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Digital Cameras: Double Take
Text by Jonathan Barkey   Photograph by Alex DiSuvero
Photo: Digital cameras
  1 of 3 »

Is 2005 the year of the digital camera? Uh, no. That was 2004 . . . or maybe the year before that. It is no surprise that digital has surpassed film. What continues to amaze is its blitzkrieg progress, namely, more megapixels, better features, easier integration with other technologies, and lower prices. Nowadays the choice is not whether to buy, but which one. There are packable and worry-free point-and-shoots, larger and superhigh-quality SLRs, and plenty to choose from in between. In each class we've found the best cameras, laid out the specs, and contrasted the features. One of these cameras on the next few pages is the right fit for you. 
Pocket Magicians
Pint-size, affordable, and easy to use
1. Casio Exilim Card EX-S500 (Left)

User Profile: Minimalist

This stainless-steel Casio ($399; is nearly credit card–size (just 0.6 inches or 1.5 centimeters thick!) and is available in three colors: stainless, copper, and white. Though you'll pay more and won't have the same range of control as w
ith Canon's A95 (at right), the EX-S500 has a retracting 3x zoom, a big color screen, and a five-megapixel sensor somehow squeezed into a tiny, yet uncluttered body. It can also record high-quality video with sound.              

Best Feature: The EX-S500's Anti-Shake signal processor, unusual in such a small camera, reduces low-light blur from slow shutter speeds and camera shake.
2. Canon PowerShot A95 (Right)
User Profile: Tourista

Despite its bargain price and modest size, the five-megapixel A95 ($285; allows for creative license unheard of with most automatic point-and-shoots. A host of manual settings permits customization, and savvy features like an exposure histogram help amateurs nail tricky shots. All functions are accessed with a thumb-operated controller and easy-to-navigate, on-screen menus. For quick travel snaps, the A95's nine-point autofocus is precise, fast, and just what you need.

Best Feature: The bright, 1.8-inch (4.5-centimeter) LCD swings out and rotates for shooting and viewing from virtually any angle.

Pick up the November 2005 issue for great adventure travel ideas, news, and articles by award-winning writers.

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