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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX70

The miniscule WX50 and WX70 pack a lot of features into such a tiny package. Both models come with a backside-illuminated 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, which promises very good low-light image quality and fast operation. When we say fast, think 10 fps...

Grade: A- Price: $300.00

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Nikon Coolpix S9100

Nikon surprised us last fall with the S8100, a compact zoom with the chops to actually turn out some decent low-light pictures. Camera buyers had been begging for something like it for quite some time, and while a few other models had come close, ...

Grade: B- Price: $300.00

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Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS

The 530 HS actually has a lower-resolution sensor than its spiritual predecessor, the 510 HS. This change is ostensibly to increase the camera's performance at high ISO, and it remains among the best on the market. The same 12x zoom and 3.2-inch t...

Grade: B Price: $300.00

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Fujifilm FinePix XP150

Fujifilm's rugged cameras have finally made the switch to CMOS. The XP50 and XP150 both now sport 14.4 megapixel CMOS sensors and will record 1080p HD video. The XP150 is the tougher of the two, it's good to 33 feet underwater and has a GP...

Grade: B- Price: $300.00

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Nikon COOLPIX P530

Nikon's P530 is essentially a dialed down version of their P600. The two cameras have the same sensors and speed (7 fps burst), the main differences are in the lenses. The P530 uses a 42x optical zoom (compared to the P600's 60x) and can a...

Grade: B- Price: $300.00

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Panasonic DMC-TS6

The Panasonic DMC-TS6 is designed for outdoor adventures. While there's a handful of similar options, one of the highlighting features is that the TS6 hits an excellent burst speed of 10 fps, a big plus for those shooting rugged sports.The TS6...

Grade: A- Price: $300.00

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Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

For everything that Canon does right, they've always struggled with the compact-zoom genre. Last year's SX210 IS and SD4500 IS, for example, had some great qualities, yet puzzling design choices stifled their appeal.But 2011 is a year wher...

Grade: C+ Price: $299.00

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Fujifilm XF1

The XF1 is Fujifilm's 2012 advanced compact, and it has some new tricks. The camera packs a 12 megapixel 2/3" sensor, a bit larger than those found in competitors like the LX7 or S100, and performs the EXR abilities that Fujifilm users ha...

Grade: B+ Price: $299.00

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Samsung WB50F

Samsung makes cameras with wi-fi and NFC in mind and this small shooter has several sharing features like "Tag and Go" which allows images to be shared by tapping two devices together. Image quality wasn't left completely behind, tho...

Grade: B- Price: $299.00

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Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS

Canon makes some high quality compacts,and the ELPH 340 sits right in line with our exceptions. It uses a1/2.3” sensor and f3.6 to 7 lens, which is about average for theprice point. What's worth mentioning, however, is the nice 10.5 fpscontinuous ...

Grade: A- Price: $299.00

Ricoh WG-30W

The Ricoh WG-30W offers rugged features along with options like wi-fi. This compact camera can head underwater to depths of 40 feet. Drops and dust aren't a problem either, with a 4.9' shockproof rating. With a rugged body around the outsi...

Grade: B Price: $299.00

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Fujifilm XQ2

The Fujifilm XQ1 impressed us last year with category-leading speed--with a brand new processor, the XQ2 pushes that even further.While you don't see a jump in burst speed in the tech specs, the Fujifilm XQ2 has an updated processor, the EXR P...

Grade: B+ Price: $299.00

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Olympus Air A01

The are really two types of cameras: the camera that can fit in your pocket, and the camera that can take great pictures. The Olympus Air A01 is an attempt to merge both, creating a tool for smartphone photography that doesn't rely on a tiny b...

Grade: B Price: $299.00

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Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70

With a zoom range and wide angle optics that lead the long zoom category, Panasonic's FZ70 looks to be a top contender. The powerful 60x zoom lens is paired with a solid optical image stabilization system. Panasonic also claims the new sensor in t...

Grade: A- Price: $298.00

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Ricoh WG-5

Ricoh's WG-5 offers several features that puts it towards the top of our list for waterproof cameras, including a bright lens and excellent macro mode, though speed prevents it from taking the top slot.The camera captures shots with a 1/2.3&qu...

