Digital Camera Reviews
After scouring the web for the best digital cameras, features, pros and cons; we think we have finally found the best buyer’s guide for you with this report. We would be looking at some of the best digital camera categories, the current models and a buyer’s guide to keeping you well informed before making a purchase.
We have rounded up reviews from sites like DPReview.com, Amateur Photographer, CNET and even PCMag.com in order to create a very comprehensive report.
What we noticed in the initial phase of our report is that there is a digital camera for every skill level; newbie or a seasoned pro, there’s a compact digital camera that would tickle your fancy and get the job done. They are also affordable. It is no longer acceptable for you to break the bank in order to get a camera; there are cheaper alternatives for everything today.
We found three main types of digital cameras in our research and they are basic digital cameras which are usually small in sizes and prices. They don’t shoot the clearest of images but they get the job done at a friendly price.
We also have the advanced digital cameras which deliver clearer images than the basic digital cameras. They can also handle dimly lighted areas better than the basic digital cameras. The last on the list are bridge digital cameras which are also called compact interchangeable-lens cameras or hybrid cameras. They come with swappable lenses and it is usually top end. Some hybrid digital cameras can match the quality of DSLR camera, which is covered in another report.
Things to note before buying a digital camera
When it comes to buying a digital camera, there are a lot of things to note before making a purchase. Number one is the budget. Your budget would determine if you would go for a cheap point-and-shoot camera that offers little to no creative options or a much more advanced camera with longer zoom or even interchangeable lenses.
It is also worthy to note if you want a camera that would fit into your pocket or a camera that would require a pouch. Most compact digital cameras weigh less than 6 ounces; some weigh more especially the hybrid cameras.
The megapixel needed is another consideration that you should make before forking out money for a digital camera. Having a digital camera with lots of pixels is usually a good thing as this translates into sharper and clearer images.
Some of these factors are things to note before you decide to buy a digital camera on the market.
- 1. LCD screen.
A good digital camera would come with an LCD screen for you to frame your shot before you take it. It would also help you to edit the pictures after the shot has been taken. It is appropriate to get a large LCD screen but if you are going for the cheap models, then the minimum you should settle for is a 3-inch screen. Anything below that is not worth it.
- Image Stabilizer
This is how cameras ensure a steady shot even when your hands are shaky. The image stabilizer is how digital cameras reduce blurry pictures. Some cheap cameras use image stabilizers that don’t work well which results in a lot of blurry images even when the hand is not shaky.
- Manual settings
Having a form of control on the noise settings, white balance, aperture and a host of other settings helps you take customized images as you want it and when you want it. It is important your camera allows you to do this even in its smallest of forms.
- Optical zoom
Most digital cameras on the market have an adequate 3X zoom for taking pictures especially the basic cameras. The higher end models can offer as much as 15X zoom or lower.
- HD video
Your digital camera won’t be used for taking images alone; there would also be times when you would want to record videos. Having a digital camera that can record full HD videos even with a 720p resolution (low-end cameras) is a must, though higher end models offer a much clearer HD resolution.
- Wi-Fi compatibility
Having Wi-Fi compatibility on your digital camera ensures seamless transfer of your photos and videos to the cloud. Some models also allow connection with smartphones to function as a camera remote control.
Best digital cameras
- 2 megapixels
- Smart Auto setting
- Creative Shot mode
- 12X zoom
- Weighs 5 ounces
- Can take up to 180 images on single charge
- Not great in low-light settings
Our top pick for the best digital camera in the market is the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS digital camera is the successor to the older Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS which was also quite impressive.
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS gets a lot of positive reviews from customers on Amazon for its performance. This Canon digital camera comes with 20.2 megapixels has the ability to take quality and sharp pictures. It has easy to use controls that are also very intuitive.
It has Smart Auto settings which make it faster to switch it on and take pictures. The Canon digital camera can also apply a set of different filters to different images thanks to its Creative Shot functionality.
With 12X zoom, you would be able to size faces better or images that are further away from you during travels within and outside the country.
It has easy to use controls that are also very intuitive. It has Smart Auto settings which make it faster to switch it on and take pictures.
The Canon digital camera can also apply a set of different filters to different images thanks to its Creative Shot functionality. With 12X zoom, you would be able to size faces better or images that are further away from you during travels within and outside the country.
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS digital camera weighs 5 ounces and can fit into your breast pocket. It offers quick startup and you can take the first picture within 15 seconds of powering the camera on.
It can capture videos at 1080Pp HD and is compatible with Wi-Fi so you can connect the camera to your Mac or your smartphone for quick uploads. The battery capacity is quite powerful and it can take up to 180 images on a single charge.
