Is a digital camera on your shopping list for Christmas this year? Point and shoot cameras are easily the most popular and widely used since they provide the ability to take often high-quality and high-resolution digital photographs without having to worry about shutter speeds, aperture settings or focusing. Most of them feature automatic settings to accommodate most average lighting situations, and a number are equipped with stabilization technology that reduce the shake and jitter associated with handling smaller cameras. These point and shoot cameras are the most affordable of the digital cameras on the market, many sold for under $100. This makes them an ideal starter camera or backup to a larger, more flexible, and significantly more expensive DSLR. The question then becomes which one should you buy.
DigitalCameraReview has given us a nice comparison of five of the top point and shoot cameras. The affordable prices range from $75 to $415. Depending on which features you choose, you can get a great little compact camera that is lightweight and affordable.
Canon PowerShot S100 – 4 Stars ($415) The Canon PowerShot S100 is a high-powered, low-profile compact camera with RAW shooting, manual exposure modes and HD video. This generation uses a CMOS sensor and a new DIGIC 5 processing chip.
Sony Cyber-shot TX100 – 4 Stars ($275) The Cyber-shot TX100 is designed for the tech-savvy trendsetter. The ultimate in portable, pocket-friendly designs, this ultra-compact offers high quality video and image capture. Is it worth the nearly $300 price tag?
Nikon Coolpix P300 – 4 Stars ($245) You don't have to look long at the Nikon Coolpix P300's spec sheet before it starts to impress. Full 1080 HD video, a fast f/1.8 lens and full manual controls will appeal to photographers of all skill levels. Does it live up to its “P for Performance" designation?
Panasonic Lumix FH7 – 3 ½ Stars ($130) Some of us are touch screen fans, some are not. The slim Panasonic Lumix FH7 is the latest of many touch friendly compacts, but that's not all it offers. With a competitive price tag, a nice 4x optical zoom lens built to Leica's liking and 720p video, it's a real competitor in its class.
Pentax RS1500 – 3 Stars ($75) The Pentax RS1500's most notable feature is its Clark Kent-like ability to change appearance quickly. The process of changing faceplates is much simpler in this second generation master-of-disguises point-and-shoot.
Don’t be caught with your charge down! Regardless of which camera you choose, you’re going to need at least one spare camera battery. Another great gadget to include in your gift giving this year is the Revive Universal Spare Battery Charger. It not only will charge your camera battery, but will also charge most cell phone batteries as well. Now there’s no excuse to be caught with no battery life!
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