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Camera makers slash prices on new point-and-shoots
Question of the Day
Samsung’s SH100 ($200) isn’t the first camera with built-in Wi-Fi, but it is unique in that it can send photos directly to a smart phone. Photographers can also use the Wi-Fi-enabled camera to back up their photos to websites such as Facebook.
People can also use their smart phone as a remote-control to trigger their camera’s shutter, as long as they’re within a Wi-Fi network. Here’s the catch: The camera only does this with Samsung’s own line of Galaxy smart phones, which run Google Inc.’s Android software.
Across its product line, Kodak has been emphasizing a sharing feature that lets people select photos stored on the camera to be automatically uploaded to sites such as Facebook when the camera is connected to a computer.
Eye-Fi Inc.’s memory cards can already wirelessly send photos from a camera to a PC or to websites such as Flickr. Now, they can also send photos to smart phones, tablets and other devices. It requires a one-time setup to connect the Eye-Fi card to the gadget over Wi-Fi. Android phone or tablet owners then download an app to see the photos.
Eye-Fi won’t say if other devices, such as iPads and iPhones, will be supported. The new feature will be available as a free update to people who already own one of Eye-Fi’s X2 cards, which start at $50 for 4GB of storage space.
For a while, camera makers had seemingly called off the megapixel arms race, taking a break from one-upping each other with higher and higher resolution. Now, they’re at it again, cramming as many as 14 or 16-megapixels into new models.
This isn’t necessarily a good thing: The more megapixels a camera has, the smaller each sensor is, meaning they can collect less light in dim shooting situations. Nighttime photos might also look grainer with more megapixels. This is all especially true of compact point-and-shoots, which have relatively small sensors to begin with.
But with higher resolution come cutting-edge extras, such as advanced image stabilization technologies, panorama shooting and the ability to shoot in slow motion, something the new Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR ($500) can do.
If you want those features, go for it. If you happen to see a 16-megapixel camera that costs $30 or $40 more than a similar one with lower resolution, though, pick the cheaper one. Even the cheapest cameras today have 10-megapixel resolution, which is more than enough to produce crisp 8 x 10 prints.
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