Holiday Gift Guide 2013: Cameras

Back in the old days, like 10 or more years ago, having a decent camera was as essential to being a sophisticated man as having a good watch and a nice suit. Today, every bozo on the planet can snap a cell-phone pic and share it in seconds. In the process, we've lost a few things: (1) the rich details that only a truly well-made camera can provide, (2) the manual controls that are necessary for pro-grade pics (filters can do only so much), and (3) the sense of camera as a high-priced yet high-functioning piece of equipment. We think it's high time to reverse this trend. We've identified models for everyone from a beginners to serious enthusiasts—all of which take photos that beat the crap out of any cell phone. They're listed below, from least to most expensive, with a surprise at the very end.

See more gift guides.

For Those Who Can't Put Down Their Cell Phone
Nokia Lumia 1020

We know we promised only serious cameras in this roundup, and this phone is no exception: It's got a super-charged 41-megapixel camera hidden in the back of the sleek, matte polycarbonate—something that no other camera phone can offer. A coating of Gorilla Glass over the supersensitive screen makes it extra tough while allowing you to use the 4.5-inch display with gloved hands—hallelujah. To make things even simpler, the included Nokia Pro Cam app will create not only a high-res image for storing and editing but also a low-res image for sharing and instant uploading to social media. Other goodies include an intuitive user interface with manual adjustment options like ISO and shutter speed, and a Smart Cam lens for taking a burst of quick action shots. Not bad for a phone . . . or a camera.

Photos courtesy of respective brands.
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