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Best Mirrorless: Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera at Amazon
"If images are good on the X-T20, then video is better. Capturing 4K at 30fps and Full HD at 60p, the camera's quality stands out among its similarly-priced competitors."
Best Point-and-Shoot: Sony DSCHX90V at Amazon
"The built-in retractable OLED viewfinder accurately reveals what you’re trying to record."
Best Zoom: Nikon COOLPIX B700 at Amazon
"Features a stunning NIKKOR Super ED 60x optical zoom lens."
Best DSLR for Beginners: Canon EOS Rebel T6 at Amazon
"It has all the power and performance of a top-notch DSLR."
Best All-Weather: Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera at Amazon
"Waterproof when submerged up to 45 feet…drop-proof from six feet…freeze-proof up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit."
Best Design: Canon PowerShot G5 X at Amazon
"The Canon PowerShot G5 X is not a film camera, but its design hearkens back to a pre-digital era."
Runner-Up, Best Design: Fujifilm X100F at Amazon
"The 24.3-megapixel camera works with an updated sensor that delivers some of the best photos in its price range."
Best Compact: PANASONIC LUMIX DC-ZS70K at Amazon
"This shooter has a 0.2-inch live viewfinder with a remarkably high resolution of 1,166k-dots."
Boasting Fujifilm’s legendary quality, the X-T20 mirrorless camera delivers the goods without a sky-high price tag. Incorporating a 24.3-megapixel CMOS II APS-C, the model captures excellent images. With 325 autofocus points, you can quickly focus on your subject so you won't miss any action shots. Meanwhile, burst shooting mode is capable of capturing images up to 8fps which is really just icing on the cake considering the device's shutter lag has even been reduced to 0.05 seconds.
If images are good on the X-T20, then video is better. Capturing 4K at 30fps and Full HD at 60p, the camera's quality stands out among its similarly-priced competitors. To add more value, the X-T20 has some of the best customizable controls available. Touchscreen operation on the three-inch viewfinder is fantastic and reviewing images and videos in direct sunlight is no problem.
Beyond its capabilities as a camera, the Fujifilm just looks good. It’s hard to mention the X-T20 without touching on its design which — with silver and black elements — harkens back to the old days of film photography.
Back in the world of point-and-shoots, it’s not often you find a shooter with one of those tried-and-true electronic viewfinders, but the Sony DSCHX90V has that and a lot more. The built-in retractable OLED viewfinder accurately reveals what you’re trying to record, while also delivering a framing option in excessive lighting. The 30x optical zoom Zeiss lens (with 60x Clear Image Zoom) allows for some impressive downrange performance. And the 18.2-megapixel CMOS sensor allows for even greater performance in low-light conditions. Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity allow for smartphone-based remote control options, as well as quick and easy sharing to social media and hardware platforms. GPS functionality allows you to automatically tag your images so you don’t have to worry about when and where images were taken. The LDC display rotates up 180° so you can snap selfies—a nifty little perk that helps assert the camera’s general superiority over smartphones.
Nikon really took the idea of the point-and-shoot to the next level with this one. The COOLPIX B700 packs as much power as a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) into a fixed-lens design. One of the reasons photographers prefer mirrorless and DSLR shooters over fixed-lens is because, well, the lens. They want to be able to use their own, and to change them out according to shooting conditions. So any decent high-end point-and-shoot needs to have a truly versatile—and truly powerful—lens. The B700 features a stunning NIKKOR Super ED 60x optical zoom lens (24-1440mm) that puts most others on the market to shame. Throw in the 20.2-megapixel 1/2.3" BSI CMOS sensor and you have one remarkable camera in your hand. With 4K/UHD video recording, a three-inch swivel LCD, and a 921k-Dot Electronic Viewfinder, your shooting and recording options are pretty much unlimited. For added sharing and connectivity options, the B700 also comes equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth functionality.
Canon’s Rebel line of cameras is designed for entry-level digital SLR shooters, and the EOX Rebel T6 is one of the best you can get for the novice category. It has all the power and performance of a top-notch DSLR without the spec-heavy weight of a professional-grade shooter. The 18-megapixel CMOS image sensor and high-performance DIGIC 4+ Image Processor deliver characteristically impressive shots. The nine-point autofocus (AF) promises added versatility and control over your images, and optical (yes, optical) viewfinder helps ensure further accuracy for framing and capturing the ideal shot. The T6 includes an ISO range of 100-6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for solid performance under any lighting conditions. And it includes Wi-Fi and NFC technology for sharing your images and quickly uploading them to hardware platforms. You can also use the connectivity options to remotely control the camera from your mobile device.
