10. Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

CNET rating: 7.2

The good: Compact body with wide-angle lens with 12x zoom; manual controls; very good photo and video quality for its class.

The bad: Mixed shooting performance; no optical zoom in Movie mode.

The bottom line: More than just a point-and-shoot pocket megazoom, the Canon SX200 IS improves upon its forerunner, but not by much.

Read the full review.

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Photo by: Canon / Caption by:

9. Canon Rebel XS (with 18-55mm lens)

CNET rating: 7.2

The good: Excellent photo quality for its class; solid performance.

The bad: Maximum ISO of 1600; no spot meter; annoying, in-viewfinder, focus-point display.

The bottom line: The Canon EOS Rebel XS is a good entry-level dSLR, but only its photo quality stands out among the competition.


Read the full review.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

8. Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR

CNET rating: 8

The good: Excellent photo quality; lots of useful features; very good dynamic range and high ISO performance in EXR modes; takes SDHC and xD cards.

The bad: Basic Movie mode for its price; limited aperture settings; menu systems take some getting used to.

The bottom line: Don't let its new sensor technology scare you off: the Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR is an excellent compact camera with shooting features for just about every type of user.

Read the full review.


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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

7. Nikon D5000 (with 18-55mm lens)

CNET rating: 7.8
The good: Very good photo quality; fast; video capture; articulated LCD; nice kit lens; built-in wireless flash controller.

The bad: Small, dim viewfinder; middling video quality; too easy to accidentally change focus points.

The bottom line: Though it falls short in its design, the Nikon D5000 delivers a nice feature set, speedy performance, and great photo quality for the money.

Read the full review.


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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

6. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20

CNET rating: 8.0

The good: First-rate design; simple operation; excellent feature-to-price ratio.

The bad: Narrow lens; lens cap is a pain.

The bottom line: If you don't mind its extra bulk and narrow lens, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H20 is an otherwise excellent compact megazoom camera.

Read the full review.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

5. Canon EOS Rebel T1i (with 18-55mm IS lens)

CNET rating: 7.8

The good: Fast performance; very nice photo quality; HD video capture.

The bad: Annoying viewfinder; video capture is its only better-than-basic feature.

The bottom line: A solid, slightly better-than-basic dSLR, the Canon EOS Rebel T1i delivers photo quality and performance that adequately compensates for most of its annoyances.

Read the full review.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

4. Canon EOS Rebel XSi (with 18-55mm lens)

CNET rating: 7.8

The good: Excellent photo quality for its class; better-than-average speed.

The bad: Maximum ISO 1,600; huge spot-for-spot metering.

The bottom line: It doesn't stand out for its feature set or design, but the Canon EOS Rebel XSi delivers on performance and photo quality.

Read the full review.



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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

3. Nikon D90 (with 18-105mm lens)

CNET rating: 8

The good: First-rate performance; solid, well-constructed body with nice viewfinder; video capture capability; great photo quality.

The bad: Middling kit lens; poor HDMI output implementation.

The bottom line: Like the D80 before it, the Nikon D90 delivers an excellent dSLR for the money.

Read the full review.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

2. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 (blue)

CNET rating: 8.0

The good: Terrific design, interface, and controls; wide-angle, 5x zoom lens; excellent price-to-feature ratio.

The bad: No optical zoom while recording video; soft photos.

The bottom line: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W290 is an excellent, well-balanced compact camera.

Read the full review.


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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

1. Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3

CNET rating: 7.5

The good: Long and wide-angle zoom lens in a compact body; 720p movies; lens can zoom during movie capture.

The bad: Very few manual controls.

The bottom line: As long as you don't want much in the way of manual features, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 is a very nice camera that can handle a variety of shooting situations.

Read the full review.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

RIP: Canon PowerShot SD880 IS

Oh, how I miss the Canon SD880 IS. It was a great sub-$300 compact camera that is long gone, but so popular that people try to sell them at more than double the original price. All through the 2008 holiday gift-giving season, if anyone asked what the best point-and-shoot to buy was, it was the answer.

Both the gold and the silver versions were viewed so much on CNET that they each ranked in the top 10; the gold at No. 2 and the silver at 6.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

RIP: Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

A wide-angle 20x megazoom camera, the SX10 IS ranked as the fifth-most-popular camera viewed on CNET in 2009. It has since been replaced by the SX20 IS. The key differences are a bump in resolution from 10 megapixels to 12 and 720p HD-quality movie support as well as HDMI output for easy connection to an HDTV.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:

RIP: Canon PowerShot A590 IS

It might not have been much to look at, but the A590 IS had a lot of fans. It was the last A-series PowerShot to have both an optical viewfinder and manual controls in addition to running on AA-size batteries. Though released in 2008, the A590 ranked as the eighth-most-popular camera viewed in 2009.

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Photo by: Sarah Tew/CNET / Caption by:
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