CNET Top 5
Vacation digital camerasSummer vacation is the best excuse to go camera shopping.
Going on vacation without a great camera is like saying great memories don't matter. You're not that way. I'm B.C. with Top 5: Digital cameras for Summer Vacation 2010. Since its real hard to find a not-great digital cam these days, these top 5 are the best in each of their 5 respective categories. Pick the one that excels in what matters to you. #5 takes the crown for great cheap camera: Canon's PowerShot A490. For as little as $92 street price it takes really good 10 MP pictures, has a reliable Automatic mode and uses AA batteries so you'll never be looking for a charger. I like that on vacation. No photo buff is going to be impressed by this guy, but who cares. #4 is the hot rugged camera these days, the Olympus Stylus Tough 8000. Waterproof down to 33 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees, shockproof to 6.6 feet and crushproof to 220 pounds. So a fat guy can drop off a bar in Fairbanks, Alaska, spill a beer on it as he falls on it while picking it up and it'll still work. Now THAT's a vacation memory. #3 is the goldilocks DSLR, the Nikon D90. Not too pricey, not too consumer -- just right. At just over a grand with a kit lens, the D90 is an outstanding all around performer, really well built, captures HD video at 720p and just plain shoots great pictures. That's why you buy a DSLR, not to look cool with a long lens. #2 is a hot small camera, because the best vacation camera in the world is no good at all if it's back at hotel. That won't happen with the totally pocketable Canon Powershot SD1400 IS. It's tiny, sleek and takes big ol' 14 MP photos. Make a keychain out of it. Before we get to the #1 camera for vacation 2010, a quick nod to the coolest vacation photo trend this summer: Polaroids. The Impossible Project in the Netherlands just resumed production of cool instant films that went away when Polaroid decided it wanted to sell cheap DVD players and TV's instead. So go get an SX-70 on eBay and some film at the The-Impossible-Project.com and make some stylish vacation memories. At #1 for vacation cameras, there's no denying the hottest trend: Pocket HD video, and no camera is better for that than the Kodak Zi8. It goes up to 1080p, really good image quality, you can hook up an external mic, it's also a good 5MP still camera with macro mode and does all this well in low light which is handy since it sort of showed Flip where to stick it. Anyway, one of these cameras has nail what you care about in a camera for vacation. So get out there, get too much sun or beer or both and email me the pictures. That's it for this edition of CNET Top 5. I'm B.C. See you next time.