Thursday, Jul. 31, 2008

Canon Powershot SD1100 IS Digital Elph

Picking a camera to take on the road isn't easy: Kodak, Konica, Nikon and the rest compete furiously with multiple product lines and trot out new features every few months. But for travel snapshots, we're partial to the Canon series of point-and-shoots — particularly the Powershot SD1100IS, an 8-megapixel ultra-light with image stabilization, face recognition and a vestigial viewfinder for quick snaps. The camera is smaller than a pack of cards and shuts down tighter than the Batmobile — perfect for slipping unobtrusively into a jeans pocket. Yet it's capable of taking sharp, high-pixel density photos even from a bouncy rickshaw. More serious photographers may favor Panasonic's $300 Lumix for its manual controls and wide angle Leica lens (for a fraction of Leica's price). But the Lumix's lens protrudes from its body and is exposed to the elements; so when a photo op occurs, it's more likely to be in your bag and not in your hand.

List price: $249

Philip Elmer-Dewitt