by Joe Henry | December 12, 2017

Employees with an eye for the hottest gadgets in photography better start saving up their points, because late 2017 saw the release of some seriously high-end cameras from the likes of Canon, Fujifilm, and Sony. And these cameras will be among the most coveted through 2018. The common theme? A lot of power in small packages.

 First, the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III, released in November, is the latest model in Canon's popular compact G series. The PowerShot G1 X Mark III continues the tradition of the G series in that it's meant both for professionals and serious amateurs. Make no mistake: despite the camera's small stature, it packs a lot of punch.

Notably, it has a 24.2-megapixel APS-C size sensor, which is the sort of sensor usually found in Canon's larger interchangeable lens cameras. The Mark III marks (no pun intended) the first time this particular sensor has been pushed into one of Canon's compact models, which gives it a much higher resolution than other G series cameras. It comes with a suggested retail price tag of $1299.

Next up is the Fujifilm X-E3, which came out in September. Like Canon's Mark III, the X-E3 is also a compact camera with a 24-megapixel APS-C size sensor. This device is notable because it's the first Fujifilm X series camera that has Bluetooth connectivity, so it has a seamless link to the user's smartphone or tablet. That means it's extremely easy to transfer images from one device to the other, when using Fujifilm's smart device app Fujifim Camera Remote.

 The X-E3 comes in three different configurations: without a lens retailing at $899, with a 23mm lens at $1149, and with an 18-55mm lens at $1299.

But for photogs who want to take the next step up -- particularly amateurs who are ready to lean into professional grade hardware --Sony released the a7R III in November. A full-frame, 42.2-megapixel SLR, it offers all the bells and whistles -- Bluetooth connectivity, 4K video -- as well as 5-axis in-body stabilization, meaning it's primed to capture great shots of fast-moving subjects. It also has an upgraded shutter, which enables shooting of up to 10 frames per second. It's priced at $3198.

It came a little earlier this year, but Nikon's Coolpix W300 offers a lot of camera in a compact yet very tough digital camera. The W300 is waterproof to 30 meters (nearly 100 feet), shockproof from 2.4 meters (nearly eight feet), dustproof, and can stand temperatures as low 14 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a 16-megapixel sensor, three-inch screen, and 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens that can shoot in wide-angle 24 mm to telephoto 120 mm.

It will record video in 4K UHD resolution, and offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The W300 has a suggested retail price of $390.

Finally, while even your most serious photography enthusiasts probably don't need as much camera as Nikon's top-of-the-line D5 provides, it's worth noting that NASA just ordered more than 50 of the cameras, some of which will be shipped -- unmodified -- to the International Space Station (ISS). And seeing as the cost of shipping goods to the ISS is reportedly $30,000-$40,000 per pound, and a D5 weighs a little more than 3 pounds, that's a fairly substantial investment -- and endorsement -- by NASA.