2010 Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - $150 to $250 Cameras

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In part 1 of our 2010 digital camera holiday gift guide, we looked at a series of sub $150 cameras that currently offer the best value for bargain camera shoppers seeking high quality and excellent features for their next gift.  In part 2, we will dive into the best cameras in the $150 to $250 price range.  These cameras feature higher levels of optical zoom, HD video recording, greater megapixels and larger LCD screens.  This lineup of digital cameras are still mostly targeted at the point & shoot crowd, but for those seeking a higher level of quality and control in taking excellent photos.  

So take a look at the second part of our 2010 Holiday gift guide, the $150 to $250 digital camera range.  Our following recommendations are based on quality, features and the best value available on the digital camera marketplace between $150 to $250 dollars.


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Top Pick: Panasonic Lumix DMC ZR3 

For those looking for a compact yet powerful pocket camera, Panasonic has upgraded their DMC-ZR1 from last year with the all new DMC-ZR3. While the ZR3 carries over many of the features found on its popular predecessor, it has been improved with many new features and technologies. These include a 14-megapixel image sensor, new 10x intelligent zoom technology, AVCHD Lite HD video recording (720p max. resolution), new scene modes (High Dynamic, Underwater, etc.), face detection in both still and video modes, etc. Options that were carried over were a powerful 8x optical zoom lens with wide 25-200mm range, POWER O.I.S. stabilization, 11-point AF system, a 2.7-inch TFT LCD screen and a compact frame that can be tucked into your pocket or handbag. Pick this up if you are one who is in the market for a camera with a good zoom that can still fit in your pocket, while at the same time captures good photos and video, all for $250 or less. 

Click on a color below to see the best price on the Panasonic ZR3

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Canon PowerShot SX130 IS 

At the lower end of Canon's "High End, Advanced Digital Cameras" line is the PowerShot SX130 IS, a compact digicam featuring a 12x optical zoom lens, 12.1-Megapixel imaging sensor and a full set of automatic and manual controls. This is perfect for someone that likes the control of a dSLR but is looking for a compact and affordable digicam. Loaded with useful features, the SX130 IS sports Optical Image Stabilization for the large zoom lens, Smart Auto, Intelligent Contrast Correction, Digic 4 image processor, 720p HD video capture and a 3.0-inch LCD just to name a few. It also runs on AA-type batteries, so there is no reason that you should ever run out of power. Pick this up if you are looking for a compact digicam with plenty of manual and automatic control like found on a dSLR, without the size or price tag. It is also great for anyone that is looking for great quality at an affordable price. 

Click on a color below to see the best price on the Canon SX130 IS

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Pentax Optio I-10

Retro appears to be the new "look" this season as Pentax has joined in creating a throw back feel to their ultra compact Optio I-10. The old style look is off set by new technology with 12.1 megapixels of resolution, a 5x wide optical zoom lens and a 2.7in. LCD, which are crammed inside the I-10's petite frame. The I-10 is lightweight and compact enough to fit into a pocket pretty easily, but it has almost a toy-like feel when you hold it in your hand. Pick this up if your gift recipient craves a stylistic, tiny pocket camera with the look of days gone by.
 

Click on a color below to see the best price on the Pentax Optio I-10

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS10

Panasonic's Lumix DMC-TS10 is an all-weather, go anywhere, abuse taking camera that will be loved by the adventurous and clumsy alike. This 14-Megapixel camera is capable of surviving drops of up to 5ft., Waterproof to 10ft., Freezeproof as low as 14°F and Dustproof as well. It also features a 5x internal optical zoom lens, HD video capture and Panasonic's intelligent Auto shooting mode. This slimmed down tough model camera looks more like a standard camera than any before it, and with 4 colors to choose from, it is an accessory as much as a camera. Pick this up if you have been looking for a camera that you can take anywhere and use at any time, even when other cameras have to be left behind.  

Click on a color below to see the best price on the Panasonic TS10

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Canon PowerShot SD940 IS 

While the camera was released last year, the PowerShot SD940 IS still packs a punch with features including a 12-megapixel image sensor, the Canon DIGIC 4 processor, 720p HD video mode, Face detection and i-Contrast technologies, optical image stabilization, 9-point AF system, SD'SDHC/MMC memory car storage, and a Li-ion power source. Canon has also included a more versatile 4x optical zoom lens and a larger 2.7-inch LCD screen.  The price was $300 in 2009 and has nearly dropped to half of that in 2010. Pick this up if you want one of the smallest cameras on the market, while still having all the latest features, and great performance.  

 Click on a color below to see the best price on the Canon SD940 IS

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