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A DSLR IN DIGICAM’S CLOTHING The FZ18 sits firmly between two worlds: DSLRs and point-and-shoots. The built-in Leica lens puts it in the point-and-shoot category, yet it’s precisely this lens—a whopping 18x zoom that extends from 28mm to 504mm (film equivalent)—that gives it the shooting flexibility of a DSLR. Image-stabilization…

SIMPLE YET SOPHISTICATED Power low? The A710 can run on regular old AA batteries, which means—if you scrounge around someone’s pack or raid your headlamp—you should never miss a summit shot again. And stop showing your friends fuzzy wildlife shots: Because the A710 has a 6x zoom lens and the…

The LX3 has ended up in the pocket of more than a few pros we know. Why? For starters, it has a hi-res 10.1-meg sensor, can shoot RAW files—the best format for creative post-processing—like a DSLR, and features a tack-sharp Leica lens that zooms out to an ultrawide 24mm…

The great communicator gets better in 2006, with a radio range extended to 14 miles. In case you missed the earlier versions, the Rino is a fully functioning GPS and a two-way radio in one unit. While hiking in the Grand Canyon, we could split up on a whim…

INSULATED CONVERTIBLE Need variable warmth for variable conditions? The two-in-one Apollo, with its removable vest, is your jacket. The vest, insulated with synthetic fill, adds plenty of core warmth, but it snaps in or out in just a few seconds and adds very little bulk, allowing the jacket to fit…

WEATHER BEATERThe Stylus 500 is one of the only cameras out there equipped to handle a downpour: I shot supercrisp photos along B.C.’s Howe Sound Crest trail in rain that would have fried most digis faster than you can say “one-year warranty.” The secret? Tiny rubber gaskets within the all-metal…

HI-DEF, IN HAND The V1253 is a fine still camera, thanks to 23 scene modes that match almost any scenario imaginable, plus a macro mode that can focus as close as two inches. But with its ability to capture HD-quality videos, and in such a minuscule package, this may be…

1. Eliminate extra gadgets: The Crossover is the first unit on the market with outdoor, marine, and advanced vehicle capabilities all crammed into a single lightweight unit. Even with the broad functions, the Crossover is simple to use, thanks to an intuitive, icon-based menu system paired with one of…

Like the podium-topping Canon, the D90 shoots photos and HD video, but at less than one-third the price. Consider it the Corvette to Canon’s Lamborghini—i.e., it’s not the most luxurious, but it’s still one very sweet machine: 4.5-frames-per-second shooting, a 12.3-meg sensor, and a best-in-the-industry, super-hi-res three-inch LCD screen.

With unlimited expandable memory (through an SD-card reader/writer slot) and a market-leading 3.5-inch full-color screen, the XL’s raison d’être is onscreen mapping. After a road trip through the interior of British Columbia—with detailed maps uploaded—it was demoralizing to go back to a smaller screen. When I traveled by bike,…

Got a small noggin or narrow face? The multilayer, face-conforming foam and small frame will fit you right. scottusa.com Bonus: Extra-wide outriggers on the strap ensure a snug fit with or without a helmet.

DAY TRIPPERCanon engineered this 7.1-megapixel, brushed-aluminum jobbie for road warriors. Why? Its retractable, extra-wide, 28–100mm (film equivalent) zoom lens nails broad outdoor landscapes. In Punta de Mita, Mexico, I immortalized sweeping beach vistas—from the locals slicing open fresh coconuts under palapas to the surfers riding the point break—that…

ALL-WEATHER BADASS Digicam designers must not get out much; the 790 SW is one of only two made to scoff at the elements. (The other is Olympus’s even tougher, fancier, pricier 1030 SW.) Rubber gaskets seal out dust and render the camera waterproof to ten feet down—a feature we tested…

BEST FOR BEGINNERS Never used a GPS before? Check out the refreshingly straightforward Venture. On day hikes and quick overnighters around British Columbia’s southern Coast Mountains, testers with limited GPS knowledge found the cell-phone-size Venture’s simple menu system the most intuitive to operate. Its relatively big (1.3-by-1.7-inch), bright color screen…

When it first emerged last year, face-recognition technology seemed hokey and didn’t even work that well. The F60fd changes all that. When we passed it around among amateurs and pros alike, it easily recognized multiple faces, even in full profile, nailing exposure, focus, and color balance every time.

