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T+L Camera Guide

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Launch Slideshow
Photo: Davies + Starr

Stylish

Casio Exilim EX-S770

Specs

7.2 mp; 3x optical zoom; 2.8" LCD screen; 4.48 oz. exilim.casio.com; $300

pros

Beautifully designed point-and-shoot that also has manual settings; the easiest of the group to use with one hand; special eBay mode for taking auction-site photos

cons

Short battery life (about 200 still images); no optical viewfinder, so you have to use the LCD screen to frame the photo (which can be hard in bright sunshine); tiny buttons

Summary

So small and handy, you'll reach for this camera again and again; works well indoors and out; easy to use right out of the box

Ultracompact

Sony Cybershot DSC-N2

Specs

10.1 mp; 3x optical, 2x digital zoom; 3" LCD screen; 5.5 oz. sony.com; $350

pros

Big three-inch screen makes it easy to look at photos with a group of people; excellent Carl Zeiss lens ensures sharp pictures in bright light—for example, on a day at the beach

cons

Screen takes up most of the back, so Sony put most of the buttons on it (beware of messy fingerprints); no optical viewfinder; a little slow indoors and in low light

Summary

This point-and-shoot is compact and convenient. With 25 megabytes of internal memory, you don't need a memory card to get started

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