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Canon EOS M

Price: $799

Availability: October 2012

The outlook: Canon's long-, long-, long-awaited entry into the mirrorless interchangeable camera market is finally almost here. And though it seems a bit expensive for what it offers and lacking in really novel or compelling capabilities compared to competitors, the curiosity factor is off the charts.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Canon USA

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

Price: $499

Availability: August 2012

The outlook: Panasonic's LX series of enthusiast-targeted compact cameras has a lot of die-hard fans, and the latest update brings some enhancements to the lens -- it's faster and potentially sharper -- possibly better video, and the company's fast autofocus system. While it's got a fierce competitor in the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100, it's also significantly cheaper.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Nikon Coolpix P7700

Price: $499.95

Availability: September 2012

The outlook: Ever since the P5000, Nikon's large enthusiast compact camera series has been struggling to deliver the whole package, and tends to reinvent itself more frequently than usual. The P7700 sounds like it's taking a few steps forward and a few steps back: a better lens, articulated (rather than tilting) display, true HD video capture, updated design and presumably better performance than the P7100, while at the same time switching to a more consumery BSI sensor and dropping the optical viewfinder. It'll be interesting to see if this is finally the winning combination.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Sony Alpha NEX-5R

Price:$749.99 (with 18-55mm lens)

Availability: October 2012

The outlook: With a new sensor and redesigned autofocus system that combines phase-detection and contrast technologies; built-in Wi-Fi with support for downloadable apps via Sony's Play Memories service; and some new physical controls to reduce reliance on the somewhat cumbersome NEX menu but with a few additions to its touch-screen repertoire, this really is a major upgrade over its predecessor the NEX-5N.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Nikon Coolpix S800c

Price: $349.95

Availability: September 2012

The outlook: The S800c is the first attempt at an Android-based camera from a major manufacturer (though Samsung wasn't far behind). For anyone who ever wished they could have the power of all their smartphone apps in a camera with a zoom lens, optical image stabilization, and (slightly) larger sensor, well, here you go.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

Price: $599

Availability: August 2012

The outlook: For the FZ200, it's not the length of the lens that matters -- it's the width of its aperture. Unlike other megazoom cameras that let in significantly less light as you zoom in, the FZ200 can stay at a bright f2.8 aperture, meaning you won't always need high ISO settings that introduce noise and softness, something no competing model can claim.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Sony Action Cam

Price: $199.99; $269.99 with Wi-Fi

Availability: September 2012

The outlook: Sony's answer to GoPro and Contour POV cameras, the Action Cam (available with our without built-in Wi-Fi) is less expensive with more features and significantly smaller.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Lori Grunin/CNET

Canon PowerShot SX500 IS

Price: $329.99

Availability: September 2012

The outlook:For $100 less than Canon's top megazoom, the 35x zoom PowerShot SX40 HS, the SX500 IS gets you a 30x f3.4-5.8 24-720mm lens, a fixed 3-inch 460K-dot resolution, and a 16-megapixel CCD sensor. It's definitely a step down from the SX40, but Canon claims faster autofocus speed and less shutter lag and, if it's like most other PowerShots, its photo quality will be excellent for its class.

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