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5 Hybrid Cameras: Steals and Splurges

  • Splurge
    Canon PowerShot G11 $500

    Even though this high-tech point-and-shoot is smaller and less expensive than the professional cameras, the pictures are just as good. It's a smart shooter, with settings that capture great images in a variety of environments. The standout feature is the flip-out swivel screen that allows you to shoot or record at any angle by just moving the screen—instead of crawling all over the ground. usa.canon.com

  • Steal
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZR1 $280

    Everything is cuter in miniature size (hello, new baby!), but don't let this tiny shooter fool ya. Mommy must-haves include a high-tech zoom lens for close-ups, a smart auto-focus that picks the best settings for your shot, and cool color options for the actual camera (hey, looks are important too). Bonus: A movie mode that allows you to shoot high-def video to a built-in memory or optional card. panasonic.com

  • Splurge
    Nikon D90 $900

    Nikon has created the first D-SLR (which is basically what pros call a digital camera that produces unbelievable, professional-quality images) with an HD movie mode. You can print a poster-size image of your baby's face and see every perfect detail. An 11-point auto-focus keeps your entire shot crisp, and continuous shooting at 4.5 shots per second waves bye-bye to the annoying lag between shots. nikonusa.com

  • Editor's Pick!
    iPhone 3GS $199 or $299

    Leave it to Apple to morph a phone into the ultimate multi-tasker. This latest model has an auto-focus camera for crisp and colorful images and records video clips. Most unique is the ability to edit videos on the phone itself, so you can upload them to your Facebook page pronto. Did we mention it's a phone, MP3 player and Web browser too? apple.com

  • Steal
    Samsung DualView TL220 $300

    We wish we'd thought of it: Using an innovative dual screen, the "child mode" setting plays a cartoon animation on the front of the camera to prompt your mini-model to make eye contact for photos and videos. Oh, and if you feel like you're always the one behind the camera, now you can take artsy self-portraits by previewing your image on the front of the camera and actually be part of your family photo albums for a change. samsung.com

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