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Leica V-Lux 20

Leica V-Lux 20

Ah Leica, you tease us with your incredible rangefinders like the M9, but still find time to make some semi-affordable pocket cams for the common folk. The Leica V-Lux 20 ($700) is the latest in this line of svelte shooters, packing a 25-300mm equivalent, 12x optical zoom Leica lens, a 12.1 megapixel sensor, built-in GPS for geotagging, a three-inch LCD display, and a rock-solid build. Of course, you can pick up a Panasonic Lumix ZS7 sporting a similar — whereby "similar," we mean "exactly the same" — feature set for roughly half the price, but surely that Leica logo is worth the extra $350. Right? Right?

  • Panasonic Lumix G2

    It's not quite as svelte as its GF1 cousin, but as the second-generation of the original Micro Four Thirds camera, the Panasonic Lumix G2 ($TBA) offers one of the most complete packages available in the format. Its 12.1 megapixel sensor, 720p video recording, and new Venus Engine HD II image processor are all nice, but the big draw is its 3-inch LCD touchscreen that can rotate 180º and tilt 270º up-and-down, letting you take advantage of its slick tap-to-focus feature from nearly any angle. We wish they wouldn't bundle the thing with the 14-42mm lens, though — cameras this small beg for a proper pancake prime.

  • Phantom HD Camera

    Sure, it costs as much as 47 Canon 5D MK IIs, but you'd need nearly that many — configured in some sort of crazy, Matrix-like setup — to match the unbelievable 1,052 fps high-speed 1080p recording of the Phantom HD Camera ($118,000). Other jaw-dropping specs include ISO 640 sensitivity, the ability to achieve 35mm depth-of-field, up to 32GB of in-camera memory with hot-swappable CineMag flash memory magazines up to 512GB, compatibility with 35mm accessories, an 11-stop dynamic range, 14-bit sensor depth, a maximum resolution of 2048x2048, and the ability to capture slow-motion gems like this and this.