There’s no better tool for capturing family get-togethers, heirlooms and old documents than a digital camera. And now’s an excellent time to buy. Dozens of new cameras small enough to fit in your shirt pocket and packed with features have hit the market. Best of all, prices are lower than ever, and you can find great deals on Web sites such as PriceSCAN.com<www.pricescan.com>, LowPrice Shopper <www.lowpriceshopper.com> and CNET <shopper.cnet.com>. Have fun documenting your family’s festivities with one of our five favorite models.
Canon PowerShot S500
Canon PowerShot S500
$500 <www.usa.canon.com> A solid choice for any consumer, the sleek, 5-megapixel PowerShot S500 produces sharp pictures you’ll be proud to hang on your wall or display in a scrapbook. The included lithium-ion battery has an extra-long life span.
$400 <www.casio.com> Use this slim, 4-megapixel camera for both close-up and faraway shots. It has a 3X optical zoom lens to capture distant vistas, as well as a macro mode that picks up small details in heirlooms and research documents. The EX-Z40 also boasts a powerful lithium-ion battery.
Under $200 <www.minoltausa.com> This 2-megapixel model’s a good choice for first-time buyers on a budget. It’s super compact and slips easily into a purse — perfect for taking on trips when you need just a basic point-and-shoot.
Nikon Coolpix 3200
$250 <www.nikonusa.com> Bursting with features, this 3.2-megapixel camera masterfully captures details in old tombstones, thanks to its ultra-sharp lens and matrix metering (good for exposing scenes with high contrast and variable lighting). With 15 preset scene modes, the camera automatically adjusts itself for difficult lighting situations (use the snow setting when shooting white tombstones).
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T1
$500 <www.sonystyle.com> Sony’s 5.1-megapixel, subcompact Cybershot has a huge color LCD screen that lets you compose photos with ease. And its high-quality Carl Zeiss lens makes it an excellent choice for shooting heirlooms and other items that require ultra-sharp focus. To make new pictures look old, play around with the built-in sepia-tone filter.
Sony cyber-shot DSC-Ti
From the December 2004 issue of Family Tree Magazine.