SLIDESHOW

Cameras and Camcorders in the PC World 100

Whether you're into digital SLRs, point-and-shoots, or high-def camcorders, this collection has a winner for you.

Nikon D300s

The first enthusiast model to include high-definition video capture, this camera is a joy to handle. Changing focus points on the D300s is extremely easy--and the camera takes excellent photos, too. Video output contained impressively smooth images; and the built-in microphone picked up audio well in a crowded environment. ($1770, body only)

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Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

It's pocket-size only if you have really big pockets, but the 12X-optical-zoom SX200 IS justifies its size by delivering astonishing versatility. With full manual controls plus a Smart Auto mode, 720p HD video recording, very good image quality, and that powerful lens, the SX200 IS is a budding photographer's best friend.

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Kodak Zi8

This is the first ultracompact HD pocket camcorder to offer 1080p recording and digital image stabilization. Test videos we shot with the Zi8 had stellar image quality in well-lit settings. The only things holding it back are its sometimes-slow interface and controls. Otherwise, it runs circles around the pint-size competition. ($180)

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1

It's not a digital SLR (it has no mirror box inside, and no optical viewfinder), but the Micro Four-Thirds System Lumix DMC-GF1 offers interchangeable lenses, a compact frame, and 720p high-def video shooting with autofocus enabled. This model serves up the best blend of features and portability of any Micro Four-Thirds camera yet. ($900 in two kit variations)

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Canon PowerShot G11

The PowerShot G11 is a fully loaded compact camera for people who already own a digital SLR and are looking for a portable powerhouse--or who want to learn advanced camera settings despite being novices. The G11 shoots .raw images, has a flip-out LCD screen, offers a full range of manual settings, and permits quick access to ISO adjustments via a top-mounted dial. Its 5X optical zoom extends from 28mm to 140mm. ($500)

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Canon Vixia HF S10

This camcorder captures sharp and vibrant 1080p video and 8.6-megapixel stills. Its truly robust manual controls make it a great choice for dedicated users. ($1300)

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Panasonic HDC-TM300

Capture good-quality 1080p video and 10.6-megapixel still images with this camcorder, which allows deep manual control and provides useful automated settings. ($1300)

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Samsung TL225

For sheer wow factor in a compact camera, the TL225 is hard to beat. Besides including dual LCD screens (the one on the front is designed for self-portraits), Samsung provides a touchscreen-only, gesture-sensitive interface. On the downside, the TL225 supports only MicroSD/MicroSDHC cards, and its image quality isn't great. ($330)

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