The Canon 70-300 F4-5.6 IS II USM is a budget-friendly zoom that packs a lot of focal length into a relatively lightweight package. It's a great option for enthusiasts or travel photographers wanting reach without too much heft.

Plus, it has built-in image stabilization, a nifty electronic lens information display and is fairly quick-to-focus. We took it to the zoo, and though it was cold and many of the animals were off-exhibit, the lens proved useful enough to capture a few cool creatures.