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Last updated: 15 October 2018

We review digital cameras for the professional and enthusiasts. Not sure if a manual camera is for you? Try our camera buying guide. To find out why our results are so rigorous, read more about how we test digital cameras. 

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Our test covers manual, semi-automatic and automatic digital cameras. These include basic entry-level models, tough cameras designed to protect against the elements, mid-range models with many features found in pro cameras, high-end compacts, mirrorless / system cameras with removable lenses and D-SLRs with removable lenses.

Our expert testers give every camera a thorough workout to help find the models that:

  • are best at taking quality images
  • are best at taking quality movies
  • are easiest to use.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which digital cameras are dust- and water-resistant, and which have time lapse and panorama settings. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which cameras come out on top.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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Prices are recommended retail, as provided by the manufacturer. You should be able to do substantially better by shopping around.

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Camera type

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DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras are the top-of-the-range option when you want performance, flexibility and also the ability to control some or all of the elements in taking great photos. Mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras are a great option for users wanting a camera with similar performance and flexibility as a DSLR, in a smaller form factor. Ultra zoom cameras bridge the gap (often called bridge cameras) between compact cameras and a digital SLR and are ideal for photographers who won't be using multiple lenses. Ultra-Zoom cameras have a fixed lens but the zoom lens covers a large range from wide angle to telephoto. Compact digital cameras are small and portable, with the choices ranging from completely automatic 'point and shoot' models up to extremely sophisticated and expensive models that allow almost as much user control as a professional SLR.

Overall score

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The overall score is made up of: Image quality: 45% Ease of use: 30% Monitor: 10% Movie quality: 10% Flash: 5%

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Weight (g)

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Body only for system cameras.

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Image quality score – auto mode

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Picture quality is evaluated after the photos are transferred to the PC. For all basic tests the cameras are set to full automatic function, including exposure, white balance and focus function, with the maximum resolution and image quality setting in JPEG, unless otherwise stated.

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Features

Face detection

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Feature that tells the camera to automatically detect, and focus on, faces. Some can also automatically fire the shutter when a face is detected.

GPS tagging

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Camera has an inbuilt GPS that can add location data to the photo.

Priority mode – aperture

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The camera will prioritise aperture over shutter speed in the conditions.

Shutter release via touch screen

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Can you take a photo by tapping the touch screen?

Can record in RAW format

HDR function

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High Dynamic Range. Takes three photos at the same time – one at optimal exposure, one at one step below optimal exposure, and one at one step above optimal exposure – then automatically combines them to produce an image with an increased colour range and luminosity, that displays the brightest, and darkest ends of the spectrum. Automates the original method of taking three photos and manually combining them in post-production.

Panorama (panning)

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A panorama (very wide image) is made by panning the camera across a scene. Useful when shooting landscapes.

Specifications

Flash type

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Built-in, pop-up or external. Some will automatically pop-up when the camera is in auto mode, others require manual release even when in auto mode. All flash types can be turned off if required.

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Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Image quality score – auto mode
  • Image quality score – manual mode
  • Ease of use score
  • Movie quality score
  • Monitor score
  • Viewfinder score
  • Flash score
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Lens weight (g)
  • Weight (g)
  • Shutter delay 1m (sec)
  • Shutter delay 8.5m (sec)
  • NFC
  • Availability
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Lens
  • Camera type
  • Zoom range (mm)
  • Lens factor
  • Minimum aperture range (f-stops)
  • Minimum shutter speed (secs)
  • Maximum shutter speed (secs)
  • Fully manual mode
  • Lens diameter (mm)
  • Lens length (mm)
  • Lens filter thread (mm)
  • Lens mount
  • Sensor type
  • Sensor size
  • Effective resolution (MP)
  • Dimensions (mm, WxHxD)
  • Tripod socket
  • GPS tagging
  • Electric cable release
  • Camera controlled via USB
  • Manual white balance
  • Start-up time (sec)
  • Bulb setting
  • Priority mode – shutter speed
  • Priority mode – aperture
  • ISO rating
  • Shutter release via touch screen
  • Exposure correction (lower)
  • Exposure correction (higher)
  • HDR function
  • Continuous shooting mode
  • Frame limit in continuous mode
  • Number of selectable exposure programs
  • Time lapse
  • Panorama (panning)
  • Image stabilisation - physical
  • Electronic image stabilisation
  • Closest focus wide (m)
  • Closest focus tele (m)
  • Closest focus macro (m)
  • Focus assist lamp
  • Focus via touch screen
  • Continuous manual focus switchable
  • Focus points (auto mode)
  • Face detection
  • Spot focus
  • Focus tracking
  • Focus bracketing
  • Monitor size (mm)
  • Monitor ratio
  • Monitor swivel (V x H, deg)
  • Touchscreen
  • Monitor grid guide
  • Viewfinder type
  • Viewfinder diopter
  • Video ratios supported
  • Video format
  • Maximum frame rate – progressive
  • Number of selectable exposure programs - video
  • Video face detection
  • Video spot focus
  • Video focus tracking
  • Manual focus video
  • Continuous to manual focus switchable - video
  • Slow motion setting
  • Stop motion setting
  • Video image stabilisation
  • Built-in speaker
  • Audio recording format
  • Socket for external microphone
  • Can add a comment to a still image
  • Memory card type
  • Internal memory (MB)
  • Number of memory cards - insertable
  • Can record in RAW format
  • RAW plus JPEG format
  • Image ratios supported
  • Flash type
  • Flash slow sync
  • Flash power adjustable
  • Hotshoe
  • Other flash connection
  • HDMI connection
  • Wi-Fi WLAN connection
  • Battery type
  • CIPA battery cycles
  • Charge via USB
  • Adapter for charging batteries
  • Separate battery holder
  • Image editing software
  • RAW converter software
  • Video editing software
  • Lens bag supplied
  • Lens hood supplied
  • Shoulder belt supplied
  • Other supplied
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