Point-and-shoot camera or digital SLR? That's been the long-standing dilemma for shoppers looking for a way to take pictures.
But now the great divide may be shrinking, at least a bit, as camera makers work to bring high-end features (smarter sensors, faster shooting, access to "raw" images, etc.) and low-end convenience (small size, primarily) into a single gadget.
The compact camera that probably comes closest in design to an SLR is Canon's PowerShot G7 (shown here), Stephen Shankland writes on CNET News.com today. Another option, he writes, is the Nikon Coolpix P5000.
Even as enthusiasts argue over what's right and what's missing in these and other hybrid, high-quality compacts, they can probably count on camera makers making more of them--as long as they see a payoff from meeting the engineering challenges and sussing out a finicky market.
To see what's available now, check out this News.com gallery: "Photos: Digital SLRs with less bulk."