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Compact Camera It Is, But Which One?

So the consensus seems to be that I should spend my money on a compact camera. Which is a consensus I am quite happy to go along with. The problem is that, as is often the case, answering one question has led to another. Namely, which compact camera should I buy?

I’ve done a little research into cameras in my price range ($150-$300) and this is a brief summary of what I’ve found:

Camera Optical Zoom Shutter Speed Aperture Price (est.)
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC E90 3x 1 – 1/1600 sec 2.8(W) 5.2 (T) $220
Casio Exilim EXZ100 4x 2.6 (W) 5.8 (T) $280
Samsung i8 3x 1~1/2000 sec 3.5 (W) 4.5 (T) $200
Panasonic DMC-TZ4S 10x 8 – 1/2,000 sec 3.3 (W) 4.9 (T) $280
Canon Powershot A590 IS 4x 15-1/2000 sec 2.6 (W) 5.5 (T) $180
Nikon Coolpix S550 5x $230

I didn’t include megapixels because all of them have at least 7MP, the blank spaces in the table are bits of information the manufacturer’s website didn’t provide (or at least not where I could find it).

Out of this lot the Panasonic appeals to me because of it’s large optical zoom but it’s at the top end of my price range and the Canon, which sits at the bottom of the price scale, looks like great value especially considering this isn’t going to be my primary camera. I’m not quite ready to part with my cash yet so leave a comment and tell me which compact (in the $150-$300 price range) you think I should go for and why. Although I’ve just read a review of the Sigma DP1 so maybe I need to keep saving and aim for that!

Ray Davis