The coolest compact options

Digital cameras are doing more than ever before—from printing instantly to recording your life or a giving first-person view of sports


GoPro Hero3.

Smartphones are taking over the role of basic point-and-shoot digital cameras, but the camera industry is reinventing itself and a number of new devices really push the limits of what was possible for a compact camera. Basic point-and-shoot cameras are being replaced by smarter cameras that are able to record your life, tweet a picture right after clicking it, or even take a print to hand to the people you’re with. We take a look at some compact cameras that are changing digital photography.

GoPro Hero3

Like its predecessors, the Hero3 is meant to be worn and captures photos and videos from the perspective of the one wearing it, making it perfect for athletes. It is wearable, mountable and water-proof (up to 60m). It can capture ultra-wide HD videos at 1080p and 60 frames per second (fps) and 12 MP photos at 30 photos per second. To reduce recording distortion, the camera has a six-element aspherical lens and gives more perspective-capture options, apart from reducing wind noise in recording.

$399.99 (around Rs.22,130), plus shipping, at

Lytro light-field camera


Turning camera technology on its head, Lytro lets you take pictures where you can adjust the focus even after saving the picture. You can shoot photos in 3D or reorient and shift the perspective of the photograph as well, using a special light-field technology. Though the Lytro is a basic device, it produces interactive, living pictures in a light-field picture (.lfp) file format which can be stored for free on Lytro’s website ( and viewed on any smart device.

$399 for 8 GB storage and $499 for 16 GB on Currently ships to the US, with distributors in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, so you have to organize shipping yourself.

Polaroid Z340E


Digital photography has made printed photos rarer, but this makes the new Polaroid really stand out. You can use it just as you would any other digital camera, but the 14 MP camera with a 2.7-inch LCD screen has one extra option–you can print the photo on instant paper, and the print is smudge-proof, water- and tear-resistant and also prints dry-to-touch.

$299.99 for the camera and $19.99 per pack of 30 prints/sheets of 3-inch x 4-inch ZINK Zero Ink Paper at



Power up this automatic wearable camera with a 136-degree eye-view lens, a GPS unit and five inbuilt sensors and you have a smart camera that gives you unusual photographs. Autographer weighs a mere 58g and is 37.4mm wide, 90mm long and 22.93mm thick. It has 8 GB memory and takes 5-MP-size photos. It doesn’t have a preset time for a click but chooses smartly according to its built-in sensors based on changes in light and colour, motion, direction and temperature. It might click when you start running suddenly, or move from a warm pub to a snowy street or turn to greet a friend.

Available for £399 on in the UK and select European countries, available worldwide in a couple of months.

Sony NEX-6


The NEX-6 pushes a compact camera into the DSLR category without compromising on its size. The feature that makes it stand apart from a myriad of premium point-and-shoots is that it gives full manual control on shutter, aperture, or ISO.