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When you get down to the nitty-gritty, you have to remember that a camera is a tool. It is designed to capture images, whether it be via light-sensitive film or a digital sensor. That’s what it needs to do. Camera designers have to approach design with extreme precision.
The laws of physics must be considered in order for the lens to properly capture light, and ergonomics must be considered so that people will be able to use the camera comfortably and easily.
So, when a camera features a sleek, stylish design, one must take notice. It’s much too easy to make a bland, boring camera—yes, the camera may capture perfectly acceptable images, but there is something missing. And when a design works on all levels? It becomes timeless—just look at the Leica M9. Put it side by side with a 50-year old M3 and you won’t see too many differences. And that’s a good thing.
Today’s stylish cameras obviously feature a much more modern take on design, but that doesn’t detract from the care that the technicians and artists who designed these compact light-proof-boxes have put into their manufacture. If you’re looking for a camera this holiday season that not only captures great images, but is also sleek and slim, consider the following models.
Available in six colors (Plum, Black, Blue, Green, Silver and Orange), the CoolPix S3000 is a slim shooter with a 27-108mm equivalent 4x optical zoom lens and a 12MP CCD image sensor. The 2.7-inch rear LCD is allows you to frame images with ease. A four-way VR optical stabilization system and ISO 3200 support help you to take sharp photos in poorly-lit environments.
In addition to high-resolution stills, the camera can record 30 f-p-s video at 640 x 480 resolution. It features numerous shooting aids, including a smile timer, blink warning, in-camera red-eye removal and face-priority autofocus. You can set it to macro mode, which allows you to focus on objects that are only 3.1” from the lens.
The CoolPix S3000 is only three-quarters of an inch thick when its lens is collapsed, allowing you to slip it into your pocket. The camera features a two-tone design with chrome trim—the front has a metallic finish in the color of your choice, while the back panel is a conservative black.
If you’re interested in an extremely slim shooter with a very modern design, consider Nikon’s CoolPix S80. The 14.1MP camera is only 0.7” thin and features a sliding protective cover that covers the lens when the camera is not in use. It is available in four solid colors: Black, Blue, Gold and Red; as well as two-tone Pink and Silver.
The 5x zoom lens lens is a 35-175mm equivalent, giving you a moderate wide angle to telephoto range. In addition to stills, the camera can capture 720p HD video. Low-light shooting is made possible by a five-way VR image stabilization system and a maximum ISO sensitivity setting of 6400. The lens can focus to 2.8 inches for dramatic macro shooting.
On the rear of the camera you’ll find an 819,000-dot 3.5” OLED display. This high-resolution screen will make it easy to compose shots, and the OLED technology will give you a much better experience when reviewing your photos than you’ll get with traditional LCD screens. Numerous shooting aids are built into the camera, including a smile timer, face-detection autofocus and blink-proof shooting. A multitude of in-camera filters are at your fingertip: selective color, a fisheye effect, a miniature effect and more. You’ll also be able to retouch images directly in the camera, cutting down the amount of time you’ll spend Photoshopping images at home.
Olympus’s Stylus 5010 is a compact shooter that is available in three colors: Blue, Pink and Silver. The colors are more pastel than bold, pleasing to photographers who prefer lighter tones. The camera features a 14MP sensor and a 2.7” LCD for framing shots. Its 5x optical zoom lens is a 26-130mm equivalent field of view, making it a great choice for those who enjoy working with wide-angle compositions.
Only 0.8” thin with the lens collapsed, the camera easily slides into your pocket. A dual image stabilization system and an f/2.8 aperture at the wide end of the lens help you to take photos in lower light. The camera can also record 720p HD video and features an Intelligent Auto shooting mode, to help you take the best picture possible, even if you aren’t sure what settings to use for a particular scene.
Numerous other shooting modes and filters are built into the camera. An in-camera panorama mode can stitch three shots together to give you a wide perspective on the world. The Stylus’s Beauty Mode softens shadows in portraits and smooths wrinkles to make a subject's image more flattering. The camera also features some fun creative art filters, giving your photos a pop art, pinhole, fisheye or drawn look! The camera features 1GB of internal memory, which can be supplemented via a standard SD memory card.
Olympus’s Stylus 7030 is a 14MP shooter that is available in four metallic colors: Titanium, Blue, Orange and Purple. It features a 7x optical zoom lens that provides a 28-196mm equivalent field of view, an impressive wide-angle to telephoto range. The camera features a 2.7” LCD for image framing and review and has an Intelligent Auto mode which allows the camera to determine what the best settings are for a particular scene.
The Stylus is only 1” thin when its lens is collapsed and features a dual image stabilization system to help capture shaper images. It offers more than 24 shooting modes and is loaded with many special in-camera effects, including a panorama mode. Its shadow adjustment function helps to bring out details in shadows, making it easier to capture scenes even in difficult lighting situations such as back-lit subjects.
The camera can record 30 f-p-s video at 640 x 480 resolution. It features 1GB of built-in memory, which can be supplemented via a standard SD memory card. Additional features include autofocus tracking, which improves focus on fast-moving subjects. Face detection makes it easier for the camera to focus on a person’s face when you're making a portrait.
Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-T99 is an extremely slim pocket shooter—two-thirds of an inch to be exact—that is available in Silver, Black, Violet, Green and Pink versions, each with a brushed-metal finish. It features a 14.1MP image sensor and a 4x Carl Zeiss zoom lens with a 25-100mm equivalent range. The camera has a sliding cover which protects the lens when it is not in use.
The entire back side of the camera is a 3” touchscreen LCD. You’ll be able to use it to adjust camera settings, frame images and review your photos. The camera also has built-in retouching tools and it includes a special paint pen that allows you to make fine edits on your photos, right on the camera’s touch screen!
