Everyone is in need of a good digital camera. Grandmothers need to keep track of every minute detail of what goes on around them. Moms need to chronicle their children’s lives. Dads need to take pictures of sports. College students need to do a multitude of things that involve photography or recording.
Unfortunately, and despite everyone needing one, few people know enough about digital cameras to make a truly educated choice. Does a situation require a point-and-shoot or something a bit higher end?
For now, we will focus on decent point-and-shoot cameras that I managed to get my hands on over the weekend.
Canon has always put out high quality and easy to use cameras. It is up for debate whether or not Nikon has surpassed them yet, but even if Nikon is High King (and we’ll get to them eventually) Canon is a more than capable prince.
The Canon Powershot SD940 is a reasonably priced and very capable camera. 12.1 megapixels, an ultra compact design and a 2.7 inch screen make this camera a nice addition to anyone’s gadget lineup. The interface is easy to use, and only three modes to shoot in keeps things simple for novice users.
Unfortunately, all of the easy-to-use happiness comes at a price. The picture quality is not stellar. The immediate appreciable difference between the SD940 and the SD890 is not easily recognized. Plus there is some serious shutter-lag. Most people break out a point-and-shoot to, well, point and shoot. Point-and-wait-a-sec just is not quite as good.
Next up is the Nikon Coolpix S640. Another ultra-compact camera that weighs in with 12.2 megapixels of resolution power, Nikon has built something to rightfully challenge the market. The camera boasts 15 different screen modes, a 2.7 inch screen and only a slight learning curve.
Both cameras clock in the $200-$299 price range. Neither is perfect and both can be used to capture that special spring break moment or just a time when you drew on your sleeping friend’s face. They do their jobs well, and if faced with the option of either/or, picking up the Nikon for its screen options may be the way to go.