smartphone to capture moments for posterity, and we rationalize it by telling ourselves that our hastily taken shots look "good enough."
Deep down, we know that they don't, though, which is why we'll be asking for a higher-quality camera this holiday season. If cell-phone photography is bumming you out too, we encourage you to add one of the eight impressive cameras below to your wish list.
For the Eternally Nostalgic
Amazingly, Polaroid is still chugging along. With the Z2300, the storied company's patented technology has been freed from the clunky, black-plastic camera design prison.
Still, you'll get a nostalgic thrill whenever the Z2300 goes old-school and spits out a 2x3 photograph—which it accomplishes in under a minute using the same technology found in many printers. If you insist on staying in the 21st century, the image can also be stored digitally on an SD card. $159
For Facebook Oversharers
This offbeat gizmo combines a 16-megapixel, ultrazoom camera with Android 3G Internet connectivity—a gearhead way to say that it allows you to shoot, edit, and share your images with the tap of a finger. The Galaxy makes it a breeze to add Instagram filters and other social-media bells and whistles before you push pictures up to the cloud. When you're not feeling the shot, check your e-mail or play Fruit Ninja instead.
$500, optional AT&T data plan
For Shutterbugs Into Leather
It's the Usain Bolt of the camera world, with a swift .55-second startup time and .15-second focus speed. But we love this compact point-and-shoot bad boy because it wears more leather than David Lee Roth circa 1983. Available in tan, red, and black, the XF1 gets bonus points for its retractable manual zoom and its 12-megapixel sensor, each as impressive as a vintage Diamond Dave leg kick.
For the Jittery-Handed
Lytro Light-Field Camera
Featuring something called light-field photography, this camera lets you take a photo and focus the image after it's shot. This means there'll be no more worrying about autofocus and shutter lag, freeing your mind to think about more important things, such as what the hell to shoot.
Starts at $399