In that mode, the camera is filming continuously but only keeps the last 5 seconds filmed before you press the record button. Often, that's the magic moment ("Here comes the cake," or "He's going for the goal") that inspired you to start shooting - and now you'll have it.
Also special is a mode called "Revive Shot" that refreshes the appearance of old, faded photo prints copied with the camera.
CANON FIRE: The availability of much higher capacity (and yet lower-priced) memory cards is also inspiring digital-camera makers to add higher-resolution movie modes.
Canon has led the way with its PowerShot S8, which can capture movies in a high-resolution, 1,024-by-768-pixels format (albeit at 15 frames per second). Other Canon SD and A series cameras capture movies at a lower-res but 60-frames-per-second rate (twice the frame rate of TV), while the S2is allows you to capture movies and individual stills simultaneously.
Canon updates its line at least every six months, and will do so again on Feb. 21.
GAMESMANSHIP: For those quiet times when there's nothing to shoot, the Fujifilm FinePix V10 ($349) offers another use for its 3-inch screen - four built-in video games (number puzzle, block buster, shooting and maze).
But the most important improvements in this camera evolve around the Real Photo Technology System, which features very high light sensitivity (1,600 ISO) for shooting at faster shutter speeds. This allows you to keep images sharp while improving the balance of foreground and background in indoor shooting situations, because you can get away without using the camera flash.
YOU LOOK MARVELOUS: Some cameras are said to "add 10 pounds" to the appearance of the person captured in the lens. But Design Gallery software on-board HP's Photosmart R927 digital camera works the reverse. It can flatter by flattening a subject!
This slimming software "intelligently" removes pixels from the center object in the picture while expanding details near the edges of the image, thus sharpening the subject's profile.
Other innovative Design Gallery options exclusive to HP cameras include cartoon (transforming an image into a graphical appearance), optimized border color selection, ink dots (simulating the pointillism painting technique of Georges Seurat), kaleidoscope (mirroring an image in four directions), burn edge (random darkened areas) and spatter border (the image seems to dissolve into the paper).
Available in March, the HP R927 ($399) also boasts an 8.2-megapixel imager and 3-inch LCD screen.
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