We live in a wonderful era where it is almost impossible to purchase a bad digital camera. Save for the truly cheapo models, you can create stunning imagery and gorgeous videos from anything, be it a smartphone or an action cam or a point-and-shoot or a DSLR or a mirrorless system. From Apple, Canon, and Fujifilm to Nikon to Panasonic, Olympus, Sony, and beyond, everyone makes stunning cameras.

The trick, dear readers, is figuring out which model YOU need.

This "what do I need" generally comes down to a host of things like budget, skill-level, ergonomics, features & specs, image sensor size, lens compatibility, and so on. Do you only have a few hundred dollars to spend? Do you primarily shoot landscapes or sports? Do you want a camera that excels at shooting video and takes nice pictures, or a camera that excels at shooting still images but can also capture video?

So let's dive into our favorite cameras, all of which deliver an excellent balance of overall image quality and value.

Last Updated November 2018  Cameras are not listed in order of preference. Click a link below to skip directly to each section.

Full-Frame CamerasAPS-C Cameras - Micro Four-Thirds Cameras

All-in-One (Bridge)Entry-level Compact - Ultra-Compact

Super-zoom - Compact Super-zoomLifeProof


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Gift Guides (Updated for 2018!)

Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras Best Smartphone Cameras Best All-in-One Cameras
Best Cameras Under $300 Best Cameras Under $500 Best Cameras Under $1000
Best Cameras Under $1500 Best Cameras Under $2000 Best Cameras Over $2000
Best Entry-Level Cameras Best DSLR & ILC Cameras: Enthusiast Level Best Advanced & Pro Cameras
Best Drones & Action Cameras

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Full-Frame DSLR & Mirrorless

35mm image sensors for enthusiasts, professionals, & advanced photographers.

Sony A7 III nikon-z6 Canon EOS R Nikon D850

Nikon Z7 Sony a7R III Sony a9 Canon 1DX II

Older Alternatives:
Nikon D810 Nikon D750 Sony Alpha 7R
Pentax K-3 Nikon D610 Canon 5D Mark III
Canon EOS 5D Mark II


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APS-C DSLR & Mirrorless

1.5/1.6x-crop image sensors for entry-level, enthusiast, professional, & advanced photographers.

Fujifilm X-T3 Sony A6500 canon-eos-80d Nikon D500

Nikon D7500 Canon 77D Sony A6300 Fuji X-H1

Canon SL2 Nikno D5600 Fuji X-T2 Nikon D3500

Older Alternatives:

Canon EOS Rebel T6i Canon EOS Rebel T5 Nikon D3300
Canon EOS Rebel T5i Pentax K-5 II Nikon D5200
Canon EOS 60D Canon EOS Rebel T4i Nikon D5100
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm X-T10 Fujifilm X-A2


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Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless Cameras

2x-crop image sensors for entry-level, enthusiast, professional, & advanced photographers.

olympus-e-m1 mk2 Panasonic GH5 Panasonic G9 Olympus PEN-F

Panasonic GH5S Olymps OM-D E-M5 Mark II Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III fuji-x-e1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G85 Olympus OM-D E-M10
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G7 Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GX8 Olynpus PEN Lite E-PL7


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All-in-One (aka Bridge Cameras)

canon-powershot-g1x nikon-p7700 fujifilm-x100s olympus-xz-10-ihs

Canon PowerShot G5 X Canon PowerShot G3 X
Olympus Stylus SH-2 Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II Fujifilm X100T
Canon PowerShot G7 X Canon PowerShot G16 Fujifilm XQ1
Pentax MX-1 Olympus Stylus XZ-2 Nikon Coolpix P330
Canon PowerShot G15 FujiFilm FinePix X-S1


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Entry-Level Compact

canon-a2600 sony-cybershot-dsc-w730 canon-powershot-elph-130--is canon-powershot-a1400


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Ultra Compact

canon-powershot-elph-110-hs samsung-mv800 sony-cyber-shot-dsc-wx80 canon-powershot-elph-330-hs

Olympus XZ-10 iHS Nikon S1200pj PENTAX RZ18


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Super-Zoom

canon-powershot-sx50-hs sony-h200 nikon-coolpix-p510 olympus-sz-16-ihs

Panasonic Lumic DMC-FZ2500 Panasonic Lumic DMC-FZ1000 Canon PowerShot SX60 HS


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Compact Super-Zoom

olympus-sh-50 canon-powershot-sx280-hs samsung-wb800f sony-cyber-shot-dsc-wx300

Canon PowerShot SX600 HS Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS
Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Nikon Coolpix S9500


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LifeProof

olympus-tg-630-ihs canon-powershot-d20 olympus-tg-830-ihs olympus-tg2-ihs

Nikon Coolpix AW120 Nikon Coolpix AW110


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