To pick out what I believe the best cameras are in each of these categories, I spent countless hours researching different websites gathering as lithium batteries for digital cameras much information as possible to find the best camera in each class. My research includes considering customer reviews on Amazon, Adorama and BH Image Video, reading professional assessments from DPreview, Imaging-Learning resource and Steve’s Digicams, and reading numerous online web forums and message boards. Of course I’ll add my OWN personal opinion in the combine, also. Oh, an instant note… if there’s one thing to remember when searching for new a cameras, it’s that megapixels DO NOT MATTER. These big camera firms 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 the same. Let’s start, shall we?
Best Compact Budget Point-and-Shoot
Staying under the $200 mark, and from the research I did, this little gem can take one heck of a picture, along with HD video, too! That’s right, this tiny guy has 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) HI-DEF video. A thing that is rarely seen in a camera this inexpensive. From what I go through while researching, this camera calls for top quality photos for the price. The only real drawback on it I came across online is a slightly more grainy photo as a result of 14MP censor. Other than that, people love it for the ease of use, pocket-able size and good price-to-feature value. Other features add a large 2.7-inch LCD display, optical image stabilization, a broad 28mm equivalent lens (I love wide angle lenses), HDMI result, and Smart Vehicle. I head many good things about smart Automobile. From what Canon says, it’ll “intelligently select between 22 unique predefined settings.” Oh, also it comes in HOT PINK! Not necessarily that I care… After exploring this class of camera all night, the overall consensus is that Canon tends to make awesome compact budget point-and-shoots. You can be satisfied with some 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 own honest opinion, this can be a no-brainer. The previous version, the Canon S90, was a massive strike. And the Canon S95 improves upon it. I mean come on! For a camera under $400, it has 720p HD video clip (with stereo sound!), a super bright f/2.0 lens, RAW mode (my favorite), a wide 28mm equivalent lens and HDMI output. Those are simply a few features. The best part, and the part that makes the S95 the very best enthusiast point-and-shoot camera, may be the control ring. This thing makes it a breeze to adjust focus, exposure, ISO, white balance, and pretty much all of the manual controls. It very seriously has everything a video camera enthusiast would desire in a point-and-shoot, and much more! Let’s see… AUTO ISO, Color yRGB histograms, bracketing, a metallic body, and crap a great deal of gimmicks and useless modes. In addition, it has an HDR mode. I’d never use it, but I guess it works pretty good. It requires three consecutive photos 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 capabilities are locked out, such as for example exposure and white harmony. And HDR on a point-and-shoot? What has this globe arrived at. Just buy this camera. Very seriously. In all honesty I didn’t really do much research on other cams in its school, because once I realized Canon was making the S95, it was going be considered a hit. Sure you can find other good enthusiast cameras on the market, but none that are nearly as awesome as the Canon S95 for exactly the same price and size!
Canon G12? Major and bulky at a cost of around $500.
Panasonic Lumix LX5? Still bigger, and still more costly. Price? Around $450.
I believe I proved my point. Of course this is just my estimation. I’m certain others will disagree with me.
Best Entry-Level DSLR
The Nikon D3100 can be another obvious buy if you’re looking to get an electronic SLR. At all around, or under, $700, you get one heck of a camera (with lens!) that is jam-packed full of features for the price. It is also Nikon’s primary DSLR to feature full 1080p HD video. I want to clarify why I picked it as the best entry-level DSLR. To begin with, it comes with a excellent kit lens, the 18-55mm AF-S VR, which is known to be an excellent all-around kit lens. It’s sharpened, has VR (Vibration Decrease) can focus very close – almost macro like – and contains Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor gives it fast, calm autofocus. Everything I read was positive, except for the occasional “bad copy.” The images the D3100 pumps out are so in close proximity the specialized Nikon D3 and D700 in good light, you could never tell the variation in a side-by-side comparison! Great ISO on the D3100 is great, considering it isn’t a full-frame camera. I’d say it’s just as good Nikon D300s I own in terms of high ISO. Put simply, don’t be scared to shoot at ISO 1600. In-fact, make it your friend! The viewfinder in the D3100 is distinct and distraction free. Why by that is it doesn’t have as much clutter going on in the viewfinder. This will make it simpler to compose shots. Also, it’s a small, ultra-compact DSLR weighing in at 505 g (1lb 1.8 oz.) This is usually a plus to some, a poor to others. For me, I could go either way. Other features add a large rear 3-inch LCD, 11 Autofocus Points, AUTO Distortion Correction, and Nikon’s different EXPEED 2 image processing motor. There are few (hardly any) things that the D3100 is missing, 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) because the D3100 has no motor drive, there’s only 1 manual preset WB memory placement, you don’t get any depth-of-discipline preview, and there is no Kelvin White Balance setting. If you are searching for an entry-level Digital SLR, now is the time to buy. And I recommend the Nikon D3100. And so do thousands of others.
Best Semi-Pro DSLR
Nikon’s newest DSLR, the D7000, is also one of the best in its class. Having a brand new and amazing User Definable Options (U1, U2) right on the method selector dial, these convenient shortcuts let you set, retail store 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. You can find other features I, among others (from what I saw several times) love about this camera, too, such as for example:
Full 1080p HI-DEF video
Light in weight, but 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 items with nine cross-type sensors
So as you can see, this camera is a bargain for its price, which is around $1200 (body only.) My study on the D7000 wasn’t as considerable as others in it’s class, 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 cameras. All I could find is that it can only bracket three exposures rather than 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 is already a smash hit at the time of this article. It’s all sold-out. Not surprising to me, since it’s equally as good, if not better than the Nikon D300s which is $300-$400 more. Now if you excuse me, I have to go buy this camera.
Best Full Frame DSLR – TIE
Canon 5D Mark II and Nikon D700
After hours of research, I was determined to pick either the 5D Mark II or the D700 as the best professional full body DSLR. One or the other. Not really both. Well, after those hours of research I did, I failed. My final verdict will be that you can’t fail with either of the stunning full frame DSLRs. They both supply breathtaking photographs, even at high ISOs. Plus they both have excellent construction that may last you years upon years. But which are the differences