Best All-in-One Cameras
2016 Holiday Gift Guide TOC
Welcome to our annual Holiday Gift Guide. For 2016, we've decided to segue from wholly budget-based recommendations and instead focus on different camera categories.
Prosumer level all-in-one cameras have the features and some of the performance specs of interchangeable lens cameras, but are housed in bodies with built-in zoom lenses. In other words, they cost more than your entry and mid-level point-and-shoots, but are often equipped with larger sensors, faster image processors, and improved optics. All-in-ones are perfect as second cameras for DSLR or ILC owners, or for anyone who needs to grab high-quality images or videos without having to invest in several different lenses.
With that in mind, here are our picks for the Best All-in-One Cameras for 2016!
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
While many of the cameras in this category offer extraordinary zoom lenses, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II (say that ten times fast) offers outstanding image quality and a very fast 24-100mm equivalent f1.8-2.8 optical zoom lens. Behind this bokeh-friendly glass, you'll find a 20.2MP one-inch High Sensitivity CMOS image sensor as well as the DIGIC 7 image processor that makes this digicam fast (6.5fps Continuous Shooting) with terrific low-light performance (ISO 125-25,600). Other features include PSAM modes for more control over your image as well as Smart AUTO for newer photographers, 3.0" tilting touchscreen LCD display, Intelligent Image Stabilization, HDR mode, and Full 1080/60p HD video recording (admittedly the one drawback here). Lastly, Wi-Fi and NFC technologies are included to connect this digicam with your smartphone. If you need a compact all-in-one that takes gorgeous still images, the G7 Xii is available now for less than $700.
The Nikon Coolpix P900 offers the longest optical zoom range on the market. With a staggering 24-2000mm equivalent, this 16MP digicam can shoot 7 frames-per-second at full resolution as well as Full 1080p HD videos. Its Dual Detect Optical Vibration Reduction system worked well in our tests as did the AutoFocus system, allowing for crisp handheld shots at significant distances. Add in full Manual controls, Macro Mode, tons of Scene Modes and Filters, GPS, and Wi-Fi/NFC, and you've got the perfect camera for someone who wants to experience life with a DSLR, but doesn't have the budget. Pick up the Nikon Coolpix P900 for the bargain price of few bucks under $600.
While there are more affordable all-in-ones on this list, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ2500 boasts a large 1-inch 20.1MP High Sensitivity MOS image sensor mated to the Venus Engine and a 20x optical zoom lens. With a 24-480mm equivalent and a fast f2.8-45 max aperture, you're sure to capture ultra-sharp images with as much yummy bokeh as you want... and you can do so at up to 12 frames-per-second in full resolution. The FZ2500 also shoots Cinema 4K video at up to 24p and Ultra HD video at up to 30p and there's a way to "post-focus" 4K still images (8MP). Headphone and microphone jacks, 3.0" free-angle rear monitor, and Wi-Fi complete a very capable package. This all-in-one is an attractive package for anyone who needs the speeds and quality of a more advanced camera without having to invest in several different lenses; it would also be great for a more advanced enthusiast who wants a more simple camera system for traveling. Pick one up today for less than $1200.
If you were to spec out the Sony RX10 Mark 3 as an equivalent DSLR or ILC body plus lenses, you'd easily drop over $3,000 to get all of these features with a 24-600mm equivalent zoom range, making this an expensive all-in-one but a relative bargain too. The heart of RX10 Mark 3 is a 20.1 MP 1.0-inch type stacked CMOS Image Sensor (back illuminated) and BIONZ X Image Processing engine. The ZEISS® Vario-Sonnar T 25x optical zoom lens has an f2.4-4.0 max aperture range as well as Optical SteadyShot image stabilization with up to 4.5 stops in compensation, which of course you'll need at 600mm while shooting at up to 14 frames-per-second or in Ultra HD 4K movie mode with a healthy 100Mbps bitrate (effectively the same amount of compression found on an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc). Speaking of the video, the RX10 Mark 3 includes Picture Profile, S-Log/S-Gamut, Gamma Display Assist, Time Code, External Mic input, a headphone out jack, and slow motions modes more common to professional cameras. The Mark 3 is dust and moisture resistant for harsher environments, and includes Wi-Fi / NFC for smartphone connections. Pick up the Sony RX10 Mark 3 for less than $1,500.