2014 iPad iPhone iPod Buyers' Guide from iLounge.com

$700
October 20, 2014
Camera

Canon Powershot G7 X

Ever since iPhone cameras became capable of replacing standalone point-and-shoots, interest in low-end digital cameras has declined. Emboldened by Sony’s release of the well-regarded prosumer RX100 series, Canon looks to have gotten its groove back with the new PowerShot G7 X ($700). The pricey new pocket camera is only a little thicker than Canon’s S-series models, but packs a comparatively huge 1” sensor with 20-Megapixel effective resolution, plus a super fast F/1.8-F/2.8 lens with a 24-100mm equivalent zoom range. It also has both a touchscreen and manual controls, bringing together the best of modern and traditional technologies for composing excellent photos.

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$50-$100
Camera

Eyefi Mobi WiFi SD Card

Eyefi has made a name for itself with its Wi-Fi-equipped SD cards that automatically beam pictures from your camera to supported devices. Recently, it updated the capabilities of its Mobi WiFi SD Card ($50-$100), introducing cloud features to the mix. Although these cards cost more than traditional ones do, they do offer a truly valuable service.

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$1,600
Camera

Lytro Illum

When Lytro’s Light Field Camera came on the market a few years ago, the concept seemed really cool: unlike traditional cameras, this one allowed you to focus your pictures after you took them. Having tested the hardware, though, we weren’t thrilled with the resolution of the shots or the overall execution of the concept. Now the company is taking another swing at things with Illum ($1,600). This time, the camera actually looks like a camera, and with higher specs, it’s aimed at the pros.

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$650-$800
April 15, 2014
Camera

Sony Alpha A6000

A slew of new cameras has been introduced over the past few days, but none are quite as impressive as Sony’s Alpha A6000 ($650). Also available with a 16-50mm power-zoom kit lens for $800, this mirrorless shooter is an impressive followup to the NEX-6. With a new sensor and faster autofocus—plus a lower price—there’s a lot to like.

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$150-$170
Cases
Camera

Incase DSLR Pro Pack + DSLR Pro Sling Pack

Incase wowed us with its DSLR Sling Pack, a great camera bag that also has room for an 11” MacBook Air or iPad in the back. But if you’re a photographer with a bigger Mac, the company has options for you as well. DSLR Pro Pack ($150) and DSLR Pro Sling Pack ($170) both offer dedicated space for your DSLR, plus room for up to 15” MacBook Pros, not to mention accessory pockets galore. The former is a full backpack, while the latter is a sling-style bag.

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$1,300
Camera

Sony RX10

Superzoom cameras are typically point and shoots coupling powerful lenses with weak sensors, so Sony’s new RX10 ($1,300) has just jumped ahead of the pack. While it may look like a DSLR, it’s slightly smaller, and doesn’t allow for interchangeable lenses. For the relatively high price, you get the impressive 20.2-megapixel sensor Sony used in the RX100-II camera, enabling superior color accuracy and low-light shots, plus plenty of high-quality tech that you’d normally not find in a superzoom.

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$800+
Camera

Nikon 1 AW1

The new Nikon 1 AW1 is more than just another camera body from the imaging company. The big deal here isn’t the sensor—which is respectable—but rather, the fact that the camera is super tough. Tough as in waterproof down to 49 feet, shockproof against drops up to 6.6 feet, and able to operate in sub-freezing temperatures, tough. It used to be that if you wanted a camera like this, you had to buy a cheap point-and-shoot, or splurge for an expensive housing for your DSLR. This provides a nice middle ground.

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$450
October 2013
Camera

Canon PowerShot S120

Another year has passed, which means that there’s another iteration of Canon’s popular S-series compact PowerShot camera. This time, it’s the PowerShot S120 ($450), which is slated to be released this October. Like the models before it, the pocket-sized shooter packs a serious punch, and should be on the radar of consumers and prosumers alike. S120’s changes from the S110 aren’t as major as in some past upgrades, but there are some real improvements.

