I meant to mention this yesterday, when you could still (as I understand it) log onto the daily NY Times free of charge, but the day itself (like so much else) got away from me. The item appeared on page 5 of the Business section, bylined John Biggs--- titled "Little Cameras With Big Eyes" (a bit cute, but they didn't ask me). It describes and shows 5 (relatively) small digital cameras with "ultrazoom" lenses, that is, with large optical zooms (tho Biggs points out that none of these zooms is in fact as large as the manufacturer's claim, which "requires a camera larger than the latest ultracompact models").
The five are:
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX1 -- rated A plus
Canon PowerShot SX200 IS -- rated A minus
Olympus SP-590UZ -- rated B plus
Nikon CoolPix P90 -- rated B
Kodak Z980 -- rated C
As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I'm having visions of a camera quicker on the draw than my (circa 6-year old) Canon, which is otherwise exemplary, so I read this page with special interest. Unfortunately, tho very informative, it was not "parallel," that is, it didn't give the same info for all. For instance, the Nikon was "one of the fastest we tested" (but "its zoomed image quality was probably the worst") and the Kodak was "the slowest we tested, with lag times of up to 3 seconds." The Sony was "quick and sharp" (and "in terms of shooting speed won hands down" -- tho the speed is not quantified) and the darn thing weighs 16 ounces -- only 2 ounces more than my present Canon, tho that's already a bit of a load to carry in my purse *always*, as I do. (And on the page the Sony also looks much bulkier).
Of course if wishes were cameras, the new Canon PowerShot, which weighs "about 8 ounces" would also be fast, tho speed is not mentioned -- besides which, do I want to buy a camera that "notifies" me if the subject blinks? (Others have features that shoot when the subject is smiling !!!! Is this photo-fascism, or group think?) I also regret that the weight was only mentioned for 2 (maybe the lightest & heaviest?).
A couple of folks on the list have recommended OTHER cameras, which probably don't check for smiles, so it may well turn out to be none of the above... (tho, as the man said after his nervous breakdown when he got a job just rolling apples over a grid with holes to sort them by size:
"Decisions, decisions, decisions").
In any event, I share the info, which, as far as it goes, could be useful or at least interesting to others.
PS. I remember that 6 years ago there was a website that gave data on every camera in the known universe. Does anyone know if that still exists... or even recall the URL ???