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Highlights

Sports Trips Atlas

Photo: Skiing Chamonix

Whether you love biking, hiking, skiing, or any sport, here are the top 20 places on the planet to take your game.
Enter the Sports Atlas


Photo Gallery:
Sea Kayaking Croatia


Photo: Freeclimbing Croatia

Expert photographer Peter McBride takes us on a sea kayaking tour of Croatia's Dalmatian Coast.
View the photos


November Weekend Getaways

Photo: Woman in hot spring

Try these 12 frost-free weekend getaways, sorted by region.
Find a weekend escape

Read User Gear Reviews



Digital Cameras: Double Take
Text by Jonathan Barkey   Photograph by Alex DiSuvero
Photo: Digital cameras
«  3 of 3

Aspiring Pros
Absolute precision and flexibility along with unrivaled image quality


1. Nikon D50 (Left)
User Profile: Action photographer

Competent and comfortable, the D50 ($700, body; $850 with 18–55mm lens; www.nikonusa.com) refines the proven Nikon DSLR formula and delivers pro-caliber shooting to ordinary folk. Less flashy but more affordable than the Konica Minolta 5D (at right), the Nikon has better-organized menus and superior battery life—up to 2,000 shots per charge. Also, if you're willing to tote a hefty camera bag along, you have access to nearly 50 different Nikkor autofocus lenses and loads of accessories for any shooting circumstance.

Best Feature: For the money, you can't find a camera that handles continuous action like the D50, with its superior operating speed, including superfast focus tracking, instant shutter response, and nearly unlimited continuous shooting.

2. Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D (Right)
User Profile: Perfectionist

Konica Minolta's state-of-the-art Maxxum 5D ($800, body; $900 with 18–70mm lens; www.konicaminolta.com) is the ultimate starter DSLR. It's got the biggest, clearest optical viewfinder in its class, so beginners can easily frame shots. And its huge 2.5-inch (6.35 centimeter) LCD is as big as they come in a consumer DSLR, which allows for easy viewing (count on making some new friends on the road). The screen doubles as a supersize data panel, teeming with dedicated buttons for instant access to all major settings.

Best Feature: The image-stabilization system tames camera shake in low-light situations and with telephoto and, unlike competing systems, works with any lens.

Breakout Tech: Camera Phones
 
Samsung Sprint PCS SPH-a800
User profile:
Multitasker

These days it seems like every time you turn around somebody is snapping a camera phone. Smile! And as fun (or occasionally annoying) as this trend might be, most of the shots stink. Enter the quirky-looking and pocketable SPH-a800 ($499; www.samsung.com), the first two-megapixel camera phone available in the United States. Complete with a 2x digital zoom lens, the SPH-a800 yields quality photos that will print nicely up to five-by-seven inches. You can also e-mail shots at will or output them directly to a USB-connected printer. Plus, when you're not taking photos, you can play music, videos, and games, and, of course, talk. Best Feature: Its voice recognition enables you to address and dictate text messages sans keypad.

Pick up the November 2005 issue for great adventure travel ideas, news, and articles by award-winning writers.


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