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21 Top Digital Cameras for Moms
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Casio Exilim EX-FH100
Able to capture 40 frames per second, this model is perfect for the Mom of budding athletes (or kids who simply won't sit still!). She won't have to worry about missing the "perfect" shot of that first homerun or the impromptu backyard race, as this camera snaps away at lightening speed. Extra bonus: It boasts a battery charge that lasts for 520 pictures, which is several hundred more pics than the average.
$249.95 at amazon.com
Casio Exilim EX-Z16
Released this fall, the EX-Z16 makes taking pictures as simple as "1, 2, 3, CHEESE!" When set to the Easy Mode, Mom only has to worry about adjusting the image size, the flash (on or off) and the self-timer--the camera takes care of the rest. Not bad service for under $100.
$83.89 at amazon.com
Canon PowerShot A495
Tiny camera batteries can easily be lost in a purse or in a crowded playroom. And if a camera-specific battery goes kaput when Mom doesn't have a charger on hand, the afternoon can spiral towards disaster. To the rescue: PowerShot A495 eliminates battery drama by conveniently running on 2 AA's. Plus, it's super-easy to use: when switched to AUTO, the camera chooses from 18 potential settings to find the right one for each picture. All Mom has to do is point and shoot.
$99.00 at walmart.com
Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS
Small, sleek and available in five colors, the PowerShot SD1300 IS adds a dash of personality to the traditional camera. We love how easy it is to take family portraits: the self-timer option won't snap the picture until it detects a new face in the shot, giving the photographer as much time as she needs to join the group before the flash.
$149.00 at amazon.com
Canon PowerShot SD780 IS
Good things come in small packages. This camera measures 3.4 inches wide by 2.2 inches high (and less than an inch thick), so it can go anywhere Mom goes, even if she's toting snacks, tissues, books, sports gear, etc.
$203.95 at amazon.com
Kodak EasyShare M580
Perfect for the Facebook enthusiast, the M580 allows photographers to tag photos and video on the camera for Facebook, Flickr and YouTube, then they're automatically uploaded the next time Mom plugs in. Plus, users can email photos directly from the camera--how cool is that?!
$135.96 at amazon.com
Nikon Coolpix S1000
Sometimes a 4" x 6" print nestled quietly on a shelf isn't a grand enough display for Mom's favorite photos. The coolest feature on the S1000 is the built-in projector. Entertaining relatives and guests (and occasionally embarrassing tweens) with an impromptu slide show has never been so easy.
$190.98 at amazon.com
Olympus Stylus Tough 8010
Dropping, crushing, dousing, freezing--the Stylus Tough 8010 can handle whatever a family throws at it--or stay in tact if a kid actually throws it! The metal body has a shock-absorbing system that can endure a drop of more than 6 feet and can withstand 220 pounds of pressure. It's waterproof to a little more than 30 feet and can survive temperatures as low as 14° F. The camera also features an in-camera searchable manual, so Mom will never be stuck with a snapshot snafu she can't fix fast.
$319.00 at walmart.com
The beautiful sunset happening across the beach? Mom can capture it easily with this megazoom camera. The compact size makes it extremely portable, and the 30x wide-angle zoom makes it easy to take extreme close-ups. Plus, the tracking feature follows fast-moving objects--like kids and pets--to keep the shot in focus.
$272.95 at amazon.com
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH20
Taking great photos and HD video of the family is super simple with this camera that has an 8x zoom, face detection, and a 300-shot battery life. Plus, Mom can sass up photos stored on the camera by setting them to any music she likes and viewing as a slideshow.
$159.00 at walmart.com
Pentax Optio I-10
Why not buy Mom a camera that works as an accessory, too? The adorable retro design of the Pentax Optio I-10 makes it picture-worthy itself. It also features a playback mode with several filters to experiment with--she can create vintage-looking pics or make them seem as if they were taken with a toy camera.
