Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - $400 - $600 Cameras

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In part 3 of our 2015 digital camera holiday gift guide, we looked at a series of $250 to $400 cameras that currently offer a step up in features from our first round of $150 to $250 cameras. In part 4, we will dive into the best cameras in the $400 to $600 price range. This lineup of digital cameras are targeted at the upper end of the point & shoot crowd, ideally for those seeking cameras for outdoor use or cameras that offer many of the same performance standards and features of entry-level DSLR cameras. Bottom line, these aren't your standard point & shoot models.

So jump into the fourth part of our 2015 Holiday gift guide, the $400 to $600 digital camera range. Our following recommendations are based on quality, features and the best value available on the digital camera marketplace between $400 to $600 dollars (MSRP).


Fujifilm X-A2

Fujifilm X-A2
(Full Review)

The Fujifilm X-A2 is an ultra-light, selfie-ready compact system camera (CSC) that boasts a 16.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS image sensor, the EXR Processor II, and a 3.0-inch LCD display that tilts up to 175°. It ships with the FUJINON XC16-50mm II (24-76mm) F3.5-5.6 OIS zoom lens, but there is two lens kit that includes a FUJINON XC50-230mm II (76-350mm) F4.5-6.7 OIS lens as well. Thanks to the camera's image processor, Fuji claims the X-A2 starts up in less than a second. The AutoFocus (AF) is also noted to be blazingly fast, at 0.3 seconds, with the option to engage Eye AF, Auto Macro AF, and Multi-Target AF depending on your shooting scenario. For lower-lighting conditions and long zoom telephoto shots, 3.5-stops of optical image stabilization are available too. Advanced users, or pros looking for a secondary camera, will enjoy the ability to capture JPEG and RAW image formats. Pick up this camera if you are looking for your first interchangeable lens camera that remains easy to use, thin and stylish like a point-n-shoot, but you don't want to sacrifice image quality.

Buy from Amazom.com

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Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
(Full Review)

Canon's latest ultra-zoom camera, the PowerShot SX60 HS, is a strong offering, surpassing many other large-zoom models in terms of performance and image quality. The SX60 is able to operate quickly, providing better-than-average shutter lag performance at all positions in the zoom range. Shot to shot delays are minimal with this model, and it offers better start-up times than other large-zoom cameras. Canon's Intelligent Image Stabilization (IS) feature works well with this model, yielding image quality that surpasses most of the other cameras with a 50x-plus zoom range, even when hand-holding the camera. Considering the PowerShot SX60 HS has a small 1/2.3-inch image sensor, its image quality is surprisingly good. Pick this up if you need an ultra-zoom camera with strong performance levels and plenty of nice add-on features, and you can fit this model's large price range in your budget

Buy from Amazon.com

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Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7
Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7
(Full Review)

The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7 builds upon the E-PL5, adding an all new graphic user interface (GUI), built-in 3-axis image stabilization, and the newer TruePic VII image processor. This new processor, when combined with the 16.05-megapixel Live MOS image sensor and the new 81-point "FAST AF" system, allows the camera to capture an unlimited number of full resolution photos in an 8 frame-per-second Burst Shooting mode as well as Full 1080p HD video. The E-PL7 even offers up a new and improved battery that's capable of 350-shots per charge while using the bundled external flash 50% of the time. The E-PL7's a 1.04-million dot, downward tilting LCD screen includes a Selfie Mode, with one-touch on-screen shutter button available as you're framing your shots as well as customizable "selfie interval shooting", which defaults to taking three pictures back-to-back (to back) at one second intervals to allow you and your friends to swap in and out a few different poses. Built-in Wi-Fi teams up with the Olympus Share Image app to quickly pair the E-PL7 over a self-generating wireless network. Pick this up if you are looking for an affordable and compact ILC. It is a great choice for anyone looking to step up from a point-n-shoot or just looking for a compact camera with great quality to travel with..

Buy from Amazon.com

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Canon EOS Rebel T5
Canon EOS Rebel T5
(Full Review)

The Canon EOS T5 is their newest and most affordable dSLR model. For a dSLR the T5 is very compact and easy to carry. The camera sports an 18-Megapixel APS-C sized CMOS imaging sensor, DIGIC 4 image processor, Live View shooting, Full 1080p HD video capture, 9-point AF system and 3.0-inch LCD screen; keeping it very simple, the perfect camera for anyone just learning photography or ready to step up to a dSLR for the first time. Using Canon's EF/EF-S mount system, the camera works with all of Canon's EF and EF-S lenses, giving you a selection that is second to none. You will have no problem finding the specific lens for whatever shooting situation that you will encounter. The camera kit includes an 18-55mm IS II lens to get you started. Canon's EOS T5 has been designed to be one of the simplest dSLRs on the market to operate. The mode dial is simple and features all of the shooting modes you'd expect to find, so there is no searching menus to find specific shooting programs. These modes range from full Auto to Full manual with all the scene and video shooting modes in between. Pick this camera up if you are looking for an affordable way to get into the hobby of photography or anyone that is looking to upgrade from a compact camera to something more powerful with much better quality and performance, without breaking the bank.

Buy from Amazon.com

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Samsung GALAXY S6
.Samsung GALAXY S6
(Full Review)

Samsung has taken a leap forward with the S6, creating a smart phone camera that feels like a primary function - not an afterthought. Fast startup, fast burst shooting, lots of filters and effects and manual adjustments, all make this camera a tool for serious photography and not just for snapshots. The Galaxy S6 captures 16MP stills, and can do so at a brisk 10.3fps. It records attractive video, at up to 4k, or ultra-high-definition. You can store two custom presets with different color and exposure settings, manually select the ISO and white balance in Pro mode, and even use manual focus. But the first thing you'll likely notice is the new metal-and-glass chassis dominated by the large, 5.1-inch super AMOLED screen. The very sharp and colorful picture will turn heads. The well saturated colors are very flattering, though I suspect some avid photographers will find the picture a little too skewed and otherworldly, perhaps too bright and warm to trust while performing edits, for example - for which the S6 offers plenty of filters and effects. While it's available at a variety of different prices at different carriers, you can buy an unlocked 32GB version for as little as $585. Pick this up if you are looking for a smartphone with a fast, responsive camera offering high image quality and 4k video recording, acceptable low light performance, and plenty of filters and effects.

Buy from Amazon.com