American Photo Editor's Choice 2009: Camera Phones

This year’s camera phones offer improved camera interfaces and photo-sharing tools.

Sony Ericsson C905A Cyber-shot

Equipped with a 2.4-inch LCD and useful photographic features such as face-detection autofocus and digital image stabilization, this 8.1- megapixel slider phone also comes loaded with photo and video blogging software. Its BestPic mode takes seven shots in one second so that you can save the one you like, while its Smart Contrast and Photo Fix features optimize image brightness, contrast, and color. All that makes the C905a an able substitute for a good compact. Meanwhile, built-in GPS and geotagging tools let you attach location data to your shots, and Wi-Fi allows wireless display on a DLNA-capable TV. Under $250 (with contract).

Motorola Motozine ZN5
Motorola designed this five-megapixel bar phone with the help of Kodak-a great idea, since Kodak's longstanding emphasis on ease of use, automatic image enhancement, and integration with other devices has been sorely needed in the world of camera phones. The Motozine ZN5 combines those virtues with an intuitive camera interface, dis- played on its 2.4-inch LCD, and preinstalled photo sharing tools. The new model's automatic exposure and image optimization abilities work well, and it also offers burst, macro, and panorama modes. About $100 (with T-Mobile contract).

Nokia N97
Combining a 3.5-inch touchscreen, a full swing-out keyboard, and a five-megapixel camera with a Zeiss lens, this model amounts to a powerful device for mobile image capture, viewing, and sharing. The N97 supports Nokia's versatile new Photo Browser, as well as Nokia Photos for managing your mobile photo and video collection on a PC and syncing it with the phone. Installed memory offers an ample 32GB of storage for media files, and there are built-in tools for geotagging images and easily uploading and broadcasting them online. About $800 (unlocked).

LG KC910 Renoir
An eight-megapixel bar phone with a Schneider lens, the Renoir incorporates advanced camera technologies such as facesmile, and blink detection, a top light-sensitivity setting of ISO 1600, digital image stabilization, and burst and panorama modes. Its video mode shoots 120 frames-per-second for slow-motion playback or 5fps for a time-lapse effect. You can even select an AF point by touching its three-inch LCD screen. And here's something camera makers might want to note: The shutter fires when you remove your finger from the touch screen, eliminating the blur-inducing shake that pressing down can cause. About $350 (unlocked).

Samsung SGH-T929 Memoir

Samsung has lept forward with the Memoir, endowing it with a 3.1-inch touchscreen LCD that lets you control everything through an intuitive, widget-based TouchWiz interface. The eight-megapixel bar phone also offers advanced features such as face-, smile-, and blink detection; spot metering; and ISO settings to 1600. Modes include burst, macro, panorama, and Wide Dynamic Range. About $250 (with T-Mobile contract).

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