PC Show 2013 - Cameras, Printers, Monitors & Storage Buying Guide


Cameras

PC Show 2013 Buying Guide

IT Show 2013 is currently taking place at Singapore Expo, at halls 5 and 6. The show is on from the 6th to the 9th of June, and is open from 12 noon to 9pm

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 before we begin, here's a video highlight of the top 10 new gadgets from the show floor:-

Buying Guide Index

 

 

HardwareZone PC Show 2013 Portal

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

 

Camera Deals at the Show

Here are some highlighted camera deals at the PC Show this year.

Canon PowerShot N

The Canon PowerShot N is a cute little camera designed to be the perfect companion for your smartphone. The N is built around a tilting touch-screen, comes with built-in Wi-Fi and is as small as your palm. It has a 8x optical zoom lens (35mm equivalent of 28-224mm) and a 12MP sensor.

 

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$399
  • IT Show Promotion: Free 8GB SD card, case, Hello Kitty sandwich maker, jacket case
  • Brochure

Location

Hall 6, booth 6014

Canon EOS 100D

The Canon EOS 100D is the smallest DSLR camera we've seen. Its diminutive size and light weight make it easy to carry around, and the camera comes with a touch-screen for easy use. It comes with a 18MP APS-C sensor, Digic 5 processor, and can shoot 1080/30p video.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$999
  • IT Show Promotion: Free 8GB SD card, EF lens workbook, 20L digital dry cabinet, STBG camera strap (5million Dollar Crumpler bag with online warranty)
  • Brochure

Location

Hall 6, booth 6014

Nikon D7000

Even though it's now two years old and the D7100 is already out, the Nikon D7000 remains a very capable camera for those who don't seek the newest and latest. The D7000 comes with a magnesium alloy body, a 16MP sensor, an ISO range from 100-25,600 and 39 AF points.

 

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$1,999 (with 18-55mm & 55-200mm lens), S$1,888 (U.P. S$2,149, with 18-105mm lens)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free rainproof DSLR bag, tripod, cleaning kit, 8GB & 16GB SD cards, electronic dry box, card reader, UV filter, mystery gift
  • Brochure

Location

Hall 5, Booth 5024

Nikon 1 J1

Nikon's first generation of entry-level 1 series cameras is getting a serious price-slashing at the PC Show. While we still have mixed feelings about the Nikon 1s, the J1 is so heavily discounted at the show that they're almost the cost of a compact camera and worth considering.

IT Show 2013 Offer

  • IT Show Price: S$659 (U.P. S$1,249, with 10-30mm & 30-110mm lens), S$549 (U.P. S$1,199, with 10mm & 10-30mm lens), S$399 (U.P. S$1,069, with 10mm lens)
  • IT Show Promotion: Free 8GB SD card, Nikon 1 bag, card reader, cleaning kit, Nikon 1 tripod
  • Brochure

Location

Hall 5, Booth 5024

 

PC Show 2013 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.