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Kodak EasyShare Z885It’s hard to believe an 8.1MP compact camera with a 5X optical zoom, manual controls, a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, VGA video recording capability, and an extensive list of image presets can be had for less than $200. This one is about $160, street, so we guess shooting in low light at ISO 8000 is just icing on the cake. (
Nokia N95Possibly the most advanced handheld electronic anything, the Nokia N95 ($650, street) squeezes a decent 5MP camera (with a Carl Zeiss AF lens) into a high-tech slider phone. There’s also 3G high-speed internet access, satellite GPS, FM radio, MP3 player, and Wi-Fi — to name a few of its dozen features. (
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3This 7.2MP compact ($300, street) proves that more zoom can be a better choice than more megapixels! Its superb 28-280mm Leica 10X zoom lens includes Panasonic’s MEGA O.I.S. image stabilization and macro focusing capability. Plus, the low noise and Extremely High tested image quality this pocket rocket captures will translate into big prints that should fool your DSLR friends. (
Ricoh Caplio GX100Wide-angle compact cameras are hard to come by, and none match the ($600, street) 10MP Caplio 100’s 24-72mm (equivalent) f/2.5 lens. Bonuses for low-light shooters include its sensor-based image stabilization, respectable noise control up to ISO 400, fast AF system, and RAW + JPEG storage. ( or
Samsung L74 WideThis 7.2MP compact camera ($240, street) isn’t just capable of capturing great wide-to-tele (28-100mm equivalent) photos while you’re on vacation or traveling — it can also help you find a great place to shoot! The Tour Guide function can be accessed through the touchscreen 3-inch LCD, and there’s also a GPS option. (
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9This compact EVF (electronic viewfinder) camera ($440, street) is the best in its class, thanks to the power and reach of its built-in 15X (31-465mm equivalent) Carl Zeiss zoom lens with Super SteadyShot IS. Combined with stunning image quality from its 8.1MP CCD, a fast AF system, and tilting 3-inch LCD, it’s a viable alternative to a DSLR. (