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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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The heat is on

Polaroid Z2300 Instant Digital Camera

The Polaroid Z2300 Instant Digital Camera is the latest entry in the company’s long line of instant gratification shooters. It combines an SD compatible digital camera, HD video camera and, naturally, a printer into one pocketable device that puts your parents’ Land 210 to shame. Don’t worry about about refilling — or paying — for…

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Give and take

Polaroid Android Powered SC1630 Smart Camera

Mobile devices have progressively borrowed features from cameras to boost their curb appeal — so why shouldn’t cameras reciprocate? That seems to be the logic behind Polaroid’s surprising SC1630 Smart Camera. From the rear, it’s easy to mistake the device as just another 3.2-inch Android handset, until you spy the 16-megapixel 36-108mm lens with 3x…

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On holiday, off grid

Gift Guide 2011 | 10 Must-Haves for the Adventurer

No matter the destination or pursuit, there’s one unpredictable constant that entwines throughout the spirit of adventure — the ever-changing natural elements. Rather than limiting your lifestyle or altering your approach, we’ve compiled this list of 10 critical items that belong in your outdoor gear arsenal. Some you may be familiar with, some you may…

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No Light? No Problem.

Midnight Shot NV-1 Night Vision Camera

Let’s be clear. The Midnight Shot NV-1 Night Vision Camera ($130) is a fun gimmick. Its 1/2.5″ CMOS 5.0 megapixel camera is nothing to get excited over, but when paired with the built-in infrared flash, it can take shots in complete darkness. Infrared light also has the nifty ability to view through certain materials like…