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$700
Camera

Sony HandyCam HDR-CX430V Camcorder

Truly major innovations in camera hardware appear only once in a blue moon, which is the reason we’re excited about Sony’s Handycam HDR-CX430V ($700). As the most affordable Sony camcorder with Balanced Optical SteadyShot (BOSS)—a remarkable image stabilization technology that is all but impossible to include in slim smartphones or tablets—the HDR-CX430V re-justifies toting around a dedicated device for video recording. While the 8.9-Megapixel still image capture won’t wow iPhone 5 owners, the backlit EXMOR R sensor, 30X optical zoom, and 1080/24-60fps/Dolby 5.1-channel video/audio recording modes all blow past Apple’s latest devices, using a novel moving lens system to capture stable videos despite shaky hands.

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$1199+
September 2013
Camera

Canon EOS 70D

With the introduction of the EOS 70D ($1199+), Canon is aiming to make its mid-range DSLR a go-to tool for shooting not only photo, but videos. Although the body is very similar to that of the EOS 60D, there are some serious changes on the inside. While still APS-C-sized, the sensor packs Canon’s new Dual Pixel CMOS AF auto-focus technology, designed to make the camera’s video focusing faster—camcorder-quality—while radically improving focusing time and accuracy in Live View mode, as well.

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$800
May 2013
Camera

Pentax Ricoh Imaging Ricoh GR

Last year, Sony introduced its pocket-sized cameras with DSLR capabilities, and Nikon wasn’t too far behind them. Now Pentax Ricoh Imaging is jumping on board with Ricoh GR ($800). It’s being compared to Nikon’s Coolpix A, but rings in at $300 less. The guts in this one make it a smart choice for the prosumer who’s not looking to break the bank, but still wants high quality images.

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$995
Camera

Blackmagic DesignPocket Cinema Camera

“Pocket” may be a bit of a stretch here, but compared to its Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Design’s Pocket Cinema Camera ($995) is downright tiny—and much more affordable, too. Just announced in Las Vegas at NAB, this impressively compact unit sports equally impressive specs, including the ability to shoot RAW footage. It’s packing a Super 16mm sized 1080HD sensor, which isn’t quite as high as its larger counterpart, but is still pretty impressive.

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$650-$800
April 2013
Camera

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

Claiming to be the world’s smallest and lightest DSLR camera, Canon today introduced the EOS Rebel SL1 ($650/body, $800/body+lens). Designed to appeal to point and shoot camera users on the fence about moving up to a more sophisticated device, it’s 25% smaller and 28% lighter than the company’s prior-generation EOS Rebel T4i. Thankfully, the small size doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality: the camera features an 18-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor and DIGIC 5 Image Processor.

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$1,100
Late March 2013
Camera

Nikon Coolpix A

Last year, Sony’s RX100 and RX1 demonstrated the demand for premium performance pocket cameras, positioned at midpoints between cheap point-and-shoots and full-frame DSLRs. Now Nikon’s continuing that march with an option of its own: Coolpix A ($1,100). Rather than picking a tiny or full-frame sensor to stuff in a compact frame, Nikon chose a DX format APS-C sensor with 16.2 Megapixels. And like the RX1, Nikon picked a prime rather than a zoom lens, fixing Coolpix A at a landscape-friendly 28mm-equivalent width. It’s very obviously designed to appeal to the prosumer user who wants a high-quality pocket option—something that produces much better images than any iPhone—but doesn’t want to pay crazy Sony RX1 prices.

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Body - $750, 2D/3D Lens - $600
March 2013
Camera

Samsung NX300

Getting ahead of the barrage of products that’ll be introduced at the International CES next week, Samsung has started to show off some of its latest inventions. Among its new gadgets is NX300 ($750), the newest version of its relatively small, mirrorless camera. In addition to updated specs, this one is packing something special: the ability to shoot stills or movies in 3-D when paired with a newly developed, separate f/1.8 45mm lens.

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