Choosing the right camera can seem like a really grueling task. There are so many different models on the market – from the professional photographer to the everyday user who just wants to snap photos of their vacation.
So if you’re trying to figure out which camera suits your needs, we’re here to take the guesswork out for you.
We’ve combed through the best models on the market based on their individual features and grouped them up accordingly. Some may be great value for money, some may have great design, and some may just be a good pick for a specific shooting style.
All these are cameras have been extensively tried and tested by ourselves, so if you want to know any more about any of them as well as check out sample images, just click the link to the full review.
Along the way we'll explain some of the jargon and the differences between cameras, though if you need a bit more help deciding what kind of camera you need, you can get a lot more information from our special step-by-step guide: What camera should I buy?
On the other hand, you may already have a clear idea of the kind of camera you want, in which case you could go straight to one of our more specific camera buying guides:
It may be expensive, but if you're looking for the best camera money can buy right now, then Nikon's fabulous D850 DSLR pretty much ticks every box. Packing in a brilliant 45.4MP full-frame sensor, image quality is stunning. But that's just half the story. Thanks to a sophisticated 153-point AF system and 9fps burst shooting speed, the D850 is just a home shooting action and wildlife as it is landscapes and portraits. The Nikon D850 is perhaps the most well-rounded camera we've ever tested.
Read our in-depth Nikon D850 review
Once, if you wanted a professional quality full frame camera it had to be a Nikon or Canon DSLR. Sony's growing range of mirrorless full-frame cameras offer a great alternative. With the Alpha A7R III, Sony has taken one of our favorite mirrorless cameras and bolstered the performance to make it one of the most complete and versatile cameras available today. With a brilliant full-frame 42.2MP sensor that's supported by and advanced AF system and 10fps burst shooting, you no longer have to sacrifice performance for resolution or vice versa. If that all looks a little expensive, then take a look at the Alpha A7 III – Sony's 'basic' full-frame mirrorless camera, but offers a brilliant blend of performance and image quality for the price.
Read our in-depth Sony Alpha A7R III review
The update to the X-T1 may look similar at first glance, but there have been some huge improvements made to Fujifilm's follow-up flagship mirrorless camera. Perhaps the biggest update though is the autofocus. A huge leap forward compared with the system found in the X-T1, AF tracking of moving subjects is very snappy, while the level of sophistication and customisation is impressive. Add in 8 frames per second burst shooting, a clever double-hinged rear display, bright EVF, Fujifilm's excellent 24.3MP X Trans III CMOS sensor and plenty of body mounted controls and you're left with one of the best cameras available today.
Read our in-depth Fujifilm X-T2 review
Nikon's D3400 builds on the brilliant D3300 and is our top pick when it comes to entry-level DSLRs. Sharing pretty much the same design and specification as its predecessor, the D3400 adds Nikon's SnapBridge bluetooth connectivity to transfer images directly to your smart device to make it that much easier to share images. The 24.2MP sensor resolves bags of detail, while the D3400 is also a very easy camera to live with. Its clever Guide Mode is a useful learning tool that gives real-time explanations of important features. There's no touchscreen, but otherwise, this is our favorite entry-level DSLR right now.
Read our in-depth Nikon D3400 review
The X100F is a thing of beauty both to look and and to use, but it's not for everyone. It's a relatively large, retro-styled compact camera with a fixed focal length 35mm equivalent f/2.0 lens, and designed for photographers who hanker after the weighty feel and manual external controls of traditional 35mm film rangefinder cameras. It's a relatively specialised camera and most owners are likely to have other cameras too. It may be a touch pricey, but there's nothing quite like it – it's an exquisite camera to look at and to shoot with.
Read our in-depth Fujifilm X100F review
While the main specification of the OM-D E-M10 Mark III doesn't offer a huge upgrade from the Mark II, Olympus has refined and tweaked one of our favorite mirrorless cameras to make it an even more tempting proposition for new users and enthusiasts alike. Some will criticise the smaller Micro Four Thirds sensor format (roughly half the area of APS-C) but the effect on image quality is minor and it means that the lenses are as compact and lightweight as the camera itself. Sporting a 5-axis image stabilization system, decent electronic viewfinder, an impressive 8.6fps burst shooting speed and 4K video, it's no toy – the E-M10 Mark III is a properly powerful camera.
Read our in-depth Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III review
Similar in size to earlier TZ-series cameras, Panasonic however has managed to squeeze a much larger sensor into the TZ100. This enables the pixels to be about 2.4x bigger than they are in models like the TZ90, and this helps the TZ100 produce much higher quality images. The zoom lens isn't quite so extensive though, but you still get an electronic viewfinder that makes it easier to compose images in bright sunny conditions and in addition to 4K video recording, there's Panasonic's 4K Photo mode to help capture 8MP images of fleeting moments. It all adds up to be a powerful compact camera.
Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix TZ100 review
One of the best entry-level DSLRs out there, the EOS 800D is an update to the 750D. The resolution stays the same, but it's a new design with an improved high ISO performance. The autofocus also gets a boost over the older model, now with a 45-point arrangement that's backed up by excellent live view AF system that's as quick as mirrorless rivals, while the newly designed graphical interface will certainly make this camera even more appealing to new users. The absence of 4K video and the quality of the exterior materials disappoint, but despite this the EOS 800D is a great entry into the world of DSLR photography.
Read our in-depth Canon EOS 800D review
Our final camera is a 'bridge' camera, a type of camera that we don't normally like very much because the ultra-zoom design forces the makers to use titchy 1/2.3-inch sensors the same size as those in point-and-shoot cameras. You get the look and feel of a DSLR, but you certainly don't get the image quality. But the Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 is different. It sacrifices a huge zoom range in favour of a much larger 1.0-inch sensor – a compromise most serious photographers will applaud. While the zoom tops out at 480mm equivalent, which is relatively short for a bridge camera, that's still plenty for all but the most extreme everyday use. We'd certainly sacrifice a little for of zoom range for better and faster optics. We love the FZ2000 because it delivers both image quality and zoom range, while also offering full manual and semi-manual controls, the ability to shoot raw files and 4K video.
Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 review
The GoPro Hero6 Black is the best action camera you can buy. It's pricey compared to some of the competition, but it's got a wealth of features, including shooting 4K footage at up to 60fps, as well as super-slow-motion 1080p video at 240fps. The improved image stabilization system works at treat, as well as footage offering a wider dynamic range and better low-light performance compared to the Hero5 Black. That's not forgetting it's waterproof down to 10m, has a useful 2-inch touchscreen, while the updated app with QuikStories automatically transfers and edits your footage for you. If you want an action camera, you're not going to go wrong with the Hero6 Black.
Read our in-depth GoPro Hero6 Black review
- What camera should I buy?
- Best compact camera
- Best DSLR
- Best mirrorless camera
- Sensor sizes explained: what you need to know