Back To School 2007: Cheap But Good Digital Cameras

hpphotosmartr937.jpgDemystifyingDigital is a feature written by Dan Havlik, editor of

The start of school means showing off all the cool digital gadgets you purchased over the summer to your classmates. If you’re into photography, you’ll be happy to learn that you no longer have to drop all the cash you earned mowing lawns or working at the local Exxon over the summer to get something sleek, stylish, and sophisticated. Here are our picks for the best new and easy point-and-shoot digital cameras that are not only inexpensive, they’ll show your fellow students you have some class.

HP R937

The interactive touchscreen on the 8-megapixel HP R937 is incredibly easy to use and at 3.6 inches, it’s the largest you’ll find on a compact camera. The R937’s virtual keyboard lets you easily crop photos, insert captions and add Windows Vista-compatible tags. The camera also features the latest version of HP Design Gallery, which lets you remove blemishes and red- eye, “slim” away extra pounds on your subject, and correct glowing pet eyes.

kodakeasysharem853.jpgKodak EasyShare M853
Talk about new & easy, check out the new M853, the latest camera from Kodak that lives up to the EasyShare name. Not only is the M853 a breeze to use with simple, fully-automatic modes and features, it’s smaller than a deck of cards and comes in five cool colors — white, red, graphite, silver, and expresso. Though its svelte and portable, this camera is no lightweight under the hood with an 8.2-megapixel imaging sensor, a 3x optical zoom, and a 2.5-inch LCD.

nikoncoolpixl14.jpgNikon Coolpix L14
Nikon’s “LIFE” series of cameras have always been a favorite of ours and with the latest addition to the line, the Nikon Coolpix L14, these models keep getting better and better. One of the signature features of the 7.1-megapixel L14 is its incredible battery life. With just a single pair of included Energizer e2 Lithium AA batteries, you can squeeze out 1,000 shots. The Coolpix L14 also uses Nikon’s new EXPEED image processor for better overall speed and color. The enhanced face recognition function is able to recognize five separate faces practically instantly for better group portrait photography.