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The bold and snappy

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Consumers now have a wide variety of choices available in the market for a state-of-the-art digital camera that’s compact in size. Practically every brand is competing on megapixels and in looks too in this segment. Here is our pick of the best compact digital cameras for young adults, parents with young children and compulsive picture takers. Don’t be fooled by their diminutive looks - these babies have enough megapixels to portray in detail your picture-perfect moments.

TL220
Almost all of us have, at some point, taken a snap of ourselves. But, far from some superbly framed vista, these self-portraits end up with disembodied faces and arms in the picture frames!

This is where Samsung comes to the rescue with its latest imaging innovation - Samsung DualView TL220 with LCD displays on both sides of the camera. You can preview your own image on the 1.5-inch front screen before it’s taken. The camera’s main display is the 3-inch LCD touch-screen that offers quick navigation controls. A simple tap of your finger is enough. The 12.2-megapixel camera makes for an intuitive camera through its Smart Auto setting that analyses brightness, colour, motion, etc and then automatically adjusts the camera settings to capture the perfect picture. TL220 also allows users to sort images by ranking pictures and faces. This will compliment individuals who love social networking - just snap away on your evening out and quickly load them onto Facebook.

Another feature, called the Frame Guide, allows users to set up the shot before passing the camera off to someone else to capture the image. If you accidentally delete a picture, then you can use the Recycle Bin to recover it, because every shot is stored in a temporary folder, just in case.

But an internal memory of just 55 MB will probably not hold too many deleted pictures in the bin. Samsung DualView also offers an impressive HD video recording feature and costs about Rs 13,000.

Sony’s Cyber-shot
DSC-T900
The Sony’s Cyber-shot DSC-T900 is perfect for those who don’t really fancy a dual screen camera. Although the camera sports a bizarre half-metal, half-plastic body, it is still very solidly put together, with a few external buttons that are solidly mounted. Costing Rs 17,000, this skinny camera (just 0.66 inches thick) manages to shoot 12-megapixel images and HD 720p video, with stereo sound, no less!

Sony continues its legacy of a massive display screen with the 3.5-inch touch-screen LCD on the DSC-T900. Despite having such a big touch-screen, the Sony Cyber-shot does not buckle out on battery. We got around 170 images (with minimal zooming and the flash disabled) before the battery ran out. It has an intelligent automatic mode that can adjust all the settings of the camera, which is useful if you just want to use the camera without learning all its features.

You get face detection and a smile shutter (you can adjust the sensitivity of the smile shutter if you find that it keeps taking pictures of straight faces). The optical image stabilisation features seems a failure due to the difficulty one has in gripping the camera’s tiny chassis. The camera records JPEG images and MPEG4 videos to Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. Unfortunately, the video files take up a lot of space — an average 60-second clip can take up to 100MB.

So, if you plan to shoot HD videos, be ready with extra memory cards.

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