Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Digital Camera Comparisons and other Digital Camera topics.
If you like detail, you'll like 6 megapixel cameras. And some models are relative bargains. Right now, they provide the best of both worlds: detail enough for 10” x 15” enlargements, but at a very affordable price. Here are three typical models:
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX01 – Panasonic isn't usually the first name that jumps to mind when you think of digital cameras, but they're becoming a serious contender. This model features a 4x (28mm - 102mm in 35mm terms) Leica zoom lens and six focusing modes – including two “high speed” modes. There are also seven white balance modes and a dozen pre-set scene modes. The DMC-FX01 even has a burst mode capable of 2 fps for up to 8 frames (or 6 frames at the JPEG Fine setting). But its most amazing feature may be the shutter lag. It's only 5/1000 sec.
Canon PowerShot S3 IS – The 12x zoom (36mm - 432mm in 35mm terms) on the Powershot S3 IS is pretty fast. It has a variable maximum aperture of f/2.7-3.5. And the S3 IS has something else nice: vibration reduction. This model only saves JPEG's, but it can shoot movies – with files as large as 1 GB. The S3 IS has four focus modes and ISO is selectable from 80 – 800. Exposure control includes program auto, shutter priority, aperture priority and full manual. There are four focus modes, and the S3 IS can focus to 0” in Super macro mode.
Pentax *ist D – As the “megapixel wars” continue, the *ist D is one of only a handful of 6 megapixel d-SLR's left. But it offers a full slate of features. The *ist D saves images as JPEG, TIFF or RAW files. It offers three focus modes, with a selectable auto-focus sensor point (good for off-center subjects). There are five exposure modes, including full manual, and auto-bracketing is available. It can shoot bursts of six frames at 2.6 fps. The *ist D has three metering modes, and ISO selectability from 200 – 1600.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|