The selection of compact film P&S cameras is dwindling to near nothingness from a great selection of great cameras just a few years ago. Many cameras are still available from retailers or on the used market with ease.
Here are my comments on the 35mm P&S from your article:
Minolta FreedomZoom Explorer EX: DISCONTINUED
A great camera with a fast zoom.
Konica Minolta has ended all camera production as of March 31, 2006.
Nikon Lite Touch 100W: DISCONTINUED
Released in 2003, a nice camera but a slow zoom f/5.8-10.5. This camera has been discontinued.
Pentax Espio 24W:
The features on this camera are beyond awesome... "spot" meter, +- 3EV exposure compensation in 1/3 stops, unparalleled wideangle zoom, 7pt passive AF, BULB MODE, easy infinity and fixed size portrait modes, for only 7oz! This is easily the most feature filled 35mm with the exception of the old Rollei Prego Zoom 90. However, the lens is slow at f/4.9-12.5.
Canon Sureshot A1:
It should be noted that the SureShot A1 is truly an amphibious camera intended for use by snorkelers (it floats!) as well as on the surface. Consequently, it is bulky.
Olympus Stylus Epic:
Oh this camera is sweet. The lens is more than sharp enough for a magazine cover from slide film. f/2.8 is great for ambient light. "Spot" metering. Simply as pie.
Addendum for the disconinued cameras:
Yashica T4 Zoom
-(114 x 64 x 41 mm)
-28-75mm Vario Tessar Zeiss zoom lens f/4.5-8
-CR123A 360 shots
-5pt Passive AF
- +-1.5EV exposure compensation
Yashica T4 Super/T5 - *possibly* discontinued this year
-Very popular alternative to the Stylus Epic though much more expensive than the $60 Epic
-Fixed Zeiss 35mm f/3.5 lens.
-Normal and sports (look down) viewfinder.
1970s SUPERCOMPACT CAMERAS:
All manual focus with silent leaf shutters.
-Olympus Zuiko 35mm f/2.8 lens (very sharp)
-APERTURE PRIORITY EXPOSURE f/2.8-22 (shutter speed readout in viewfinder)
-Manual ISO setting in 1/3 stops gives full exposure compensation, also +1.5
-Manual focus via rangefinder or focus scale
-Smallest lightest rangefinder camera in existance
-Detatchable flash unit optional
-Clamshell covers all sensors, viewfinders (both sides), and lens
-2x SR44 button cells (last forever)
-Easily found one ebay or from used camera stores (avoid the XA1/2/3/4, get only the XA)
More info: http://www.diaxa.com/xa/xa.htm
~11.4oz (metal/everywhere, very compact)
- 97 x 60 x 32
-Zeiss 40mm f/3.5 (magazine cover sharp)
-Manual exposure with needle match B, 1/2-1/500s f/3.5-f/22
-Manual focusing via focus scale
-No battery on the B version, other versions need a button cell for the meter only (work without)
-External flash available
-Easily found one ebay or from used camera stores
Minox 35 GT
-100 X 61 X 31
-Minotaur 35mm f/2.8
-Program or aperture priority autoexposure 30s-1/500s
-Manual focusing via focus scale (with hyperfocal)
-button cell bateries
-External flash available
For the record I own:
Olympus Stylus Epic 35mm
Olympus XA 35mm
Canon A610 digital
Canon 20D, Canon EOS 3, Canon Elan II, Linhoff Tech IV 4x5 fieldcam