It might still be in the concept stage, but that doesn't mean we can't dream about having a Sony Compact Alpha DSLR ($TBA) in our bag or pocket. Powered an Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor, these compact concepts also offer interchangeable lenses, DSLR-level controls, and full AVCHD video capability for high-quality HD video capture. Expect a fairly hefty price tag if/when these become available.
Perhaps designed to be a Canon S90 killer, the Samsung TL500 ($450) is the latest point-and-shoot to adopt several DSLR-level features. Among these are a 24mm, 3x optical zoom, f/1.8 Schneider lens, Aperture priority, Shutter priority, and Manual shooting modes, dual image stabilization, RAW support, a 10 megapixel, 1/1.7-inch CCD, and a front control wheel. Unfortunately video shooting is limited to 640x480, but the gorgeous, swiveling 3-inch AMOLED LCD should more than make up for it.
Sleek, stylish, and tough aren't words that normally describe the same product, but they're certainly applicable to the Sony Cyber-shot TX5 ($350). The TX5 offers many of the same features found in the company's flagship TX7 compact — including an Exmor R CMOS sensor, Sweep Panorama mode, HD video recording (720p, instead of the TX7's 1080i), a touchscreen LCD, 10fps shooting, and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization — but packs them into a rugged body that's dust proof, waterproof to 10 feet, and shockproof to 5 feet.