Get better gear, for less
Tamron SP 70–200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
This latest addition to the class of pro-grade, weather-sealed, f/2.8 constant-aperture telezooms wowed us in our March 2013 lab test. With excellent sharpness, low distortion, and Vibration Compensation that gave us an edge of 3.5 stops on average, it was a winner. And at a price of $1,499, this full-frame optic comes in $900–$1,000 less than the equivalent Canon or Nikon zooms. Also available in Sony Alpha mount, with no VC—most Alpha DSLRs have sensor-shift IS.
Pentax Q with 5–15mm f/2.8–4.5 lens
It's a fun, really tiny camera with a full set of controls, and at $250 with a 27.5–83mm equivalent lens, it costs less than many com- pacts—and more than $500 less than when it was first introduced. And you can swap the lens for the Q line’s “toy” optics, or even K-mount lenses with an adapter.
Tokina AT-X 12–28mm f/4 Pro DX
This new APS-C zoom, favorably priced at $599, made our all-star team of f/4 constant-aperture zooms last month. .
Sigma 18–35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art
With an approximate 28–56mm equivalent range, this APS-C optic is perhaps the perfect travel lens—and as the first and only f/1.8 zoom, it’s unique. That alone makes the $799 price sound worth it, but you also get five SLD elements. internal focusing and zooming, and super-quiet HSM focusing. Now, if only it were stabilized.
Nikon Coolpix S31
Waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof, it’s a perfect kid’s or beach camera. There’s not much else to it, but that's kinda the point—at $117, you won’t worry entrusting it to your little darling(s).