, the more sensitive the lens is to camera shake. When choosing a camera for its zoom, zoom out to the maximum, take a few shots, and see how good the camera is at helping you get a stable, blur-free photo.

By the way, the important zoom number is the optical zoom ratio, not the ones inflated with digital zooming. A digitally zoomed image simply means the camera has cropped the image and then re-sized it, which results in lower quality photos.

Fast Lenses: The faster the lens, the more it can shoot at fast shutter speeds in low-light, which means better chances at blur-free images with less image noise. The lower the aperture number, the faster a lens is, so an f/1.4 lens is faster than a f/2.0 lens. Fast lenses are only available for the highest-end compact cameras, while fast lenses are available for mirrorless and DSLR cameras.

Auto-focus Speed & Accuracy: When shooting, nothing will affect your experience as much as the camera's handling speed, and a fast and accurate auto-focus is essential for capturing those precious moments. Turn on the camera at the counter, and try capturing a few images, from the very close, to mid-range and to very far. How quickly did the camera find your subject, lock focus and take a shot? Test a few to get an idea of what's fast and what's not.

Lenses: Only for those looking to get mirrorless and DSLR cameras, which can swap lenses. Some people never go beyond their kit lens (the lens which came with the camera), so for them the ecology of lenses isn't so important. But if you'd like to expand your lens collection in the future, then look at the range of lenses available for that camera. 

Check out the latest digital cameras and reviews at our HardwareZone Digital Cameras Product Guide.