The Perfect Hybrid Cameras

Better digital cameras without the bulk.

At long last, you don't need to choose between the ubiquitous point-and-shoot and the two-pound behemoths favored by photo-journalists: These new models, called Micro Four Thirds and NX cameras, offer the perks of a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR)—interchangeable lenses, full manual settings, and fast shutter speeds—at a third of the size.

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Samsung NX10

$700, samsung.com

The modern-looking NX10 has a jumbo image sensor that makes it ideal for capturing a night out or a low-lit bowl of pasta.

Panasonic Lumix GF1

$900, panasonic.com

With more lens options than any other camera in this category, Panasonic's GF1 is perfect for the quasi-pro who wants to shoot French Open matches and Copacabana beaches.

Olympus E-PL1

$600, getolympus.com

Don't know shutter speed from ISO (light sensitivity)? No need to speak photo-geek with a camera that includes a built-in flash and 19 scene modes.

The Instant-Gratification Photo Printer

Instead of unveiling your photos on a little LCD screen, do as the big-name photographers do and print hard copies straight from your camera: The Pixma iP100 can produce a 4x6 picture in less than a minute—which means you could have it framed in two.

(Canon Pixma iP100, $250, usa.canon.com)

—Tom Samiljan

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