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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 Fans of Zoom & Panoramas
Panasonic DMC-FZ70

A contemporary remake of Hitchcock's Rear Window could easily star this gadget from Panasonic. You want zoom? Well, this baby's got an incredible 60x zoom, yet it weighs just 1.3 pounds. Not only do you get a closer look at your neighbors, eh, subjects, but you can also take wide-angle shots at almost 140 degrees. And if you want to shoot your own movie, it'll look good and sound good, thanks to the built-in Digital Dolby—quality microphone that shuts out irritating wind and ambient noise.
$400

Photos courtesy of respective brands.
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