Expert Recommendation

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Best Ultra Compact Digital Camera Overall Under $400
Expert (53 Recommendations and 31 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
November 26, 2009 Updated: November 30, 2009
Overview

As technology continues to improve our photo-taking experience, touch screens have found a place in the Ultra Compact category as a fun and exciting way to get the shots of your life. Adding this feature to the TL225, Samsung has leapt into the future, creating a stylish, easy-to-use camera with finger tip controls.

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My Best In Class Pick
Samsung DualView TL225

Now you’re in the picture!

Smart, stylish and loaded with features, the Samsung TL225 puts you in control as well as in the picture with simplicity. Built with a 12.2mp CCD, 27mm Wide Angle lens with 4.6x Optical Zoom, Advanced Dual Image Stabilization and HD movie capability, the TL225 is ready to be the camera you’ve been dreaming of.

Leading the Ultra Compact crowd with DualView technology, the TL225 has a 1.5” LCD screen on the front of the camera that allows flawless composition for self portraits and a large, 3.5” touch screen on back for easy set up and viewing of your most important images, the one’s you control.

Have fun exploring the many features of the touch screen sensitivity. Simply tap on the Smart Gesture User Interface to activate the front LCD or slide your finger over the rear LCD in view mode to choose and organize your images.

Comparison with Sony Cybershot DSC-T900

A big difference between these two cameras is obviously the great new feature of the TL225’s front LCD screen to compose self portraits. But if you want a camera whose lens doesn’t pancake out, or you already have a collection of SD cards, you may want to look at the T900.

Pros
  • +
    DualView LCD
  • +
    HD video
  • +
    Variety of fun features
Samsung DualView TL225 is the Best Ultra Compact Digital Camera Overall Under $400
Where to buy
Samsung DualView TL225
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.6x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 27mm (30% wider)
  • Resolution: 12.2MP
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Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Excellent by CNET.com

Comparing My Best In Class Pick with Other Good Choices

Product
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Samsung DualView TL225
2
Sony Cybershot DSC-T900
3
Nikon Coolpix S70
Customer Rating
Price $149.99
Size (W x H x D) 3.9 x 2.4 x 0.7 in. 3.9 x 2.3 x 0.6 in. 3.8 x 2.4 x 0.8 in.
Weight (with batteries) 6.6 oz 5.2 oz 5.6 oz
Colors Orange, Purple Silver, Black, Red, Bronze Red, Black, Beige, Brown
Body Material Aluminum Aluminum Aluminum
Weatherproof No No No
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Sensor Size
6.0 x 4.4 mm 6.0 x 4.5 mm 6.0 x 4.5 mm
Max Shooting Speed (continuous) 0.9 frames/sec 0.9 frames/sec 0.4 frames/sec
Video Available Yes Yes Yes
HD Video Available Yes Yes Yes
Optical Zoom 4.6x 4.0x 5.0x
Image Stabilization Type Optical (lens shift) Optical (lens shift) Optical (lens shift)
Smile Detection Available Yes Yes Yes
Max ISO Setting 3200 3200 1600
Aperture Priority Mode Available No No No
Shutter Priority Mode Available No No No
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Face Detection Available
Yes Yes Yes
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LCD Screen Size
3.5 in. 3.5 in. 3.5 in.
2
Sony Cybershot DSC-T900

Slim, trim and touch screen activated, the Sony Cybershot DSC-T900 is a stylish Ultra Compact camera you can take with you anywhere for fun and creative picture taking.

Packing a 3.5-inch Xtra Fine LCD (0.5” bigger than it’s brother the T90, it’s worth the extra cost), a 4x Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar optical zoom lens, 12.1mp SuperHAD CCD image sensor and HD video capability, the T900 has the tools you have come to expect from today’s crop of point and shoot cameras.

As “thinking” cameras become more common, expect quick responses when activating features like the Intelligent Scene Recognition mode or the amazing “Smile Shutter” button. Just point the camera at your subject and when they smile, Voila!, the photo is taken and Digital Image Stabilization has kept it as sharp as can be.

Have fun when you’re done shooting too, with in-camera editing features like soft focus, fish eye effect, cross filter, partial color and many more. With the T900 you can be as creative as your imagination will allow.

Pros
  • +
    Internal lens
Cons
  • -
    HDMI capability, but no cable included
Sony Cybershot DSC-T900 is one of the Best Ultra Compact Digital Cameras Overall Under $400
Where to buy
Sony Cybershot DSC-T900
Specifications
  • Zoom: 4.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: No
  • Resolution: 12.1MP
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
3
Nikon Coolpix S70

Nikon has really given you control of your photo-taking experience like none other with the Coolpix S70.

Whether you’re taking pictures or viewing them with your friends, all of the action is centered around the giant 3.5” OLED touch screen. Simply tap the screen to activate the shutter or autofocus in shooting mode, or swipe your finger across the screen to scroll through your images and use a pinching motion with your fingers to enlarge them in the viewing mode.

Slim and stylish, the S70 has a 12.1mp imaging sensor capable of creating images you can print up to 16x20, a 5x Wide-angle Optical Zoom-NIKKOR Glass Lens, HD video recording, a 5-way VR Image Stabilization System and some in-camera editing features that allow you to create magazine quality images.

With all these great features wrapped up in a sturdy metal body, this may be the last Ultra Compact point and shoot you’ll buy for a long time.

Pros
  • +
    3.5" OLED touch screen
  • +
    12.1mp
  • +
    HD video
  • +
    Pocketable
Cons
  • -
    Image quality may be lacking in spite of great features
Nikon Coolpix S70 is one of the Best Ultra Compact Digital Cameras Overall Under $400
Where to buy
Nikon Coolpix S70
  • Best Price: $149
    Amazon See It »
Specifications
  • Zoom: 5.0x
  • Wide-Angle Lens: 28mm (25% wider)
  • Resolution: 12.1MP
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (1 review)
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

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