No matter what kind of camera you’re looking for – whether DSLR, mirrorless or compact – our camera roundup has the right choice for you.
There are a lot of cameras currently on the market – which is great news for buyers since there’s plenty of choice available, but it can add to confusion over which model to opt for.
The rise of the smartphone has seen demand for the basic compact camera wane, but for innovative and interesting alternatives that will take your photography to the next level, there’s never been a better time to buy.
Through the year we review dozens of cameras, but only the cream of the crop has made it onto this list. You can use the dropdown menu, or hit the next arrow to navigate the list now.
Panasonic Lumix LX100 at Currys.co.uk | Was £529 | Now £499
Sony RX10 II at Amazon.co.uk | Was £899 | Now £639
Canon EOS 100D at Amazon.com | Was $549 | Now $399
Olympus OM-D E-M1 II at Amazon.com | Was $1099 | Now $899
Generally you need to think about two things when you're buying a camera: how much you're able to spend and how you're going to use it. It's a tough choice if you're new to camera buying, so here's a quick guide to the different types of camera you can buy.
If you're looking for the best cameras for casual use and don't want to fuss about with settings before hitting the shutter button, a compact camera is probably the best fit for you. There are still plenty of cheap and cheerful compacts out there, but higher-end models also cater for the enthusiast.
The Sony RX100 is a good example of an advanced compact for enthusiasts
There are numerous kinds of quality compacts, too. You'll find chunkier advanced compacts that give you good manual control, and simpler ones that focus on providing a higher-end sensor and lens optics for better image quality and ease of use.
Bridge cameras are something between a compact camera and an interchangeable-lens system camera. They have permanent, generally very long zoom lenses and a similar feel to a DSLR. But bridge cameras mostly have sensors that are of a similar size to those in compact cameras, producing photos similar in quality.
Bridging the gap between compact cameras and DSLRs are mirrorless cameras, often also referred to as compact system cameras (CSC). Expect these types to offer an excellent balance of convenience and image quality, though at the very top end we're beginning to see CSCs that match or even exceed similar DSLRs. Sony's full-frame A7 series is a good example.
The Fujifilm X-T1 is one of the most popular and highly-regarded mirrorless cameras
Within the CSC category, there's a number of different types of sensor used, each giving quite a different experience. Nikon's CSCs use 1-inch sensors that provide lightning-fast shooting and dinky camera bodies, but are not the best for low-light performance and don't achieve a shallow depth of field for blurring the background or foreground. Olympus and Panasonic use Micro Four Thirds-size sensors, providing a middle ground and some outstanding and affordable lenses.
The largest sensors you'll find in affordable CSCs are APS-C ones, used in cameras from Samsung, Fujifilm and Sony. Of course, Sony has now gone even further, adopting full-frame sensors in the top-end A7 range. These provide the best image quality among CSCs, rivalling pro DSLRs.
DSLRs remain the professional's choice. While CSCs compete well in the consumer market, professionals who need top-quality lenses and reliable performance still mainly use DSLRs.
DSLRs are still the no.1 choice for professional photographers
This is particularly true for full-frame cameras, where Nikon and Canon both offer some outstanding options. There are some good cheap DSLRs as well, though, so there's plenty of choice and a huge number of lenses to invest in.