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T+L Camera Guide

200708_ss_camera_1-article
Launch Slideshow
Photo: Davies + Starr

Rugged

Olympus Stylus 770 SW

Specs

7.1 mp; 3x optical, 5x digital zoom; 2.5" LCD screen; 5.5 oz. olympus.com; $380

pros

Incredibly rugged: water-, freeze-, crush-, and shockproof; has a built-in nanometer for recording diving depths; lens remains flush with the body when turned on, making it very streamlined

cons

Smaller screen than other ultracompacts; no optical viewfinder—a problem on bright, sunny days

Summary

When they say water- and shockproof, they mean it! This is the total road warrior's camera—perfect for that trip to Mount Kilimanjaro or for tackling the rapids on the Nantahala River

Wide-Angle

Kodak Easyshare V705

Specs

7.1 mp; 5x optical, 4x digital zoom; 2.5" LCD screen; 4.4 oz. kodak.com; $350

pros

Having two lenses means this camera can go from zoomed-in detail shots to unbelievably wide ones; sharp colors; nifty panorama capability enables you to merge three shots; great for groups, parties, and landscapes; inexpensive

cons

No optical viewfinder; some distortion on the edges of images when lens is used at its widest

Summary

Easyshare lives up to its name, with by far the best "getting started" instructions of all the cameras tested; great for vistas and panoramas, such as sunset in the Grand Canyon

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