Actually, this is pretty well covered in my friend’s blog. In this post, he picks the point-and-shoot cameras that I’d recommend. Namely, if size is your main priority, the Canon Powershot SD300 (also mentioned in my previous post) is my favorite. It has a 4MP sensor, which is more than enough for anything up to 8×10 or even a little bigger, which should satisfy most people’s needs (especially for a little walkaround camera). It also takes little video clips (up to 3 minutes) – a feature I’ve come to know and love. Who needs a camcorder anymore?

If you want more creative control, get the Panasonic Lumix FZ20. A 5MP sensor, 12X image stabilized Leica lens (and a f/2.8 lens all through the zoom range!), TIFF mode, movies up to the limit of your memory card,…. And all for under $500 street. If you want a true camcorder replacement (so a really good movie mode is your priority), I’d go with the Canon Powershot S1IS. In fact, if this camera had a higher resolution sensor (it’s a 3.2MP), I’d probably give it a higher recommendation than the Panasonic. What it does have is a super quiet ultrasonic, image-stabilized 10x lens and a movie mode that lets you shoot to the capacity of the memory card. The differentiating factor is that you can use the zoom during a movie. Most point-and-shoot zooms are too noisy and the camera’s microphone picks up all that noise when zooming. You will, however, sacrifice picture quality and some creative control over the Panasonic.

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