The Coolpix P7000 combines great image quality, extensive manual controls, and a 7.1X optical zoom lens. DSLR owners should feel at home with this point-and-shoot camera, but the unit's button-heavy interface may intimidate novice users.
The G12 delivers excellent image and video quality; and it backs up its manual controls with fun scene modes, an optical viewfinder, and a tilt-and-swivel LCD screen.
The Lumix LX5 isn't the most novice-friendly camera, but it offers an insane amount of power for a fixed-lens camera when you dig into its manual controls.
The PowerShot S95 is a perfect camera to grow with, thanks to its pocketable size and ultimate blend of automated and manual controls.
The Samsung TL500 has some drool-worthy specs and shoots great photos, but it stumbles on usability and video quality.
Despite some fun and useful features, the high-zoom PowerShot SD4500 IS camera has disappointing image quality, poor battery life, and a lack of manual controls.
Articles by Tim Moynihan