New Touchscreen Cameras

These nine cameras impressed us with their unique features (including unusual designs, wireless connectivity, and resilience against the elements) and worthy touchscreens.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5

The ultra-rugged Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX5 is built for resilience. This touchscreen-operated camera is waterproof to depths of 10 feet underwater, shockproof from heights of up to 5 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and dustproof. Sony says that the camera's 3-inch touchscreen is operable on dry land and underwater.

The 10-megapixel DSC-TX5 has an optically stabilized wide-angle lens with a 4X optical zoom range, and it handles both SD/SDHC and Memory Stick storage cards. It has a Sweep Panorama mode that permits the user to press the shutter button, pan from side to side, and create an instant panoramic image.

Coming soon.

More Info | $350

Canon PowerShot SD3500 IS

Canon's latest touchscreen camera is the Canon PowerShot SD3500 IS, a step up from last year's PowerShot SD980 IS. The user operates this 14-megapixel camera via its 3.5-inch touchscreen. The new PowerShot has an ultra-wide-angle 5X optical-zoom lens, with a focal range of from 24mm to 120mm.

New to the PowerShot SD3500 IS is the ability to customize the on-screen controls by dragging and dropping icons to different parts of the screen. You can also record video in 720p high-definition, and the camera's new miniature mode makes full-size objects look like scale models.

More Info | $350

Fujifilm FinePix Z700EXR

If you look for style in a digital camera, the Fujifilm FinePix Z700EXR is worth considering. This compact touchscreen camera is less than 0.7 inch deep and sports a 3.5-inch touchscreen. A sliding lens-cover panel powers the camera on or off.

The FinePix Z700EXR is functional as well as fashionable, thanks to a 5X optical zoom lens (with 36mm to 180mm focal range), the ability to shoot 720p high-definition video, and dual image stabilization. It also has in-camera YouTube- and Facebook-tagging features for uploading content to the sites when you connect the camera to a computer.

Available in March.

More Info | $280

Kodak Slice

The 14-megapixel Kodak Slice is designed with online social butterflies in mind. It comes with in-camera options for easy sorting, and it uploads to sites like Facebook, Flickr, Kodak Gallery, and YouTube. You can tag images with the names of the people in them, using an onscreen keyboard that appears on the Slice's 3.5-inch touchscreen.

The Slice packs 2GB of onboard memory, which Kodak says can accommodate roughly 5000 shots. You can expand its storage capacity via the included microSD card slot. The optically stabilized 5X zoom lens ranges from 31.5mm to 157.7mm, and the Slice shoots 720p high-def video.

Available in March.

More Info | $350

Nikon Coolpix S4000

The inexpensive Nikon Coolpix S4000 sports a 3-inch LCD touchscreen, a wide-angle lens with 4X optical zoom, 720p high-definition video capture, and four-way image stabilization.

You can optimize the focus for subjects on the screen by touching the screen, and you can fire the shutter this way. The motion-tracking autofocus responds to touch control as well. Despite its affordable price, the Coolpix S4000 doesn't skimp out on features.

More Info | $200

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3

The touchscreen-controlled Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3 is a 14-megapixel camera with a 4X optical zoom lens (representing a focal range of 35mm to 140mm). You use the 3-inch LCD touchscreen to control image focus and playback navigation.

Though it lacks a wide-angle lens, the Lumix DMC-FP3 supports 720p high-def video with a capture rate of 30 frames per second, and it comes with an Intelligent Auto mode for maximizing image quality.

Pricing and release date not yet available.

Samsung CL80

The Samsung CL80 is one of the first cameras to exhibit a near-unibody design created by means of the hydroforming process. This 14-megapixel camera offers a gigantic 3.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen that controls nearly all of its functions. It also packs a 7X optical zoom lens, dual optical/digital image stabilization, and 720p high-def video capture at 30 frames per second.

The CL80's gesture-based controls enable users to toggle between menu options by tilting the camera, to delete an image by drawing an X on the screen, or to rotate a photo by swiping in a circular motion. Aside from being fun to use, the CL80 has impressive Wi-Fi capabilities, Bluetooth 2.0 support, and direct-from-camera upload features for Facebook, Picasa, and YouTube.

Coming Spring 2010.

More Info | Pricing not yet available

Samsung TL240

If you like the CL80 but don’t need an AMOLED screen or wireless connectivity, check out the Samsung TL240. It has a 3.5-inch LCD touchscreen with haptic feedback and (like the CL80) a 7X optical zoom lens (with 31mm to 217mm focal range); also like the CL80, it can shoot 720p high-def video.

The feature-heavy TL240 stores images and video to microSD cards only and has of the same gesture-based controls as the CL80.

Coming Spring 2010.

More Info | Pricing not yet available

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7

The slim, feature-packed Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 measures less than an inch deep and offers touchscreen controls via its 3.5-inch LCD screen. Its 4X optical zoom lens reaches a focal range from 25mm to 100mm, and the camera provides AVCHD video capture, Intelligent Sweep Panorama mode, and HDR capabilities.

Included with the Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 are TransferJet-capabilities, which allow the user to transfer images, video, and other files between compatible devices when you hold the camera about an inch away from the device that you want to transfer the files to.

More Info | $400

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