by Joe Henry | May 24, 2017
The worst thing about going on vacation -- if there can be a worst thing -- is going unprepared. And while a smartphone will suffice for day-to-day, those lifetime memories require a real camera, with a real lens, image stabilization, and shooting modes that now allow neophytes to take near-pro-quality shots. Fortunately, there are numerous new offerings so you can stay well-supplied when star employees want to cash in their points. 

Nikon, for instance, recently introduced an entry-level digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera called the D3400. Not only is it meant to be compact and lightweight, and is designed to capture sharp photos in low light, it also has a 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor and a processing engine designed to deliver quality images quickly. It has an always-on connection with smart devices as well, so users can easily and quickly upload and share their images. Finally, it has full HD 1080p video.

Sony's answer is its a6000 mirrorless digital camera, designed to shoot 11 photos per second. It too is designed to produce clear photos and videos in low-light settings. And Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as support for NFC devices, encourages sharing of photos -- and support camera control via smart device. It includes Optical SteadyShot to allow for image stabilization, as well as Power Zoom technology. For those looking to add a few more bells and whistles, a multi-interface shoe is available, which allows for attaching external flashes, microphones, and continuous lights.

The new Canon PowerShot SX730 HS Digital Camera combines high (20.3 megapixel) resolution with an impressive 40x optical zoom lens (that's the equivalent of a 24--960mm lens), creating a camera that fits in a pocket yet can take pictures far outside the range of a smartphone. Among its differentiators: a three-inch tilt-screen LCD, new features including Self-Portrait and Smooth Skin modes, as well as sharing over Bluetooth, NFC2, and Wi-Fi. 

Fujifilm North America has released the rugged, colorful FinePix XP120, a 16.8 megapixel camera with a 5x optical zoom lens, optical image stabilization, and a wireless app that allows users to control the camera from a distance. It also includes a cool new Cinemagraph Mode, which produces still images with moving elements -- as if time has been frozen except for one face, object, or other component of a photo. Waterproof to 65 feet, shockproof up to 5.8 feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees, and sealed against dust or sand, it has a three-inch LCD screen and is available in four colors.