Most affordable camera
- 2-megapixel camera
- Records videos in HD
- 3X zoom
- Can take up to 220 images on single charge
- Oversized buttons could be a turnoff
Some of our readers complained about the price of the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS digital camera and as such we had to add a cheaper alternative to the report.
The Nikon Coolpix S33 is an excellent alternative if the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS digital camera is above your budget. It has a lot of positive reviews from owners on Amazon.
It comes with a 13.2megapixel camera lens that can transition from shooting images to full 1080p HD videos with ease. It is quite rugged and it is waterproof up to 32feet with some owners giving it praise for its performance under water and its ability to withstand drops on marble floors.
The Nikon Coolpix S33 is a powerful digital camera features a 3X optical zoom which is a downgrade to the 12X zoom in the Canon PowerShot digital camera reviewed above.
The startup time to when you can take a picture can be as low as 1.5 seconds if you deactivate the “welcome screen” that loads by default. This ensures you can take photos as soon as you switch your digital camera on. The S33 earns good marks for photo quality, video quality and LCD quality.
Some owners said the camera comes with oversized buttons that makes it less appealing as compared with others in its category. This digital camera works well under water and has the “Underwater Face Detection” feature for taking quality photos under water.
The Nikon Coolpix S33 can take as much as 200 photos on a single battery charge which ensures that you don’t have to stop to charge your camera while you’re having fun in the wild or with friends at the park.
Advanced digital cameras
- 8 megapixel lens
- Great for pros
- LCD quality is quite good.
- Battery is slightly better than the basic camera
Advanced digital cameras are upgrades to the basic digital cameras reviewed above or compact point-and-shoot models, as they are called in the industry.
Advanced digital cameras tend to be bulky and heavier than their basic counterparts and are more expensive. They are targeted at enthusiasts and not just casual users who need a camera for daily use.
Our top pick is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100. It earns the best rating and review from owners and on professional testing sites.
It is praised for its excellent ratings for LCD quality, image and video quality as well as ease of use. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 advanced digital camera is unique from its competitors in that it uses a four third image sensor of its 16.8 megapixels which allows the camera to shoot in different aspect rations such as 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, or 4:3 using much of the image senor.
According to editors at DPReview, it has a strong image stabilizer which enhances its performance in dim lighted areas.
It has easy to use controls which can be customized based on the photographer’s preferences. It doesn’t come light, as it weighs 16 ounces and it has a strong battery that can last you for as much as 300 photos before you recharge it.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 is a top performing camera that is well worth its value. It is the kind of camera that you would use for a long period of time and you wouldn’t regret purchasing this lovely piece of equipment.
Do you have a bigger budget?
- 2 megapixel lens
- 33x zoom
- Has a very long lasting battery life
- Not great for capturing fast moving subjects
- Weighs about 30 ounces
If you have a bigger budget or you prefer to get another top rated advanced digital camera that has been purchased by a large number of professionals with lots of reviews, then you could look into the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II. While the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 is one of the top rated on our list, there are more pricey offers available like the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 II. The Sony Cyber shot camera is a professional advanced digital camera excellent for taking pictures as it comes with 20.2 megapixels which is way heavier than what you get from most advanced digital cameras. It weighs about 30 ounces but the quality it packs is enough for you to get this camera. It has 8.33x zoom and offers 14fps continuous shooting and 960 fps (frame per second) for recording videos. It has a robust battery life, offering the ability to take about 400 photos on a single battery charge which is higher than what the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 offers.
Hybrid cameras or bridge cameras or compact cameras with interchangeable lenses, as they are fondly called among camera enthusiasts, are seen as a midpoint between digital cameras and DSLR cameras. Hybrid cameras are called hybrids because you can change their lenses at will to give you the added versatility you need without the weight of the DSLR.
Most point and shoot cameras, as well as advanced cameras come with permanently mounted lenses, Hybrid cameras or compact cameras with interchangeable lenses allow you to interchange these lenses. They are more expensive than the cameras we have reviewed in this report.
Our top hybrid camera pick is the Sony Alpha A6300 which comes with 16-50mm lens. Editors from top professional testing websites give it high marks for its video quality, LCD and image quality. Current owners of the Sony Alpha A6300 believe it is also relatively easy to use as compared to DSLR cameras. It is a bit heavy as compared to other basic or advanced digital cameras but its body weighs 13 ounces.
The Sony A6300 has rapid autofocus and can shoot well over 400 photos from a single battery charge. Professional testers believe that the user interface is a bit too extensive and not well organized. You would need to store frequently used settings for quick access as you could become frustrated dealing with the menu buttons on a regular basis especially during the first weeks. It requires a learning curve at the beginning. Users say the initial work and effort put into the equipment could be frustrating but the results are usually priceless. This is a camera that you would enjoy and it would provide much value for money.