Not long ago, point-and-shoot cameras had zoom lenses that seldom went beyond the optical range of a 35-105mm lens on a conventional 35mm camera. Not so anymore. Thanks to numerous advancements in optical technologies, digicams now feature 8x to 14x zooms that despite their 20-something to 200-300mm-plus focal ranges, still slip easily into your pocket. In addition to HD video, some perform some pretty neat tricks.
At B&H, we currently stock about 100 point-and-shoot cameras; all of them are capable of shooting terrific photographs, and in most cases, video. The choices are far narrower, however, for those seeking digicams that can take an occasional dunk in the drink, an accidental fall, a tropical schvitz, or a high-altitude freeze. If this describes your lifestyle, the following 10 digicams are specifically designed to take a rougher ride than most of the larger, pricier cameras we sell at B&H (and at a fraction of the price!).
The interesting thing about entry level point-and-shoot digicams is that the simplest, least expensive of the lot is capable of taking wonderfully sharp, angst-free photographs. The costlier, more "'complicated" digicams can perform more "tricks" or have wider or longer lenses than entry-level digicams, but at the end of the day, each of these econo-cams capture surprisingly fine stills and video.
The first thing that strikes you when you see Casio's new Exilim EX-G1 is its wedge-like shape. With few exceptions, most point-and-shoot cameras are as boxy as a '64 Chevy Impala. Not so Casio's Exilim EX-G1, which has lines reminiscent of the far sexier-looking '65 Chevy Impala, a car that to this day remains a true head-turner. (What a difference a year makes!)
For the better part of a decade, Canon PowerShot A-Series cameras have offered a respectable set of features at an affordable price. Excellent resolution, sharp Canon optics, and quality handling have made the cameras extremely popular with budget conscious shutterbugs. Though never quite as compact or sleek as the Digital ELPH line, the PowerShot A-Series has always been renowned for capturing high-quality images with ease.
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