Digital Cameras: What To Get

Baltimore Ravens' quarterback Steve McNair watches from the sidelines during the first half of the Ravens' game against the New England Patriots in Baltimore, Dec. 3, 2007. AP Photo/Gail Burton

Consumer technology expert Steve Consumer technology expert Steve "Mr. Gadget®" Kruschen told The Early Show that digital camera might not be for everyone and what are the alternatives to the digital camera revolution.

Basics

TINY Casio EXILIM
(www.casio.com)
Casio introduces the world's thinnest, smallest and lightest digital camera next month. Less than 1/2 inch thick and only 3 oz. It doesn't have one of the things most find desirable in cameras — an optical zoom. ($299)

Samsung Digimax 130
(www.samsungcamerausa.com)
This is another less expensive 1.3 megapixel camera with more features and a bit larger than the EXILIM. ($148)

For those who want to do more, a 2.1 megapixel camera will do just the trick. All should have an LCD display on the back, flash with timer and red-eye reduction capability and most, not all, come with software, which, may or may not be important, depending upon several. Get at least 2x optical zoom in addition to whatever digital zoom there may be. Optical zoom maintains the quality of the image. Digital zoom degrades quality. Users can choose to use only the optical zoom capability

Fujifilm Finepix 2800
(www.fujifilm.com)
Equipped with a 2.1 megapixel CCD, the FinePix 2800 delivers images capable of prints at 4x6, 5x7 and even 8x10. It shines with its 6x optical zoom, the same zoom range as Fuji's acclaimed FinePix 6900 Zoom digital camera. ($269)

Olympus C-700 Ultra Zoom
(www.olympusamerica.com)
The 10x optical zoom also features the ability to record short, low-resolution video clips with sound. ($339)

For the Travelers

Canon S200
(www.powershot.com)
The 2x optical zoom camera is tiny and could hide behind a credit card. It is ruggedly made of stainless steel with nothing protruding when it is turned off - perfect for throwing in a pocket so it will be always ready for use and never left behind because it's too bulky like some others. The S200 uses a proprietary rechargeable lithium battery pack. ($275)

Canon A40
(www.powershot.com)
The 3x optical zoom camera is one of the best for travel with its ease of use and for the excellent and relatively inexpensive options. The $100 wide-angle adapter allows users to see more up, down, left and right while remaining close to the subject. This is perfect for capturing everyone at the dinner table, getting the whole building in the picture without having to be in the next county, and more. This is a wonderful capability not to be taken lightly. ($240)

Konica Digital Revio KD-200Z
(www.konica.com)
This plastic-bodied gem is small, lightweight, easy to use and operates from either two standard AA alkaline batteries or readily available, disposable $9 Lithium CR-3V battery. Kruschen said he had taken hundreds of photos with the original Lithium battery that came with the camera, and it's still going strong. The secret is judicious use of the built-in LCD display and only occasional use of the built-in flash. The camera comes with no software. It will instantly recognize a USB hard drive when connected to a PC. ($295)

Kodak EasyShare DX3500
(www.kodak.com)
This digital zoom only camera is a bargain. ($171)

Kodak EasyShare CX4230
(www.kodak.com)
This is a little pocket-sized camera that could. ($229)

Kodak EasyShare LS420
(www.kodak.com)
It's good, small and basic in the 2 megapixel family. ($256)

Kodak EasyShare DX4900
(www.kodak.com)
The least expensive, higher quality 4 megapixel camera with 2x optical zoom is an example of a camera that can take a photo capable of being printed as large as 20x30 and still look good. This also means users can crop and zoom in on a smaller portion of one of these photos and still print a 5x7 at decent quality. ($345)

Kodak makes telephoto and wide-angle lenses for the EasyShare cameras, too!

Sony DSC-P2
(www.sonystyle.com)
The new Sony is an example of simplicity in a small 2 megapixel camera.
With its compact design and 3x optical zoom, it's worth a look. ($400)

Best Of The Rest

There are very good digital cameras from the other prominent suppliers, including:

Nikon
(www.nikonusa.com)
  • CoolPix 2000
  • CoolPix 2500

Minolta
(www.minoltausa.com)

HP
(products.hp-at-home.com)
  • Rome Neal

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