Digital Cameras 2013

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Best Cameras For Back To School

Last updated on 07/16/2010

Class is back in session in just a few weeks at colleges across the country. Whether you're an incoming freshman or a rising senior (or the parent of one), you'll want some pictures of your salad days. A pocket-sized shooter with a modern feel and classy look should fit the bill for getting the Facebook-ready shots you want, and we've gathered a few below for a few different budgets.

Panasonic Lumix FP3
Bus-stop ads in my neighborhood pitch this camera as one that's “small enough to fit in those skinny hipster jeans.” The Lumix FP3 is indeed one of the slimmest cameras out there, just 0.7 of an inch thick, and its touch-screen interface is en vogue these days. To get such a stylish camera at such a reasonable price, you’ll make some compromises -- the lens is 35mm at the wide-angle, which is a bit narrow for group shots, and it's also too slow to be effective in dim lighting -- but it’s the kind of gadget you can carry anywhere, just in case you need to snap some shots for Facebook.
Nikon Coolpix S4000
Intuitive Touch Screen
from $69.00
[Read our full Nikon Coolpix S4000 Review] Here’s another touch-operated, compact snapper on the cheap. The Coolpix S4000 is a bit thicker and homlier than the FP3, but the interface is more user-friendly and the specs are more photo-friendly. It’s 27mm at the wide-angle for wider group shots, and the lens is faster as well for slightly better low-light shooting. Again, expect Web-quality shots, and you won’t be disappointed. This is for the same crowd as the FP3 -- the cool kids with an eye on style, size and their wallets.
Sony Cybershot TX7
1080i Video in a Slim Package
Nobody beats Sony it comes to sleek, slim designs, and the Cyber-shot TX7 is one of the sleekest and slimmest for sale. It has brains and beauty, featuring a CMOS sensor for 1080i HD video a speedy 10 frames-per-second burst mode. To be fair, it’s a bit pricey for the image quality it churns out, and the lens is nothing special, but the combination of looks and features is tough to beat. Bring it anywhere, show it to anyone, and they’ll be impressed, especially after they see some of it’s high-end features in action.
Canon Powershot SD4000 IS
Shot In The Dark
[Read our full Canon Powershot SD4000 IS Review] A note to new students: Much of your time in college will be spent at crowded, smelly, poorly lit house-parties or bars. Most of these occasions are best left undocumented, but if you really want crisp, print-quality photographic records of such nights, the Powershot SD4000 is the camera for you. You don’t want to be “that guy/girl” shoving a bulky dSLR in the faces of party-goers; the compact, unobtrusive SD4000 preserves the candid atmosphere, as well as fine details in your photos. Print them out, or post them to Facebook -- they’ll look phenomenal either way.