Canon has attempted to provide some advanced features in its ELPH series of stylish point-and-shoot cameras with the HS (high sensitivity) designation, and the latest in this family, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 330 HS, follows along this line of thinking.
The ELPH 330 can shoot at up to 6.2 frames per second in burst mode at a full 12.2MP of resolution. It also should perform well in low light using the HS technology, and the ELPH 330 can shoot at an ISO setting up to 6400.
The ELPH 330, which is available in black, silver, or pink, also has a 10X optical zoom lens, full 1080p HD video recording, and a 3.0-inch LCD screen.
Canon has included several very interesting features in its PowerShot ELPH 500 HS digital camera. The ELPH 500 HS includes an f/2.0 lens, which is an impressive lens for a point and shoot camera. With its CMOS image sensor and with its Canon HS (high sensitivity) system technology, the ELPH 500 should excel in low light conditions.
You'll find 12.1 megapixels of resolution, full 1080p HD video capabilities, and a 3.2-inch touch screen LCD. The only disappointing aspect of the ELPH 500 is that it only carries a 4.4X optical zoom lens. Look for the ELPH 500 HS in silver, pink, or brown body colors
Waterproof cameras seem to be growing in popularity, especially point and shoot waterproof models. Fujifilm has introduced quite a few of these types of cameras, including the FinePix XP170.
The XP170 has 14.4MP of resolution, a 5X optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD, and 1080p HD video recording. The XP170 measures only 1 inch in thickness.
This Fujifilm model can work in up to 33 feet of water depth, can survive a fall up to 6 feet, and will work in temperatures as low as minus-14 degrees Fahrenheit.
The XP170 is available in blue or orange camera bodies.
4. GE X2600
Considering the sub-$200 price point for the GE X2600 ultra zoom camera, there are a lot of nice things to offer in this model. The image quality is above average versus other similarly priced cameras, and the 26X zoom lens is one of the largest you'll find in this price range.
Don't expect quick response times with this camera, as both shutter lag and shot to shot delays are noticeable with the X2600.
The X2600 doesn't have any advanced features, such as a high-resolution LCD or built-in Wi-Fi, which would be a really nice option to find at under $200. Even with that in mind, the X2600 is an above average camera, in terms of image sharpness, flash photo quality, and its large zoom lens. There certainly are better long zoom cameras in the market, but if you have a strict budget to stick to, the X2600 would be a decent option for a beginning photographer looking for a first ultra zoom camera.
Nikon has spent the past few years really beefing up its Coolpix point and shoot line of cameras, offering more high end features in these thin, stylish models.
The recently released Coolpix S9300 fits this description perfectly, as it offers an 18X optical zoom lens, full HD video at 1080p resolution, a built-in GPS unit, a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD, and a 16MP CMOS image sensor.
Few point and shoot cameras can match the all-around strong feature set of the S9300, which is available in silver, black, blue, or red camera bodies, depending on your location in the world.
Olympus has packed plenty of features into a sub-$200 camera with its 14MP SZ-10 digital camera. The SZ-10 offers an 18X optical zoom lens, which is nice to find in this price range. You'll also find a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD with the SZ-10.
OIympus has included the ability to shoot 720p HD video, to use WiFi to connect to a computer, and to shoot in a 3D photo mode, all of which are impressive features for this price range.
Samsung is well known for its innovative point and shoot cameras. Where other companies are content to come up with models each year that increase the optical zoom or add more megapixels, Samsung looks to innovate, even within the inexpensive point and shoot market, adding dual LCDs and WiFi capabilities.
Now, the Samsung MV800 includes a flip LCD that can rotate 180 degrees until it's positioned over the top panel of the camera, allowing for easy self-portraits. Throw in a touch screen LCD, and you have a camera that's really easy to use.
It would be nice if the performance levels of the MV800 in low light were a little better, but this is still a fun camera to use with excellent autofocus capabilities.
Samsung's SL820 digital camera is another strong model worth consideration from this under-rated camera manufacturer. The SL820 includes a very easy-to-use menu structure, which is great for beginning photographers. The camera's shooting features are nice, too, with 12.2 megapixels, a 5X optical zoom lens with limited wide angle capabilities, and a 3.0-inch LCD. You may find the SL820 in silver, black, and red.
Samsung has done a really nice job of late creating thin ultra zoom cameras that give you a variety of great features, including built-in Wi-Fi. The latest model, the WB250F, is another strong camera along this line.
The WB250F includes an 18X optical zoom lens, a 14MP CMOS image sensor, full 1080p HD video recording, Wi-Fi, and a 3.0-inch touch-screen LCD. You also can download a Remote Viewfinder app to allow your smartphone as a camera display.
Look for the WB250F to be available now in black, white, red, or gun metal gray.
Inexpensive waterproof cameras are starting to appear with more regularity in the digital camera marketplace, and Sony has joined the fray with its Cyber-shot DSC-TF1.
The TF1 has some very basic photographic capabilities, including a 16.1MP CCD image sensor, a 4X optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD, and 720p HD video capabilities.
This camera's tough options include the ability to work in up to 33 feet of water depth, survive a drop up to 5 feet, and work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Those are pretty solid waterproof capabilities in an inexpensive camera. Look for the TF1 in red, blue, or black camera body colors.
If you like thin, small cameras, Sony's WX80 model is going to give you the size you want with some nice photography features.
The WX80 measures only 0.91 inches in thickness, but it offers an impressive 8X optical zoom lens. In addition, the WX80 has a 16.2 megapixel CMOS image sensor, a 2.7-inch LCD, built in Wi-Fi capabilities, and full HD video recording.
You'll find the WX80 in red, black, or white camera bodies.