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Friday, January 26, 2007

Must-Have Travel Gear

A selection of mobile gear that makes photography on the road easier

Labels: Buyers Guide

 

Don't Leave Home Without Them

Not much bigger than the credit card that coined the phrase, today's mini-cameras are perfect travel companions for impromptu shots

While they're no match for your D-SLR in speed and overall performance, you can't beat mini-digital cameras in convenience. They're perfect for evenings out on the town, for photo opportunities found on your morning run or anytime when your bulkier camera gear would be cumbersome or distracting. They help you keep a low profile, too.

The new Kodak EasyShare-One (www.kodak.com) has a massive three-inch LCD screen-the biggest screen on any digital camera. Although not the most compact of the newest minis, it's loaded with cool specs like Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless printing and image downloads, and 256 MB of built-in storage, which you can expand as needed with SD flash memory.

Another new mini with a big LCD is the Nikon Coolpix S1 (www.nikonusa.com). At 2.5 inches, it's a big view for a tiny camera. This is one of the sleekest mini-cameras we've seen, with a 3x zoom lens and 5-megapixel resolution. The Coolpix S1 also features Nikon's innovative Face-Priority Autofocus mode, which automatically detects your subject's face to ensure sharp focus.

Canon (www.usa.canon.com) has a long history of exciting compact cameras, starting with the ELPH film cameras in the 1990s, and the PowerShot SD models continue the lineage with ultracompact designs. The SD400 is Canon's best blend of size and performance to date, with 5-megapixel resolution and a 3x zoom lens. Overall, it's the smallest of the mini-cameras here.

Minolta made a huge impact on digital mini-cameras with its DiMAGE X in 2002. Konica Minolta (www.konicaminolta.us) has carried on that line with improvements along the way, increasing resolution to 5 megapixels. The unique design is built around a 2.8x zoom lens that doesn't extrude from the body when zooming.

For the thinnest 5-megapixel compact camera, check out Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-T7 (www.sonystyle.com). It's just over one-half-inch thick. The DSC-T7 features a 3x Carl Zeiss lens, 10 Scene modes and a large, 2.5-inch LCD.




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