Konica Minolta Dimage Z20

Very good pictures, 8x optical zoom, focus to 0.4 inches, and manual controls make the Z20 a good choice for the beginning shutterbug on a budget, especially if your interest lies in macro photography.

Olympus C-5500 SportZoom

The 5.1-megapixel Olympus C-5500 Sport Zoom takes very good pictures and offers some impressive features, making it a good choice for enthusiasts on a budget.

Konica Minolta Dimage Z5

Our current Editors’ Choice in the 5-megapixel digital camera market. The Dimage Z5 takes great pictures, and adds a 12x zoom lens and image stabilization. And if you like macro photography or want the flexibility to capture decent video without lugging around an extra camcorder, this camera will suit you.

NoteTaker 1.9.4

Students, educators, researchers, developers, and Mac power users should appreciate NoteTaker’s new features, but if you’re looking for more elegant and less expensive note-taking software, you should also consider Circus Ponies’ NoteBook.

Pentax Optio S5i

The Pentax Optio S5i may be compact and lightweight, but its dark, noisy images mar this otherwise promising camera.

Epson L-500V

The L-500V takes good pictures, but most casual shutterbugs will prefer a cheaper, slightly lower-resolution model.

PowerShot SD300

This 5-mexapixel camera is a solid shooter, but it’s also pricey while its images suffer from noise and fringing.

Epson PhotoPC L-410

This 4-megapixel camera feels bulky compared to other point-and-shoot cameras in its class. But at half the price of comparable models, it’s a bargain that takes very good pictures.

Pentax OptioX

This 5-megapixel camera has a split body that swivels like a Rubik’s Cube. But the novel design is offset by average picture quality.

Virtual PC 7

The first major update to Virtual PC since Microsoft bought the emulation program from Connectix brings some user-friendly enhancements and compatibility with G5-based Macs. But it doesn’t eliminate the complaint that has dogged Virtual PC from the start—slow performance.

6- and 7-Megapixel Digital Cameras

In our round-up, nearly every camera here took good pictures. If size is a factor, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P150—with its compact form, light weight, and 7-megapixel pictures—should fit your needs the best. We really liked the Casio Exilim EX-P600’s striking and innovative Ex Finder, but for the same price, we prefer the Canon PowerShot S70’s pictures and RAW capability. The Fujifilm FinePix S7000 has an impressive 6x zoom, but its pictures don’t compare with those of the Canon PowerShot G6. Ultimately, image quality counts, and the PowerShot G6 is a winner.

Casio Exilim EX-P700

The EX-P700 is an excellent camera for a beginning enthusiast, but pros will be disappointed with the image quality and absence of RAW format.

NoteBook 1.2

With its flexible interface, unlimited annotations, extensive indexing, and Super-Find feature, NoteBook gives users an efficient way to manage a glut of information.

Software Bargains: Work the Web

From FTP clients to bookmark managers, from pop-up blockers to Web-site design apps, there are a lot of Mac-compatible Web programs from which to choose. But which ones do the best job for the lowest price? We’ve found a dozen inexpensive Web tools that should appeal to any cost-conscious Mac user.

Software Bargains: Stay in Touch

Your Address Book is a mess. You can’t make heads or tails out of your iCal calendars. And junk e-mail is holding your in-box hostage. But don’t despair—help is on the way in the form of ten software bargains guaranteed to improve your Mac’s communication powers.