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Olivia Locher

Samsung NX Mini

This $500 camera pairs a removable nine- to 27-millimeter zoom lens with a pocket-size camera. The ability to swap lenses lets you shoot everything from landscapes to close-ups, says Les Shu, Digital Trends photography editor.

  • The Details: Try any Samsung NX lens with this 20-megapixel camera. You can use the built-in editing software to tweak your images right on the Samsung’s three-inch touchscreen, then send the photos via Wi-Fi to any smart device.
  • The Specs: 6.9 ounces, 4.4"x 2.4"x 0.9"

Olympus TG-850

Freeze, ­submerge, or drop the $200 Olympus. It can take it.

  • The Details: The camera’s wide-angle lens is ideal for landscapes and has novice-friendly features like face detection and redeye reduction. Want a selfie? Just rotate the LCD screen 180 degrees. Plus, the rugged Olympus, waterproof to 33 feet, can go where other cameras can’t, says Tony Northrup, author of Stunning Digital Photography.
  • The Specs: 7.7 ounces, 4.3" x 2.5" x 1.1"

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-QX100

The $450 Sony turns your cellphone into a DSLR-quality camera.

  • The Details: This device attaches to your phone, transforming your touchscreen into a viewfinder. Shoot a photo and it appears on your phone, where you can save and share it. The Sony has no flash but produces good low-light ­images. And even when you blow your photo up into a large print, “it will look sharp and won’t be grainy,” says Northrup.
  • The Specs: 6.3 ounces, 2.5" x 2.5" x 2.1"