DemystifyingDigital is a new feature written by Dan Havlik, editor of DemystifyingDigital.com
As much as we love all the bells and whistles they’re putting on digital cameras these days (how could we live without our optical image stabilization?), a lot of features are so hard to figure out that most camera buyers don’t even bother. That’s why it’s refreshing when manufacturers actually put some real world R&D into their products and come up with cameras designed for regular people to use. Below are some of our favorite new and easy point-and-shoot models that you don’t need to a degree from the Brooks Institute to figure out.
Canon SD 850IS
Though it’s small and lightweight, the 8-megapixel Canon SD850IS doesn’t skimp on features. Along with having built-in optical image stabilization, the camera has a great 4x zoom for getting close to the action, Face Detection technology for locking in on faces to take great portraits, an excellent Macro mode for close-ups, and a very cool black-and-white setting for taking classic-style pictures.
Panasonic Lumix TZ3
With a very wide 28mm lens, this small 7.2-megapixel camera is ideal for taking sprawling landscape photos. But along with being able to go wide, the TZ3 has a 10x optical zoom to let you get close to the action. The camera’s built-in optical image stabilization will keep your shots steady even when your hands are shaking.
Olympus Stylus 770SW
You can drop it, you can dunk it in water, you can try to freeze or crush it, but this 7.1-megapixel camera keeps on taking pictures. If you’re the type of person whose digital camera takes a lot of abuse – either from tossing it in your bag or accidentally dropping it in the pool – this compact, tough-as-nails model is for you.