Spectacular specs

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

When it comes to life in general, size does matter. When it comes to gadgets, specs matter.

The current king of the specs in the digital camera world is Sony with their DSC-G3 Cybershot ($500 at sonystyle.com) - the first camera with a web browser that wirelessly connects at Wi-Fi hotspots.

The stud in the camcorder world is the Panasonic SDR-S26 (available April 15 for $330) - the first camcorder to feature a 70x optical zoom.

Sony's DSC-G3 Cybershot can wirelessly upload photos and videos to sharing sites such as Picasa, YouTube, Shutterfly, Photobucket and DailyMotion. It will even send e-mail notifications that the photos are available for viewing.

This gadget also has a wide array of support tools in case your photographic skills are lacking. Face Detection will recognize up to eight faces and provide the best flash, focus, white balance and exposure. Smile Shutter technology will wait to take a photo when your subject smiles, smirks, laughs or grins.

A pair of technologies - Optical SteadyShot and fast shutter speeds - help insure against blurry photos. There's even an anti-blink function that takes two photos, but only records the one with the least squinting. If neither photo avoided closed eyes, the camera lets you know you need to try again.

Just as impressive are the camera's 10.1-megapixel image sensor, 4x optical zoom, 3.5-inch touch-screen LCD display and 4 GB internal memory. The camera has a slim profile (0.75-inch) and weighs 1.3 pounds.

Panasonic's SDR-S26 camcorder almost guarantees that you'll capture a close-up of the action. With 70x optical zoom and 100x digital zoom, it's currently unmatched by any other camcorder.

This gadget's image stabilization counteracts small movements so your magnified shots aren't spoiled. For the record, Panasonic says "gyrosensors detect hand shake, and the advanced O.I.S. shifts the lens to correct the optical axis and repeats this detection and correction process about 4,000 times per second."

The camera's Intelligent Auto Mode automatically handles face detection, scene selection, stabilization and contrast control. Just flip open the camcorder's 2.7-inch touch-screen LCD display and you're ready to start shooting in eight-tenths of a second.

This camcorder records on an SD flash memory card; it weighs in at a pound and is available in gold, red, black or blue body colors.

When it gets down to it, these two photographic gadgets are among the sexiest around.

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail gspot@columbusalive.com