Zooming In on the Ideal Point-and-Shoot

Just how much power can you pack into a point-and-shoot digital camera? Plenty, if you mix and match some of the best components of cameras that are already in stores or coming soon. For the ultimate point-and-shoot to buy, we would piece together the following digital camera.

Flip-Out Touchscreen

We'd take the big, bright AMOLED screen on Samsung's TL320 and double it up: One would flip out and rotate to aid overhead shots, and a touchscreen under it would preview edits and upload images. You could view your source image in the flip-out screen, and then see how in-camera treatments and edits might look before saving or uploading your images. Of course, we'd want full-on integration with Flickr, Facebook, Picasa, YouTube, and other sharing sites.

Style

The ultimate point-and-shoot would have to look good. We'd take the slick, slim, solid-color look of Canon's PowerShot SD780 IS--even the lens is the same color as the camera body--along with Canon's easy controls. All we'd add is a textured grip for easily handling.

Lens

Think tilt-shifting pocket megazoom. Panasonic's compact Lumix DMC-ZS3 offers a 12X optical zoom lens with an ultrawide 25mm equivalent on the wide-angle end. Samsung's HZ10W even ratchets it up to 24mm on the wide end. We'd add the DSLR-grade Nikkor ED glass found in the Nikon Coolpix P90 and--if possible--make it a tilt-shift lens to help capture some really creative shots.

Wi-Fi

For instant uploads, we would want Wi-Fi such as you get with the Eye-Fi Card, as well as a full browser, as in Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-G3. Better yet: 3G connectivity, so that no hotspot is needed.

Camera Features

How's this for an all-star team? The Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR's sensor and high-dynamic-range photos. The Casio Exilim EX-FC100's high-speed burst mode. AVCHD video recording, as in the Lumix DMC-ZS3. Gigs of internal storage (Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-G3 has 4GB). And of course, both full manual and easy automatic controls, to appeal to any level of photographer.

What would you want? Comment below to brainstorm with us.

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