HotHardware Holiday Gift Guide 2009

Family Portraits: Cameras

It's probably the most hated phrase at any family gathering: "Smile!" But c'mon, you know it's a necessary evil, so you might as well snag someone a camera that won't break when three generations of you all smile while wearing those hand-knit sweaters.
Nikon Coolpix L100 - $196

For those not ready to splurge on a DSLR, this mega zoom could be just what the doctor ordered. Packing a 3" LCD, image stabilization, a 15x zoom lens and a 13fps shooting mode, this is about as advanced as it gets before tossing in the phrase "interchangeable lenses."

Canon PowerShot SD940 IS - $259

The Digital Elph lineup has always stunned, and the SD940 IS includes some of the company's most cutting edge extras. Shipping in blue, black, silver, and brown, this pocket camera includes a 2.7" rear LCD, 12.1MP sensor, 4x optical zoom and even a 720p movie mode.

Olympus Stylus Tough 8000 - $297

Granted, this one will only help the argonauts in your life, but if you've got a young one that just happens to break everything they have, this ultra-rugged cam will hopefully withstand those bumps and bruises. Underwater shooting? No problem. Drops? Won't hurt a thing. Extreme temperatures? Just another day at the park.

Nikon D90 - $779

With a 720p movie mode and low-light performance that can't be matched at this price point, the D90 is a perfect prosumer DSLR. It's powerful enough to handle professional settings, yet it's cheap enough for the budding amatuer to afford. Oh, and it does 720p movies--if you don't mind the manual focus.

Canon EOS Rebel T1i - $799

Another option is the Canon EOS Rebel T1i that we looked at here.  Though it is just a touch pricier with an MSRP of $899 (street prices are lower), it also earned our coveted Editor's Choice award.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II - $2349

With a 21.1MP sensor, true 1080p movie mode and a vast array of Canon lenses at the ready, the 5D Mark II is a notch above the rest at the high-end. We've seen movies shot entirely on this DSLR, so it's probably good enough for your best bud. 

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