The confident shopper's guide to digital cameras
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Nov/Dec 2007
(continued from page 3)
Steve Morgenstein is a contributing editor who writes frequently on technological subjects for Cigar Aficionado.
Reviews: Compact Cameras
Up Close and Personal: Pansonic FZ18
The amazing Leica 18x zoom lens on this lightweight contender takes you from a respectable wide-angle view to an extreme close-up with a simple flick of the thumb—it's equivalent to a 28mm—504mm lens in conventional 35mm photography, which is as desirable as it is untenable. Holding so powerful a telephoto lens steady without a tripod would be pretty near impossible, but Panasonic provides the next best thing with a surprisingly effective optical image stabilization system. When you bob, the lens instantly weaves, giving you paparazzi-like powers of zoomification.
8.1 megapixels, 18x zoom lens, 4.6" x 3.0" x 3.5", 12.76 oz., panasonic.com, $400
Ruggedly Handsome: Olympus 790 SW
When the going gets tough in the great outdoors, the smart grab this nearly bulletproof Olympus. Water doesn't faze the 790 SW—it can shoot to a 10-foot depth without leaks, and when you return topside, the water-repellent lens coating makes the transition to land-based snap-shooting seamlessly. Winter weather won't stop you either. You may turn blue at temperatures down to 14 degrees, but your photos will be correctly colorful. Finally, while most LCD displays wash out in harsh outdoor light, the Olympus screen uses a reflective layer to enhance the visible display.
7.1 megapixels, 3x zoom lens, 3.7" x 2.4" x 0.8", 4.8 oz., olympusamerica.com, $300
Manual Dexterity: Canon PowerShot G9
With the G9, Canon delivers the photographic flexibility prosumers crave in a portable, affordable package. You get full 12.1-megapixel resolution, a hotshoe for connecting an external flash (bouncing flash can make a huge difference in your photos), both an LCD screen and an optical viewfinder (great for bright days or saving battery power), a multitude of focus and metering options, optical image stabilization, RAW file capability, extremely high light-sensitivity settings (up to ISO 3200) and a premium-quality 6x zoom lens. Not bad for a camera that fits in your jacket pocket.
12.1 megapixels, 6x zoom lens, 4.2" x 2.8" x 1.7", 11.3 oz., $500
Touching Experience: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T200
Switch on the T200 for the first time and experience big-screen bliss—that bright, colorful 3.5-inch screen feels mighty luxurious next to the typical 2.5-inch camera display. But where did all the buttons go? The secret's in the screen, a touch-sensitive display that eliminates confusion by showing only the controls you need, when you need them. When taking a picture, you can pick the spot in a scene where you want the camera to focus by tapping the screen. And during playback, even sophisticated in-camera editing features such as red-eye removal, image cropping, photo borders and filter effects are point-and-click easy.
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