Which camera is right for you?

We dug through the latest crop of cameras and narrowed down the summer selection to our Top 7 based on your lifestyle.

Canon Rebel T3i, Fujifilm FinePix XP30, Kodak EasyShare Mini, Nikon Coolpix S1100pj, Olympus Pen E-PL2, Samsung SH100, Lumix DMC LX5

By Heather Camlot

How many times have you headed to an electronics store with hopes of buying the perfect camera only to find yourself staring blankly at rows and rows of point and shoots and DSLRs, no clue as to where to start?

We dug through the latest crop of cameras and narrowed down the selection based on lifestyle – do you love to travel? Can’t get enough of Facebook? Already a photo junkie? We’ve got the perfect camera for you. All you have to do now is choose the colour.

For the photo enthusiast

The Canon Rebel T3i is a DSLR for the novice photographer. The compact frame packs a powerful punch: an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 4 image processor for high quality and speed; a high ISO range expandable to 12800; a vari-angle LCD monitor so you can shoot from high or low angles; 3.7 fps continuous shooting; 1080p HD video with digital zoom; and various setting options, including a feature guide to help you set up the best shot possible.  $1,000

For the traveller

Adventurers need an adventure-driven camera, and the Fujifilm Finepix XP30won’t let you down. First, it’s waterproof to 5 metres, shockproof to 1.5 meters, freezeproof to -10 degrees Celsius and dustproof. Second, it has built-in GPS, which will geotag your photos and videos by latitude and longitude or place name. Other features: 14 megapixels, 5.0x optical zoom, a 2.7-inch LCD monitor, 360-degree panoramic shots, 28mm wide-angle lens and 720p HD video. $230

For the fashionista

Don’t worry about bulging pockets on those skinny jeans with the Kodak EasyShare Mini camera. Slightly smaller than a credit card, the Mini is definitely a grab-and-go camera, but don’t let the size fool you, it still competes with 10 megapixels, built-in front mirror, 28 mm wide-angle lens, blur reduction, social-media sharing, face recognition, HD video and video prints. $99.95

For the entertainer

Talk about fun — with the Nikon Coolpix S1100pj, not only do you get to take pictures and videos but you get to project them on a wall right there and then from over seven feet away.  You can even project images from a PC or memory card. Plus, with the camera’s built-in paint function, you can add text and images onto the projected images in real time. Other features include 14 megapixels, ISO 6400, 3-inch LCD screen, 720p HD video, wide-angle 5x zoom lens, 17 scene modes and a smile timer and eye blink alert. $330

For the gadget geek

The power of a DSLR in a point and shoot – that pretty must sums up the Olympus Pen E-PL2. The compact 12-megapixel camera features an MSC lens ED 14-42 mm 11 f3.5/5.6 zoom lens (or about 28-84 mm angle of view) compatible for both movies and still shots; a 3-inch LCD screen; ISO 6400; Live Guide, which allows you to view and alter five different photo techniques (such as depth of field and image brightness) while composing the shot; art filters (such as pop art and grainy); intuitive face detection;  and 720p HD video. Then there are the optional accessories, which really up the ante. Along with add-on lenses for fish-eye, wide-angle and macro, you can pick up a macro arm light to illuminate small subjects like insects or flowers, a Pen Pal device to transfer pictures to Bluetooth-enabled devices, and an underwater case for depths up to 40 metres. $600

For the social networker

The Samsung SH100 point and shoot has built-in Wi-Fi capabilities, including backing up your photos to your PC automatically and uploading your favourite shots directly to Facebook, YouTube or email. A few more bells and whistles that make this camera a social boon: your smartphone becomes a remote control, so you can perch the camera on a table, sit yourself comfortably in a group shot, preview the picture in real time, then hit click. And because of the 26mm wide-angle lens, you can be sure everyone in that group will make it into the shot. The SH100 also has an array of built-in templates and lens effects to have some fun with your pictures. $250

For the art lover

The Lumix name alone is enough to send shivers down the photo enthusiast’s spine, but when you combine that name with a Leica lens, well, it’s pure heaven. The DMC LX5 is an advanced compact with a 3-inch LCD screen, 24 mm wide-angle lens, 10 megapixels and 720p HD video. Pretty standard. Here’s where it gets more interesting: it sports a bright F2.0 lens for real depth of field shots, a high sensitivity and saturation 1/1.63” CCD, a maximum ISO 12800, high-speed response, multiple exposure, and manual and auto modes. $500

First published May 19, 2011, on WorkLivePlayCafe.com.



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