Best Cameras of 2012: Nikon DSLR, Canon, and Panasonic tops the list – PC

Digital cameras are getting more and more complex on one hand. On the other hand an effort is being made to simplify the controls for a better user friendly experience. Here are a short list of some of the notable digital cameras which are available  in 2012.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

Panasonic has introduced the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 and has also created the lightest and the smallest G Series Digital Cameras. It has been the general trend among all camera manufacturers to make cameras which are smaller, lighter but with large sensors and simpler controls.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 is based around the 12MP Micro Four Thirds sensor and the new processor allows analysis of the autofocus information at the rate of 120 times per second. The augmented sensor readout speed will also improve the auto focus speed. The AF speed of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 rivals most entry level DSLR’s while photographing static subjects.

The same quick processor also enables the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 to have a continuous shooting rate edge up to 3.8 fps. The quickest shooting rate with live view is 2.8fps. The ISO sensitivity range of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 starts at 160. Other features include the Intelligent Auto Plus which is a deviation from the automated mode which allows limited user control. There is a 4x magnified picture-in-picture manual focus mode and a ‘pinpoint’ AF selection.


The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 is available in

  • Body only purchase
  • Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH (28mm equivalent) wide-angle ‘pancake’ lens
  • Image-stabilized Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS lens

Leica X2


The Leica X2 is one of the tiniest Digital Cameras in the world with APS-C sized sensor. The camera features a 35mm equivalent Leica Elmarit f/2.8 ASPH lens, 16.2 megapixel APS-C sensors, ISO100 to ISO12500, improved focus and APS-C sized sensor.

The lens of the Leica X2 is much similar to the earlier version of the Leica X1. It also has an updated pop up flash and there is a new accessory port in the back to allow use of an electronic viewfinder. The camera is available in both silver and black models. The Leica X2 features a 2.7 inch 230K pixel screen and sensor sensitivity between ISO100 – 12500. Other accessories include Pop-up flash, Flash hot-shoe, and an Accessory port. The battery boasts a backup of up to 450 shots.

Pentax Q


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The Pentax Q can be described as one of  the tiniest Digital Cameras with interchangeable lens. In fact the camera is so small that it can fit into the palm of your hand. The Pentax Q has in its armory a variety of interchangeable lens to shoot with and includes a fish-eye lens and a unique “toy” wide angle lens. The camera uses a 12.4 Megapixel CMOS sensor.

The Pentax Q has a body of the same size as a pack of playing cards. The compact design of the camera somehow reminds one of the spy cameras which were an essential accessory in the earlier James Bond flicks. The PentaxQ kits are available with 8.5mm f/1.9 standard prime lens are available for around £600. Additionally the lens is available as a kit with an additional 5-15mm f/2.8-4.5mm lens for around £730.

There are three other lenses also which are available for Pentax Q- A 3.2mm f/5.6 diagonal fisheye and two ‘toy’ lenses. The Pentax Q has a new lens mount. There is no support for the legacy Pentax lenses. The Pentax Q offers a range of sensitivity between ISO 125 and ISO 6400.

The Pentax Q may be a very compact camera but it packs an array of features which is very useful for both the novice and the expert photographers.  Besides the regular fare of Program, Manual, Aperture, Priority modes which is ably complemented by the automatic mode and the customary collection of scene program modes found on most slim cameras.

Canon EOS 60D


The USP of the Canon EOS 60D is the four modes which will impress even the most fastidious customer. The user can choose from any of the four features which include Grainy B/W, Soft Focus, Toy Camera effect and Miniature Effect. A heavy 18 Mega Pixel CMOS sensor is for the professional photographer with sensitivity between ISO 100-6400, while the Basic + feature will endear it to the novice or the fresh photographer.

Canon has with its EOS 60D has done away with the earlier magnesium alloy construction and has chosen the lighter weight material plastic shell. The 60 D features a video and tripod friendly 3:2 ratio articulated LCD. Sensor resolution is 18 megapixels and also includes adding full HD movie capture.

The 60D has some unique features and the most noteworthy is the ambience or color which can be applied to the image when the scene mode is used and the effects can also see on the screen live. Added features include raw files to jpeg in-camera ability and also options to correct lens aberrations.

Olympus OM-D E-M5


The Olympus OM-D E-M5 maintains a very delicate balance between classic and contemporary features. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 featurestenart filters and includes a Key Line filter and the end result of the filter is images which looks more like illustrations. Important features include 16.1-Megapixel Live MOS Sensor and TruePic V1 image-processing engine which gives eye catching snaps of the highest quality. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 also has the fastest auto focusing system to track the subject. It also features a 3.0-inch OLED screen to assess the pictures live.

The E-M5 is an amalgam of the past Olympus cameras. It is a small photographer-focused camera and has a magnesium alloy body which protects the interiors of the camera from the vagaries of weather. Two dials which prop out in the front and behind gives access to major shooting functions. The E-M5 can be described as a beginner-friendly camera since it is really hard to find a camera which features two control dials when the users hand are on the shooting grip.

The Camera has a 16MP Four Thirds sensor, and is a very capable sensor. The sensor also incorporates the latest, TruePic VI processor, which makes the JPEGs become alive with life like features. The image stabilization system has been completely revamped is controlled in five axis as compared to the earlier versions which featured controls in four axis.

Nikon D5200


The Nikon D5200 is almost similar to its predecessor externally and the changes are limited to its internal features. The enhancements include 39-point AF system along with 9 cross-type sensors which covers most of the frame, and the 2016 pixel RGB colour-sensitive metering sensor. D5200 offers a higher extended ISO range of 25600. It also features faster continuous shooting of 5 fps. The Nikon D5200 can record Full HD 1920 x 1080 movies at up to 60i or 50i. Complementing the new sensor is the EXPEED 3 image processing which the manufacturer claims to improve speed, color and noise reduction features.  An option to plug in the Nikon’s WU-1a Wi-Fi unit has also been provided and it allows pictures to be transmitted wirelessly to another device like a smartphone or tablet.

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