$179.00 at walmart.com
Polaroid Classic Instant
The Polaroid Classic Instant camera has gotten a makeover, but it's still the same idea: point, click, print immediately. Embrace nostalgia, and get Mom the camera that will take her back to her childhood. She'll love teaching a new generation how to literally shake it like a Polaroid picture.
$89.99 at Polaroid.com
Polaroid PoGo camera
Polaroid didn't only rerelease their classic instant camera; they developed an instant digital camera, too. The pocket-size PoGo can hold 10 pieces of 2x3 inkless photo paper. Mom can print immediately after shooting, which can cut down on the number of photos languishing in no man's land on her computer.
$199.99 at Polaroid.com
Samsung DualView TL225
With a 3-inch LCD touchscreen on the back of this model (a relatively new development in digital cameras), navigation is a snap. The small screen on the front allows the user to be both photographer and subject. If Mom wants to be in a picture, she uses the screen to frame the shot as she holds the camera out in front of her. If she wants to be behind the lens, the screen is still super-handy: it can display a countdown to the flash or funny icons to make straight-faced children crack a smile
$219.99 at amazon.com
The WiFi-enabled ST80 eliminates a step in the photo-uploading process, as Mom can upload directly to the web without connecting to a computer (the camera comes with a Boingo WiFi account, which givers her access to thousands of WiFi hotspots). The camera's compact design slips into the tiniest diaper clutch or evening bag. And, like the Samsung TL225, this model has a small screen on the front of the device and a touchscreen on the back. We like that it can recognize faces of up to 20 frequently photographed people--once it recognizes them, it focuses in on them in subsequent pictures automatically (and she can even do a face search if she's looking for one particular photo).
$249.00 at walmart.com
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W350
Coaxing smiles from kids can be a chore, but the Smile Shutter feature (Sony's version of smile recognition) helps take the guesswork out. When Mom presses the appropriate button, the camera waits until it 'sees' that the smile is in full-force, then snaps away. The secret? The camera tells if a subject is smiling by judging the height of her cheekbones and figuring out whether teeth or visible and eyes are squinting. Neat!
$139.00 at amazon.com
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5V
Sony added GPS capability to the list of features on this camera, allowing it to pinpointi the location of the photo, so Mom won't have to wonder in five years which beach vacation these photos are from. It also has a digital compass that tells her which direction she's facing as she snaps shots. Plus, the GPS automatically updates the timestamp on photos if you travel across time zones.
$299.00 at amazon.com
Cisco Flip UltraHD
The pioneer in pocket video cameras, the Flip UltraHD features a 2-inch screen and a 2x zoom. Mom can even design her own camera, choosing a pattern or uploading her favorite picture to be wrapped around the exterior of the camcorder in any way she wants. Don't forget accessories: the Flip Video Tripod takes the shakiness out of handheld filming, and the Bower Lens is great for wide-angle shots.
$149.99 for 1-hour capacity; $199.99 for 2-hour capacity; $49.99 for lens at theflip.com
Cisco Flip SlideHD
The brother of the Flip UltraHD, the SlideHD has several new features that make video viewing and sharing easier. The 3-inch screen can be tilted so Mom can watch videos without propping it against a coffee mug or holding the device. It also comes with software for viewing, sorting and sharing that opens automatically when the SlideHD is plugged in to a computer.
$249.99 at theflip.com
Kodak Zi8 Pocket Camera
An alternative to the Flip cameras, this Kodak model has a 2.5-inch screen and a port for an external microphone, should she want to really PUMP UP THE VOLUME on her video. The built-in face recognition and electronic image stabilization work to make video as high-quality as possible.
$179.95 at kodak.com
A pocket camcorder for the outdoorsy family. This one is waterproof to nearly 10 feet and is dust-resistant, so it's ideal for hiking and camping trips. The easy controls and durability make this a camera she won't have to work hard to use--it can survive a little more wear and tear.
$128.96 at amazon.com