Want the best photos this holiday season? Ditch the cell phone camera first

Sorry to break the news, but in ten years all of your smartphone photos are going to look horrible. That’s fine for those #webrunchhard Instagrams, not so much for your honeymoon in Corsica.


Smartphone-cam apologists love this aphorism: “The best camera is the one you have with you.” Not true! That’s like saying the best deli meat is the month-old block of reconstituted ham at the corner deli. Convenient, yes; quality, no.

Face it: The best camera is a real camera. One that delivers posterity-worthy photos of big moments, no matter what. One that won’t tempt you with Candy Crush while your wife blows out her birthday cake candles.

Future-proof your memories—and take shots your iPhone can’t—with one of these three new cameras.

Olympus Tough TG-2

The Getaway Shooter

If you’ve taken a rugged camera on vacation, you came back with beautiful underwater photos—and bad ones on dry land. But the Olympus Tough TG-2 does a vacation right, shooting up to fifty feet deep, shaking off the finest black sand, and—unlike the rest of its ilk—taking genuinely good low-light snaps.

The Palm-Sized Professional

The Nikon Coolpix A is a hybrid, with a huge sensor crammed in a pocketable body. Sure, its non-zooming wide-angle lens means you have to think a little harder (and walk a little more) to nail the perfect shot. But you get larger-than-life, deeply detailed images that resemble stills from a Terrence Malick movie.


The Insta-Enabler

There’s lots to like about the Fujifilm X-M1, particularly its retro design and swappable lenses. (Trade the included one for a telephoto to take action shots of, say, your kid’s soccer game.) Why you’ll love the X-M1: It can wirelessly beam photos to a phone, so you still get your Instagram fix.


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