To pick out what I think the best cameras come in each of these categories, I spent a lot of time researching different websites gathering as much information as possible for the best camera in each group. My research includes considering customer critiques on Amazon, Adorama and BH Photo Video, reading professional testimonials from DPreview, Imaging-Resource and Steve’s Digicams, and reading different online web forums and message boards. Of course I’ll add my OWN personal opinion in the mixture, also. Oh, a quick note… if there’s a very important factor to remember when searching for new a cameras, it’s that megapixels USUALLY DO NOT MATTER. These big camera corporations boast about having the most megapixels, trying to use it as a selling point, when they really do not matter. Multiple resources on the web will say the same. Let’s start, shall we?
Best Compact Budget Point-and-Shoot
Staying beneath the $200 mark, and from the study I did so, this little gem may take one heck of a picture, along with HD video, too! That’s right, this tiny guy has 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) High Definition video. Something that is rarely observed in a camera this affordable. From what I examine while researching, this camera takes top quality photos for the price. The only drawback on it I came across online is a slightly more grainy photo because of the 14MP censor. Other than that, people think itâs great for the simplicity, pocket-able size and great price-to-feature value. Other features include a large 2.7-inch LCD monitor, optical image stabilization, a wide 28mm equivalent lens (I really like wide angle lenses), HDMI output, and Smart Car. I head a great deal of good things about smart Car. From what Canon says, it will “intelligently select between 22 various predefined settings.” Oh, and it comes in HOT PINK! Certainly not that I care… After researching this class of camera all night, the overall consensus is that Canon helps make awesome compact budget point-and-shoots. You will be satisfied with any of their budget models, including the SD1400IS. I have yet to find an awful one.
Best Compact Enthusiast Point-and-Shoot
Okay, now in my honest opinion, this is the no-brainer. The prior version, the Canon S90, was an enormous reach. And the Canon S95 improves upon it. After all seriously! For a camera under $400, it has 720p HD videos (with stereo sound!), a brilliant bright f/2.0 lens, Natural mode (my favorite), a broad 28mm equivalent zoom lens and HDMI output. Those are just a few features. The best part, and the part which makes the S95 the best enthusiast point-and-shoot camera, is the control ring. This thing helps it be a breeze to adjust focus, exposure, ISO, white stability, and pretty much all of the manual controls. It significantly has everything a surveillance camera enthusiast would need in a point-and-shoot, and much more! Let’s see… AUTO ISO, Colour yRGB histograms, bracketing, a steel body, and crap tons of gimmicks and useless modes. It also comes with an HDR mode. I’d never use it, but I assume it works pretty good. It takes three consecutive shots and merges them together for you personally. You can then edit them later on your computer. I, however, find it rather lame because all of the important features are locked out, such as for example exposure and white harmony. And HDR on a point-and-shoot? What has this world come to. Just buy this camera. Very seriously. To be honest I didn’t do much research on other cameras in its category, because once I knew Canon was generating the S95, it had been going be considered a hit. Sure there are other good enthusiast cameras on the market, but none which are nearly as awesome because the Canon S95 for exactly the same price and size!
Canon G12? Huge and bulky at a price of around $500.
Panasonic Lumix LX5? Still bigger, and still more costly. Price? Around $450.
I believe I proved my point. Needless to say this is just my opinion. I’m sure others will disagree with me.
Best Entry-Level DSLR
The Nikon D3100 will be another obvious buy if you’re looking to get a Digital SLR. At about, or under, $700, you get one heck of a video camera (with lens!) that’s jam-packed filled with features for the price. It’s also Nikon’s first DSLR to feature full 1080p HD video. I want to describe why I picked it as the best entry-level DSLR. First off, it comes with a excellent kit lens, the 18-55mm AF-S VR, that is known to be a very good all-around kit lens. It’s razor-sharp, has VR (Vibration Lowering) can focus very close – almost macro like – and has Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor gives it fast, silent autofocus. Everything I read was basically positive, except for the occasional “bad backup.” The images the D3100 pumps out are so in close proximity the pro Nikon D3 and D700 in good light, you could never tell the variation in a side-by-side comparison! High ISO on the D3100 is great, considering it’s not a full-frame camera. I’d say it’s equally as good Nikon D300s I own with regards to high ISO. Put simply, don’t be afraid to shoot at ISO 1600. In-fact, ensure it is your good friend! The viewfinder in the D3100 is apparent and distraction free. Why by that is it doesn’t have as much clutter moving on in the viewfinder. This will make it simpler to compose shots. Also, it is a small, ultra-light-weight DSLR weighing in at 505 g (1lb 1.8 oz.) That is a plus to some, a negative to others. For me, I could go in any event. Other features include a large rear 3-inch LCD, 11 Autofocus Points, Automobile Distortion Correction, and Nikon’s brand-new EXPEED 2 image processing engine. There are few (very few) things that the D3100 is lacking, though, in comparison to higher end cameras; You can only use lenses which have a built in motor such as for example Nikon’s AF-S lenses (other lens makers have similar lenses) since the D3100 has no motor drive, there’s only one manual preset WB memory position, you do not get any depth-of-field preview, and there is no Kelvin White Balance setting. If you’re searching for an entry-level Digital SLR, this is the time to buy. And I would recommend the Nikon D3100. Therefore do thousands of others.
Best Semi-Pro DSLR
Nikon’s newest DSLR, the D7000, is also among the best in its class. Featuring a completely new and amazing User Definable Adjustments (U1, U2) directly on the function selector dial, these useful shortcuts enable you to set, store and change your video cameras setting and never have to go deep in to the menu system! I’m envious. I’d like my D300S to possess this. Actually, I’m considering getting the D7000 because of this feature alone. There are other features I, among others (from what I saw countless times) love about this camera, too, such as:
Full 1080p High Definition video
Light in weight, yet still ergonomically comfortable
Best-in-class high ISO photos
Quiet… Very quiet functioning…Shhh…
Ground-busting 2,016-Segment RGB Meter
Superior weather and dust sealing
Six fps continuous shooting up to 100 shots
New EXPEED 2 image processing
39 autofocus things with nine cross-type sensors
So as you can see, this camera is really a bargain for its price, that is around $1200 (body simply.) My analysis on the D7000 wasn’t as considerable as others in it’s course, because of the fact it just got released. And people are having trouble finding it; it’s always sold-out! I have yet to read ANYTHING bad on the camera. All I possibly could find is that it could only bracket three exposures rather than the 5-9 that various other cameras can do. People are raving about the fast autofocus, and incredible metering due to the innovative 2,016-Segment RGB Meter. The Nikon D7000 has already been a smash hit during this article. It’s all sold out. Not surprising if you ask me, since it’s just as good, if not much better than the Nikon D300s that is $300-$400 more. Now in the event that you excuse me, I must go buy this camera.
Best Full Frame DSLR – TIE
Canon 5D Tag II and Nikon D700
After hours of research, I was determined to pick either the 5D Mark II or the D700 because the best professional full frame DSLR. One or another. Certainly not both. Well, after those hours of research I did, I failed. My last verdict will be that you can’t fail with either of the stunning full body DSLRs. They both provide breathtaking photographs, even at high ISOs. Plus they both have excellent build quality which will last you years upon decades. But which are the differences