Choosing The Right Camera For You (Part 3) - Cannon IXUS 230 HS, Olympus TG-820

7/23/2012 11:32:24 AM

If your ideal camera is a compact camera

The most popular choice of camera, offering great features in a tiny package

Description: Cannon IXUS 230 HS - $259/12.1MP

Cannon IXUS 230 HS - $259/12.1MP

The IXUS 230 HS has a range of auto features that make it great for any subject, as well as Cannon’s HS system, making it ideal in low-light situations. The simplicity and features make it perfect for easy shooting.

The top three features to look out for in a compact camera

  1. Optical zoom: getting a camera with a good optical zoom will allow you to get closer to your subjects.
  2. Art modes: some compacts come with built-in art filters and creative modes to enhance your images.
  3. Wi-Fi: if you want to share your shots straight to social networking sites, look for built-in Wi-Fi.

‘Compact cameras are ideal for beginners, providing simple photos with little effort’

Compact cameras are the most popular and therefore the most common form of dedicated camera. They are fairly inexpensive, and do not require any accessories to use them to their full ability, but it is ultimately their portability that makes them so well-liked.

Compact cameras are very easy and intuitive to use, and being almost entirely automatic they allow users to concentrate on taking photos without having to worry about adjusting any settings. This makes them ideal for beginners, providing simple photos with little effort. However, recent models have started to include more and more shooting options that allow the users to have control over the final image. These different modes are being tailored toward people who want great shots instantly, so most compacts are now incorporating automatic scene modes that prepare the camera for your particular subject.


Compacts are generally very small, and therefore easy to carry around

Recent compacts now come with a huge amount of auto featuers

They are relatively inexpensive when compared to other cameras


Image quality isn’t as good as more expensive cameras

Compacts don’t have a full range of manual and creative modes

They are mostly automatic, which can put off experienced users

If your ideal camera is a tough compact camera

A simple camera for shooting in any situation

Description: Olympus TG-820 - $300/1.2MP

Olympus TG-820 - $300/1.2MP

The TG-820 is a camera to take anywhere, being shock-proof, waterproof and crush-proof. The camera features a 12-megapixel sensor, a 5x optical zoom lens, a three-inch LCD and HD movies.

The top three features to look out for in a tough compact camera

  1. Tough exterior: many tough cameras are dust-proof and freeze-proof and can shoot in any situation.
  2. HD video: great for recording in extreme weather conditions, lots of tough cameras shoot in full-HD video.
  3. Simple controls: the simple controls allow these cameras to be used wherever they’re needed.

Tough compact cameras are a relatively new concept, and they allow photographers to take their compact cameras pretty much anywhere, in any weather, and in all conditions. They are commonly fully waterproof, crush-proof, dust-proof and freeze-proof, meaning there are very little conditions or places that they won’t function.

Due to the conditions that they are designed to withstand, tough camera are very simple to use, coupling large buttons with simple automatic controls. This allows adventurous users to take advantage of any shooting situation, whether they’re underwater or wearing gloves.

This type of camera is generally as simple as they get, usually containing everything a basic compact camera would. The technology used to keep them waterproof and strong is ultimately what you pay for, but this becomes a very useful feature in a huge variety of extreme shooting conditions.


The waterproof body lets you use it in the rain as well as under water

They are very simple to use, often being completely automatic

The strong exterior means they won’t be broken easily


They are completely automatic, so users have no controls over settings

Image quality generally isn’t as good as comparable compacts

Due to having a watertight body, the zoom range is very limited

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