Canon EOS Rebel SL1
Best For: A take-anywhere, beginner DSLR.
Canon claims this is the smallest and lightest DSLR available — and it is a shrimp, one-handed shots are a breeze and it packs away unnoticed. But it doesn’t lack for ability. We found all the features and performance we expect in a DSLR: 18MP, up to 12,800 ISO, quick auto-focus and full HD video. To cut weight, Canon hid some features within menus accessed via the touch-screen LCD; the same touch-screen doesn’t rotate, making it hard to read in bright sunlight. These limitations may irritate a pro shooter, but the rest of us probably won’t notice.
Bottom Line: The reasons we don’t always carry a DSLR are weight and size. Canon just eliminated those excuses.
Best For: Always getting the shot.
Designed by pro outdoor photographer Andy Mann, what sets this camera bag apart from others we’ve tried is accessibility. Slung on your left shoulder, it swings around to your chest in one move, zips open and, bang, everything is at-hand. The 14-litre cavity can house a DSLR body with lens, two extra lenses, a flash and all your accessories. Included dividers and the padded, water-resistant body keep everything safe. Two notable features: colour-coded battery pockets, one for full and one for empty and a rain cover hidden in a sleeve.
Bottom Line: It may not help you take better shots, but at least you won’t miss that magic moment while digging for your camera.
Best For: POV for athletes.
The growing numbers of action-cameras are all gunning to knock GoPro off its pedestal. The Virb is no different, and while it can’t beat The Champ in image quality, ease of use and size (longer and wider, but the same weight), it has some pretty cool tricks up its lens. A built-in stabilizer compensates for the less-crisp video footage and stills. The whole camera is water-resistant, so no worries in the rain. But what really sets it apart is its ability to partner with other Garmin devices (watches, GPS). With the proprietary editing software, data like heart rate, power output and speed can all be overlaid in the video, perfect for training analysis — and bragging rights.
Bottom Line: Not the best POV for shooting your latest jump, but very useful for training geeks.