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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pocket Cameras

When portability is essential, nothing beats these ultracompact models

Labels: CamerasGearCompacts

This Article Features Photo Zoom



There are two types of photographs: the kind we set out with the intention to make and the kind that happen when we’re doing other things. For the latter, if you’re like me, you don’t want the burden of an SLR at dinner parties or out on the town with friends. These cameras will slip discreetly into a pocket, ideal for capturing memories when you want to be part of the action.

While you shouldn’t expect the same performance and control you’ll get from an SLR, each of the models we’ve selected here offer something unique—a cool trick or two—that makes them noteworthy. All will take excellent photos under most conditions for everyday photography. And in addition to still photos, many do HD video recording, too.


1. Canon PowerShot SD970 IS
Shoot image-stabilized, 12.1-mega-pixel stills or 720 HD video with this slick PowerShot. Mini-HDMI output lets you display your video and photos directly on your HDTV. For photos of people, Face Detection Technology tracks faces even as they move and can alert you if your subject blinks during the exposure. List Price: $379.


2. Casio EX-FC100
The 9.1-megapixel Casio EX-FC100 can capture still photos at an amazing 30 frames per second and high-speed video at up to 1,000 frames per second. It also can record 720 HD video and offers a Best Shot mode to automatically select optimal settings for the subject. List Price: $329.


3. Fujifilm FinePix REAL 3D W1
Capture your subjects in “3D” with the first camera to offer Fujifilm’s REAL 3D system. The camera captures two shots of the same image from different perspectives and merges them into a single 10-megapixel image. Two lenses and two CCDs make the magic possible. Fujifilm is also introducing a 3D digital viewer and 3D printing service to complement this new technology. List Price: TBA.


4. Leica C-Lux 3
Sleek and stylish, the 10.1-megapixel Leica C-Lux 3 is extremely compact, with a 5x zoom lens and image stabilization. The lens starts at a wide 25mm (35mm-equivalent) perspective and zooms to a moderate telephoto of 125mm. One of our favorite features of this camera is the ergonomics: When you’re holding the camera, your thumb rests comfortably over the controls on the right—focusing your attention on the bright 2.5-inch LCD. List Price: $549.

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