Nikon D3000 Digital SLR, $490
We gave Nikon's D3000 four out of five stars when we reviewed it at its launch last year. The digital SLR camera is lightweight but sturdy, and the images it produces are sharp, with natural-looking colors. The D3000 has recently been superceded by the D3100, which is also a great entry-level DSLR but is retailing for $600-$700 (see "Best DSLR Cameras for Beginners" for more on the new model). If you want to save some money and don't mind having last year's model, then head over to Amazon, where you'll pay $490 for the Nikon D3000--and shipping is free.
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