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Leica T brings sleek design to the mirrorless market (hands on)

Could this be your first Leica? The coveted camera brand delivers style and substance in collaboration with Audi Design.

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I never do year-end wrap-ups; by nature, I'm not one to look back and analyze when there's something new just over the horizon. But this year, it struck me that for an industry everyone likes to pronounce as dead, there's been tons of activity. I've seen lots of product categories rise, fall, and reinvent themselves (or not), and it looks like cameras aren't going without a fight.
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Of course, there's been an equal amount of ridiculous and sublime in the various attempts to reinvent cameras and photography, but no one can say that manufacturers aren't trying. 
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So, I present for your amusement, in no particular order, my picks for the 20 most interesting cameras I've seen in 2013, plus one bonus model which I'll probably never see, because it's not meant to cross the US border. These are neither the best nor the worst products I've encountered, nor have I gotten to test some of them yet. They're simply all notable for their contributions, for good or ill, to making cameras fun to cover in 2013. Have I forgotten any? Note them in the comments.

The 20 most interesting cameras of 2013

From the ridiculous to the sublime and back again, here are the 20 cameras that did something new, different, smart, or stupid. Plus one bonus contender.

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<p>This special Leica camera will <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-6501_7-57515249-95/apples-jony-ive-to-design-a-single-leica/" >go up for auction at a Sotheby's auction next month</a> and is a collaboration between Apple design chief Jonathan Ive and industrial designer Marc Newson. The charitable project was announced last year, and on Tuesday the <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57606527-37/jony-ive-designed-leica-m-camera-makes-first-appearance/" >first images of the camera were unveiled</a>.</p><p>
The proceeds from the <a href="http://www.sothebys.com/red">November 23 auction</a>, which includes another 40 items curated by Ive and Newson, will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.  The auction is part of musician Bono's Product Red initiative.</p><p>

Leica's Apple-inspired M camera (pictures)

The camera, co-designed by Apple design chief Jony Ive and industrial designer Marc Newson, will be sold to raise money to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.

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Leica Vario X first to use a zoom lens on an APS-C compact

The expensive Vario X camera does have a zoom lens, but it's a surprisingly slow lens.

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Leica cam that shot Times Square kiss sells for $150k

The 1937 camera, a nostalgic reminder of the long-ago days before everyone toted a smartphone, was one of many photographic gems offered at a Vienna auction.

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Nikon Coolpix A puts an APS-C sensor in your pocket

The Nikon Coolpix A is a fixed-focal-length lens model with an APS-C sensor along the lines of Fujifilm's popular X100 and X100s.

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Revisiting tech tools of yesteryear in Lego (pictures)

Chris McVeigh uses Lego's modeling app to plan plastic tributes to classic consumer goods from speakers to cameras to lightbulbs.

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Support for Apple's Retina displays and other high-DPI screens, arriving in Lightroom 4.3's photo-editing module but not yet elsewhere, is helpful for judging fine details like wispy hair.

Adobe Lightroom 4.3 brings Retina display support

The software for editing and cataloging photos supports raw image formats from 20 new cameras, corrects lens flaws with Leica and other lenses, and supports Apple's high-resolution displays.

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Lightroom 4.2 supports large swath of new cameras

Many of the new higher-end cameras that emerged at Photokina now are supported by Adobe's software for photo editing and cataloging, including Canon's EOS T4i, Fujifilm's X-E1, the Leica S, and the Nikon 1 J2.

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Canon's EOS M uses a relatively large APS-C sensor like its bigger SLR brethren, but ditching the SLR mirror means the camera body is smaller.

How camera makers are getting their design groove on

A wave of experimentation is sweeping the camera industry as it grapples with the second phase of the digital revolution. Be careful: today's bold design could be tomorrow's evolutionary dead end.

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The <a href="http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-cameras/pentax-q10-with-27/4505-6501_7-35438908.html">Pentax Q10</a> mirrorless compact camera is small enough to fit on the palm of your hand.

Photokina shows camera makers' new thinking (pictures)

The camera show in Germany spotlighted camera designers suddenly open to experimentation as smartphones and other trends force the camera industry to defend its photography turf. Here are some new approaches.

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The Leica X2 Edition Paul Smith comes with green leather, an orange top, and fluorescent yellow bottom.

Leica's new top-end rangefinder gets more electronic

Buying a Leica is more about brand cachet than high-performance electronics, but live view in the Leica M dramatically changes focusing. Also: a splashy X2 and an S with better image quality.

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