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.
Regardless of the focal length of your favorite lens, I'd venture to say you've been in situations where you've tried to focus in tight on your subject and inevitably hit the wall—the minimum focus point of your lens. Sure you can crop, but in a perfect world it would be swell if each of our lenses would focus as close to our subjects as our mind's eye focuses. Alas, the world isn't perfect... but we do have macro lenses.
You’ve got a lot of options these days when it comes to shooting video. You can shoot video with a multimedia phone, or you can opt for the convenience and decent image quality of a shoot-and-share camera like the Flip, or you can even shoot video with your digital camera. All of these options are great when you just want to capture a moment and maybe post it quickly to YouTube, but when you want more quality and a few more bells and whistles, your best option is still a handy, compact camcorder.
That’s a question that a camera salesperson hears quite a bit. While virtually all compacts have built-in flashes, when used in automatic mode they can often produce images that appear to be washed out and lack any sort of ambience. Getting a good image with flash often requires the use of diffusers, wireless gadgets and techniques that are more than a little too intense for the average non-professional.
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 first words usually uttered by somebody peering through an ultra wide-angle lens for the first time is usually something along the lines of “Whoa!”—and the wider the lens, the louder the “Whoa!” While peering through an extreme telephoto lens can also coax a “Whoa!” from the viewer, it’s because of its ability to bring distant subjects seemingly within arm’s length. Ultra-wides are different in their ability to interpret objects that actually are within arm’s-length distance in a different light. And that’s what makes them special.
For many shooters, telephoto lenses are a means of bringing distant scenes closer, and for the most part, this is an accurate description of what telephoto lenses do. But there's more to telephoto lenses than narrow fields of view. Perspective, compression of spatial relationships between subjects within the frame and the dynamics of selective focus are equally part of the game.
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