When the day comes that you need a waterproof camera, nearly every search result is going to lead you back to the Olympus TG-5. This go-anywhere, do-almost-anything camera is a perfect example of the Olympus' reputation for quality and toughness.
Waterproof when submerged up to 45 feet, the camera is a perfect companion for snorkeling, surfing, or capturing a child's first time in the pool. Drop-proof from six feet, it even has a crushproof rating of up to 220 pounds. Traveling north for the winter? The Olympus is freeze-proof up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. That, along with its glove-friendly operation, makes the camera ideal for nearly every type of climate.
Durability aside, the 12-megapixel camera count might sound low, but for good reason. Dropping the pixel count allowed Olympus to up the ISO performance. With support for RAW photos at up to 20fps, the camera provides exceptional action shots and low light performance. It even includes 4K video recording at 30 fps along with Full HD at 120fps for slow-motion playback.
Every once and a while you come across a camera that looks like something from the old days of film shooting. The Canon PowerShot G5 X is not a film camera, but its design hearkens back to a pre-digital era. It’s quite expensive for a fixed lens camera, but if you’re in the market for a dedicated shooter with a 24-100mm, F1.8-2.8 (4x optical zoom) lens, this is certainly worth looking into. It has an impressive one-inch, 20.2-megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor with an ISO range of up to 12800. The three-inch multi-angle swivel LCD with touch controls promise a reliable shooting experience in low- to mid-level lighting conditions, and the electronic viewfinder delivers the rest for high-light conditions. The G5 X also features Full HD (1080p) video recording, as well as Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for fast sharing and remote shooting. It features the standard array of PowerShot goodies, including a mobile device connect button, an image sync function and Canon’s proprietary shooting software. It’s a strong shooter in an elegant, throwback design.
Once in a while, you find a camera that's the perfect combination of good looks and great results. The Fujifilm X100F is one of those rare finds — and at just a smidge more than two pounds. The design is playful yet functional and decidedly retro: a redesigned control system is ideal for photographers who love buttons, dials, and levers. Of course, there's always the option of using auto mode, but you’ll want to tinker to find the best settings for your subject.
The 24.3-megapixel camera works with an updated sensor that delivers some of the best photos in its price range. The fixed focal-length lens — along with vastly improved autofocus — hugely enhance photo quality. Add in Fujifilm's X-Processor Pro engine, and there’s little chance you won’t be pleased with your images.
The unique hybrid viewfinder is both optical and electronic; switching between the two modes is a simple as adjusting a lever on the front of the camera. Using the EVF (electronic viewfinder), you'll be able to see 6x magnification.
Compact cameras often lack a viewfinder, but one of the reasons we love this Lumix is because it squeezes one in. Measuring 4.4 by 1.62 by 2.64 inches and weighing just three-quarters of a pound, the camera houses a 20.3-megapixel MOS sensor plus a 30x Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR Lens (24-720mm). It also captures 4K video in 3840 x 2160p detail — that’s four times the quality of Full HD.
On top of that, it boasts a 5-axis hybrid optical image stabilizer for smoother photos. For those of you keen on a viewfinder, this shooter has a 0.2-inch live viewfinder with a remarkably high resolution of 1,166k-dots, helping you to see more detail. It also has an eye sensor to allow for easier viewing in bright light.
DSLR vs. point-and-shoot - This is perhaps the biggest decision you need to make when buying a camera. A DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) has more advanced settings and allows you to take better quality pictures, but a point-and-shoot is generally less expensive and more portable. Depending on how you primarily intend to use your camera will help dictate which one better suits you.
Picture quality - Regardless of which type of camera you buy, you’ll want one that takes top-notch photos. For this, you’ll want to consider the image sensor, which is measured in megapixels. In general, the more megapixels, the more detailed the image.
Wi-Fi compatibility - The benefit of a smartphone camera over a traditional camera is the ability to snap and share photos in real time. However, more and more manufacturers are equipping their cameras with built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi (wireless) and/or NFC (near-field communication) connectivity, which makes it quick and easy to share photos to social media or back them up to the cloud.