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The best Canon DSLR comes in as the second generation of the SL series. This one employs a 24.2 megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor and a DIGIC 7 Image Processor for ultra-sharp pictures. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF—with phase detection technology—will keep both the videos and the photos ultra-stable (say goodbye to blurry results for fast-moving subjects). But the touchscreen on this thing is the whole reason it’s on this list right?
Installed on the SL2 is a Vari-angle touchscreen LCD that helps you view (and ultimately capture) the perfect shot at a variety of angles. The screen also offers various touch gestures for zooming, picture navigation, and a feature assistant to guide you through all the stuff you can’t find yourself. Rounded out with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and a true optical viewfinder (you know, if you can peel your eyes away from that gorgeous touchscreen) for more traditional shooting.
If you’re looking to spend about as much as the Panasonic FZ300K, but prefer something a bit more compact, you may want to look into the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II. The G7 X Mark II is in many ways a step up for the compact point-and-shoot category. It features a high-sensitivity, 1-inch, 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processor.
The 24-100mm (35mm equivalent) features an optical zoom range of up to 4.2, which isn’t much, but this is a camera designed for hand-held close-up shooting. It also features a 3.0-inch tilting touchscreen LCD with a high-speed autofocus (AF) system with an impressive 31 focus points. It records Full HD (1080p) video, has a modifiable control ring for enhanced optimization, and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for quick and easy photo sharing. This is an impressive addition to Canon’s already substantial family of high-end point-and-shoots.
Ever the competitor with Canon, Nikon’s D5600 is a slightly beefier version of the EOS Rebel SL1. It’s a bit more expensive, but it offers a bit more power and versatility at the same time. For example, the 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS is a full 6.2 megapixels larger than the SL1 (but sensor size is not a perfect indicator of quality).
The D5600 also has a more robust 39-point autofocus (AF) system, a larger ISO range (100 - 25,600), 5fps (frames per second) continuous shooting, Full HD (1080p) video recording and built-in Wi-Fi for quick and easy photo sharing. The touch LCD swivels and articulates left, right, up and down, and can also face the camera’s subject for video monitoring.
Samsung has always been the camera brand associated with phone-friendly interfaces. Its background in mobile tech has allowed it to perfect a seamless, social media savvy camera ecosystem with the familiarity and usability of a smartphone or tablet. The Samsung NX mini perfectly encapsulates this hybrid phone-camera design.
Its 20.5-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor gives you the option of either a 9mm prime lens or a 9-27mm zoom lens. Additionally, the NX Mini can record Full HD (1080p) video and features Samsung’s full suite of connectivity options and standards, including built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. The effect of this is a highly intuitive camera system that allows you to quickly and easily share your photos to social media, or to other devices for storage.
The Samsung NX Mini is slim, lightweight and designed for the mobile generation. It may not have the top performance specs you’d expect from a Canon, Nikon or Fuji device, but you can still expect plenty of decent images to emerge from it.
Without the eye-catching brand of a Cannon or a Nikon, the Panasonic might be a pass by most consumers, but that’s exactly why it makes our "best value" pick ... the bang for the buck is pretty much unbeatable. Deep breath before this spec rundown:
It captures full QFHD video at 30fps, a one-inch, 20.1-megapixel sensor that runs at 4K high sensitivity, a proprietary LUMIX FZ250 chipset that allows for that 4K recording and super-fast processing, a super high end 20x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens allowing an aperture of F/2.8-4.5, macro capability as close as 3cm, ultra high speed DFD focusing, focus adjusting after shooting, microphone and headphone terminals, and a unique zoom feature that enlarges backgrounds while keeping the subject the same size.
Of course, the touchscreen and viewfinders are nothing to sneeze at as the former provides super precise touch controls; the latter is optical, with 0.74x zoom OLED technology.
Pulling retro inspiration from the Fujifilm and Canon film cams of the 70s and 80s, the Olympus OM-D Mark II brings a vintage silver look along with an astounding set of mirrorless features. The 16MP Live MOS sensor offers a 40MP high res shot mode when quality is of top-level importance, a 1037K-dot LCD touchscreen serves as the crown jewel for shooting and viewing the 16fps cinema filming mode that goes all the way up to full 1080p HD.
The real set-apart feature on this one is the ridiculously smooth 5-axis image stabilization which uses 5 EV steps of compensation (a level that rivals full pro stabilization rigs).