No more film to get fogged by airport X-ray machines. No need to go near film processing envelopes depicting sickeningly cute kids with red balloons. No more sniggering at your creative efforts from the staff of the developing labs.

These are just some of the advantages of a digital camera - and Logitech's FotoMan Pixtura delivers them all at an affordable price and in an easy- to-use format. The FotoMan is a colour digital camera, sized somewhere between a standard point-and-shoot camera and a palm-held camcorder. Focus, exposure and flash are automatic, though settings can be altered manually.

To take a photo you need only look through the viewfinder and press the imaginatively titled "Picture" button. You can take another photo five seconds later, or if you think you took a dud - a headless classic, for example - the Delete Last feature will erase that shot from memory and you can start again. The FotoMan can store more images than any of its rivals - 48 high resolution (768 by 512 pixels) or 144 standard resolution (384 by 256) colour pictures, which are held in the unit's non-volatile memory.

It uses standard, alkaline or lithium AA batteries to provide up to 1,000 pictures' worth of operating time. To view your masterpieces requires the shots to be downloaded on to a PC via the serial port. The pictures can then be stored, manipulated or printed.

But what is most impressive about the FotoMan is that it is a gadget within the price range of more technology freaks than most. At around £600, which includes viewing software, the camera costs not many times more than a standard point-and-shoot model, plus there are the savings on film and processing costs.

For penny-pinchers or mood photography specialists, a mono FotoMan is also available, priced £425. There's only one problem: can clicking on a mouse match the excitement of opening a glossy packet of snaps fresh back from the chemist?

For stockists call Logitech on 01344 894300.

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