To pick out what I believe the best cameras are in each one of these categories, I spent a lot of time researching different websites gathering as much information as possible to find the best camera in each classification. My research includes considering customer critiques on Amazon, Adorama and BH Picture Video, reading professional assessments from DPreview, Imaging-Resource and Steve’s Digicams, and reading various online web forums and message boards. Of course I’ll add my OWN personal opinion in the combine, also. Oh, an instant note… if there’s one thing to remember when searching for new a camcorder, it’s that megapixels USUALLY DO NOT MATTER. These big camera businesses boast about having the most megapixels, trying to utilize it as a selling point, if they really do not matter. Multiple resources on the internet will say the same. Let’s start, shall we?

Best Compact Budget Point-and-Shoot

Canon SD1400IS

Staying under the $200 mark, and from the research I did, this little gem can take one heck of an image, alongside HD video, too! That is right, this tiny guy has 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) High Definition video. Something that is rarely observed in a camera this low-priced. From what I study while researching, this camera can take good quality photos for the price. The only real drawback on it I found online is really a slightly more grainy photo as a result of 14MP censor. Besides 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 monitor, optical image stabilization, a broad 28mm equivalent lens (I love wide angle lenses), HDMI output, and Smart Automobile. I head lots of good things about smart AUTO. From what Canon says, it will “intelligently select between 22 different predefined settings.” Oh, and it comes in HOT PINK! Not that I care… After studying this class of camera all night, the general consensus is that Canon tends to make awesome compact budget point-and-shoots. You may be satisfied with any of their budget models, including the SD1400IS. I have yet to get an awful one.

Best Compact Enthusiast Point-and-Shoot

Canon S95

Okay, now in my honest opinion, that is a no-brainer. The prior version, the Canon S90, was an enormous strike. And the Canon S95 improves upon it. I mean come on! For a camera under $400, it has 720p HD video clip (with stereo sound!), a brilliant bright f/2.0 lens, RAW mode (the best), a wide 28mm equivalent zoom lens and HDMI output. Those are simply a few features. The very best part, and the part which 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 significantly has everything a camcorder enthusiast would need in a point-and-shoot, and more! Let’s see… AUTO ISO, Color yRGB histograms, bracketing, a steel body, and crap tons of gimmicks and useless modes. In addition, it comes with an HDR mode. I’d never utilize it, but I assume it works pretty good. It requires three consecutive shots and merges them together for you. After that you can edit them later on your computer. I, however, find it rather lame because all of the important characteristics are locked out, such as exposure and white stability. And HDR on a point-and-shoot? What has this world arrived at. Just buy this camera. Critically. To be honest I didn’t do much research on other video cameras in its class, because once I recognized Canon was generating the S95, it had been going be 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? Huge and bulky at a cost of around $500.
Panasonic Lumix LX5? Still larger, and still more costly. Price? Around $450.
I believe I proved my point. Of course this is just my opinion. I’m confident others will disagree with me.

Best Entry-Level DSLR

Nikon D3100

The Nikon D3100 will be another obvious buy if you’re looking to get an electronic SLR. At around, or under, $700, you obtain one heck of a 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. Let me clarify why I picked it as the best entry-level DSLR. First off, it comes with a excellent kit lens, the 18-55mm AF-S VR, that 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 contains Nikon’s Silent Wave Motor gives it fast, peaceful autofocus. Everything I read was initially positive, except for the occasional “bad backup.” The images the D3100 pumps out are so close up the pro Nikon D3 and D700 in good light, you could never tell the variation in a side-by-side comparison! Large ISO on the D3100 is excellent, considering it’s not a full-frame camera. I would say it’s just as good Nikon D300s I own with regard to high ISO. Basically, don’t be afraid to shoot at ISO 1600. In-fact, make it your buddy! The viewfinder in the D3100 is obvious and distraction free. What I mean by that is it generally does not have as much clutter going on in the viewfinder. This will make it easier to compose shots. Also, it is a small, ultra-light-weight DSLR weighing in at 505 g (1lb 1.8 oz.) This is usually a plus to some, a negative to others. For me personally, I could go in any event. Other features add a large rear 3-inch LCD, 11 Autofocus Points, AUTO Distortion Correction, and Nikon’s brand-new EXPEED 2 image processing motor. 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 Nikon’s AF-S lenses (other zoom lens makers have similar lenses) because the D3100 does not have any motor drive, there’s only one manual preset WB memory location, you do not get any depth-of-industry preview, and there is no Kelvin White Balance setting. If you are searching for an entry-level Digital SLR, now is the time to buy. And I would recommend the Nikon D3100. And so do thousands of others.

Best Semi-Pro DSLR

Nikon D7000

Nikon’s newest DSLR, the D7000, is also one of the greatest in its class. Featuring a completely new and amazing User Definable Options (U1, U2) right on the mode selector dial, these practical shortcuts allow you to set, retail store and change your cams setting without having to go deep into the menu system! I’m envious. I want my D300S to possess this. Actually, I’m considering getting the D7000 for this feature alone. There are other features I, and others (from what I saw several times) love concerning this camera, too, such as for example:

Full 1080p HI-DEF video
Light in weight, yet still ergonomically comfortable
Best-in-class high ISO photos
Quiet… Very quiet procedure…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 items with nine cross-type sensors
So as you can observe, this camera is really a bargain for its price, that is around $1200 (body simply.) My research on the D7000 wasn’t as in depth as others in it’s category, simply because it just got released. And people are having a hard time finding it; it’s always sold out! I have yet to learn 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 about the fast autofocus, and incredible metering due to the brand-new 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 equally as good, if not better than the Nikon D300s that 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 Tag II or the D700 as the best professional full body DSLR. One or another. Not both. Well, after those hours of research I did so, I failed. My final verdict is usually that you can’t go wrong with either of these stunning full body DSLRs. They both offer breathtaking photographs, even at high ISOs. And they both have excellent construction which will last you years upon years. But what are the differences

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