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.
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.
The compass-inspired print around the lens of the Pentax Optio W90 ($330) isn't just for looks: it's one of the most rugged digicams around. The W90 is Pentax's 11th-generation waterproof digital camera, and offers water protection down to 20 feet, shock protection to four feet, weatherproofing for solid operation in sub-freezing temperatures, dustpoofing, a 12.1-megapixel sensor with 5x optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD, a digital microscope with LED lens for macro use, 720p HD video capture, Pixel Track Shake Reduction, and an HDMI port that makes it easy to share photos of your adventures. And we really hope that's just mud.