Sony Alpha SLT-A55V$749.99 (body only)
Sony’s translucent mirror technology, or TMT, could easily be chalked up to yet another worthless marketing ploy, but the results are real. The Alpha SLT-A55V boasts machinegun shooting speeds of 10fps and substantially smaller size thanks to TMT, plus perks like full 1080p HD video, GPS geotagging and sweeping panoramas. Just leave some cash for glass, because you’ll need it.
Read the full Sony Alpha SLT-A55V review.
Canon PowerShot S95$399.99
How do you pack the fine manual controls of a DSLR into a point-and-shoot camera without burying layers and layers of software menus? Canon’s S95 uses a unique clicking ring around the lens barrel that can be customized to control any number of settings on the fly. It also leads the class with extraordinary low-light performance that makes it a night owl’s dream.
Read the full Canon PowerShot S95 review.
Sony Alpha NEX-5$699.99 (with lens)
Looking for a camera with the quality and interchangeable lenses of a DSLR, but the portability and ease of use that comes with a point-and-shoot cam? This niche market is quickly expanding, and Sony stakes its claim with the excellent NEX 5. It’s the smallest of the bunch, but still snaps jaw-dropping shots and has features like a large, high-resolution LCD that pivots out on hinges that a point-and-shoot simply can’t match.
Read the full Sony Alpha NEX-5 review.