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Scrappy Shooters

Adventure Proof: 5 Best Rugged Compact Cameras

Smartphones have made typical point-and-shoots about as useful as Ryan Lochte in a public speaking class. But until our favorite thigh weights gain a thicker skin, there will always be space for tougher rigs designed to take a licking and keep on clicking. Toss one of these rugged cameras into your bag before your next big adventure, and maybe you’ll finally capture some evidence to go along with that hell of a yarn.

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Don't Call Them Point-and-Shoots

Tiny Titans: 5 Best Enthusiast Compact Cameras

The point-and-shoot market may have hit a smartphone camera iceberg, but the ship hasn’t sunk yet. In fact, bitter competition has sped up the photography arms race, producing a wide field of top-tier compact cameras with big sensors — at a better price. Boasting image quality more than good enough to be deemed professional, these cameras can be a useful tool for the prosumer and feverish enthusiast alike, providing an infinitely more portable, all-in-one option rather than bulky DSLRs while sharing many of the same features and image quality.

That said, it’s up to you sharpen the focus on what you really need. We don’t mind walking a few steps to get the right shot — so our choices hone in on the best compact cameras that sport big sensors, fixed lenses and fast focusing. There’s a big field of small shooters; we’re here to slim it all down to the cream of the crop.

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Don't Sweat The Wet

Outex Waterproof DSLR Cover

Problem: you want to use your DSLR to shoot some rad watersport photos, but standing on the shoreline or using those disposable waterproof cameras isn’t nearly rad enough. And even less rad is trying to fit your personal rig into a Ziplock freezer bag to protect it from the wet. Solution: Outex waterproof DSLR covers.

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Top Marks for the A

Nikon Coolpix A

Nikon may not do things first, but they sure make great decisions. Need proof? The Coolpix A, Nikon’s new flagship Coolpix, which comes loaded with a DSLR-sized sensor and a 28mm f/2.8 prime.

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Compact price, mid-sized features

Olympus Stylus XZ-10

Compact cameras are in trouble. Smartphones continue to don sexier optics, allowing the photographer in all of us to carry one less item and still get decent shots of our lunches/cats/sunsets. Not content to just fade away, manufacturers are ramping up the quality and features of their compact cameras to stay relevant. Taking cues from its larger-framed and sensored older brother (The XZ-2), the Olympus Stylus XZ-10 ($351) emerges from this crucible as a true pocket rocket.

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Optimal Prime

5 Best 35mm Prime Lenses

It’s easy to think that a bag full of lenses is a good thing — hell, there’s one for nearly every possible use. But what exactly is the perfect lens? In our book, it’s the tried and true 35mm. A perfect medium between wide and normal perspectives, the 35mm lens stands as an indispensable gem for pro shooters and hobbyists alike. As the staple of prime lenses (fixed focus), there’s no shortage of lofty offerings, but owning a Canon or Nikon camera doesn’t mean that brand has a stranglehold on the lenses you can shoot with. In fact, recent offerings have proven that the third party lens is a force to be reckoned with (case in point: the Sigma above). Here, we present five of the best 35mm lens offerings available today that aren’t Canon, Nikon or Sony. Consider it a fresh look on an old-school perspective.

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Million Dollar Baby (maker)

Design Spotlight: Chase Car Inc. Porsche Panamera Turbo Camera Car

Though most movies don’t cause the viewer to think about camera angles, lighting or color tone, there are some (Star Trek, Eagle Eye, Fast & Furious) with sequences and scenes that leave you wondering “How the hell did they shoot that?” This is how the hell: Chase Car Inc. We had a chance to check out their matte-black, modded out Porsche Panamera Turbo, replete with a full camera crane. Needless to say, we smiled for the camera.

