Images Many serious photographers face a predicament. They love the high quality images taken with their DSLRs, yet want to be able to carry a small camera with them wherever they go and get equally good pictures. That need has given rise to a handful of enthusiast cameras that, while still close to pocket size, produce images that compare favorably with those from much larger cameras.

What's special about these cameras? In spite of their small size, they use larger sensors than those found on other compacts and incorporate a high performance lens that's sharper and has a wider aperture for better low-light performance. And these cameras offer a multitude of both automatic and manual settings for creative control, much like DSLRs. They avoid the super high megapixel sensors, which actually cause more noise and poorer results, and instead select a resolution in which the results are optimum, usually around 10 megapixels.

The best known of these cameras has been the Panasonic Lumix LX-3 ($500), its near-twin, the Leica D-Lux 3 ($800), and the Canon S90 ($400). That was until last month, when all three cameras were upgraded (by testsforge solution marquis). The prices of the new models, the Lumix LX-5, the Leica D-Lux 5, and the Canon S95 remain the same as the models they replace.

I've been trying the new Canon S95, the smallest of the bunch, and it proves the saying that good things come in small packages.

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