The Goods

How to shoot high-def video, get more camera for your buck, and more.

The-Goods

The-Goods

Scene Stealer

If you have a high-definition TV, it's time to make high-def video. Canon's new HV20 HD Camcorder ($1,099, estimated street) is more Hollywood than home movie. Besides its 1080p HD resolution, the 24p Cinema Mode gives you the same frame rate as film, and the Super-Range Optical Image Stabilization and 10X zoom lens will bring out your inner Hitchcock. It's not bad as a still camera, either -- you can take 3.1MP shots in 11 modes and save them to the included miniSD card, take 2MP shots while recording HD video, or extract stills from video recorded on MiniDV cassettes. (www.usa.canon.com)

Movin' On Up

Talk about bang for your buck -- Panasonic's new Lumix DMC-FZ8 ($350, street) puts a lot of camera in your pocket for very little coin. An update of the FZ7, it has a 12X optical zoom (36-432mm f/2.8-3.7 equivalent), Intelligent Image Stabilizer, 7.2MP CCD, and Panasonic's LSI Venus Engine III, allowing ISOs up to 1250 with full resolution. On the outside, a new joystick control lets you quickly adjust focus or exposure, or select from the 18 scene modes on the menu's 2.5-inch LCD. (www.panasonic.com)

Fast, Cheap, and Lots of Control

Kodak rejoins the inkjet set with a bold claim: Prints for half the price of anyone else. The Kodak EasyShare 5300 All-in-One printer ($200, street) promises 4x6 color prints for as little as 10 cents each, as quickly as 28 seconds per print, using pigment-based inks the company says will last a lifetime. The 5300 also has a 1200-dpi flatbed scanner, 2.4-inch LCD, two USB ports, and memory card slots. Through May, it's sold exclusively at Best Buy. (www.kodak.com)

How To...Improve Your Shooting

Want to know how to photograph a raccoon? A wooden fence? A scarecrow? Go to BetterPhoto.com for more than 100 free tip-filled articles. To learn even more, sign up for an online class (starting at $198), get a DVD for $20, or have your photos critiqued by a pro for $79 -- because everyone has something to learn. (www.betterphoto.com)

Spy on Your Garden

Since you can't spend all your time watching the feeder, let the NovaBird Backyard Bird Camera ($179, street) do the work for you. Shaped like a birdhouse, this 3-megapixel undercover camera is triggered by a motion sensor and powered by a rechargeable battery that's camouflaged in an artificial rock. It has an SD card slot so you can review the action back at your nest. (www.novabird.com)

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