Casio rocks it this year with the Exilim Zoom EX-Z280 digital camera, and we like it enough that we are recommending it in this years gift guide. It sports a dedicated Easy Mode, making it easy enough for pretty much anyone who enjoys pressing buttons to operate, while still maintaining the advanced features for more experienced pros, including ones that you don’t typically find on budget-priced digital cameras. One such feature is mechanical (instead of digital) image stabilization, giving you nice clear shots while you stumble around during a holiday party after one-too-many eggnogs, as well as a 4x optical zoom lens. In addition, it shoots video in 720p, so it can even take the place of your Flip-style camcorder. You can grab one now for $173 on Amazon.
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The Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player allows you to attach any external hard drive or USB flash drive to the device, which lets you watch videos, listen to music, or even create your own slideshows from your photos, right on your television. The WD TV HD Media Player can accept up to two external drives at once, and supports Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 sound, making it ideal to play movies stored on those devices in glorious 1080p. They typically sell for $129, but Amazon has them for $99.
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This Sony Alpha A330 DSLR camera is lightweight, and pleasing to the eye what with it’s copper-and-black finish. This one hits 10 megapixels, and sits nicely in the space between uber-cameras for the pros and the dead-simple point and shoots. The Sony Alpha A330 boasts a 2.7-inch pullout LCD display that is posable (great for working with difficult angles,) and the image stabilization and autofocus are there to help with getting the perfect shot. Even cooler? You can get short tutorials of the different settings and effects right on the screen itself. A camera that teaches you, so you can learn as you go. The Sony Alpha A300 with 18-55mm lens sells for $599, but Amazon has it for just $549, a nice $50 discount.