Thanks to continually improved and miniaturized camera technology, we’re seeing even more compact cameras, but more importantly better smartphone cameras. One big convenience enjoyed by smartphone camera users is the online and social media connectivity. WiFi has been a feature in digital cameras for a few years now, but has only recently grown into user-friendly forms, along with growing consumer-demand. So if you want the full features and quality of real point-and-shoot camera with the added connectivity of WiFi, check out 3 of the best models from 2012 below:
This new Fujifilm FinePix takes its WiFi to a new level with smartphone integration. Using their free Photo Receiver app for both iOS and Android, this camera can send up to 30 images at a time through a direct link to your smartphone. A second free app called Camera Application lets you interact with the photos on your phone, adding Instagram-like filters before sharing them through social media or email. It can also geo-tag your shots, with a database of around 1 million landmarks to choose from as well. All the data can be displayed on a map too, plotting where you’ve taken photos and where you currently are, showing distances between and even the distant to landmarks you’re currently photographing. It also includes Fujifilm’s MyFinePix Studio, which is their desktop client, which also syncs with the camera through WiFi.
The camera itself includes the best in Fujifilm point-and-shoot technology, easily beating the best smartphone cameras and plenty of compact camera competition. It uses a 16-megapixel CMOS-based EXR sensor, which can adjust the dynamic range or noise. It can take full-rez burst shots of up to 8 frames-per-second, includes a RAW image mode and can take full 1080p/30fps video. The camera uses a new intelligent image stabilization and flash, as well as a new tracking auto-focus. A big feature for a photographer over a smartphone or even other point-and-shoot cameras is the extra-long 20x, 25mm wide Fujinon lens. A intelligent digital zoom feature can effectively double the zoom capability and it’s all shown on an 3 inch high contrast 460k resolution LCD screen. It’s currently available in black or red and retailing for around $350.
Canon has been offering their always popular PowerShot Elph line with WiFi for a few years now, making it an upsell feature to their standard models. This camera uses Canon’s proprietary Image Gateway software and cloud storage service. Once setup and registered, it offers fast WiFi transfers to your computer for storage or to social media directly. With its cloud service, it also allows you to store your images and video online. Like with the last camera, Canon has also stepped up with smartphone integration, with apps for iOS and Android. This app lets you upload images directly to your smartphone from your camera, letting you instantly email and share them through social media. While some cameras offer auto-uploads, this Canon is only manual, but it excels in upload speeds to make up for it. Currently, video transfer is only offered with the iOS app, with the Android app to follow up soon.
The Elph’s famous compact and sleek design is accentuated with full touch panel controls that fill the camera’s frame using a 3.2 inch PureColor System LCD with 461k dots and true 16:9 widescreen. Bringing Canon’s touted image quality with a 16.1 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and the latest Digic 5 processor, it also uses their HS system, which improves low light photography. The lens used, while short at 5x, it is wide at 24mm (with a 4x digital zoom). It can capture full 1080p HD video, but at that resolution it lags a bit from competitors, with a 24fps frame rate (720p offers more typical 30fps). With this phone geared more towards the casual user than the other two in this post, it caters to them with a 58-scene Smart Auto, Face ID, Intelligent IS and post-photo effects. It’s available in black, silver, red and blue and retails for around $200.
The ST200 is part of Samsung’s Smart Camera line which promotes the expansion of their WiFi connected products. The WiFi functions cover the standards, such as sharing your photos or videos through email or your social networks, as well as share them directly to your smartphone or tablet (and also Samsung’s Smart TVs). They offer a feature called AllShare, which lets you access your media across their Smart devices, smartphones and tablets. Auto Backup lets one button transfer and store all your photos to your computer. They have 3 different apps for both Android and iOS, which offer more than the other contenders here. First, their Mobile Link app offers the connectivity between your smartphone/tablet and your Smart Camera. The Smart Camera App offers editing and social media sharing functions. And the third is Remote Viewfinder, which is a cool little app that acts as a remote control for your Smart Camera. It lets you take pictures, control the timer, flash, zoom, image quality and preview the photo from your smartphone. It also comes with Intelli-studio, a desktop photo editing suite.
The ST200 holds their 16 megapixel CCD sensor, with a long 10x and wide 27mm lens. It lags a bit in video, with it maxing out at 720p at 30fps. It uses physical buttons, next to a 3 inch hVGA LCD screen. It’s then packed with a range of special features when taking photos, such as Smart Auto 3.0, Smart Filter, Magic Frame, PiP mode, Live Panorama, Dual IS and more. It also includes a range of post-photo tools, such as filter effects, Artistic Brush and Funny Face. A unique feature that’s part of a growing cinemagraph trend is their Motion Photo mode. This mode takes a series of high-speed pictures of one scene, letting you isolate the movement in it, giving the final static image a bit of animation (similar to a GIF animation). It comes in black, silver and purple, retailing for the cheapest of the bunch at around $180.
Are these WiFi benefits enough to influence your next camera purchase? And if you own a WiFI camera, either new models or old, we’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!
Liz is an amateur photographer, bit of a gadget geek and blogger for social photography site ViewBug.com, where you can compete in photo contests and share your shots with their growing community.