I'm an absolute luddite, especially when it comes to cameras. Up until last year, I was toting around the same film camera I had from college, prudently snapping photos, making sure not to use my rolls of film up too quickly. But a digital camera, given as a birthday gift last December, ushered me—beyond belatedly—into the wonders of promiscuous pointing-and-shooting, especially of food. So I was curious to check out Sony's new Cyber-shot T700 digital camera. Beyond being supersleek and having a touchscreen, it had a special "Gourmet Mode" option, apparently for capturing more vibrant food photos (a similar option is offered on digital camera models by Olympus and Pentax). But I was skeptical—so I set off to our Test Kitchen with a sample camera borrowed from Sony and snapped away at a delicious, crackly fried chicken under various settings and showed the results to members of our photo department. What I learned: the "Gourmet Mode" essentially combined Macro and White Balance functionalities, bringing dishes into sharper focus and compensating for the yellow tint indoor light can sometimes cast. While I'm not going to rush to buy another digital camera (I think my first will last me another five years), I'll make sure to choose those two settings the next time I shoot a dish. "Shooting in macro gives food more life," says our deputy photo editor, Anthony LaSala. For more tips on taking great food photographs, click here.

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