Back to school: Digital cameras

Smartphones may be great, but digital SLRs and quality compact cameras are still better if you're serious about your photos

You may well be able to use your smartphone for most of your photography needs, but sometimes you need a dedicated camera to get optimal results. Maybe you need more zoom, better image quality or simply a more comfortable way to take photos.

In this roundup we'll highlight some of the best all-round cameras we think students should consider, such as the Nikon D3100, which is a great entry-level digital SLR, or the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ150, which is a tremendous 'all-in-one' camera thanks to its massive lens.

The Nikon D3100 is a great entry-level camera that won't cost you a lot of money. And if you buy heaps of lenses for it, then you can use them on a more advanced body when you want to upgrade in the future.

If you want something smaller than a DSLR but something that still offers you the freedom to experiment with different lenses, then try an interchangeable lens camera such as the Olympus PEN Lite or the Nikon V1. Lenses for these can be expensive though.

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Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ150 digital camera

If you want a good multi-purpose camera that's relatively compact, the LUMIX DMC-FZ150 is a good choice. It has a massive lens, lots of options and cutomisation features, and it takes great photos and video. It's probably a little expensive at around $800, but you do get a lot for your money, and it will supply good results whether you shoot stills or video.

  • Review Date:
  • Reviewer:
  • Manufacturer:
  • 12th Dec., 2011
  • Elias Plastiras
  • Panasonic
  • Rating:
  • Price:
  • Pros:
  • 24x zoom
  • Great stills and video quality
  • Heaps of features to play with
  • Cons:
  • Lens distortion at wide angles
  • Slight overexposure in auto mode
  • Focus not always accurate at maximum zoom
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