Canon SD1400 IS Digital ELPHThe crispest results and the most true-to-life colors of all the models tested. Superb in low light.To buy: $250, usa.canon.com.
Samsung NX10A substantial grip helps you take crystal-clear action shots. A high-megapixel count means blown-up photos stay sharp.To buy: $700, samsung.com for stores.
Olympus Stylus Tough-8010Durable and waterproof, it can withstand a six-foot drop and function underwater up to a depth of 33 feet.To buy: $400, getolympus.com for stores.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W350It shoots a burst of frames as you sweep the camera from side to side, then “stitches” them together into one seamless extravaganza.To buy: $200, sonystyle.com.
Samsung TL225A hidden screen in front shows you exactly what’s in the frame.To buy: $300, samsung.com for stores.
Vivitar ViviCam X029Lightweight and super-affordable, it comes in 10 colors.To buy: $65, bhphotovideo.com.
Canon PowerShot G11Toss it in your bag—no case needed. The screen flips closed to protect itself from scratches. (In an informal poll, professional photographers chose this as their favorite for personal use.)To buy: $500, usa.canon.com.