So you've had your point-and-shoot digital camera for a year or two but want to do things it was not designed to do. You might covet a professional single lens reflex (SLR) but can?t afford a price tag upwards of $500.
In that case, the "hybrid" may be just the thing. Hybrids fall into an area between small point and shoot digitals and professional SLRs. They have higher sensitivities (ISO ratings), longer zoom lenses and are able to shoot at higher speeds to capture action, whether it be an auto race or the antics of a toddler.
Manufacturers include Nikon, Canon, FujiFilm, Sony, Pentax, Samsung and Kodak. Depending on stores' weekly pricing, they may range from $200 to $500. They are distinguished by features like large-diameter zoom lenses ranging from 10X to 24X and larger LCD screens, some of which swivel for easy viewing of tough camera angles.
Nearly all have some form of face detection to set the camera for the best possible focal length and exposure.
While all are equipped with flash units, some have hot shoes for external flash, enabling bounce lighting. Burst modes, which allow for rapid sequences of single frames, are at higher rates in hybrids than in point-and-shoot digitals.
All have video recording capabilities. Some are able to record high definition at a true 1080p. Some are powered by alkaline or nickel metal hydride AA batteries and others with lithium ion power cells.
Those equipped with Super CCD cells (the camera's light sensors) are more costly to manufacture but offer a greater surface area to absorb more light.
Hybrids are much larger than-point-and-shoot cameras and will not slip easily into the pocket or purse. However, if you have a need for speed or more professional-looking photos, you might want to weigh in on their features and benefits.
Comparisons can be made online by going to manufacturers? web sites or those offered by leading electronic and photographic store chains.