One of the rare ultra-compact digital cameras with a wide-angle lens, the Fuji Finepix F480, has just been reviewed at Neocamera. This is an 8 megapixels point-and-shoot camera with a 4X optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28-112mm in 35mm terms, measuring 0.9″ thick (22mm).
While the market for ultra-compact cameras is truly crowded with some excellent entries from several manufacturers, Fuji which dominates this category in terms of image quality, has only a single such camera with a wide-angle lens. There are also a few wide-angle entries from Canon and Panasonic. The Canon Powershot SD800 IS which we have already seen is an excellent camera among this category. There is now the Canon Powershot SD870 IS which appears quite similar but we have not reviewed it yet. Panasonic also has several wide-angle models in its FX-series, but as we have seen from the review of the FX-30, image quality is not their strong point and the LCD which is not exposure-priority can be a serious problem.
All these digital cameras have lenses which starts at 28mm in 35mm terms. Considering that most ultra-compact cameras have lenses starting between 35mm and 38mm, this gives you a good 25% more field of view at its widest. For photography in tight places or of large buildings, this is incredibly useful. There are several large cameras that also feature such wide-angle lenses and a few existed with even wider angle lenses, such as the Nikon Coolpix 8400 and Kodak Easyshare P880. The Fuji Finepix F480 is clearly not as sophisticated as these other models but it is currently the most affordable wide-angle digital camera.