With so many of us owning a phone with a built in camera, our photographs are no longer the cherished possessions they once were.
We instantly snap anything that takes our slightest interest and share these images immediately on-line via Facebook, Instagram and the rest of the Internet world.
Social networking feeds often showcase a variety of grainy, off -focus images that range from selfies to family outings. The trouble is, however that these pictures are often being shot without much thought being applied simply because they’ve been taken in a spare moment with a camera phone.
And while there’s nothing wrong with on-line sharing, there is a danger that we’ve started taking photography for granted, and our camera shots no longer hold the importance they once did.
Although a high end smartphone can cost around £600 and offer a ton of features, nothing takes better pictures than a real camera which can now be picked up for less than £250. There is also a benefit of unique and professional features that will help create photos that look so good you’ll have to get them printed, framed and kept in a collection - just like the good old days.
The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS can capture images in very low light, has a 25mm wide-angle lens and the option to share and back-up your collection through Wi-Fi and NFC connections. Available from £219.99 it makes pro-looking photography affordable. There’s also full HD video recording at 60fps which looks incredible. Additionally, colours will look bright and accurate, while the 7.5 inch LCD screen will ensure you capture the perfect shot.
However, if you’re really looking for a tech bargain then it’s certainly worth considering the Sony H200. With a 20 megapixel sensor and optical image stabilisation for steady shots, this model will only set you back £170, and despite the lack of wireless, this camera still offers the best value for money on the market. It may be a little on the heavy side but features such as panoramic mode will make up for it.
Should you have a little more cash available, it would be worth going with the Samsung NX3000 (£249.99). With a vintage design, manual and autofocusing, and 5fps continuous shots, this camera beats everything else available for both cost and features. With the flip on display, shots can be oddly activated by winking, enabling the user to capture family moments without being left behind the lens. It can also run alongside Android devices with the remote viewfinder app allowing the photographer to adjust settings such as exposure while the lens is positioned and ready to shoot.
Samsung have really thrown everything at the NX3000 - it can even be used as a home monitor to keep a watchful eye on new-borns while sending an alert to a connected phone when they wake.
All of these models create printable, high quality shots that will get you snapping more than just the average Facebook selfie.
lNext month we look at the Motorola Moto 360. Is it time to get smart with your watch?