Sometimes it's good to have limitations. They push you to think more and try new things. The Ricoh GR-Digital ($650) is a perfect example. Its fixed, prime lens means no lazy zooming from across the street. It makes you get up and fill the frame yourself. With classic, no-nonsense styling, the pocketable 8.1-megapixel camera takes excellent, natural-looking shots thanks to the high-performance lens and the legendary GR Engine. Our shots were super sharp and had great contrast. The GR-D sports a 2.5-inch LCD and has a magnesium body underneath the jet black. You also get great single-hand operation thanks to the mode dial, while the twin-dial system lets you quickly control manual exposure, white balance and other functions like a camera four times its size.
Get handheld hi-def with the ultra-compact Canon HG10 AVCHD Hard Disk Drive Camcorder ($1300; Oct.2007). The HG10 can record up to 15 hours of 1080 HD footage onto its built-in 40GB hard drive. Other features include a 10x HD Video lens, DIGIC DV II Image Processor, SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization and Instant AF. The HG10 also sports a 2.7-inch Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCD, and offers the ability to capture 3.1 megapixel photos to a miniSD card.