The only reason this editor picked the Sony DSC-H1 over a nice digital SLR camera was simple — I hate using viewfinders and constantly squinting. Apparently hearing similar complaints, Olympus has announced a new camera that will finally let me join the SLR ranks without eye fatigue. The Evolt E-330 ($1000; March) is the world's first digital SLR to offer "live" viewing through its LCD screen. The camera also features a dust reduction system for spot-free photos, TruePic Turbo image processor, and digital-specific Zuiko lens. What's more, its 2.5-inch articulated LCD also features HyperCrystal technology and offers
advanced swivel capability so you can
capture shots from any angle.
Sony's first hard disk drive camcorder, the DCR-SR100, lets you record pristine digital video without the need for DV tapes or those tiny DVDs. And if you're like us, you edit everything you record anyway to get rid of all the boring crap and then burn your own DVD. The DCR-SR100 ($1100; May) has 30GB of storage, built-in Dolby Digital 5.1 channel surround sound and an optional Bluetooth microphone for enhanced center channel sound. It also sports a 3-megapixel Advanced HAD CCD, built-in flash, Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens, 2.7-inch touch panel SwivelScreen LCD, and 3-megapixel digital still capture.
Finally an affordable, pocketable way to record video for our content-hungry HDTVs. The Sanyo Xacti HD1 ($800; available in March) records 720p HD video onto SD cards, as well as doubling as a 5.1 megapixel still camera. Other features include 10x optical zoom, a 2.2” OLED display, a multifunction docking station, and macro shooting down to 1cm away — so you can capture the horrible deaths of those fire ants in your driveway with exceptional clarity.
The Kodak EasyShare V570 ($400) is the world’s first dual-lens digital still camera, combining a wide angle lens (23 mm) and an optical zoom lens (39 – 117 mm) in an ultra-compact body that's less than an inch thin. The 5-megapixel camera offers a 5x zoom, a 2.5-inch LCD, MPEG-4 video capability, and a super cool in-camera panorama stitching feature, which automatically combines three pictures into a 180-degree panorama photograph.
Whether it be caffeine, sugar, or simply bad nerves, anyone who has the "shakes" every once in a while knows that using a compact camera at full zoom can spell disaster. Panasonic recognized this, and built serious Optical Image Stabilization into the Lumix DMC-FX9K ($350) to counteract the problem. Add to this 6 Megapixels, a 2.5" LCD, and Leica optics, and you have a pocket-sized winner.