Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Buyer's Guide 2006: Cutting-Edge Compact Cameras
Big features find their way into the smallest of pocket-sized cameras
Not sure which camera mode best suits the situation? Instead of choosing scene modes by name from lengthy menus, use the Best Shot mode on the Casio Exilim EX-S500 to automatically select appropriate exposure settings by example. Each mode is illustrated on the LCD screen with a sample image so you quickly can identify the right selection for the circumstances. Click through the examples, find one that matches your scene, and the camera makes all of the right exposure adjustments automatically. Want more help? The Pentax Optio S55 includes a Help function. Just press the "?" button to display information about selected camera modes and the controls used for exposure and playback.
For the best-quality video, you'll want a dedicated video camera, but there's something to be said for the convenience of the latest digital cameras that are offering better video capabilities. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-M1 goes so far as to include Hi8-quality video capture at 30 frames per second and with stereo sound in MPEG4 format. Video clips are recorded directly to the camera's memory card, making it a convenient alternative to tape—just pop the memory card in your card reader and download the clips. The Cyber-shot DSC-M1 also features a unique swiveling design for flexibility when recording video or photos.
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