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Best Camera 2015: 19 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.

Our list of the best cameras in 2015 is split into broad categories to make it easier for you to narrow down your choice, but each one includes cameras of different sizes and price.

Use the dropdown menu above to start browsing the list, or scroll down further for more advice on what kind of camera is right for you and the best cameras in each category.

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.

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.

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.

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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