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Wider apertures set cameras apart from other digital-imaging devices

Consumer Reports News: October 19, 2012 03:08 PM

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An exciting trend in the world of digital cameras is the ability for camera manufacturers to include wider maximum apertures in point-and-shoot camera lenses. A wide aperture generally means better performance in low light and lets you take pictures with a shallower depth of field.

The ability to shoot photos with a shallow depth of field means you can focus on your subject and blur everything else in the background, even if it's just a short distance behind your subject. This technique has been used for decades by great portraitists in photography.

Most of the new cameras included in our latest camera Ratings have a maximum aperture of f/2.8. And one model, the Samsung EX2F, an advanced point-and-shoot, has a very wide f/1.4.

The new cameras in our Ratings also reflect other trends taking place in the camera market. For one, the Samsung EX2F advanced point-and-lets you wirelessly connect to your computer or the Web, so you can post images directly to your favorite social-networking sites. Other wireless models include the Nikon Coolpix S800c, Sony NEX-6 and Samsung's Galaxy camera.

Another new camera we tested, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5K SLR-like, includes many robust features: Among them is its touch-screen display, which you can tap to shoot a picture.

For the details on these and other new cameras, read our latest digital camera Ratings.

More basic cameras now come with wireless and longer zooms

Terry Sullivan

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