Chris Gampat

No young whippersnapper

10 Great Vintage Cameras

From the Archives: Film is all about 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.

Buying Guide
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.

Buying Guide
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.

Buying Guide
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.

Roundup
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.

Roundup
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....

CES 2013
A la carte

Kit: European Vacation Photography Essentials

We don’t need to tell you that Europe is home to much of the world’s history, art and various cultures. But getting bogged down at tourist traps is not our idea of a getaway. Our advice? Consider the path less taken. How about a former bathhouse turned microbrewery in Amsterdam or the best ice cream...

Land Lover

Patina: Polaroid Land Camera 210

Looking at old Polaroids evokes a certain feeling. Childhood galavanting and family road trips come to mind. In the modern era of megapixels and digital cameras though, Polaroids still take awe-inspiring photos (look what’s inspired Instagram filters). Browse through Craigslist, eBay, your local thrift shop, or KEH.com and you’ll find lots of older Polaroid Land...

Mellow Yellow

Design Spotlight: A Brief History Behind the Pentax K-01

A culmination of the company’s non-comformist sense of self, yet still embracing their storied history, the Pentax K-01 is unlike any other camera in the mirrorless camera world. Indeed, it embraces its lineup of beautiful K-Mount lenses (both modern and from the film days) allowing users to fasten them with a satisfying click, but what...

Shoot to thrill

Kit | Summer Concert Photography Essentials

Editor’s Note: We all want to take better pictures. Whether it’s with the iPhone or our third DSLR, everyone loves a great photograph to upload to Facebook, frame or just gawk at on our phones. But throwing gobs of money at a pro DSLR and a bunch of red-ringed lenses does not for a photographer...

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