Digital Cameras

The new Gateway DC-T20 digital camera ($129.99) features a 2-megapixel CMOS sensor, which is great for e-mailing high-quality 4" x 6" prints, and a 2X digital zoom lens. This ultra-compact 3.9-ounce camera includes 8 MB of internal memory, with an SD memory card slot for expansion. It also offers a movie mode that lets you shoot video clips with sound, and has the ability to act like a PC camera, allowing you to hold a videoconference over the Internet. Gateway Inc., (800) 846-4316,

The compact Hewlett-Packard Photosmart 735 ($249.99) is a 3.2-megapixel digital camera with up to 3X optical and 5X digital zooms that deliver photo-quality enlargements up to 11" x 14". It features HP Instant Share technology, an on-camera help wizard and a built-in microphone. The Photosmart 735 also has a video-clip recording feature with audio, and comes with 16 MB of internal memory and an SD memory card slot for expansion. Hewlett-Packard, (800) 752-0900,

The FinePix S3000 ($399.99) by Fujifilm features 3.2-megapixel imaging with 6X optical and 3.2X digital zooms. The digital SLR-type camera offers AVI movie recording without sound, a voice notation option, easy USB computer connection and a PC-Cam Internet mode. Fujifilm, (800) 800-3854,

Kodak's EasyShare CX6330 ($279) is a 3.1-megapixel camera that produces quality prints up to 11" x 14". It features a 3X optical Kodak Retinar aspheric all-glass zoom lens and a 3.3X advanced digital zoom. The CX6330 also has a movie mode that provides continuous recording of digital video with audio for up to 80 minutes. Kodak, (800) 235-6325,

The new Exilim EX-Z4U ($399.99) by Casio is a slim (0.78" at its thinnest point), compact camera that is easy to take anywhere. It's loaded with a 4-megapixel CCD and a high-performance 3X zoom lens. The EX-Z4U also features a built-in speaker for audio output and various auto-focusing modes that advance its high-speed response time. Casio Inc., (800) 836-8580,

The D-560 Zoom digital camera ($299) by Olympus features a 3.2-megapixel CCD and 10X total seamless zoom (3X optical and 3.4X digital). The camera also comes with CAMEDIA Master software, an Auto-Connect USB for hassle-free downloading of files from camera to computer, as well as NTSC Video Out for TV display and slide shows. Olympus, (888) 553-4448,

7 Tips for Improving Your Digital Pictures

  1. Avoid bad lighting. Film cameras are much more forgiving of bad lighting than digital cameras.
  2. Take advantage of outdoor light. Since digital cameras do better with more light, they generally do better outside.
  3. Crop with the camera. A digital camera stores a lot less information than a film camera, so the more you crop a digital image the lower its resulting resolution. One solution is to get in closer with your digital camera so more of its resolution is used to store the part of the scene that you really want stored.
  4. Avoid digital zooming. Rather than using optics to get closer, digital zooming only magnifies a portion of the image, lowering the effective resolution. If your camera d'es not offer optical zooming, then position yourself closer to the image to be photographed rather than using digital zoom.
  5. Quantity over quality. Since digital pictures cost nothing to take, it makes sense to take a lot of them to ensure you get the image you want.
  6. Use the right resolution. Images for Web pages should be taken at a low resolution, while images to be printed should be shot at the highest resolution offered by your camera. If you are not sure how the image will be used, it's safer to choose a higher resolution since you can always lower the resolution later.
  7. Keep lots of batteries on hand. Digital cameras eat batteries at an astounding rate, so you should keep a lot of batteries with you while shooting.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2003 issue of THE Journal.