An optical image stabilization system combines with an ISO 3200 maximum sensitivity and Sony’s unique twilight mode to make low-light shooting a reality. The camera also features Sony’s exclusive Sweep Panorama function, which allows you to capture a panoramic image simply by releasing the shutter and moving the camera in the direction desired. There’s no need to take multiple images and stitch them together manually with the Cyber-shot.
The camera also supports numerous scene modes to help you capture better images. It boasts an intelligent auto (iAuto) mode, as well as an intelligent scene recognition mode to help the camera optimize settings for a particular situation. The camera can also record 720p HD video at 30fps in MP4 format for easy editing. The camera uses Sony Memory Stick PRO Duo media, rather than the standard memory stick, so make sure you take care to purchase the right type of memory for the Cyber-shot.
Fujifilm’s JV100 is only available in two colors, black and blue, but it still delivers with a 12MP image sensor and a 3x optical zoom Fujinon lens with a 37-111mm equivalent field of view. The camera is only 0.8” thin when the lens is collapsed, and it features a 2.7” LCD on the back panel for image framing and review.
A dual image stabilization system and ISO 3200 sensitivity combine to aid in low-light shooting. The camera features numerous scene modes to help you best adjust settings for different shooting situations. It offers tracking autofocus to help take photos of moving subjects; face, smile and blink detection and a panorama mode. The JV100’s impressive feature set is rounded out by its ability to capture 720p HD video.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Samsung TL105 is how hard it is to notice — if you’re looking at it from the side, you may not realize that the 0.65” profile is that of a digital camera. The ultra-slim shooter is available in four colors: Black, Silver, Red and Purple and each features a stainless-steel body. The camera boasts a 12MP image sensor and a 4x optical zoom with a 27.5-110mm equivalent field of view.
On its rear you’ll find a 2.7” LCD for image framing and review. The camera uses digital image stabilization to reduce image blur and supports ISO 3200 sensitivity for low-light shooting. Numerous scene modes are built into the camera, including a smart auto mode that chooses the best settings based on the camera’s interpretation of the scene.
The camera’s perfect portrait system helps it capture realistic skin tones and detects when your subject blinks, helping you avoid taking photos of a subject with closed eyes. Its frame guide allows you to set up the framing of a shot and hand the camera off to another person to take the shot—perfect for those photo ops when you want your picture taken next to a landmark or interesting location. The TL105 also supports 720p HD video recording at 30 fps in MPEG4 or SVGA format.
Canon’s PowerShot SD1300 is another entry in their venerable line of Digital ELPH cameras. Available in Silver, Blue, Brown, Green or Pink versions, the SD1300 is a mere 0.83” thin. It uses a 12MP image sensor and its 4x optical zoom lens covers a 28-112mm equivalent range.
The camera features a 2.7” LCD for image framing and review and packs optical image stabilization to help you to capture sharp images. The camera has a normal maximum ISO sensitivity of 1600, but that can be boosted to ISO 6400 for use in extreme low-light conditions.
The ELPH features all of the scene modes and other amenities you’d expect in an advanced point-and-shoot camera. It has a face detection self-timer, motion detection and built-in red-eye correction. A smart auto mode automatically adjusts the camera to handle any one of 18 situations. The camera is also capable of recording 30 f-p-s video at 640 x 480 resolution.
The PowerShot SD1400 is even slimmer than the SD1300—only 0.7” when the lens is collapsed. It is available in several stunning colors: Orange, Black, Silver and Pink. Unlike most other cameras that retain chrome trim for the lens and function buttons, the SD1400 is completely color coordinated. If you opt for the pink camera, you’ll be getting a pink lens barrel and pink rear control buttons as well.
The camera is built around a 14.1MP image sensor and a 4x optical zoom lens with a 28-112mm equivalent field of view. A 2.7” LCD is present on the back of the camera for image framing and review. The lens features an optical image stabilization system and the sensor, which has a native maximum setting of 1600, can be cranked all the way up to ISO 6400 for use in low-light conditions.
The ELPH features numerous scene modes, including Canon’s smart auto setting, which can automatically adjust camera settings to best capture an image in any one of 22 situations. The SD1400 records 720p HD video at 30 fps, perfect for playback on an HDTV.
Casio’s Exlim EX-S200 is only 0.9” thick and is available in any one of five subdued colors: Pink, Orange, Blue, Silver and Black. The camera packs a 14.1MP image sensor and a 4x zoom lens with a 27-108mm equivalent field of view. It uses digital CMOS image stabilization to steady your shots, and has a maximum ISO of 3200 for low-light shooting.
The Exlim has a rear 2.7” LCD for image framing and review, and is capable of 720p HD video capture. It features a number of scene modes to help you take better photos, including face detection, mist removal, make-up mode and a 3.1” macro mode.
The Casio Exlim EX-Z2000 is an extremely slim 0.7” and features angled lines that give it a unique look. Its 14.1MP image sensor works hand in hand with the 5x zoom lens to capture stunning photos. The lens features a 26-130mm equivalent field of view and a maximum f/2.8 aperture at the wide end. Combine that with optical image stabilization and a maximum ISO of 3200 and you have a camera that is not fearful of low-light situations.
The camera’s 3” LCD features a bright design and wide viewing angles, making it ideal for outdoor use. The camera features a premium auto mode, which helps it best choose the settings for the scene at hand. Casio’s Art Shot mode allows you to convert images to oil paintings, crayon drawings or watercolor pictures—perfect for fun photo ops. The camera can also record 720p HD video at 30 fps.
Wrapping It Up
There are thousands of digital cameras to choose from, but not all are designed with the slim form factors and stylish lines of those you've just read about here. If your camera's looks are as important as the quality of photos and video it can captures, consider one of these light and slim point and shoots this year.