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A Hundred Bucks

January 28, 2011 - Dave Hecei
It can be very difficult trying to buy a new digital pocket camera. Let’s say you have $100. Currently, this is the sweet spot for a pocket-sized camera. This means that there are more models in this price range to choose from than any other. However, I am here to help you to make an informed decision.

You can choose to get one from a well-respected camera maker – like Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Fuji, Pentax, Kodak, or Sony. But don’t forget that Panasonic, Samsung, HP, and Casio also make nice cameras. This is why it becomes difficult.

Don’t worry too much about megapixels. Most all of the models in this price range are over 8MP, which means that you can make prints up to and over 11 by 17 inches. You won’t want to print much bigger than this; the image sensors on pocket cameras are just too small to get the detail you need. (Remember that Megapixels don’t always equate to resolving detail).

Here are my current top picks priced around $100. Each of these cameras are very small, thin, and light. They can also shoot decent quality 720P HD video (as good or better than the ‘flip’ type camcorders). They each have a large 2.7-inch LCD display, take SD and SDHC cards, and image stabilization.

Fujifilm JX250 – 5x zoom range, 14MP, digital stabilization, panoramic mode (3-shots), metal body. Street price $99.

Samsung TL105 – 4x zoom range, 12.2MP, stainless steel body, dual stabilization, H.264 MP4 video, ISO up to 3200. Street price $99.

Sony Cyber-shot W350 – 4x zoom range, 14.1MP, optical stabilization, Sweep Panorama Mode (cool way to automatically stitch multiple shots together to make one big one), Carl Zeiss lens, ISO up to 3200. Street price $129.

Of course, of these three models I do like the Sony W350 the best. But then it is a little bit over the hundred bucks mark I set. The extra bucks are well worth it for optical stabilization, Carl Zeiss optics, and the cool panoramic mode.

 
 

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Sony W350 Digital Pocket Camera