To pick out what I believe the best cameras are in each of these categories, I spent countless hours researching different websites gathering as much information as possible for the best camera in each classification. My research includes considering customer best mirrorless camera for 500 evaluations on Amazon, Adorama and BH Picture Video, reading professional testimonials from DPreview, Imaging-Learning resource and Steve’s Digicams, and reading numerous online web forums and message boards. Of course I’ll add my very own personal opinion in the mixture, also. Oh, a quick note… if there’s one thing to remember when searching for new a camera, it’s that megapixels USUALLY DO NOT MATTER. These big camera organizations boast about having the most megapixels, trying to use it as a selling point, if they really do not matter. Multiple resources on the internet will say exactly the same. Let’s start, shall we?

Best Compact Budget Point-and-Shoot

Canon SD1400IS

Staying beneath the $200 mark, and from the research I did so, this little gem can take one heck of a picture, alongside HD video, too! That is right, this tiny guy has 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) High Definition video. A thing that is rarely observed in a camera this low cost. From what I read through while researching, this camera requires top quality photos for the price. The only drawback on it I came across online is a slightly more grainy photo as a result of 14MP censor. Other than that, people love it for the ease of use, pocket-able size and good price-to-feature value. Other features add a large 2.7-inch LCD display, optical image stabilization, a wide 28mm equivalent lens (I really like wide angle lenses), HDMI outcome, and Smart Automobile. I head lots of good things about smart Vehicle. From what Canon says, it will “intelligently select between 22 various predefined settings.” Oh, and it comes in HOT PINK! Certainly not that I care… After investigating this class of camera for hours, the general consensus is that Canon creates awesome compact budget point-and-shoots. You will end up satisfied with any of their budget models, like the SD1400IS. I have yet to get an awful one.

Best Compact Enthusiast Point-and-Shoot

Canon S95

Okay, now in my own honest opinion, that is a no-brainer. The prior version, the Canon S90, was an enormous hit. And the Canon S95 improves upon it. After all seriously! For a camera under $400, it has 720p HD movie (with stereo sound!), a brilliant bright f/2.0 lens, Natural mode (my favorite), a broad 28mm equivalent zoom lens and HDMI output. Those are just a few features. The very best part, and the part that makes the S95 the best enthusiast point-and-shoot camera, may be the control ring. This thing makes it a breeze to adjust focus, exposure, ISO, white balance, and pretty much all of the manual controls. It significantly has everything a camcorder enthusiast would wish in a point-and-shoot, and much more! Let’s see… AUTO ISO, Colour yRGB histograms, bracketing, a steel body, and crap tons of gimmicks and useless modes. In addition, it has an HDR mode. I’d never use it, but I assume it works pretty good. It takes three consecutive pictures and merges them together for you personally. You can then edit them later on your personal computer. I, however, think it is rather lame because all the important capabilities are locked out, such as for example exposure and white stability. And HDR on a point-and-shoot? What has this planet come to. Just buy this camera. Significantly. To be honest I didn’t do much research on other video cameras in its course, because once I understood Canon was making the S95, it was going be considered a hit. Sure you can find other good enthusiast cameras out there, but none that are nearly as awesome because the Canon S95 for exactly the same price and size!

Canon G12? Huge and bulky at a price of around $500.
Panasonic Lumix LX5? Still larger, and still more expensive. Price? Around $450.
I believe I proved my point. Needless to say this is just my opinion. I’m confident others will disagree with me.

Best Entry-Level DSLR

Nikon D3100

The Nikon D3100 is another obvious buy if you are looking to get an electronic SLR. At near, or under, $700, you get one heck of a video camera (with lens!) that’s jam-packed full of features for the price. It is also Nikon’s 1st DSLR to feature full 1080p HD video. I want to clarify why I picked it because the best entry-level DSLR. First off, it comes with a excellent kit lens, the 18-55mm AF-S VR, which is known to be an excellent all-around kit lens. It’s sharpened, has VR (Vibration Decrease) can focus very close – almost macro like – and has Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor which gives it fast, tranquil autofocus. Everything I read was initially positive, except for the occasional “bad duplicate.” The images the D3100 pumps out are so close the qualified Nikon D3 and D700 in good light, you could never tell the distinction in a side-by-side comparison! Superior ISO on the D3100 is excellent, considering it’s not a full-frame camera. I would say it’s equally as good Nikon D300s I own with regards to high ISO. In other words, don’t be scared to shoot at ISO 1600. In-fact, ensure it is your friend! The viewfinder in the D3100 is apparent and distraction free. What I mean by that is it generally does not have as much clutter intending on in the viewfinder. This can make it easier to compose shots. Also, it is a small, ultra-light-weight DSLR weighing in at 505 g (1lb 1.8 oz.) It is a plus to some, a negative to others. For me, I could go in any event. Other features include a large rear 3-inch LCD, 11 Autofocus Points, Car Distortion Correction, and Nikon’s latest EXPEED 2 image processing engine. There are few (very few) items that the D3100 is lacking, though, compared to higher end cameras; It is possible to only use lenses that have a built in motor such as for example Nikon’s AF-S lenses (other lens makers have similar lenses) since the D3100 does not have any motor drive, there’s only 1 manual preset WB memory location, you don’t get any depth-of-discipline preview, and there is no Kelvin White Balance setting. If you are in the market for an entry-level Digital SLR, now is the time to buy. And I recommend the Nikon D3100. Therefore do thousands of others.

Best Semi-Pro DSLR

Nikon D7000

Nikon’s newest DSLR, the D7000, can be among the best in its class. Having a brand new and amazing User Definable Adjustments (U1, U2) right on the setting selector dial, these convenient shortcuts permit you to set, retailer and change your cams setting without having to go deep into the menu system! I’m envious. I’d like my D300S to possess this. Actually, I’m considering getting the D7000 because of this feature alone. You can find other features I, among others (from what I saw different times) love concerning this camera, too, such as for example:

Full 1080p HI-DEF video
Light in weight, but still ergonomically comfortable
Best-in-class high ISO photos
Quiet… Very quiet functioning…Shhh…
Ground-breaking 2,016-Segment RGB Meter
Superior weather and dust sealing
Six fps continuous shooting up to 100 shots
New EXPEED 2 image processing
39 autofocus factors with nine cross-type sensors
So as you can see, this camera is a bargain for its price, that is around $1200 (body simply.) My analysis on the D7000 wasn’t as in depth as others in it’s class, because of the fact it just got released. And folks are having a hard time finding it; it’s always sold-out! I have yet to read ANYTHING bad on the camcorder. All I could find is that it could only bracket three exposures instead of the 5-9 that some other cameras can do. Folks are raving concerning the fast autofocus, and awesome metering due to the innovative 2,016-Segment RGB Meter. The Nikon D7000 has already been a smash hit at the time of this article. It’s all sold out. Not surprising to me, since it’s equally as good, if not much better than the Nikon D300s which is $300-$400 more. Now in the event that you excuse me, I must go buy this camera.

Best Full Frame DSLR – TIE

Canon 5D Tag II and Nikon D700

After hours of exploration, I was determined to pick either the 5D Mark II or the D700 because the best professional full framework DSLR. One or another. Not necessarily both. Well, after those hours of research I did so, I failed. My ultimate verdict is certainly that you can’t fail with either of the stunning full framework DSLRs. They both provide breathtaking photos, even at high ISOs. And they both have excellent build quality that will last you years upon a long time. But what are the differences