Best Buys

These are the best cameras you can buy today. Not all have video reviews – I’m working on it!

Compact Cameras

Some compact cameras are barely any better than a smartphone, but the ones below give a significant boost to image and video quality. The best ones come close to matching SLRs and mirrorless cameras.

Ultra-compact: Canon Ixus 230 HS / ELPH 310 HS

Canon Ixus 230 HS£150 / $310 / €230   
12 megapixels, 8x zoom, 3in screen
…………………………………………..

An 8x zoom and excellent image quality for its size and price. It’s been around for a while but that means you should be able to bag a bargain. Click for full review.

Rugged compact: Canon PowerShot D20

Canon PowerShot D20£260 / $290 / €300   
12 megapixels, 5x zoom, 3in screen
………………………………………….. 

This tough, waterproof camera is a solid choice for sporty and careless people. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Premium compact: Fujifilm XF1

Fujifilm XF1

£275 / $400 / €380   
12 megapixels, 4x zoom, 3in screen
…………………………………………..

Not so good for video but outstanding photo quality, a gorgeous design and slimmer than the Panasonic LX7 (below). Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Premium compact: Panasonic Lumix LX7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7

£340 / $350 / €430   
10 megapixels, 3.8x zoom, 3in screen
………………………………………….. 

Stunning image and video quality, fast performance, lots of buttons and dials and smart shooting modes. Click for full review.

Ultra-zoom cameras

Perfect for sports and wildlife, their versatile lenses handle wide-angle and macro photography too. Advanced manual control is common on pricier models. Many struggle in low light but I’ll help you avoid those models.

Pocket ultra-zoom: Fujifilm FinePix F660EXR

Fujifilm F660EXR£100 / $140 / €130   
16 megapixels, 15x zoom, 3in screen
………………………………………….. 

A bargain price for a pocket ultra-zoom camera, and the excellent sensor copes well in low light too. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Pocket ultra-zoom: Panasonic Lumix TZ30 / ZS20

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ30£220 / $250 / €250   
14 megapixels, 20x zoom, 3in screen
………………………………………….. 

Image quality is very good rather than outstanding, but the 20x zoom, masses of features, fast performance and a brilliant video mode make this the ideal pocket-sized travelling companion. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Large ultra-zoom: Panasonic Lumix FZ200

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200£410 / $500 / €500   
12 megapixels, 24x zoom, 3in screen
…………………………………………..

The 24x zoom isn’t the biggest around but it’s seriously sharp, and the bright f/2.8 aperture captures lots of light for superior image quality. Fast performance and great videos too. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Mirrorless cameras

Big sensors and interchangeable lenses give quality and versatility to rival an SLR, but dispensing with the optical viewfinder keeps the size and weight down. They tend to handle video better than SLRs.

Low-cost mirrorless camera: Nikon 1 J2

Nikon 1 J2£330 / $550 / €400   
10 megapixels, 3x zoom, 3in screen
…………………………………………..

The simple controls won’t suit advanced users, but the smart design, respectable image and video quality and competitive price add up to a good deal. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Mirrorless camera: Sony NEX-5R

Sony NEX-5R

£460 / $650 / €560   
16 megapixels, 3x zoom kit lens, 3in screen
………………………………………….. 

True SLR quality from a stylish camera that will fit into a coat pocket. It’s fast, takes gorgeous videos and has Wi-Fi built in too. Click for full video review.

Premium mirrorless camera: Sony NEX-6

Sony NEX-6£730 / $900 / €870
16 megapixels, 3.1x zoom kit lens, 3in screen
…………………………………………..

Builds on the NEX-5R (above) with a high-quality viewfinder, integrated flash, hotshoe for an external flash and slimmer kit lens. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Best for video: Panasonic Lumix GH3

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3£1,200 / $1,600 / €1,150
16 megapixels, lenses available separately, 3in screen
…………………………………………..

Ergonomics, performance, features and image quality to rival an SLR, plus video features and quality that surpass even the best full-frame SLRs. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

SLR cameras

If you want the best image quality, performance, ergonomics and choice of lenses, nothing beats an SLR. Most can record video too, but video autofocus is often clumsy.

Entry-level SLR: Sony Alpha SLT-A37

Sony Alpha SLT-A37£300 / $500 / €450
16 megapixels, 3x zoom kit lens, 2.7in screen
…………………………………………..

OK, so it’s not technically an SLR (it uses an electronic rather than optical viewfinder) but the SLR-like design, excellent image quality, masses of features and low price add up to a great deal. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Mid-price SLR: Pentax K-30

Pentax K-30£480 / $690 / €650
16 megapixels, 3x zoom kit lens, 3in screen
…………………………………………..

A brilliant collection of features that compete with much pricier models from Canon and Nikon, including a big optical viewfinder and superb image quality. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Full-frame SLR: Nikon D600

Nikon D600£1,350 / $2,000 / €1,700
24 megapixels, lenses available separately, 3in screen
…………………………………………..

A keenly priced full-frame SLR that doesn’t compromise on image quality or performance, and makes few concessions for features. The more capable autofocus sees off stiff competition from the Canon EOS 6D. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Full-frame SLR: Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Canon EOS 5D Mark III£2,400 / $3,500 / €3,100
22.3 megapixels, lenses available separately, 3.2in screen
…………………………………………..

This sublime camera barely puts a foot wrong, with stunning image quality, nippy performance, extremely sophisticated autofocus and a highly capable (but not perfect) video mode. Click for my written review at Expert Reviews.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: