Never forget another festival with the cameras our experts love



Heading to a festival or on holiday this summer? Here are a couple of our favourite compact cameras...

Facebook, Twitter, the common room and even the office are full of people banging on about how amazing Glastonbury was.

They're right - it was.

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But if watching the Stones perform what organiser Michael Eavis has said was his favourite-ever Glastonbury set has made you vow to be in attendance at one of this summer's remaining festivals you'll be pleased to know there are still plenty to choose from.

V and Green Man in August, Bestival the following month and whole smorgasbord of edgy European jaunts await. But if you're planning on getting into the festival spirit you'll want a camera to record the memories.

People always say 'if you can remember the Sixties, you weren't there' and the same adage also applies to festivals.

Everyone from swotty students to bookish bankers let their hair down - drinking cider, rolling around in the mud and generally forgetting themselves for a few days.

But the one thing you won't want to be forgetting is the memories, so why not treat yourself to a new camera before you go?
Some festivals have restrictions as to the type of cameras you can take in, with telephoto lenses and professional cameras a no-no at many.

But here are a couple of our favourite pocket-sized compact cameras which shouldn't raise any eyebrows at the festival gates.

And what's more, we like them so much we handed them both the Our Experts Love tag.

Sony Cyber-shot DCS WX80

From mass mud-wading to bonding with strangers during the Friday night headline set on the main stage, festivals are all about sharing.

For three days even the most strait-laced folk get caught up in the hippyish vibes that make corners of England seem like San Francisco in the summer of 1967.

However, amid these all-encompassing faux family vibes, those at home often get left out.

That's where the Sony Cyber-Shot DCS WX80 comes into its own, with sharing features that allow you to deliver a little of V to the front rooms of those too skint, lazy or contrary to make it.

Sony Cyber -shot DCS WX80

Festivals aren't famed for power-points and laptop storage, but with the Sony Cyber-Shot you won't need either to share your pictures.

Shoot you and your pals clowning around and share to Facebook by hooking up to your nearest Wi-Fi spot.

Not all festivals are set up for Wi-Fi but this year Glastonbury turned a pimped-up tractor into its very own hotspot. Many other festivals have Wi-Fi tents.

The Cyber-shot features 8x optical zoom and is designed to function well in low-light. So even at dusk you'll be able to capture your mate rolling about in the mud.  

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You may be at the festival with your better half though, and what could be more romantic than a picture of you both having a cuddle as the sun goes down? If you're worried about someone nicking the camera, there's a feature that allows you to control it from your phone.

Speaking of your better half, getting the right festival look is almost as important as the organisers getting the right headliners.

The camera measures just 92mm wide and 22mm long and comes in a matte black that will accessorize perfectly with the skin tight jeans, leather jackets and vintage T-shirts of the boys in bands and the girls backstage, as well as fitting into pockets without creating any unsightly bulge action.

And when things get a bit woozy later on - as they inevitably do - there's technology to help you focus. Superior Auto recognises when subjects are moving and automatically adjusts the settings so the only Blur round your way is the 90s Britpop heroes playing on someone's wireless speakers in the next tent.
 
Panasonic TZ40 - capture the on-stage action

As much as we love taking photos of our friends at Glasto or V, it wouldn't be a festival photo album without a few shots of the action on the numerous stages.

If you're shooting during the day and you've managed to snag a spot not too much of a slog from the stage, the Panasonic TZ40 can take you a little closer to those you've paid your hard-earned cash to see.

Panasonic Lumix TZ40

We often return home from a festival to find the pics we shot of the acts on stage were little more than specs on the screen, even if we weren't that far away.

But with the 20x optical zoom lens and an 18MP CMOS sensor, the Panasonic should help you kiss goodbye to questions like "which band was this again?" provided you're shooting in the daylight from a reasonably close vantage point (around 20 metres from the stage).

Another handy feature is burst shooting, which will allow you to capture up to 10 frames per second. Anyone who watched the Rolling Stones will have seen that even front men of a certain age rarely stand still - so having more than one shot is always a bonus.

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But there's much more to festival photography than the acts on stage. Photography Monthly advises us to think outside the box when it comes to documenting our three days in the mud.

If you're with a group of friends why not get them to line up their wellies? The camera's sensor will do a great job of capturing the bright colours, as well as the mud splattered across them.

As well as music and hedonism, festivals are renowned for delivering a vast array of food influenced by everything from nearby farms to far-flung countries.

Sure, the food tastes amazing, but it looks just as good. Why not remember those tastes with a few photos?  The vibrancy of the food and the stalls it's sold from will be captured forever by the Panasonic's state-of-the-art CMOS sensor.

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The zoom will also allow you to get close to the food on your paper plate, so those at home can get a good look at exactly what they were missing.

There's no need to wait 'til you get home, either; hook up to a WiFi spot and send from the festival site - sure to cheer them up while they're tucking into egg and chips in front of EastEnders.

These are just a couple of the compact cameras we liked enough this summer to hand the Our Experts Love tag. If you're planning on trekking to Bestival or V or even further a-field to Europe, you can find out more about the cameras here.