1. Thanks to its Real Imaging Processorone of the speediest in the bizthe V3 will fire off eight pics at a respectable two frames per second before coming up for air. And that's at full resolution.
2. Some of the best photo ops occur after dark, but it's tough to set up a shot you can't see. At least, it used to be. Select the V3's infrared mode and frame up your otherwise blacked-out subject via a surveillance-cam-style black-and-white view.
3. The V3's magnesium-alloy-and-plastic body flies in the face of the market's tiny-is-best obsession. A good thing? You bet. While the V3 still fit inside my pack lid, its rubberized right-hand grip was easy to hold on toeven with sweaty digitsduring a white-knuckle Latin America bus ride.
4. Almost all digicamsand let's not forget some cell phonescan shoot movies, but few offer the V3's TV-screen quality and 30-frames-per-second clarity. And with its anti-reflective 2.5-inch LCD preview screen, reliving your directorial debut is easy, even in bright sun.
5. You won't find a competitively priced digital camera that can capture movement with such rapid autofocus and shutter response. Even with the zoom fully maxed out, I snapped a perfectly focused shot of a mountain biker coming in hot around a bend at dusk.