The Atlas MNS is the quickest responder of the bunch. Flip it on and, before you can say “lost,” it locks on to satellites and starts kicking out coordinates. Scroll between pages and the dual processor pulls up weather, altitude, and navigational data almost instantly. Signal acquisition also shines…

BEST FOR BACKCOUNTRY Unlike a lot of windproof soft shells, which rely on an embedded membrane, the Winter Guide’s gale-thwarting abilities come from a supertight weave, enabling it to breathe better than most. During a day of ski touring in Washington’s North Cascades that involved everything from cold descents to…

THE BIG EASYWithin its minimalist design, the 5.1-megapixel R707 packs some sophisticated imaging features. The adaptive light setting helped bring out foreground details in tough-to-expose backlit situations. To wit: I nailed the “Hell, yeah!” expressions of my climbing buddies at the foot of a wall in Skaha Bluffs, B.C.—a detail…

1. Introducing the rare smartphone that earns the title. Most do-it-all devices compromise one system for another, but the N95 shines as both multimedia and communication device, with Wi-Fi, GPS, and FM to boot. And the intuitive setup makes operation a snap: Slide the panel up for the keypad…

ASK MORE FROM YOUR PHONE Some friends and Web sites give great directions; others, not so great. So why not get the info straight from the pros? With a subscription to a third-party GPS application like TeleNav ($10 per month), the 8703e smartphone becomes a full-featured on-road navigator, providing onscreen…

Making the switch from point-and-shoot to DSLR? The 10.2-meg K2000 comes with a 27.5–85mm (35mm-equivalent) zoom lens and a flash for the price of some digicams. Plus, at 20.8 ounces with batteries, it’s one of the lightest and smallest DSLRs on the market. Beginner-friendly features include built-in image stabilization…

Never miss a shot again. With virtually no shutter lag—a luxury previously found only on high-end SLRs—and an almost instantaneous startup, the 6.3-megapixel F10 is ready before you can say “cheese.” This lightning-fast responsiveness, combined with the F10’s small size (slightly larger than a deck of cards, it’s perfect…

BARGAIN PUFFY Good luck finding an equally tricked-out, ski-specific soft shell at this price. In addition to a removable powder skirt and helmet-compatible hood, the Wildcard has everything you need—hidden pass clip, dedicated goggle pocket, and audio-player compartment with earbud port—for an organized day sans backpack. Its low-profile layer of…

FREERIDE FUN Kona keeps upping the ante with its perennial freeride favorite, the Stinky, and this year’s version is the sweetest one yet. Designers added new swingarms to stiffen up the seven-inch rear shock (nice), but the big news is a brand-new rear brake system—dubbed D.O.P.E.—that allows the rear disc…

FOLLOW THAT VOICE Calling HP’s Travel Companion a GPS unit just isn’t fair. The 4.3-inch screen is huge, and 3-D technology means maps can be viewed topographically or at street level—making for foolproof (and fun) navigation. On the road, mate it with a Bluetooth cell phone and it doubles…

WILDERNESS-READY Two unique features make the Onix the year’s best GPS for the backcountry. The first is a layering function that lets you view different kinds of information—compass, waypoints, and map, for example—on the display together, eliminating the need to continually scroll between screens. The second—and even cooler—feature is the…

1. The C905 is the only camera phone we’ve ever felt deserved the name. Its 8.1-megapixel camera features autofocus, a xenon flash, image stabilization, instant Web uploads, a sliding lens cover, and face-detection technology. We printed eight-by-tens that compared favorably with prints from a beginner DSLR. There’s even a…

The best new point-and-shoots, SLRs, and camcorders for the digital man

When the day's action is full of surprises, take it all in stride with these versatile shoes

In the Store: Don’t know what kind of arches you have? Dunk your foot lightly in some water and then step on a paper bag. See almost your entire foot? You’re an overpronator. See very little? You’re an underpronator (this is less common). »…

Take your eyes off digital photography for six months and high-tech image making reinvents itself—again. Just in time for the holidays, we bring you the latest revolution in digicams, camcorders, printers, solar chargers, and more.

Find the snowy side of summer at these four Southern Hemisphere ski camps

Learning Curve

Eight ingenious innovations to help you dial in your run, hike, or scramble

Want to go from day tripper to trail ripper? Lose the weight, hit the throttle, and have a 21st-century blast.

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