Over the next two months, many Americans will get an economic stimulus check from the IRS. Sure, you’ll put some aside for a summer vacation or a tank of gas, but a new camera is smart way to spend some of this windfall. Here are four choices for different kinds of taxpayers.

(To see how much you’ll be getting, click here to download a fact sheet from the IRS)

Married couple with two children (rebate up to $1,800). Consider spending $700 of your rebate on…

The Pentax K200D


Why it’s good for you: You have a busy life, and you want to take better photos, the 10-megapixel MP K200D has a super-tough body and is an ideal move up from a point-and-shoot.

Hot: Weather-sealed body, self-cleaning sensor, expanded dynamic range, and image comparison lets you review two shots simultaneously on the LCD screen.

Not: Burst rate (up to 4 JPEGs or 4 RAW at 2.8 frames per second) could be better, takes 4AAs instead of a chargeable Li-ion battery. ($700,street)

Single parent with two children (rebate up to $1,200). Consider spending $490 of your rebate on…

The Olympus SP-570 UZ


Why it’s good for you: More than a point-and-shoot, but not quite a DSLR, it packs a 26-520mm equivalent lens in a very compact package — because you have enough to carry around.

Hot: Wide-angle 20X optical zoom, 10MP, full manual controls, image stabilization, RAW capture, hot-shoe for external flash.

Not: The electronic viewfinder is no match for the real-time response of a DSLR’s optical viewfinder. ($490,street)

Married with no children (rebate up to $1,200). Consider spending $600 (Two cameras at $300 each) of your rebate on…

His and Her Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T2


Why it’s good for you: Newlywed? You have a lot to take photos of, and the 4GB of internal memory in this tiny camera will let you snap away for a long time.

Hot: Super simple touch-screen operation includes selected focus, face detection, smile shutter, slideshow modes to show off photos in camera, and paint function so you can draw on images. Practical things such as 8MP resolution, high ISO and image stabilization also included.

Not: Could be a little too simple to use for serious photographers. ($300 each, street)

Single with no children (rebate up to $600). Consider spending $175 of your rebate on…

The Fujifilm FinePix Z20fd


Why it’s good for you: You want something small, stylish and versatile.

Hot: Fujifilm calls it Blog mode, but it’s perfect for all of your online photo-sharing needs as it compresses your images to a web-friendly size and lets you beam them to an IrSimple-enabled device (such as a laptop). The 10MP camera also lets you do basic editing of the MPEG-4 videos it takes.

Not: No image stabilization. ($175,street)

How soon can you buy your new camera? Check out the payment schedule below:

Direct-deposit payment
Last 2 Digits of SSN Check Deposited By
00-20 May 2
21-75 May 9
76-99 May 16
Paper check
Last 2 Digits of SSN Check Will Be Sent By
00-09 May 16
10-18 May 23
19-25 May 30
26-38 June 6
39-51 June 13
52-63 June 20
64-75 June 27
76-87 July 4
88-99 July 11