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Best Cameras 2014: 12 great cameras you can buy right now

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Trying to find the best camera? Should it be a Panasonic or a Canon? Whether it's a simple compact or a more professional grade DLSR for travel photography or watching sport, we've picked out the best cameras and most popular cameras of every type.

Updated: 07/08/2014

Click one of the links below to jump straight to your perfect camera companion or read on to find out what you need to know about DSLRs, Compact and Bridge cameras before spending and scroll through our list some of the best cameras you can buy right now.

Best Compacts and Bridge Cameras

Best Compact System / Micro Four Thirds Cameras
Best Digital SLRs

Compact, DSLR and Bridge cameras: What's the Difference?
If you are looking for the best cameras for casual use and you don't want to fuss about settings before hitting the shutter button, a compact camera is probably the one for you.

If a pocket-friendly design is crucial but you also want the high-end features, there's also advanced compacts to take a look at. They might be chunkier, but they will give you manual settings for things like ISO settings and aperture. Increasingly, even advanced compacts are very compact, too.

Bridging the gap between compact cameras and DSLRs are the Compact System Cameras (CSC). Expect these types of snappers 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 exceed similar DSLRs. Sony's full-frame A7-series is a good example. There are generally two types of CSC, ones with larger sensor based on DSLRs technology such as those from Sony, Fujifilm and Samsung, or Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras from Panasonic and Olympus.

But the big daddies of the camera world remain the DSLRs. The most popular cameras among enthusiasts and professionals, DSLRs offer the greatest detail, the least noise and the fastest focusing. They’re evidence that size does matter sometimes. Larger sensors and larger, higher-quality lens glass is what the DSLR is all about.

Last up are the Bridge Cameras. These cameras are something between a compact camera and a lens system camera. They have permanent, generally very long zoom, lenses and have similar feel to an DSLR. But Bridge Cameras have sensors that are similar size to compact cameras, so produce photos similar in quality.

So now you know the types that are out there, we've rounded up our regularly updated list of the best cameras you can buy right now.

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