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Creative compact cameras offer a good bit more user control than typical compact digital cameras. Typically you will find that the lenses are bigger, heavier, and of higher optical quality. Also almost all creative compact cameras have the option of saving your images in RAW format, usually proprietary but sometimes in Adobe\’s standard DNG format.
The standard JPEG format is convenient for uploading images to the Web, sharing with friends, or getting prints. Unfortunately you will usually find that a lot of shadow and highlight detail that was captured by the sensor can be lost with a standard JPEG.
With the RAW format, the photographer has the option of bringing out that shadow or highlight detail in an image editing program on a personal computer (or letting a professional lab do it and make a really great print).
Don\’t buy one of these cameras unless you are prepared to spend an evening reading the manual and learning the settings. Otherwise the results will be the same as if you had used a simpler compact camera.
Panasonic LX2 (28-110mm F2.8-4.9 image-stabilized Leica lens; good for wide angle). Canon G7. 35-210mm F2.8-4.8 lens; no RAW capability; very bad noise at high ISO Ricoh GR Digital. This has a fixed focal-length 28mm equivalent lens that will be superb for wide-angle scenic photos. It is not clear if this camera is going to be sold in the United States.
Unfortunately though I must add is that this product category appears to have gone out of favor and you may have difficulties finding one on the market. Camera companies are concentrating their energies on the \”SLR-like\” category and SLR category.
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