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We Invite You To Peek Into Our Brains
Almost everyday, we receive an email asking
for advice to choosing the best digital
camera. We've published the Photoxels
Digital Cameras Gift Guide 2006
Editor's Choice 2006 to give
you a peek into our brains -- and the cameras
we believe are the very best for you, depending
on your needs.
Right on time for the Holidays Gift Giving
Digital Cameras Gift Guide 2006
If you are still looking for that elusive
perfect digital camera, chances are very
good that you have not found it yet.
Let's face it: if there were such a perfect
digital camera, then all the digital camera
web sites would have already named it --
and every single one of us would have rushed
out to buy it -- and only it.
The fact that no one has stuck his neck
out and claimed to have found the perfect
digital camera should tell us something:
that there is no such beast.
So, if you were searching high and low
for the perfect digital camera, you were
searching for a non-existent product --
and it's time to refocus your search.
Because there is a digital camera that
is perfect for you.
The very fact that there are so many different
digital camera models at different price
points should also tell us that we do not
all have the same set of needs, photographically
Even when two photographers agree on a
particular need, there are variations in
priority, quantity and quality. For example,
we all want the best image quality. But
if you only print 4x6 in. with the occasional
8x10 in., your "best image quality
need" can be met by many more digital
cameras than a professional's need to submit
pictures for publication.
Likewise, an amateur photographer's need
for sports photography may be easily satisfied
with a continuous shooting speed of 3fps
while a professional may require 5fps at
a minimum, and preferably 8fps.
In other words, you must know your own
specific needs. These are not as general
as you would think. Once you are pretty
certain what you really need and what you
are willing to settle for, and a budget,
and whether you want a compact, ultra compact
or something big enough for your hands to
comfortably hold and operate, etc. etc.,
you are then ready to crack open our Gift
We've simplified things considerably this
year, partly because digital cameras have
gotten so much better with many more features.
section lists those digital cameras we have
really enjoyed using and have had good success
with just pointing and clicking away.
Our previous Beginner, Serious and Advanced
sections have been collapsed into just a
section because anyone who starts asking
questions about exposure and how to go beyond
P&S is serious about learning and growing
in photography. So we list those digital
cameras that will allow them to do just
Finally, the DSLR
section presents the many digital SLRs that
are fast becoming very affordable as well
as easy-to-use even for snapshooters.
Editor's Choice 2006
This award is given out to the digital
cameras that we have reviewed during 2006
(and which were introduced for 2006) and
which meet the following 3 criteria:
- very good to excellent image quality;
- low noise at the lowest available ISO;
- fast performance: fast AF and no practical
Note that it does not mean that digital
cameras that do not earn this award are
not worthy of your consideration. On the
contrary, let your personal photographic
needs dictate your choice.
The Photoxels Editor's Choice rewards
those digital cameras that reach for the
best. They are not perfect, but there are
many good things in them that bring us a
step closer to that perfect digital camera
and so are worthy of praise.
Which Digital Camera?
"Help," the customer pleads to
the salesperson at my neighbourhood camera
retail store, "I need a compact digital
camera that shoots sharp pictures. I bought
an OOOOOOO and am very, very [and here,
he actually shakes his head back and forth]
disappointed with it. Do you recommend this
The salesperson does her spiel, bla, bla,
how NNNNN makes its own lens and therefore
the image quality should be much better.
She conveniently forgets to mention that
OOOOOOO also makes its own superb, award-winning
She hands him 2 models to try out. He does,
takes a few pictures, then plays them back
and ZOOOOOOOOOMS in on the LCD screen.
"See, it's not sharp," he intones
This is the defining moment and the salesperson
stumbles and therefore loses the sale.
"Uh, when you enlarge it, it will
look like that."
It's the truth, but he does not buy it
in every sense of the word.
He thanks her and walks out the store.
I'm not sure where he is headed next. Does
he go to another store and repeats the process?
They are the same cameras, ain't gonna look
any sharper in another store.
What could the salesperson have done differently?
Simple: crank up the sharpening one notch
and have him try again. Voilà, his
problem solved. In fact, she could have
then suggested he does the same with his
OOOOOOO digital camera -- or bring it to
the store and she'll help him do it -- and
win an eternally grateful customer for life.
Manufacturers, take note. Consumers do
not want to post-process. My friends keep
asking me why with film, their pictures
always came out sharp with nice colours
and bright. When I tell them it's because
the lab did all that post-processing for
them and it's better this way because you
have more control on the final output, they
look at me dubiously with squinted eyes,
a 7 registering on the BS scale on their
faces. They want cameras that will automatically
sharpen and brighten their images. Oh, and
with vivid colours also please.
When we started to write this editorial
section, it was to have a platform -- a
"soapbox," if you please -- to
air our personal opinions and grievances
vis-à-vis the digital imaging industry.
With only so many hours in a day -- and
the need to stop the crazy 4-6 hour sleep
nights -- we have decided to refocus our
energies to where it counts the most: useful
and practical tutorials.
This will, therefore, be our last editorial
-- though in the age of the blog, every
post is a mini-editorial anyway, so you
will still hear from us when the need is
there to speak up.
Here's wishing all of you and yours all
the best for the Holidays and the new year!
Peace in the World is just one person away:
you. Peace, live long, and prosper!
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