The miniature effect mode creates a soft focus at the top and bottom of the frame. With high angle shots, it creates the illusion that the subject is smaller than it appears to be. With smart foreground and background compositions, it also does a great job of mimicking the shallow depth of field achieved by professional DSLR cameras. The result is an image that leads your eyes to the important part of the picture (it also looks just plain cool). Check out the image below.
If you have a larger budget, or want something with a pocket-sized design, take a look at the Canon PowerShot SX230.
At around $350, it’s a slimmer version of the SX130 with features that are slightly more enhanced, including a toy camera mode. Canon also offers a waterproof housing for it, available on B&H for $189. So, for about $539 (plus tax) you get Canon’s quality images in a pocket-sized camera, AND the ability to shoot underwater. That’s not a bad deal at all.
Whether you go with SX130, or the SX230, you’re getting a great camera at a great price.
(Photographs by Emily Espinosa)