The confident shopper's guide to digital cameras
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Nov/Dec 2007
(continued from page 4)
8.1 megapixels, 5x zoom lens, 3.8" x 2.4" x 1.8", 6.6 oz., hp.com, $300
Pretty as a Picture: Fujifilm Z10fd
Just because the Z10fd is slim and gorgeous (perfectly pocketable at just more than four ounces, and decked out in seven blistering colors including Wasabi Green and Sunset Orange), don't write it off as a toy. The face detection system works like a charm with up to 10 folks in the frame, will automatically remove red-eye if you'd like and can even jump instantly between zoomed-in views of the faces in your photos during playback. Speaking of playback, the micro thumbnail mode is ingenious, displaying up to 100 tiny images (they enlarge when you move the cursor over them) for quickly showing off your favorite shots. Drop-dead good looks, innovative features and a bargain price—that's a lot to like.
7.2 megapixels, 3x zoom lens, 3.6" x 2.2" x 0.8", 3.9 oz., fujifilm.com, $200
Start Them Young: Fisher Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera
Want to turn bored, squirmy little kids instantly happy? Hand them a camera and let them start taking pictures. Of course, most cameras would last about 90 seconds in the hands of a three-year-old, but trust the folks at Fisher Price to develop a nearly indestructible solution. The Kid-Tough uses a two-handed grip, so even little fingers can hold it steady, and a two-eyed viewfinder so they don't have to squint. It's easy to use but still offers key grown-up features kids want, including built-in flash, a 1.3" color LCD, and the ability to hold hundreds of photos when you add an inexpensive SD memory card. Photo quality is cell phone grade at best, but if that's good enough for hordes of teenagers, it's going to be fine for your child or grandchild.
3 megapixel, 6"x 4" x 2.5" $70, fisher-price.com
Zoom With a View: Olympus E-510
Every digital SLR has an LCD screen, but ordinarily it's limited to reviewing photos you've taken—actually shooting requires one-eyed peering through an optical viewfinder. The E-510 is an exception, with a "Live View" system that lets you shoot at arm's length, lining up shots on the LCD. Frankly, I'm still more comfortable using the viewfinder (a matter of taste), but Olympus included two additional features that won me over. A supersonic vibration system automatically cleans the image sensor every time you turn on the E-510—manually cleaning is a royal pain in theÉum, camera. And an effective image stabilization system is built right into the camera body, so any lens (even inexpensive ones) reaps the benefit.
10 megapixels, 5.35" x 3.6" x 2.7", 16.6 oz. (body only), olympusamerica.com, $799 (body only), $899 with 14—42mm lens
Nikon on a Budget: Nikon D40x
The baby of the extensive Nikon digital SLR family, the D40x still boasts a wealth of grown-up features, including the ability to shoot at a blistering three frames per second, light sensitivity up to 1600 ISO and extensive in-camera image editing. And, of course, compatibility with a wide range of excellent Nikon lenses is a major draw for image-conscious shooters. In fact, the only truly pint-sized feature is the bargain price—I've found the D40x selling online, with lens, for around $700.
10.2 megapixels, 5.0" x 3.7" x 2.5", 17 oz. (body only), nikonusa.com, $730 (body only), $800 (with 18-55mm lens)
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