Of all the megazoom cameras I've handled, the <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/160534/sony_unveils_promising_new_megazoom.html">Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX1</a> ($500 as of September 2, 2009) is by far the fastest. It starts up in about 2 seconds and has almost no lag time between shots. Its sharp, tilting 3-inch LCD screen makes shooting overhead and from the hip a breeze.
Stories by Danny Palmerlee
Panasonic's new Lumix DMC-FZ28 has features that give it a jump on many of its competitors in the <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/123679/top_advanced_pointandshoot_cameras.html">advanced point-and-shoot </a>and <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/147325/dawn_of_the_megazooms.html">megazoom</a> categories. Its predecessor (the <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/product/31345/review/lumix_dmcfz18k.html">Lumix DMC-FZ18</a>) was already a good camera, though not without a few flaws: It couldn't zoom in video mode, and it had disappointing battery life.
What do you get when you cram 12 megapixels and great battery life into a very tiny, very durable, and sublimely easy-to-use camera? You get the Pentax Optio S12, a solid competitor for the upper echelons of our <a href=" http://www.pcworld.com/article/123719/top_10_pointandshoot_cameras.html">Top 10 Point-and-Shoot Cameras chart</a>. The Optio S12 is a cinch to use, fits comfortably into just about any pocket and looks as stylish as its predecessor, <a href=" http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/product/32409/overview/optio_s10_blue_digital_camera.html">the Optio S10</a>. Though it lacks some key functions (optical image stabilization in particular, but also zoom in video mode, and advanced manual capabilities), the camera earns points with its ease of use.
Nominations now closed