Computers & Electronics
Dick Smith - Canon A490 $98
I'm a big fan of the A series cameras - lenses tend to be excellent, and using AA batteries means that you can easily get cheap rechargeable batteries for it plus - if you're on holiday etc - if the batteries die it's easy to just get some cheap disposable batteries to tide you over. The A series also tend to be fairly well built and resistant to the odd knock that would cause other cameras to fall apart...
On the flip side, I've always found the ones I've had tend to overexpose on flash and colours are always a touch on the "vibrant" side - basically it's tuned for standard point & shoot photos. This model is not supported by the hacker community (http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CameraFeatures) so no raw shooting. There are also some features missing on this camera that other (generally more expensive) cameras may have, like image stablisation, HD video, smile detection (not just face), or even (in the case of the new Ixus line) wink detection allowing you to trigger the camera with a wink!
Anyhow, it's way better than pretty much any mobile around and cheap enough to be almost disposable whilst providing photos that - if not DSLR - are pretty decent. Limited stock so (if interested) check the store availability online (they only have stock in stores, none online, but you can check availability there) to see if there's one in a store nearest to you.
Camera itself specs:
* Effective Number of Pixels: Approx 10.0 MP CCD
* Size ⁄ Filter Array: 1⁄2.3 inch ⁄ Primary colour filter (Bayer)
* Processor: DiG!C III
* Focal Length (optical): 6.6 (W) 21.6 (T) mm
* 35mm film equivalent: 37 (W) 122 (T) mm
* f⁄number: f⁄3.0 - f⁄4.5 (w) - f⁄5.8 - f⁄9.0 (T)
* Shutter Speed: 1 - 1⁄2000 sec.
* Zoom: Approx. 3.3x Optical, 4x Digital
* Focus System: TTL Autofocus
* Face Detection: Face Detect, AiAF1 (5-points), Center
* Other Shooting Features: Normal: 5cminfinity (W), 25cm-infinity (T) , Macro: 1cm-50cm (W), 25-50cm (T)
* Shooting Functions: Face Detection Auto Focus and AiAF, Auto Exposure, White Balance, Flash Exposure, Auto Red-Eye Correction, Face Self Timer
* Other Shooting Features: Image Inspection Tool, Night Display
* Continuous Shooting: (Large⁄Fine) Approx 0.9 shots⁄sec (2.5 shots⁄sec in Low Light)
* Self-timer: Approx. 10sec or 2sec delay, or custom.
* Light Metering Method: Evaluative2, Center-weighted average, Spot3
* Exposure Control: Method Program AE
* Exposure Compensation: ± 2 stops in 1⁄3-stop increments
* Sensitivity (Equivalent Film Speed): Auto, ISO 100⁄200⁄400⁄800⁄1600
* White Balance Modes: Auto4, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
* LCD Monitor: 2.5 inch TFT LCD monitor (approx 115,000 dots) with wide viewing angle
* Flash Modes: Auto4, on, off, Slow Synchro, Auto Red Eye Correction, Red Eye Reduction
* Flash Range: Normal: 30cm 3.0m (W) 30cm - 2.0m (T)
* Shooting Modes: Auto (13 scenes detected), P, SCN (Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Low Light, Sunset, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Movie, Super Vivid, Poster)
* My Colours: Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Custom Colour
* Still image: JPEG Compression (EXIF 2.2 Compliant)
* Colour Space ⁄ Compression Levels: sRGB: Fine, Normal
* Movies: AVI (Image Data: Motion JPEG; Audio Data: WAVE monaural)
* Microphone⁄Speaker: Available
* Still Images and Capacity on a 4GB card at Fine Image Setting:Large: 3648 x 2736 (1471); Medium 1: 2816 x 2112 (2320), Medium 2: 2272 x 1704 (3352), Medium 3: 1600 x 1200 (6352); Small: 640 x 480 (20116); Widescreen: 3648 x 2048 (1978); Low Light: 1600 x 1200
* Movie Frame Rate and Capacity on a 4GB card: Standard: 640 x 480 (30 fps (32min.26sec.)⁄ 30 fps LP (1hr.2min.51sec.)), 320 x 240 (30fps (1hr.31min.25sec.))
* Playback Operations: Red-Eye Correction, Slideshow, Resize, Image Inspection Tool, Advancing and Reversing through magnified images, Jump, Rotate, Histogram, Overexposure Warning, Transition Effect
* PictBridge: Yes
* Supported Operating Systems PC: Windows 7, Windows Vista (incl SP1⁄SP2), XP SP2⁄SP3; Mac: OS X v10.4 - v10.6
* Video Output: PAL or NTSC selectable
* Audio Output: Monaural
* Memory Storage: SD⁄SDHC⁄SDXC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus card, HC MMCplus card
* Menu Languages: English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Ukrainian, Farsi and Japanese
* Battery: AA Alkaline battery (x2) or rechargeable NiMH battery (x2) NB-3AH
* Shooting Capacity (full charge): LCD Monitor On 400 shots; Playback 10 hours (with NB-3AH)
* Dimensions: 93.5 x 61.7 x 30.6mm (ex. protruding parts)
* Weight (Ex battery): Approx. 130g
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