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Today in Gear: February 5, 2014

Today in gear, we find an affordable mirrorless camera, a GPS watch for runners, a phone case that (technically) pays your bills and much more.

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Don't take my Kodachrome away

Want This, Get This: Nikon Df or Olympus OMD E-M1

If you’re like us, you have a long list of cameras you’d love to own. But reality (almost) always steps in, and your desires remain unfulfilled. Gear Patrol’s series “Want This, Get This” presents a lust-worthy shooter along with a more affordable alternative that scratches the same itch. This week, we’re celebrating two DSLRs that recall the golden age of film while also delivering next-gen features.

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Reflecting on the best

More For (Mirror)less: 6 Best Mirrorless Cameras

When in 2004 Epson released the R-D1, the world’s first mirrorless digital camera, photographers weren’t sure what to make of it. Ten years later every major camera company has thrown their proverbial hat into the mirrorless ring. In fact, with digital sensors equal to those found in DSLRs, interchangeable pro-quality lenses, and magnesium-alloy construction, mirrorless cameras are quickly becoming the choice of many professionals looking to downsize their gear. It’s safe to say 2014 will be the year of the mirrorless camera, and we’ve rounded up our favorites to help you prepare.

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Puzzling Over Professional Micro Four Thirds

Tested: Olympus OM-D EM-1

Olympus’s new OM-D EM-1 ($1,400, body only) is way ahead of its time. Effectively an upgraded version of the already-capable E-M5, the E-M1 is an excellent shooter across the board, albeit one that can’t quite find its place in the market. We say: stay different, E-M1.

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The complete package either way

Walkaround Guys: 5 Best Everyday Kit Lenses

Kit lenses have a bad reputation for being the cheap training wheels of the photography world, built solely to make the DSLR buying process more approachable for thrifty consumers in search of a one-stop upgrade. These knocks against the category aren’t completely unfounded, but you shouldn’t let the general snobbery of experienced photographers steer you away from a good deal or convenience. There are a variety of kit lenses that are still a tremendous value and a great starting point for building a glass collection, whether they’re purchased with a camera or on their own. Here, you’ll find a few of our favorites across a variety of major brands and setups.

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Today in Gear: May 15, 2013

Clarks Sportswear Tawyer Sky in Camouflage Clarks, ever the go-to for comfort and classic men’s footwear style, has introduced a sportswear homage to the Wallaby to compliment the rest of their line. Obviously, the color scheme plays the lead role here; this camouflage is very much not the “for stalking animals” type. $120 Olympus PEN…

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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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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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Snapping pics while snapping bones

Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS

For the extreme adventurer, the risk of snapping a few limbs is all part of the fun. Breaking a bone is one thing, but breaking your camera? Now that’s just downright scary. Capturing your stunts in all their insane glory requires a rough-and-ready camera like the Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS ($400), a well-armored, yet sleek…

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Oh emm dee

Olympus OM-D E-M5

With an honest, throwback design the Olympus OM-D E-M5 ($999, body) builds off of the 40 year-long lineage of OM SLR film cameras. Modernized in Micro Four Thirds format, the 16.1 megapixel shooter comes paired with a built-in electric viewfinder (before you groan, take note of its 1.44 million dot resolution and 120 fps refresh…

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Who you calling Micro?

In-Depth: Olympus E-P3

In the last few years a new breed of camera has stormed the digital photography world. Known as mirrorless or interchangeable lens cameras, they forgo the mirror of a DSLR (or SLR) for a smaller, lighter, and more portable package. They’ve grown in leaps and bounds by providing amateurs an opportunity to upgrade from a…

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The Ultimate Adventure Camera

Olympus Tough TG-810

Adventure seekers and travelers have long photographed their surroundings to serve as inspiration and to retain nostalgia. The cameras used have adapted and changed as much as the scenery they intend to capture. In no one camera is the evolution of this notion seen as clearly as with the Olympus Tough TG-810 ($400). The 14…

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Mid Rangefinder

Olympus Pen E-PL2

Slotted right beneath the price of the PEN E-P2, the Olympus PEN E-PL2 ($599) is a more attainable priced rangefinder based on the Micro Four Thirds sensor. Olympus has piled on the features, including a newly designed body, 12 megapixel Live MOS sensor, 3″ LCD screen, improved autofocus with iDetect and Live Guide II, which…

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Sequel in Silver

Olympus E-P2 Silver

Black or silver? New or old school? Olympus doesn’t plan to get in the way of choice. Enter the new Olympus E-P2 (~$1,099): now available in vintage-approved silver. Following on the success of the E-P2 (in black), which followed the wildly successful and virtually indistinguishable Olympus E-P1 that started the micro four thirds craze. Like…

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The Micro Four-Thirds Marches On

Olympus E-P2

Following up on the rabid success of the E-P1, comes the Olympus E-P2, less than half a year later. Bound to irk some early adopters of the E-P1, the E-P2 continues with the retro goodness, but this time in a much sleeker all-black design, upgraded features that address all the problems and bugs with the…

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Olympus Stylus 770 SW

Shockproof. Waterproof. Freezeproof. Crushproof. Those are the key aspects of the Olympus Stylus 770 SW 7.1 megapixel camera, and they’re definitely aspects to be reckoned with. The Olympus Stylus 770 SW is the world’s most durable digital camera. You can drop it from 5 feet, dunk it to 33 feet, freeze it (-10C/14F) or even…