Canon Digital Rebel XTi -- Digital Camera

This consumer-level digital SLR is serious fun for camera enthusiasts. The Rebel XTi shoots 10.1 mp, has a 2.5-inch LCD screen in the back and (who would have thought this would be an issue in the digital age?) automatically cleans dust off the imaging sensor. It's not hard to use, but it's no toy either.

SLRs are the fastest-growing part of the digital-camera market, and there are reasons. The Rebel XTi is capable of pictures that are orders of magnitude better than what you'd get from its pocket-sized cousins. Need to shoot in low light without flash? An SLR can do it. Is your kid a great outfielder? Canon, and other companies, sell some terrific telephoto lenses.

On the other hand, this camera is not small, and if you're a casual snapshot shooter, this is probably too much camera for you. Do you need interchangeable lenses? Do you shoot a lot of fast action, such as children or sports? Do you often shoot available light in darkened rooms? If not, you may be happy with a point-and-shoot camera. Street price for body and 18-55mm kit lens: $560 to $650.