The Best Ultra-Compact Camera of 2006

A list of the best out there...


Sleek, stylish and sexy are but few of the adjectives I often use to describe ultra-compacts, and for a good reason — they make the regular compact cameras look like dinosaurs in comparison. Of course, a pro photographer may find using an ultra-compact as embarrassing as — say, wearing spandex and a towel around his neck in public. But egos aside, the cameras in this category have tremendously advanced in functionality, usability and overall performance to command respect from us and the masses.

We'll take a look at our favorite three ultra-compacts that 2006 had to offer.

Second Runner-Up

 The Best Ultra-Compact Camera of 2006

Canon Digital IXUS i7
A 7.1 megapixel camera in a body that's smaller than a lot of cell phones these days — now that's a 'Mission Accomplished' for ultra-compact cameras! The Canon Digital IXUS i7 not only comes in a sleek and tiny body, but it also packs enough punch to give you sharp results, with colors that that will add new life to... well, life.

The IXUS i7 does however have a couple of drawbacks that kept it out of our top spot. It's not too hot at macro shots and it's high noise levels at higher ISO sensitivity settings. Negatives aside, the i7 is still a great camera with some pretty good features and shooting modes that make it totally worth it's price.

Dimensions

96x45x24 mm

Weight
120g
Type
Ultra-compact
Connectivity
Pict-Bridge/USB/Composite
Storage SD/MMC card
Battery Type

Li-Ion

LCD Type 1.8", 118,000 px
View Finder
N/A
Sensor CCD
Effective Pixels 7.1 Megapixels
ISO Sensitivity
Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Optical Zoom 2.4x
Digital Zoom
4x
Shutter Speed 15-1/1600 sec
Aperture F3.2 - F5.4
Format JPEG
Scene Modes
Auto, Manual, Portrait, Landscape, Night Snapshot, Color Accent, Color Swap, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium, Underwater
White Balance 6 positions, plus manual
Flash Auto, On, Off, Manual (Red Eye On/Off)
Self Timer 2-10 secs
Video Resolution 640x480 @ 30fps

Video Format

AVI
Sound Yes
Street Price

Rs. 18,995/-

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First Runner-Up


Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T10
Sony's T series of digital cameras had a pretty good year with 2006, but the most notable one in the series will have to be the T10. The compact size, multiple color options and the sliding lens cover design gave the camera a good universal appeal. Apart from just looking attractive, it also functioned great as a point-and-click model, thanks to its high quality auto mode and great results under most light conditions.

The T10's great overall performance, high speeds and sleek looks make it a camera worth flaunting. Add in some easy-to-use features and you have camera that anyone in the family can use without a learning curve.

imensions 90x55x21mm
Weight
165g including Battery and Memory Stick Media
Type
Ultra-Compact
Connectivity
Pict-Bridge/USB/Composite
Storage 56MB/MS Duo/Pro Duo
Battery Type
InfoLithium
Body
Metal
LCD Type 2.5", 230,000px
View Finder
N/A
Sensor CCD
Effective Pixels 7.2 Megapixels
Resolutions Supported 3072 x 2304, 2592 x 1944, 2048 x 1536, 1632 x 1224
ISO Sensitivity
Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
Optical Zoom 3x
Digital Zoom
6x
Shutter Speed 1-1/1000 sec
Aperture F3.5/F5.6 - F4.4/F10
Format JPEG
Scene Modes
Auto, Beach, Fireworks, High Sensitivity, High Speed Shutter, Landscape, Snow, Soft Snap, Twilight, Twilight Portrait
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Incandescent, Flash
Flash Auto, Red-Eye reduction, On, Off, Slow Sync
Self Timer 2-10 secs
Video Resolution 640x480 @ 30FPS

Video Format

MPEG
Sound Yes
Street Price Rs. 21,000/-

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The Best Ultra-Compact of 2006

Casio Exilim EX-Z1000
This little ultra-compact thinks big. It's got a big resolution of 10.1 megapixel and to accompany that it also has a large 2.8 inch LCD display, which is the biggest I've seen in an ultra-compact. But besides those specs, the camera excels in image quality under most lighting conditions and without much user input.

The reason the EX-Z1000 topped our list was it's overall stellar performance when it comes to image quality, fast performance speeds, image stabilization and a great video recording mode. As expected, it does cut down on the manual features, but that's well compensated for with its various shooting modes. The bottom-line is that this camera was our favorite ultra-compact camera of 2006.

imensions

92x58x22 mm

Weight
185g
Type
Ultra-compact
Connectivity
Pict-Bridge/USB/Composite
Storage Internal+SD/MMC card
Battery Type

Li-Ion

LCD Type 2.8", 230,400 px
View Finder
N/A
Sensor CCD
Effective Pixels 10.1 Megapixels
ISO Sensitivity
Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, (up to 800 with limitations)
Optical Zoom 3x
Digital Zoom
4x
Shutter Speed 4-1/2000 sec
Aperture F2.8 - F5.4
Format JPEG
Scene Modes
Pet, Food, Soft, Text, Flower, Scenery, Sundown, Children, Pre-shot, Fireworks, Collection, Night scene, Sports mode, Party/indoor, Coupling shot, ID photo mode, Natural green, Portrait mode, Twilight mode, Splashing water, Soft flowing water, Candlelight portrait, Portrait with scenery, Night scene with portrait, Buisness cards and documents
White Balance 6 positions, plus manual
Flash Auto, On, Off, Red Eye Reduction
Self Timer 2-10 secs
Video Resolution 640x480 @ 30fps

Video Format

AVI
Sound Yes
Street Price

Rs. 27,000/-

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