To pick out what I think the best cameras are in each of these categories, I spent a lot of time researching different websites gathering as much information as possible to find the best camera in each type. My research includes looking at customer best waterproof digital camera bag assessments on Amazon, Adorama and BH Photo Video, reading professional opinions from DPreview, Imaging-Reference and Steve’s Digicams, and reading countless 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 shopping for new a camcorder, it’s that megapixels USUALLY DO NOT MATTER. These big camera companies boast about having the most megapixels, trying to use it as a selling point, if they really do not matter. Multiple resources online will say exactly 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 can take one heck of an image, along with HD video, too! That’s right, this tiny guy has 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) High Definition video. A thing that is rarely observed in a camera this low-cost. From what I examine while researching, this camera calls for good quality photos for the price. The only drawback on it I found online is really a slightly more grainy photo because of the 14MP censor. Besides that, people love it for the ease of use, 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 outcome, and Smart Vehicle. I head plenty of good things about smart Vehicle. From what Canon says, it will “intelligently select between 22 unique predefined settings.” Oh, and it comes in HOT PINK! Certainly not that I care… After investigating this class of camera for hours, the overall consensus is that Canon makes awesome compact budget point-and-shoots. You will be satisfied with some of their budget models, like the SD1400IS. I have yet to find an awful one.
Best Compact Enthusiast Point-and-Shoot
Okay, now in my honest opinion, that is a no-brainer. The previous version, the Canon S90, was a massive hit. And the Canon S95 improves upon it. After all come on! For a camera under $400, it has 720p HD video clip (with stereo sound!), a brilliant bright f/2.0 lens, Natural mode (the best), a wide 28mm equivalent zoom lens and HDMI output. Those are just a few features. The best part, and the part which makes the S95 the very best enthusiast point-and-shoot camera, may be the control ring. This thing makes it a breeze to regulate focus, exposure, ISO, white stability, and pretty much all of the manual controls. It really has everything a surveillance camera enthusiast would prefer in a point-and-shoot, and much more! Let’s see… AUTO ISO, Color yRGB histograms, bracketing, a metal body, and crap a great deal of gimmicks and useless modes. In addition, it comes with an HDR mode. I’d never use it, but I assume it works pretty good. It requires three consecutive pictures and merges them together for you. After that you can edit them later on your computer. I, however, think it is rather lame because all of the important functions are locked out, such as for example exposure and white stability. And HDR on a point-and-shoot? What has this planet arrived at. Just buy this camera. Seriously. To be honest I didn’t really do much research on other video cameras in its school, because once I understood Canon was making the S95, it was 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 cost of around $500.
Panasonic Lumix LX5? Still bigger, and still more costly. Price? Around $450.
I think I proved my point. Of course this is just my opinion. I’m positive others will disagree with me.
Best Entry-Level DSLR
The Nikon D3100 can be another obvious buy if you are looking to get an electronic SLR. At near, or under, $700, you obtain one heck of a cameras (with lens!) that is jam-packed filled with features for the price. It is also Nikon’s first of all DSLR to feature full 1080p HD video. I want to clarify 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 an excellent all-around kit lens. It’s sharpened, has VR (Vibration Lowering) can focus very close – practically macro like – and contains Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor which gives it fast, silent autofocus. Everything I read seemed to be positive, except for the occasional “bad backup.” The images the D3100 pumps out are so close the experienced Nikon D3 and D700 in good light, that you could never tell the variation in a side-by-side comparison! Large ISO on the D3100 is great, considering it’s not a full-frame camera. I’d say it’s just as good Nikon D300s I own in terms of high ISO. Basically, don’t be scared to shoot at ISO 1600. In-fact, ensure it is your friend! The viewfinder in the D3100 is clear and distraction free. What I mean by that is it generally does not have as much clutter going on in the viewfinder. This can make it better to compose shots. Also, it is a small, ultra-lightweight DSLR weighing in at 505 g (1lb 1.8 oz.) This is usually a plus to some, a negative to others. For me personally, I could go in any event. Other features add a large rear 3-inch LCD, 11 Autofocus Points, Car Distortion Correction, and Nikon’s new EXPEED 2 image processing engine. There are few (hardly any) things that the D3100 is lacking, though, in comparison to higher end cameras; You can only use lenses that have a built in motor such as for example Nikon’s AF-S lenses (other zoom lens makers have similar lenses) because 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 are in the market for an entry-level Digital SLR, now is the time to buy. And I would recommend the Nikon D3100. And so do thousands of others.
Best Semi-Pro DSLR
Nikon’s newest DSLR, the D7000, can be the most effective in its class. Having a completely new and amazing User Definable Settings (U1, U2) right on the setting selector dial, these convenient shortcuts allow you to set, retailer and change your cameras setting without having to go deep in to the menu system! I’m envious. I want my D300S to have this. Actually, I’m considering obtaining the D7000 because of this feature alone. There are other features I, among others (from what I saw various times) love relating to this camera, too, such as:
Full 1080p HI-DEF video
Light in weight, yet still ergonomically comfortable
Best-in-class high ISO photos
Quiet… Very quiet operation…Shhh…
Ground-busting 2,016-Segment RGB Meter
Superior weather and dust sealing
Six frames per second continuous shooting around 100 shots
New EXPEED 2 image processing
39 autofocus points with nine cross-type sensors
So as you can observe, this camera is a bargain for its price, which is around $1200 (body just.) My exploration on the D7000 wasn’t as extensive as others in it’s school, simply because it just got released. And people are having trouble finding it; it’s always sold-out! I have yet to learn ANYTHING bad on the camcorder. All I could find is that it can only bracket three exposures instead of the 5-9 that various other cameras can do. People are raving concerning the fast autofocus, and incredible metering due to the different 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 equally 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 Mark II and Nikon D700
After hours of exploration, I was determined to pick either the 5D Mark II or the D700 because the best professional full frame DSLR. One or another. Not both. Well, after those hrs of research I did so, I failed. My last verdict is usually that you can’t go wrong with either of the stunning full framework DSLRs. They both present breathtaking photographs, even at high ISOs. And they both have excellent build quality which will last you years upon yrs. But which are the differences