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An 8 megapixel digital camera can provide crisp 12” x 16” enlargements – plenty big enough to make an impact hanging on anyone's wall. And there are still an amazing number of options at this resolution. Here are three examples:
Olympus SP-350 – This model features a 3x zoom (38mm - 114mm I n35mm terms) that's pretty fast (f/2.8) at the short end. The minimum focusing distance for macro shots is just 2 cm (0.8”). Unlike most point-and-shoot models, the SP-350 offers full manual exposure control, as well as auto, program auto, aperture priority and shutter priority. There are also 24 pre-programmed scene modes. Another unusual point-and-shoot feature is the ability to shoot two-frame bursts at 2.4 fps. ISO is selectable from 64 – 400.
Samsung Pro 815 SE – The numbers say it all: the “8” stands for 8 megapixels, and the “15” is for the astounding 15x (28mm - 420mm in 35mm terms) Schneider-Kreuznach f/2.2-4.6 lens. This camera indeed qualifies as a super-zoom. The closest focus distance is remarkable for such a long zoom: just 3 cm (1.2”). The 815 SE can save images as JPEG, TIFF or RAW files. There's a complete set of exposure options, including bracketing for 3 or 5 frames.
Canon EOS 20D – This 8.25 megapixel SLR shoots JPEG files, RAW or both. There are four selectable focus options; shutter speeds from 1/8000 sec to 30 seconds, plus bulb; five exposure modes, including full manual; and nine selectable white balance settings. Shutter lag, which plagues many digital point-and-shoots, is less than 1/100 second. And the EOS 20D is capable of burst of 23 frames at 5 fps. This model also gets you access to Canon's extensive line of lenses, which opens up limitless shooting possibilities.