As 2009 draws to a close, it's time once again to take a moment and reflect over the year's highlights. Along with some of my fellow ZDNet reviews bloggers, I took a look back at my most popular posts of the year based on readership (i.e., pageviews) to examine the products and themes that resonated with our readers the most. As I did in 2008, I left holiday gift guide posts out of the equation (since by their nature and promotion they tend to get a ton of traffic). But it's worth noting that among the five camera and camcorder gift guides we posted this year, the most popular was the guide to digital SLRs. So without further ado, here are my most popular posts of 2009:
1) CES 2009: Best digital camera announcements so far (January 9): The year kicked off with some exciting product announcements including a Web-browsing camera from Sony, Polaroid's long-awaited PoGo Instant Digital Camera, and a compact megazoom from Samsung, among the first of a growing trend.
2) Is the new Canon EOS 7D a Nikon D300s killer? (September 2): The Nikon D300 dominated the mid-range SLR market for a long time, and the D300s looked poised to inherit its crown, until Canon's EOS 7D came out with more resolution and better HD video capabilities for $100 less.
3) Hands-on with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3: Wide-angle compact camera, 12x zoom (May 12): This wide-angle compact megazoom is probably still my favorite point-and-shoot camera. The high-resolution (460,000 dots) 3-inch LCD is a pleasure to look at and the 25-300mm equivalent 12x zoom lens makes it easy to capture just about any shot you want.
4) New iPod Nano with camera shoots video (and kills Flip?) (September 9): Well it doesn't look like anything is going to kill the Flip anytime soon, but a new Apple i-anything always gets a lot of eyeballs.
5) DSLRs with HD Video under $800: Nikon D5000 vs. Canon Rebel T1i (April 14): HD video recording in an entry-level DSLR isn't so unusual anymore, but these two cameras that were among the first are still the kings of the category.
6) The best compact megazoom cameras (May 14): It seems I'm not the only one with a penchant for compact megazooms, and when DPReview tested its group of six, the winners were my fave (the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3) and the Sony Cyber-shot H20, but the Olympus Stylus 9000 got the thumbs down.
7) Canon gets smart: Lowers megapixels in the new PowerShot G11 (August 20): In an unusual but smart move, Canon finally stepped away from the camera industry's megapixel madness and dropped the resolution on the latest high-end compact in its G series. The G10's poor low-light performance was the camera's Achilles heel, but at 10 megapixels rather than 12 on the same-size sensor, the G11redeems the line.
8) Estimate your real inkjet printing costs (February 13): The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research tool for estimating ink costs was a great idea, but limited in usefulness in part because of its less-than-comprehensive list of printers tested. More printers have been added since I originally wrote about the tool, but you still won't find many of the printers you'd be interested in buying on the list.
9) Tax Refund Special: Upgrading to a dSLR (February 11): The average tax refund for 2008 was $2,429, so this fantasy list of must-have items for shooters making the leap from compact cameras to a digital SLR was put together for folks who were ready to splurge it all away.
10) How to recover deleted photos from your SD card (July 7): This continues to be one of the most frequently asked questions I get. And every so often I'll get an effusive email from someone who found the post while desperately Googling after blowing away a bunch of photos -- and recovered them using my suggestions.