Buying a Digital Camera

Take Me Shopping

When shopping around for a new camera, check out these Web sites:

Amazon.com has honest, helpful user reviews, as does Epinions.com. It's always nice to read a real person's experience.

Shopping.com helps you find a model you're interested in at the lowest price.

4 New Cameras We Love

1. Kodak EasyShare DX7590 It couldn't be simpler to take and manage pictures than with this camera. Adjust for very specific situations such as a day at the beach or an indoor party, and mark favorite pictures for printing or e-mailing later. Features: 5.0 megapixels; virtually no lag time between clicking the shutter and getting the picture; films QuickTime videos Cost: $500 (kodak.com/go/easyshare) Costs less: Kodak's DX7630 ($400) and DX7440 ($300) give up megapixels and zoom power to save you money.

2. Olympus Stylus 410 It's lightweight and easy to use, and it comes with an extremely user-friendly manual. If you have a PictBridge-compatible printer, you don't need to turn on your computer to make prints. Features: 4 megapixels; weather-resistant; films short videos Cost: $350 (olympusamerica.com) Costs less: The Stylus 300 ($300) has 3.2 megapixels and no sound with the video.

3. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W1 It's so tiny it fits in your pocket. You can plug it into many computers to e-mail photos without installing special software first, though the software lets you edit. Features: 5.1 megapixels; huge LCD screen; films short videos Cost: $400 (sonystyle.com) Costs less: The Cyber-Shot DSC-P93 ($329) has the same number of megapixels but is just a little bigger and heavier.

4. CVS Digital Single-Use A single-use camera is the cheapest way to try digital photography. It holds 25 still pictures, so delete duds until you get 25 good shots. Features: Leave it at a participating CVS pharmacy for developing; you'll get prints plus a photo CD for e-mailing. Cost: $20 plus $10 for developing Costs less: The $10 one doesn't let you preview pictures -- and previewing is half the fun!

Ready for Video?

What about digital camcorders? Parents we know love them because they make it easy to edit out boring footage. In addition, they can double as digital still cameras -- isolate a frame and you can make a print or e-mail it. They have incredible video and sound quality, are lighter to carry than camcorders that use tapes, and let you store and watch home movies on DVD. But they can hog your computer's memory and are pricey (roughly $300 to $800).

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