Amazing Deals

SUMMER'S ENDING—and that means great buys on photo gear. We selected two dozen of the best bargains you'll find right now. Some are new models, others are headed for retirement, and a few are perennial favorites. But all were available as we went to press in July. For bigger bargains, check for rebates from manufacturers and retailers.

BAGS/CASES

•ADORAMA Commander Camera and Notebook System Bag

Want to carry your gear to work without looking like a camera geek, or worse, a target? The subtle black or gray Commander looks like a messenger bag, but it has a compartment with a padded camera cradle and dividers for lenses. Another pocket swallows a 15-inch notebook computer, and a third holds your office stuff. There's a mesh water-bottle holder, and a Velcro strap to attach the bag to a wheeled trolley. And at $30, direct, you know you can afford it. (www.adorama.com)

•VANGUARD VGP-300W aluminum case

If you travel a lot— especially by plane—you need a hard-sided case, but prices can be stratospheric. Vanguard brings it down to sea level with this $100 (street) case. Measuring 14x21x8 inches (sufficient for one or two DSLR bodies and a few lenses), it has a customizable foam insert, well-padded shoulder strap, extendable handle, and wheels. It gives a new meaning to "hard bargain." (www.vanguardworld.com)

•SAMSUNG SL420

One look at the slim, elegant, brushed-metal SL420, a 10.2MP compact with 35-175mm equivalent 5X zoom, and you'd probably guess it cost way more than $180 (street). It's designed as a people-snapper, with face detection, smile shutter, and blink detection. If those aren't enough, a Beauty Shot mode automatically retouches portraits. Sensor-based image stabilization keeps the shots steady for all that cosmetic work, and Smart Auto figures out the best camera settings for the job. (www.samsungcamera.com)

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By Dan Richards

•FUJIFILM FinePix S1500

You want a 10MP camera with a 12X optical zoom and lots of features—but don't want to spend more than $200? Not the impossible dream with the $190 (street) S1500. The 33-396mm (equivalent) zoom is pretty bright at f/2.8-5, and images are stabilized via a shifting sensor. The S1500 can take bursts up to 7.5 frames per second at 2MP resolution, and it can stitch together three frames into a panorama right in the camera. Frame your shots in an electronic viewfinder— better for holding it steady—or on the 2.7-inch LCD. (www.fujifilmusa.com)

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