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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V

If your grad is headed off to study abroad or taking some time off to travel, the HX9V makes a good companion.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Canon PowerShot SX150 IS

For budding photographers on a budget, the SX150 IS offers semimanual and manual controls, a nice zoom range, and easy operation.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

For the grad heading off to her next stage of life, it's time for the next stage of photography. If they're ready to graduate from a point-and-shoot to something better and faster, the GF3 makes a great next step, preserving the shooting experience of old faithful and adding many dSLR-like capabilities, but in a welcome compact design.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

If the soon-to-be-ex-student you're shopping for is pretty tech-savvy and wants to flex some creative muscles, the GH2 is a great choice. It produces sharp video, gives them a better-than-dSLR video experience, and has a large community surrounding it for hacking it to even greater heights.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Canon PowerShot Elph 310 HS

A simple pocket camera, the 310 HS is a good choice for anyone wanting a walking-around camera that works well indoors and out.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Canon PowerShot S95

It's been around awhile, but there are still few cameras that can beat the S95 for its combination of size and photo quality. When your grad really doesn't care much about the geekier aspects of photography but enjoys the act of photographing and appreciates a nice shot, this camera fills the bill.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET

Nikon D7000

Willing to spend a decent amount of green on your favorite budding photographer? The D7000 is a great dSLR for the student shooter who's ready for something a little more serious.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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