Grade: A- Price: $297.00

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Canon PowerShot SX720 HS

The Canon SX720 offers a big 40x zoom lens--but in a camera that could fit in your pocket.The older SX710 (and SX700) offered 30x zoom, but the SX720 increases that while still keeping the camera's slim profile. Besides just being able to zoom...

Grade: B- Price: $295.00

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Fujifilm FinePix F770EXR

Fujifilm garnered a cult-like following of true believers following the release of 2006’s F30 and subsequent F31 and cheaper F20 cameras. These compacts, equipped with the latest in Fujifilm’s proprietary Super CCD technology, approach...

Grade: B- Price: $291.00

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Nikon Coolpix L840

Introduced alongside the $500 P610, the Nikon Coolpix L840 axes advanced features like manual modes and rechargeable batteries to keep the cost low.Where the P610 sports a 60x zoom, the L840 offers a much smaller yet still solid 38x optical zoom. ...

Grade: B+ Price: $289.00

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50

More megapixels isn't always better—that's the motto Panasonic is taking with the compact zoom ZS50 camera. While there's a lower number of megapixels on the ZS50 from the older ZS40, that move is designed to bump up the low ligh...

Grade: A Price: $285.00

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Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS

The 520 HS sports an impressive 12x zoom in a very small package, yet we think they cut too many corners to get there. The 520 HS's 10 megapixel sensor is tiny, about the same size as the little chips put into cellphones. The zoom range is als...

Grade: C Price: $280.00

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Canon PowerShot SX710 HS

The Canon PowerShot SX710 sports a 30x zoom at about half the weight of their 50x super zoom, making it an excellent option for travel. While the SX710 sports a solid 30x zoom, it can also focus on objects as close as .4 inches from the front of t...

Grade: B+ Price: $280.00

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Nikon 1 S2

The Nikon 1 line uses smaller sensors then the competitors, but what the camera giant offers that others do not is speed, and lots of it. The Nikon 1 S2 is the more budget-friendly model over the sleeker 1 J4 and faster 1 V3, but it's still go...

Grade: B+ Price: $279.00

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Polaroid Socialmatic

Thank you, Polaroid, for ensuring that the actually physical printed picture is far from gone. The Polaroid Socialmatic is a digital camera, yet in keeping with the manufacturer's past, can still spit out an instant image using the on-board pr...

Grade: B- Price: $279.00

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Casio Exilim ZR100

Casio cameras always feel like dark-horse contenders in the compact zoom category. Maybe it's because Casio only makes compact cameras, but all the enthusiast chatter and punditry revolves around the more familiar brand names. This is despite near...

Grade: B+ Price: $271.00

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Nikon COOLPIX P330

Interestingly, Nikon lowered the number of megapixels in the P330 from the previous model, yet stepped up the image sensor size. Nikon also put a f1.8 lens in front of the larger sensor, and increased the aperture range—all signs that this m...

Grade: B+ Price: $270.00

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Sony H400

It's common for budget models to have a CCD sensor and a burst speed that's the equivalent of a snail's pace and the Sony H400 seems to follow that logic. It uses a 1/2.3" CCD sensor and the burst speed is just .71 fps, though it ...

Grade: B- Price: $268.00

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Sony WX350

The compact zoom category is competitive and packed full of decent shooters, so where does the Sony WX350 sit? The WX350 is one of the fastest options when considering burst speed with a nice 10 fps. The 20x optical zoom isn't the best in clas...

Grade: A- Price: $268.00

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Nikon COOLPIX B500

The Nikon B500 is designed for simplicity. It joins the ranks of the decreasing number of cameras that use AA batteries. There aren't any manual modes, but a solid handful of automated scene modes. But, the simple camera features a 40x optical...

Grade: B- Price: $257.00

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Pentax QS-1

The Pentax Q line is one of the smallest, most colorful mirrorless lines on the market today. That line is expanding with the QS-1, a little reto-inspired shooter with a variety of creative modes and filters.The Pentax Q line has the smallest inte...

Grade: B Price: $254.00

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Fujifilm FinePix XP200

Fujilm's Finepix XP200 is tough--waterproof to 49.2 feet, shockproof to 6.5 feet, Freeze proof to 14° & Dustproof--but image quality is rather mediocre. The XP200 is fun to use, however, and comes in a bit lower price than some competitors in ...

Grade: B- Price: $250.00