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Top digital camera and camcorder gift picks

Here's the short list of our favorite camera and camcorder gift picks.

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LoriGruninNewHeadshot.jpg
Lori Grunin
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Lori Grunin
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1 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V

A multitalented megazoom, the HX9V will satisfy a broad range of users--from snapshooters looking for more zoom to enthusiasts who want the latest and greatest compact camera features.
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2 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Canon PowerShot S95

If your budget stretches to about $400, the PowerShot S95's full set of manual controls and excellent low-light photo quality make it a can't-miss ultracompact gift choice for advanced photographers, as long as they don't shoot a lot of action. By the time you read this it may have been superceded by the more expensive and feature-rich S100, but the S95 remains a solid gift buy.
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3 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Nikon D7000

If you can afford it, the D7000 is a great gift for any creative photographer. Its combination of design, feature set, performance, and photo quality is hard to beat, especially as a gift for a Nikon shooter who wants something a bit better.
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4 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3

If you know someone who's been complaining that her point-and-shoot (or phone) isn't fast enough, good enough, or flexible enough, this camera is the perfect next step. It's relatively compact, but delivers SLR-quality photos and speed in the interface and design she's used to.
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5 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Canon Vixia HF M400

Recording video clips on a phone or camera is fine, but if you know someone who wants to document the entire kids' school play or soccer game, you need a real camcorder. The HF M400 is a bit expensive, but it delivers the excellent video quality that your friends and family want to commemorate the important events in their lives.
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6 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

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.
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7 of 7 Sarah Tew/CNET

Kodak PlaySport Zx5

An exemplary shoot-and-share minicamcorder, the PlaySport is a very good choice for capturing those spur-of-the-moment clips. Plus, its rugged construction means you can take it where other devices can't go.

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