Most professional photographers know exactly what they need in a camera-but where does that leave the average college student or parent of four? Need to know how best to capture your next vacation or your pet’s tricks without paying an arm and a leg for it? Here’s a guide to the market’s top 5 digital cameras, which, while not ideal for a professional photographer, will certainly meet your daily camera needs.
Digital cameras can be reduced to a few basic aspects: megapixels, which determine the overall resolution of each photograph; optical zoon, which determines how clearly and closely your camera will zoom in; and LCD size, which lets you know how big of a screen you’ll have to look at your pictures before you shoot them.
Pentax Optio E10 6-Mexapixel Digital Camera
Optical zoom: 3x
LCD screen size: 2.4″
Other benefits: Pentax comes with movie mode, which will record roughly 30 seconds of video with sound, very user-friendly.
Overall: Majority of customer criticism regards poor battery life, but customers using lithium or rechargeable batteries have no such complaints. This is a great camera if you’re looking for a reliable everyday use camera, and is wonderful for first-timers because of its ease of use.
Olympus FE-115 Digital Camera
LCD screen size: 1.5″
Other benefits: Olympus contains a built-in help guide for the technologically-impaired, so you’ll never have to worry about navigating a web site or reading a manual to get the assistance you need, image stabilization to prevent blurred pictures, and effortless printing by plugging the camera into a separately-purchased photo printer.
Overall: The Olympus camera has it all-strong picture quality, nifty features, and good speed. It’s a very strong investment, especially as a starter camera, as it will allow you to customize it as you see fit and will teach you everything you need to know as you use it.
Nikon Coolpix L4 Digital Camera
Optical zoom: 3x
LCD screen size: 2″
Other benefits: Camera has 15 different scene modes which will assist new camera users in choosing the right settings for each different type of photograph (i.e., portrait, landscape). Exclusive Nikon features include in-camera tools to remove red eye and repair dark images. This Nikon has a macro mode, ideal for taking shots at very close distances, and a movie mode, which allows for the recording of movies (in QuickTime format) without a pre-set time limit.
Overall: Customer reviews of this product seem to center around computer issues and lens errors and could be remedied by calling Nikon/software technical support; the vast majority of customers recognize and report that this is an excellent camera for the money paid. The small size is extremely handy, as the camera can be easily transported, but the speed on the camera is a little bit slow, with a noticeable delay in the photo-taking. For the price, this camera is hard to beat for vacations and recording daily events, but if you’re taking a lot of action shots or need rapid-fire photo shooting, you might want to pass for a camera a little bit faster.
Fujifilm FinePix A400 Digital Camera
Optical zoom: 3x
LCD screen size: 1.8″
Other benefits: Like the Olympus, this camera has effortless printing and can be plugged directly into a photo printer. It can also record video clips, and has several scene modes so that the camera does not need to be set manually.
Overall: Picture quality is good, and features are pretty much what you would expect for the price. This is a solid purchase that will last you for a long time. While this camera is nothing absolutely spectacular, it will manage to do everything that you could need it to do, from daily captures to action shots.