To pick out what I think the best cameras are in each of these categories, I spent countless hours researching different websites gathering as much information as possible to find the best camera in each type. My research includes looking at customer testimonials on Amazon, Adorama and BH Image Video, reading professional assessments from DPreview, Imaging-Resource and Steve’s Digicams, and reading different online web forums and discussion boards. Of course I’ll add my OWN how does chevy invisible view workpersonal opinion in the mix, also. Oh, an instant note… if there’s one thing to remember when shopping for new a video camera, it’s that megapixels USUALLY DO NOT MATTER. These big camera companies boast about having the most megapixels, trying to use it as a selling point, if they really don’t matter. Multiple resources on the web will say the same. Let’s start, shall we?
Best Compact Budget Point-and-Shoot
Staying beneath the $200 mark, and from the study I did, this little gem may take one heck of an image, alongside HD video, too! That’s right, this tiny guy has 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) High Definition video. Something that is rarely seen in a camera this low cost. From what I learn while researching, this camera will take good quality photos for the price. The only real drawback on it I came across online is really a slightly more grainy photo because of the 14MP censor. Other than that, people think itâs great for the ease of use, pocket-able size and fine price-to-feature value. Other features add a large 2.7-inch LCD screen, optical image stabilization, a broad 28mm equivalent lens (I really like wide angle lenses), HDMI productivity, and Smart AUTO. I head lots 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 really that I care… After researching this class of camera for hours, the general consensus is that Canon can make awesome compact budget point-and-shoots. You will end up satisfied with any of their budget models, including the SD1400IS. I have yet to get 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 a massive strike. And the Canon S95 improves upon it. I mean seriously! For a camera under $400, it has 720p HD videos (with stereo sound!), a brilliant bright f/2.0 lens, RAW mode (my favorite), a wide 28mm equivalent zoom lens and HDMI output. Those are just a few features. The best part, and the part that makes the S95 the very best enthusiast point-and-shoot camera, may be the control ring. This thing helps it be a breeze to regulate focus, exposure, ISO, white harmony, and pretty much all the manual controls. It critically has everything a camcorder enthusiast would need in a point-and-shoot, and much more! Let’s see… AUTO ISO, Shade yRGB histograms, bracketing, a metal body, and crap a great deal of gimmicks and useless modes. It also comes with an HDR mode. I’d never use it, but I guess it works pretty good. It requires 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 of the important features are locked out, such as for example exposure and white harmony. And HDR on a point-and-shoot? What has this world arrived at. Just buy this camera. Really. In all honesty I didn’t really do much research on other video cameras in its school, because once I recognized Canon was generating the S95, it was going be considered a hit. Sure you can find other good enthusiast cameras on the market, but none which are nearly as awesome as the Canon S95 for the same price and size!
Canon G12? Major and bulky at a cost of around $500.
Panasonic Lumix LX5? Still greater, and still more costly. Price? Around $450.
I believe I proved my point. Of course this is just my estimation. I’m sure others will disagree with me.
Best Entry-Level DSLR
The Nikon D3100 is definitely another obvious buy if you are looking to get an electronic SLR. At near, or under, $700, you get one heck of a camcorder (with lens!) that is jam-packed full of features for the price. It is also Nikon’s 1st DSLR to feature full 1080p HD video. I want to explain 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 a very good all-around kit lens. It’s sharp, has VR (Vibration Reduction) can focus very close – almost macro like – and has Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor gives it fast, noiseless autofocus. Everything I read was initially positive, except for the occasional “bad duplicate.” The images the D3100 pumps out are so in close proximity the experienced Nikon D3 and D700 in good light, that you could never tell the variation in a side-by-side comparison! Large ISO on the D3100 is excellent, considering it isn’t a full-frame camera. I’d say it’s equally as good Nikon D300s I own in terms of high ISO. In other words, don’t be afraid to shoot at ISO 1600. In-fact, make it your good friend! The viewfinder in the D3100 is apparent and distraction free. Why by that is it doesn’t have as much clutter going on in the viewfinder. This will make it simpler to compose shots. Also, it’s a small, ultra-light in weight DSLR weighing in at 505 g (1lb 1.8 oz.) This is usually a plus to some, a poor to others. For me, I could go either way. Other features add a large rear 3-inch LCD, 11 Autofocus Points, Car Distortion Correction, and Nikon’s new EXPEED 2 image processing motor. There are few (hardly any) things that the D3100 is lacking, though, compared to higher end cameras; You can only use lenses which have a built in motor such as Nikon’s AF-S lenses (other zoom lens makers have similar lenses) since the D3100 does not have any motor drive, there’s only 1 manual preset WB memory situation, you do not get any depth-of-discipline preview, and there is no Kelvin White Balance setting. If you’re searching 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, is also among the finest in its class. Featuring a completely new and amazing User Definable Adjustments (U1, U2) right on the setting selector dial, these convenient shortcuts enable you to set, retail store and change your cameras setting without having to go deep in to the menu system! I’m envious. I’d like my D300S to have this. Actually, I’m considering obtaining the D7000 for this feature alone. There are other features I, among others (from what I saw several times) love relating to this camera, too, such as:
Full 1080p High Definition video
Light in weight, yet still ergonomically comfortable
Best-in-class high ISO photos
Quiet… Very quiet operation…Shhh…
Ground-breaking 2,016-Segment RGB Meter
Superior weather and dust sealing
Six frames per second 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 really a bargain for its price, which is around $1200 (body simply.) My research on the D7000 wasn’t as comprehensive as others in it’s category, due to the fact it just got released. And people are having trouble finding it; it’s always sold out! I have yet to read ANYTHING bad on the camcorder. All I could find is that it can only bracket three exposures instead of the 5-9 that some other cameras can do. People are raving concerning the fast autofocus, and amazing metering due to the innovative 2,016-Segment RGB Meter. The Nikon D7000 has already been a smash hit during this article. It’s all sold out. Not surprising to me, since it’s just as good, if not much better than the Nikon D300s which is $300-$400 more. Now if you excuse me, I must go buy this camera.
Best Full Frame DSLR – TIE
Canon 5D Mark II and Nikon D700
After hours of research, I was determined to pick either the 5D Mark II or the D700 as the best professional full frame DSLR. One or the other. Not necessarily both. Well, after those hours of research I did, I failed. My ultimate verdict is definitely that you can’t go wrong with either of the stunning full framework DSLRs. They both offer breathtaking pictures, even at high ISOs. Plus they both have excellent build quality that may last you years upon decades. But which are the differences