If camera phones have got people thinking twice about the need for a decent snapshot camera, no one's told the camera manufacturers. Canon, Nikon, Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Kodak, Pentax, Casio, Samsung, and Olympus all continue to produce point-and-shoot cameras in a wide array of shapes, sizes, and abilities. The variety is amazing, bordering on downright silly.
This is why the question "What's the best point-and-shoot?" is difficult to answer; while one camera might excel in low-light conditions or photo quality, it'll more than likely come up short in design, usability, performance, price, or in some other area. Sure, I can stack up some cameras with some similar features and prices, but with so many variables it's very difficult to be specific. But, I'll give it a shot.
Below is a list of the best cameras--or at least those worth considering--that fall under a particular type, size, or feature. These are ones that left a strong enough impression on me to make me recommend them again and again to readers, friends, and family. None of them is perfect, but they have pluses that outweigh the minuses. If you're after the best photo quality in a compact camera, Canon's PowerShots are your best bet. However, their shooting performance tends to be behind those from Panasonic and Sony.
While I'm at it, there are a few things you should keep in mind when shopping for any point-and-shoot camera. For capturing kids, pets, or any other fast-moving subjects, you really need a digital SLR. A couple here are pretty quick--the Panasonic ZR1 and Sony WX1 come to mind--but if you're regularly shooting things in motion you'll want to step up to at least an entry-level dSLR. I suggest the same for those wanting the best in low-light shooting without a flash (though again, there are a couple here worth buying).
Optical viewfinders are all but gone from new models. Canon still has a few, but the rest of them are nothing but LCD. Lastly, most of these models use proprietary something or other: a memory card, cable, or, most typically, a battery. It's irritating, occasionally frustrating, and adds to the overall cost of a product--definitely worth keeping in mind when you're shopping.… Read more
Fujifilm's FinePix Real 3D W1 camera and system is hitting the U.S., the company announced Wednesday. Introduced globally over the summer, the FinePix Real 3D system appears to be the world's first 3D digital imaging system that captures 3D still photographs and movies, providing images that users can enjoy without special 3D glasses.
You can read a hands-on review here by CNET's Leonard Goh.
Also Wednesday, Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of Nvidia, declared the FinePix Real 3D camera "Nvidia 3D vision-ready" during the company's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, Calif. Nvidia 3D Vision is a combination of high-tech wireless glasses and advanced software that lets users view 3D pictures and movies in full HD on a PC, as well as automatically transforms hundreds of PC games into full stereoscopic 3D.… Read more
With Polaroid killing off its instant-film business in favor of its Zink printing technology, Fujifilm saw a hole it could fill with its instant-film cameras. The first Instax camera arrived in November 2008, and Wednesday the company announced the arrival of the Instax Mini 7S.
The 7S features:Automatic built-in flash for low-light shooting 1/60-second electronic shutter LED exposure indicator Silken white finish Measures 5 inches by 5 inches by 2.5 inches (HWD)
The camera uses Fujifilm's Mini Instax 2-inch by 3-inch film with a printed area of 1.8 inches by 2.4 inches. It's … Read more
The 10-megapixel Fujifilm FinePix Z30 is, for the most part, a fairly basic ultracompact camera with a 3x optical zoom and a 2.7-inch LCD. But along with its interesting looks there are a couple other extras to make it stand out from other youth-oriented models.
For example, you get face detection and automatic scene recognition to help with fast shooting, but there's also a Blog Mode (a carryover from the Z20fd), which preps shots and video so they can go right online for sharing.
There are separate buttons for the still photo shutter release and movie record taking … Read more
Apart from announcing the Super CCD EXR technology at the Cologne-based Photokina imaging trade show last year, Fujifilm also showcased a prototype of a 3D digital camera. In the past, you would have needed stereoscopic shooters which are typically film-based. Digital versions of such snappers require you to fix two similar cameras side-by-side and press the shutter at the same time. You then need to print the pictures and use special accessories such as 3D glasses or dedicated computer programs to view the images in 3D. All that is about to change with the FinePix Real 3D W1, possibly the … Read more