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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5 / 5
Canon EOS 600D

Canon's EOS 600D is one of the cheaper digital SLR cameras the company offers -- it's a slight drop in price from the slightly superior 60D -- but it's still got a lot of the technology from more expensive models. It's able to take excellent quality photos even in poor lighting, and amateurs will like its versatile screen and shooting guide. We do think the controls could be more newbie-friendly, and the menu's vast array of options isn't welcoming to anyone unfamiliar with Canon cameras.

  • Review Date:
  • Reviewer:
  • Manufacturer:
  • 14th March, 2011
  • Campbell Simpson
  • Canon
  • Rating:
  • Price:
  • Pros:
  • Excellent sensor and great high ISO quality, articulating LCD screen is bright and detailed, some smart improvements from the EOS 550D
  • Cons:
  • Requires menu-surfing to find some options, the control layout isn't as streamlined as we think it could be
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