The 8 Best Five-Star Cameras to Buy in 2018

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Whether you’re just dipping your toes into digital photography or you're a professional capturing weddings and major events, it’s often hard to determine which DSLR is truly the best or which point-and-shoot you should spring for. Fortunately, we’ve done the work for you and helped determine the best digital camera options on the market. If you’re interested in the best DSLR, waterproof camera or portable camera, you’ll find our best five-star choices highlighted below. Say cheese.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Fujifilm X-T2

Don’t let the black utilitarian look fool you, the Fujifilm X-T2 mirrorless digital camera is an excellent camera that delivers terrific photo results. Powered by a 24.3-megapixel CMOS III APS-C sensor, the X-T2 achieves a faster autofocus that results in lower noise and better color. The body is dust and moisture-resistant (a definite bonus) and has 63 points of weather sealing. Additionally, the tilting three-inch LCD display on the rear of the camera offers three-directional tilt options, so you can find just the right angle to frame your shot.

Beyond photos, video capture is well represented with both Full HD and 4K recording. In fact, the X-T2 captures 1.8x the required number of pixels for 4K video recording, so you're sure to get five-star movie quality. Weighing just .22 pounds, the X-T2 can take around 340 images on a single battery charge (although that number decreases with movie recording).

Best Budget: Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS

A brilliant point-and-shoot entry on the market, Canon’s PowerShot ELPH 360 HS is a budget champion. Featuring a 20.2-megapixel sensor and 12x optical zoom with optical image stabilizer, this camera makes capturing images both easy and seamless. The .7-pound package measures 3.1 x 4.4 x 2.6 inches, so it'll easily slide into your pocket. The camera also has Full HD 1080p video capture and you can easily transfer your moments to social media or your computer wirelessly through WiFi or NFC technology (you also do it via USB cable). Additionally, the built-in WiFi can connect to a compatible smartphone or tablet through Canon’s Camera Connect App and allow for remote shooting. The three-inch LCD display boasts a great screen for the price and since the ELPH 360 lacks a manual viewfinder, you’re completely reliant on the display for framing image or video capture.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best Canon cameras

Best DSLR: Nikon D500

Ideal for the camera enthusiast, Nikon’s D500 is an outstanding full-frame DSLR that holds the title of Nikon’s fastest DX-level camera ever. Capable of shooting a notable 10 frames per second (fps) with 153 autofocus points, this option is great for action photographers who love shooting sporting events or fast-moving wildlife. The 20.9-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor is paired with a EXPEED 5 image processor that creates eye-popping photography and lifelike colors. And there's a 3.2-inch tilting LCD touchscreen display for properly reviewing (and framing) images after you snap the picture. When it comes to video, the D500 includes 4K UHD (ultra high definition) video recording at 30 fps. The camera weighs a manageable 3.75 pounds, which isn’t terribly heavy for the class and still manages around 1,240 images on a single battery life.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best DSLR cameras under $2,000

Best for Beginners: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190

If you're a first-time camera buyer, you can't go wrong with the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190. Featuring a 10x optical zoom with optical image stabilizer, the 20.0-megapixel camera with CCD sensor and DIGIC 4+ image processor all combine for excellent photo quality. Add in 720p HD video and you’ll quickly find that the ELPH 190 is the ideal camera for both children and adults alike who want to try their hand at something beyond capturing images with their smartphones.

Scene modes such as fisheye, toy camera and monochrome all offer creative freedom to take images outside of the standard photo shoot. Additionally, a smart auto function helps select the proper settings based on pre-defined shooting modes for capturing the ideal photo in different environments such as daytime or evening. It weighs .31 pounds (so it's definitely pocket-friendly) and you can expect up to 190 shots on a single battery charge.

Best for Portability: Fujifilm X100F

The digital camera market is flooded with point-and-shoot portable cameras, but the Fujifilm X100F stands above the rest even if its price tag is well above the category average. Even a cursory glance at the X100F frame tells you this isn’t an ordinary camera since it offers a fixed lens instead of a zoom. The f/2.0 lens pairs with a 24.3-megapixel, DSLR-sized APS-C sensor that takes outstanding images and can handle just about any kind of lighting. Beyond lighting, the new built-in ISO dial will help quickly adjust shutter speed settings on-the-fly without taking your eye off the image focus.

Another excellent addition is the hybrid viewfinder that provides both electronic and optical views to frame and capture the perfect shot. As for video, you can expect to shoot excellent Full HD fclips at six potential frame rates. Once images or video are captured, they’re easily reviewed on the three-inch (non-touchscreen) display that's encased in a magnesium alloy design.

Best Waterproof: SeaLife Micro 2.0

The SeaLife Micro 2.0 WiFi camera can tackle all different kinds of environments and it's even built with a completely sealed body that can withstand up to 200 feet of underwater submersion. And the 64GB of on-board memory eliminates the need for any extras (namely an SD card or additional battery). Instead, photos are transferred to a computer via USB. The 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor works in tandem with a built-in 130-degree fisheye lens that has an f/2.8 aperture. The fisheye lens might seem questionable at first, but given the depths the SeaLife is built to handle, it’s ideal for combating waves that can refract off the lens and narrow the field of view.

The body of the camera features just four buttons, with the play/back button doubling as the on/off switch. The menu system is very simplified, thanks to an easy setup mode that can switch between dry land or underwater photography. There's also Full HD 1080p video available, so it'll be easy to film your underwater adventure in search of Nemo (which you can then playback on the 2.4-inch LCD screen before sharing on social media).

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best waterproof cameras

Best Splurge: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

While the price tag likely means the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is out of range for more causal shooters, professional photographers will love the 61-point autofocus system that’s paired with a 30.4-megapixel CMOS sensor, plus the 7 fps of continuous shooting speed. And the 4K video recording will make sure mini movies are captured in a professional way.

Seasoned shooters should note that the native ISO sensitivity runs from ISO100-32,000, but can be expanded to 50-102,400 for enhanced noise processing. The 3.2-inch touchscreen display boasts 1,620,000 dots that are live during image capture allowing for menu navigation and image review right after the shutter is depressed. You'll be able to snap around 900 shots before it needs to be recharged.

Best for Travel: Canon PowerShot SX740

Featuring a 40x optical zoom and Optical Image Stabilization with Zoon Framing Assist, the Canon PowerShot SX740 is handily a five-star travel camera. The 20.3-megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 8 image processor shoots stunning photography in both day and night environments. It can shoot 4K video and time-lapse and has Dual Sensing IS to prevent shaky images.

The rear of the camera features a standardized control set with a directional pad for selecting different modes, dedicated WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as a menu button for jumping into the full range of features. The three-inch LCD screen has 180 degrees of tilt so you can flip it up to snap flawless selfies.