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Volume 68, Issue 150, Monday, June 23, 2003 

Arts & Entertainment

Get digital ­ picture taking made fast and easy

By Paul Hensarling
The Daily Cougar

With technology seemingly advancing everyday new and improved digital cameras make it easy to capture lifeis precious moments without having to spend money on film and processing. 

Cameras come in all sizes, features and prices. The Sony Qualia 016 is the smallest digital camera ever made, but donit expect to get one soon on a college budget. Not only does it cost approximately $3200, but it is only available in Japan. 

On a more practical note, the Argus USB-1810 is extremely small and only costs $99.95. It only takes a 640 x 480 resolution picture, which is useless for anything but emailing pictures to friends.

Canon has proved to be popular in the digital camera market, and a new addition is their five megapixel Powershot G5. This camera is based off of the hugely popular G3 model and is in the $899 range. While these are great cameras, the best compromise for quality pictures on a college budget is a midrange camera costing in the $300 range, which can create fabulous pictures.

After comparison of several popular brands at an affordable price ($329) that delivers great pictures, a good choice is the Sony Cybershot DSC-P72 at 3.2 megapixels. It can produce MPEG movies in a larger size (640 x 480 resolution) than any of the other cameras in its price range (and some more expensive cameras, for that matter). The zoom is modest (3X optical), but it is good enough for the usual point-and-click photography. There also is digital zoom, but it is not a factor in photos at the highest resolution.

Accessories that are essential, no matter which camera you choose, are a larger memory stick and an one-hour battery charger with extra rechargeable batteries. At a resolution of 2048 x 1536, about 80 pictures can be saved on a 128 MB memory stick with a 3.2 megapixel camera. Using smaller resolutions can save a larger number of photos.

Another essential accessory that is needed is a tripod. With a tripod, clear and beautiful photos are yours for the taking. Holding the camera in your hand more often than not results in blurry photos. 

Having a camera to take photos on a whim is really and these digital cameras are small enough to fit in your pocket. At the very least it makes paying attention a lot easier when with one simple click a lectureis worth of notes can be saved away for viewing later. 

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