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Things to look for...
- Rugged body, metal preferred over plastics, should have a solid feel.
- Body should have as few moving flaps/doors/sliders as possible, or ones that can be removed or secured separately without affecting the functionality.
- Internal focusing and zoom. Though not required, avoiding external barrels and the moving parts associated with them is highly suggested.
- Shock resistant power supply. Many cams have shutdown problems when the batteries are jostled too heavily. This can be tested in stores by bumping the camera against your palm with increasing intensity. Try it from different directions too, the shutdown problem is usually worse along the axis that the batteries follow.
- One or two timer settings perferred, and some warning LED flashing is nice.
- Exposure delay. Ideally a good toss camera will go into exposure mode after fully depressing the shutter button, and not require you to retain pressure on this button as it finishes the process. The length of this delay is not so critical, just having some delay is nice.
- Image displayed in quickview/preview LCD should be the one saved to disk. Believe it or not this is not the case with some cameras.
- Sharp corners and general protrusions, or just odd shape, should be avoided. Basically the more it looks like a ball the better.
- Night mode or manual exposure options, the more range the better. Something allowing manual exposures 1 second or longer ideally.
- Ability to write meta data into image file. Modern digitals write EXIF tags to the file which can be exteremly useful when trying to determine why one image worked so much better than another of the same subject.
- Placement of the lens relative to the center of gravity will have dynamic effects on how the camera spins in the air. Which type of spin effects are desireable is an asthetic preference.