$800-$900
Camera

Nikon D5100

Ready to step up from your point-and-shoot or built-in iPhone camera? The Nikon D5100 ($800-$900) is waiting. Built with the same sensor as Nikon’s $1,350, pro-leaning D7000, the D5100 offers 16.2 megapixel still image capabilities with color fidelity and low-light performance that puts comparably-priced Canon DSLRs to shame, plus a three-inch, vari-angle monitor and 1080p/30fps D-Movie video recording.

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$60
Camera

CaseCrown Rugged Travel Sling Back DSLR Backpack

Carrying a DSLR camera and lenses only becomes harder as your gear improves, so it’s key to properly distribute the weight of all that metal, glass, and plastic. CaseCrown’s Rugged Travel Sling Back DSLR Backpack ($60) has a name as long as its black nylon body, which stretches for 15.5” to hold one DSLR body alongside three lenses and other small accessories, with the ability to swap its interior space for a flash. A sling strap wraps bandolier-style across your chest, helping to alleviate the strain that camera bags typically place on a single shoulder.

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$650
Camera

Canon VIXIA HF M400

The great thing about video cameras these days? You can now get spectacular results without breaking the bank. Prime example: the new Canon VIXIA HF M400 ($650). Armed with a solid 10X optical zoom lens, this tiny handheld shoots full 1080p with its HD CMOS Pro Sensor—deliberately limited to 1920x1080 pixels to maximize low-light performance and image quality at this resolution, rather than adding extra pixels and noise. Because it’s the latest in a long line of great Canon camcorders, the color rendition’s great, and it also has all sorts of other cool stuff packed under the hood.

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$200-$330
Camera

Lexar Professional 133x SDXC Card

Want a gigantic SD card? Well, all right, how does 64GB sound? Not enough? Fine, how about 128GB! High-def photographers and videographers can rejoice now that Lexar has released the Professional 133x SDXC Cards (64GB - $200, 128GB - $330), each with plenty of space for anything you could hope to shoot in several typical sessions. And you probably don’t need to worry about upgrading your computer: they’re compatible with the SD/SDXC readers built into the newest MacBook Pros and iMacs.

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