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 looking at customer reviews on Amazon, Adorama and camera bags for women BH Photo Video, reading professional assessments from DPreview, Imaging-Resource and Steve’s Digicams, and reading several online web forums and discussion boards. Of course I’ll add my OWN personal opinion in the combine, also. Oh, an instant note… if there’s a very important factor to remember when shopping for new a video camera, it’s that megapixels DO NOT MATTER. These big camera organizations 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 under the $200 mark, and from the study I did, this little gem may take one heck of a picture, along with HD video, too! That is right, this tiny guy has 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) HI-DEF video. A thing that is rarely observed in a camera this inexpensive. From what I go through while researching, this camera needs good quality photos for the price. The only real drawback on it I found online is a slightly more grainy photo due to the 14MP censor. Other than that, people love it for the ease of use, pocket-able size and great price-to-feature value. Other features add a large 2.7-inch LCD display screen, optical image stabilization, a wide 28mm equivalent lens (I love wide angle lenses), HDMI result, and Smart AUTO. I head a lot of good things about smart AUTO. From what Canon says, it’ll “intelligently select between 22 several predefined settings.” Oh, and it comes in HOT PINK! Not necessarily that I care… After exploring this class of camera for hours, the overall consensus is that Canon would make awesome compact budget point-and-shoots. You will end up satisfied with any 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 own honest opinion, this is the no-brainer. The previous version, the Canon S90, was an enormous strike. And the Canon S95 improves upon it. I mean come on! For a camera under $400, it has 720p HD video tutorial (with stereo sound!), a brilliant bright f/2.0 lens, RAW mode (my favorite), a wide 28mm equivalent lens and HDMI output. Those are just a few features. The very best part, and the part that makes the S95 the best enthusiast point-and-shoot camera, is the control ring. This thing makes it a breeze to regulate focus, exposure, ISO, white harmony, and pretty much all the manual controls. It very seriously has everything a camcorder enthusiast would would like in a point-and-shoot, and much more! Let’s see… AUTO ISO, Color yRGB histograms, bracketing, a steel body, and crap a great deal of gimmicks and useless modes. It also has an HDR mode. I’d never utilize it, but I assume it works pretty good. It takes three consecutive shots and merges them together for you personally. After that you can edit them later on your computer. I, however, find it rather lame because all the important attributes are locked out, such as exposure and white equilibrium. And HDR on a point-and-shoot? What has this earth arrived at. Just buy this camera. Significantly. To be honest I didn’t do much research on other cameras in its category, because once I knew Canon was making the S95, it was going be considered a hit. Sure there are other good enthusiast cameras out there, 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 price of around $500.
Panasonic Lumix LX5? Still greater, 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 is certainly another obvious buy if you are looking to get an electronic SLR. At near, or under, $700, you get one heck of a video camera (with lens!) that’s jam-packed filled with features for the price. It is also Nikon’s primary DSLR to feature full 1080p HD video. Let me describe why I picked it because the best entry-level DSLR. To begin with, it comes with a very good 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 Lowering) can focus very close – almost macro like – and contains Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor gives it fast, calm autofocus. Everything I read has been positive, except for the casual “bad duplicate.” The images the D3100 pumps out are so close the qualified Nikon D3 and D700 in good light, that you could never tell the distinction 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 equally as good Nikon D300s I own with regard to high ISO. In other words, don’t be afraid to shoot at ISO 1600. In-fact, make it your buddy! The viewfinder in the D3100 is obvious and distraction free. Why by that is it doesn’t have as much clutter going on in the viewfinder. This can make it simpler to compose shots. Also, it is a small, ultra-lightweight DSLR weighing in at 505 g (1lb 1.8 oz.) This is a plus to some, a poor to others. For me personally, I could go either way. Other features add a large rear 3-inch LCD, 11 Autofocus Points, Automobile Distortion Correction, and Nikon’s new EXPEED 2 image processing motor. There are few (very few) things that the D3100 is missing, 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 lens makers have similar lenses) since the D3100 has no motor drive, there’s only 1 manual preset WB memory place, you don’t get any depth-of-discipline preview, and there is no Kelvin White Balance setting. If you’re in the market for an entry-level Digital SLR, now 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, can be the most effective in its class. Featuring a brand new and amazing User Definable Settings (U1, U2) directly on the method selector dial, these practical shortcuts let you set, retail store and change your cams setting and never have to go deep in to the menu system! I’m envious. I want my D300S to possess this. Actually, I’m considering obtaining the D7000 for this feature alone. You can find other features I, and others (from what I saw many times) love about this camera, too, such as:
Full 1080p High Definition 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 around 100 shots
New EXPEED 2 image processing
39 autofocus factors with nine cross-type sensors
So as you can observe, this camera is a bargain for its price, that is around $1200 (body simply.) My study on the D7000 wasn’t as comprehensive as others in it’s class, simply because it just got released. And folks are having trouble finding it; it’s always sold-out! I have yet to learn ANYTHING bad on the camera. All I could find is that it could only bracket three exposures rather than the 5-9 that various other cameras can do. People are raving concerning the fast autofocus, and awesome metering due to the innovative 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 if you ask me, since it’s just as good, if not much better than the Nikon D300s that is $300-$400 more. Now if you excuse me, I must go buy this camera.
Best Full Frame DSLR – TIE
Canon 5D Tag II and Nikon D700
After hours of exploration, I was determined to pick either the 5D Tag II or the D700 as the best professional full frame DSLR. One or another. Not really both. Well, after those time of research I did, I failed. My ultimate verdict can be that you can’t fail with either of these stunning full framework DSLRs. They both supply breathtaking photographs, even at high ISOs. Plus they both have excellent construction that may last you years upon yrs. But which are the differences