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No young whippersnapper

10 Great Vintage Cameras

Film: recording moments. Moments that have passed, even as the shutter clicks. It’s no wonder photography is bound so deeply to nostalgia, sending us down memory lane to simpler times. But the hobby — the art — is deeper still; the equipment you use says just as much about your craft as your subjects or the developed, framed end product. So here’s our help: a short list of ten cult vintage shooters

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Adventure-proof

Olympus TG-2

When you need a camera to schlep to the top of the Rocky Mountains, very few can get the job done like the Olympus TOUGH series. The line’s new 12MP Olympus TG-2 ($380) is no exception, thanks to the plethora of features loaded into this little shooter. For starters, you can take the TG-2 along…

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Magnify your photo skills

Fujifilm FinePix HS50EXR

Fujifilm continues to stand out as a small player making gargantuan strides (look no further than the massive improvements to the beloved X100). Their new flagship FinePix HS50EXR superzoom point and shoot is a useful, affordable tool for the mid-range photog. Even though the HS50EXR has a DSLR-style exterior, make no mistake: it isn’t one….

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Give your iPhone a break

Polaroid iM1836 Camera

The Polaroid iM1836 camera isn’t the first Android powered shooter we’ve seen, not even from Polaroid, but it is the first mirrorless interchangeable lens shooter of its kind. A 10-30mm lens kit ships with the device, but we expect other lenses will follow. Plus, this albino wonder is compatible with existing micro four-thirds lenses via…

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#nofilter #kinda

Canon PowerShot N

You can go ahead and file the Canon PowerShot N under stopgap product, but until someone figures out how to cram a big ol’ sensor and lens into a tiny lil’ package, there’s going to be a divide between what your smartphone’s camera and a real camera can capture. The PowerShot N’s approach is to…

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S marks the shot

Fujifilm X100S

Tacking an “S” to the end of a product implies an incremental update in the minds of the Apple-obsessed, but Fujifilm’s successor to the X100 deserves more credit than that. The X100s ($1,300)‘s new autofocus system, augmented with phase detection, is touted as the worlds’ fastest at 0.08 seconds (we’re guessing that’s compared to other…

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Disposable style

Ilford HP5 Single Use Black & White Cameras

Not everyone can afford a black & white Leica, unfortunately. For the artsy set on a budget, Ilford HP5 Disposable Black & White Cameras (~$14) give the opportunity for a fun, alternative moment capture that can be processed nearly anywhere. Whether it’s for a date, a wedding or a spontaneous bit of artistry, Ilford’s cameras…

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12 gifts for the tech obsessed

12 Guys of Christmas: The Techie

To the inexperienced, the words “techie” and “guy” seem synonymous. Sure, most guys do like technology these days — but like does not true a techie make. So while this list can absolutely be applied to any modern man, its real target is the hardcore gadget nut. The one who scours the blogs and refreshes…

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Your new resource for all things Canon

Introducing the Canon Brand Guide

When you spend as much time as we do scouring the known universe in search of noteworthy products, one thing becomes abundantly clear: building a single great thing is a phenomenally difficult accomplishment, and repeating it is next to impossible. Every so often though, a company emerges that defies the odds and changes the world…

Special thanks to Canon for helping make this brand guide possible. Canon, Long Live Imagination.
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12 gifts for the traveler

12 Guys of Christmas: The Globetrotter

These guys seem to have racked up a bigger airline status than Clooney and more time on the road than Kerouac. They call ports of call home and know how to navigate the TSA, border checkpoints and a nasty comped bar hangover with ease. Whether a job takes them to exotic first-world destinations or their…

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Digging for gold

Hunting eBay: Cameras

For our last Hunting eBay post (for now), I’ve turned the focus to cameras. When it comes to photography gear, eBay is packed with listings — occasionally even leaving you wondering where to begin. But even if you’re the type who likes to dig around eBay for store-beating deals on DSLR kits and lenses (free…

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Fresh prince of Belair

Lomography Belair X 6-12

Few cameras make the transition from digital to film quite as fulfilling as the Belair X 6-12 ($245). This Lomographic high flyer is the world’s first 6 x 12 auto exposure, medium-format camera. Yep, you read that right: medium-format. Lomography and its cult following have been extremely popular in the alternative photography crowd for decades,…

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Get serious about... blogging?

Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam

The Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam ($200) is specifically designed for the serious narcissist video web blogger (we will never, ever use the word ‘vlogger’ — don’t say we haven’t got any dignity) and, while it only works alongside Apple products, the additional HD video options it introduces add a sense of professional quality to your…

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Going strong

GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition

While other major camera manufacturers play catch up in the action cam game, GoPro is breaking new ground with the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition ($399). It’s 30% smaller and 25% lighter than the already tiny GoPro HD Hero 2, measuring a mere 20mm thick when removed from its compatible plastic armor, which was also…

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Shoot smarter, shoot better

Sharp Shooter: How to Shoot a Vacation or Adventure

If you’ve been following our Sharp Shooter series, you’ve already learned about the fundamentals of DSLR photography along with tips to better capture the area you live in, even at night. But how about when you’re camera’s accompanying something like a vacation — or better yet, an adventure? In this fourth installation, we’ve lined up…

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Quick to fade (to black)

Run ‘n Gun: Hands-On with Manfrotto Photo Gear

Lino Manfrotto was an Italian photojournalist in the late ’60s who hated lugging cumbersome lights and poles on location and at his studio. From desperation comes inspiration, as they say, and today Manfrotto is known in the industry as producing some of the toughest and lightest photo and film gear essentials. Equipment matters, and Manfrotto…

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Strapping

Joby 3-Way Camera Strap

You’ve got a doozie of an SLR and a couple lenses that cost more than a semester of college tuition, but your camera strap looks like it was yanked off a pair of Fisher-Price binoculars. Luckily for you, Joby, who’s made a name for themselves with their line of versatile camera tripods, has decided to…

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Bust a cap in your hood

Hoocap

Any photographer worth his stop bath will tell you that a proper lens hood is one of the most important tools of the trade. The problem is that lenses still require a lens cap to stay scratch and smudge free when traveling. The Hoocap ($49) lens cap is the clever solution photogs have been waiting…

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Shoot to the clouds

Canon Project 1709

It seems like everybody’s jumping on the social media bandwagon (some more logically than others). Canon’s decided to take a shot too with their curiously named, cloud-based storage service Project 1709. Currently in beta testing, this online photo warehouse places heavy emphasis on UI and sports the ever-popular tile layout (cough, Flickr) for quick viewing,…

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Still pointing and shooting

Canon Powershot S110

It seems like only a year ago we were telling you about the Canon Powershot S100 — wait, it WAS a year ago, almost to the day. So, in celebration of that anniversary, Gear Patrol, or rather Canon, brings you the next evolutionary step in point-and-shoot cameras, the Powershot S110 ($449), scheduled to hit stores…

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Milestone

Leica M Rangefinder

The Leica M is a new flagship rangefinder from the venerable photography brand that carries the torch from the Leica M9. Its biggest upgrade lies in a new 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor that’s designed to work specifically with Leica R-series lenses, maintaining the same luscious color characteristics while boasting better low-light performance and power management…

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We've got ourselves a Japanese standoff

Canon EOS 6D

Nikon’s D600 full-frame DSLR seemed poised to undercut its arch nemesis Canon in the prosumer market — until now. The Canon EOS 6D ($2,100) is Canon’s smallest, lightest (only 24 ounces) and cheapest full-frame DSLR ever. It’s slightly slimmer and weighs less than the D600 while boasting integrated wi-fi — a convenient feature we’ve been…

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Semi-pro

Nikon D600

The much-anticipated Nikon D600 ($2100) is a new prosumer DSLR that provides a similar, albeit slightly watered-down set of specs compared to the lauded D800 for roughly a grand less, while also undercutting the competition from Canon and Sony. Despite the price differences, the new rig maintains a similar feature set to its bigger brother,…