Kodak PlaySport Zx5
The feature-to-price ratio for the PlaySport is outstanding and it performs well, too.
Canon PowerShot A1200
You'd be hard-pressed to find another point-and-shoot this cheap that takes better photos. It's not short on features, either; it includes an optical viewfinder, wide-angle lens, and power from AA-size batteries.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FH27
If you want more zoom without the bulk or high price of a compact megazoom, the simple-to-use FH27 and its 8x zoom lens is a smart choice.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W570
An inexpensive way to step up from your smartphone's camera, the lightweight W570 is a very good take-everywhere ultracompact featuring a bright, ultrawide-angle lens with a 5x zoom.
Sony Handycam HDR-CX130
It's not the best HD camcorder, but it's the best value--a solid model that won't make you break open a second piggy bank--and easy to use.