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Best Camera 2016: 18 best cameras you can buy

Andy Vandervell by

FujiFilm X-T10 23

Whether you're looking for the best DSLR, best mirrorless camera or even the best compact camera, our best camera round-up has a camera for you.

There's no shortage of choice in the camera market theses days. While the rise of the smartphone has or more less killed the compact camera, the industry has responded by producing more innovative and interesting alternatives.

We review dozens of camera every year, but only the very best ones make it onto our list. Use the dropdown menu, or hit the next arrow, to navigate the list now. Read on for updates on the latest cameras coming soon and advice on what is the right type of camera for you.

Latest camera news – Updates from Fujifilm and Panasonic

Let's start with Panasonic, which has announced a few new models of camera recently. One new camera is the Lumix TZ80, which will replace the Lumix TZ70 that's currently our no.1 compact camera. It's not a huge update, however, as it mainly adds 4K video support and a slightly tweaked design. Unless you really want 4K video recording, it's safe to buy the TZ70 now rather than wait.

LUMIXTZ80Panasonic Lumix TZ80

LUMIXTZ100Panasonic Lumix TZ100

More interesting is the Panasonic Lumix TZ100, a new travel style camera with a 10x optical zoom lens and a larger than usual 1-inch sensor that should improve picture quality considerably. While other cameras offer a larger sensor in a compact body, few have such a long zoom lens. If you're looking for a compact travel camera but don't want to sacrifice quality, it's a camera worth waiting for.

We expect to see the both new cameras in the first half of 2016.

Xpro2Fujifilm X-Pro2

As for Fujifilm, it has several new interesting cameras. Top among them is the Fujifilm X-Pro2, which goes on sale in February. A retro rangefinder-style camera, it will feature a 24-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III image sensor, 77 focus points – 40% of the sensor covered – and an improved hyrbrid viewfinder.

X70Fujifilm X70

Also launching in February is the Fujifilm X70, a smaller and more affordable variant of the X100T that's also in our list. It's a very slim camera with a fixed, f/2.8 28mm pancake style lens. It weighs 340g and has a 180-degree flippable touchscreen display.

Best Camera Buying Guide – What's the right camera for you?

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.

Best Compacts and Bridge Cameras

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.

Sony RX100 IV 9The 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.

Best Mirrorless Cameras

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.

Fujifilm X T1The 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.

Best 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.

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