Nikon Coolpix 885 and Pentax Optio 330

Both of these 3-megapixel shipping models slip easily into a shirt pocket and will please both the casual shutterbug and the more advanced photographer.

The $1549 Nikon Coolpix 885 has handy features, including a noise-reduction mode to minimise blemishes; a camera button for uploading images to a PC; a threaded lens rim for attaching an optional Nikon lens (such as wide angle or telephoto); a 16MB CompactFlash card for image storage; and a 3X optical zoom lens.

The $1499 Pentax Optio 330 combines a sensible menu structure and on-camera buttons for easy menu navigation and setting adjustments. In my tests, the Optio delivered bright, colour-rich photos, though it lost some detail in one of my outdoor shots. The Pentax is bundled with a rechargeable, proprietary lithium ion battery and a charger, making it a reasonable value.

You also get ACDSee software, a useful digital imaging tool that lets you easily view, organise and enhance your photos, and perform basic image editing.

The Pentax Optio 330 is slightly better value than the Nikon Coolpix 885, thanks to its included easy-to-use software. I prefer the look and feel of the Optio over the Coolpix, too. But if you want a digital camera to which you can attach optional lenses, the Nikon is the way to go.

Nikon Coolpix 885

Experienced users will enjoy its richly coloured photos, advanced controls, optional lenses, and reasonable price.

Price: $1549

Distributor: Maxwell Optical Industries

Phone: (02) 9390 0200

URL: www.maxwell.com.auPentax Optio 330Stylish design, good-quality photos, and clear menus make it a prime choice for trendy shutterbugs.

Price: $1499

Distributor: CR Kennedy & Company

Phone: (02) 9518 9500

URL: www.pentax.com.au

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