Going back to school is an exciting time at any age. Thus, it would be a good idea to carry a pocket camera around to make sure you record all of the memories, whether it be your first day at college or dropping off your child for his/her first day of school ever. Here are five point-and-shoots that will record great photos and fit your budget:
1. Casio Exilim EX-Z250: Built with 37 scene options straight out of the box, the Casio Exilim EX-Z250 is great for anyone on-the-go without much time for fiddling around with functions. While the shutter speed is a bit on the slow side, one can make-up for that with the auto-shooting features. This Casio model also features a wide-angle lens, which has a few deficiencies including purple fringing sometimes. But if you're looking for something simple and solid, the Exilim EX-Z250 will do just fine. (Lowest price: $164.99)
2. Canon PowerShot SD780: An easy-to-use camera with HD video capability, the Canon PowerShot SD780 is a very competitive option. It's super slim and light, so it would fit in any bag easily without taking up much space or even just in your front pocket. Overall, the reviews have been very good, while there have been notes about the quality of the photos being a bit too soft. Available in black, silver, red and gold, this Canon model is one of the best blends of fun and quality point-and-shoot cameras out there right now. (Lowest price: $219)
Three more after the jump...3. Nikon CoolPix S630: Like the Canon PowerShot SD780, the Nikon CoolPix S630 produces soft photos sometimes, but that isn't a reason to ignore this camera entirely. Reviews have found that the quality is good up to ISO 400, and with a 7x optical zoom, 12.0-megapixel resolution and 2.7-inch LCD screen, it's a well-designed little camera. (Lowest price: $219)
4. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290: I've mentioned in the past that I am resistant to Sony point-and-shoot cameras since the quality is usually sacrificed for looks, but the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 has surpassed my expectations. Sony never fails to design a pretty camera, and that is certainly true here. The 12.0-megapixel resolution camera is simple to use and it has a 3-inch LCD screen, so its good for everyday use. It does feature HD video capability, but if you really care about making movies with your pocket camera, be warned that there's no optical zoom for video. (Lowest price: $219.95)
5. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500: Probably the most high-end camera on this list, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500 is for a more advanced user. With a 3-inch touchscreen, the photographer has more manual control over the camera, but there are plenty of preset options too. The photo quality is excellent, although the biggest complaint is probably the sluggish shutter speed. (Lowest price: $242.99)
Do any of these cameras pique your interest this fall?