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In addition to being able to take still photographs almost all compact cameras have the ability to record video.
In the past twenty years, most of the major technological breakthroughs in consumer electronics have really been part of one larger breakthrough. When you get down to it, CDs, DVDs, HDTV, MP3s and DVRs are all built around the same basic process: converting conventional analog information (represented by a fluctuating wave) into digital information (represented by ones and zeros, or bits). This fundamental shift in technology totally changed how we handle visual and audio information — it completely redefined what is possible.
The digital camera is one of ¬the most remarkable instances of this shift because it is so truly different from its predecessor. Conventional cameras depend entirely on chemical and mechanical processes — you don’t even need electricity to operate them. On the other h¬and, all digital cameras have a built-in computer, and all of them record images electronically.
¬ The new approach has been enormously successful. Since film still provides better picture quality, digital cameras have not completely replaced conventional cameras. But, as digital imaging technology has improved, digital cameras have rapidly become more popular.
Are you comparing cameras or Are you planning to buy a camera for your needs? Our buying guide picks out the best compact cameras, best compact system cameras and best DSLRs on the market.
Best Compacts and Bridge Cameras
• Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 – Who’s it for? Anyone who wants a decent casual point and shoot with a long zoom. The DMC-G5 has a huge zoom and a handy electronic viewfinder.
• Sony RX100 III – Who’s it for? Enthusiast photographers who want top-notch image quality and an electronic viewfinder – it’s very good in low light.
• Panasonic Lumix LX100 – Who’s it for? Enthusiasts who want a compact with good manual controls – it’s similar to the RX100 but has more direct controls.
• Fujifilm X100T – Who’s it for? Professional street photographers and rangefinder lovers – a niche camera but a hugely impressive one with a clever hybrid viewfinder.Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 – Who’s it for? Casual photographers that want the flexibility of a very large zoom, but don’t need a pocketable camera.
Best Compact System / Micro Four Thirds Cameras
• Sony A7 MK II – Who’s it for? Photographers who want a full-frame camera in a compact body. The A7 II is also very good for video.
Best Digital SLRs
• Sony Alpha SLT-A77M2 – Who’s it for? Beginners and enthusiasts who don’t mind spending a little more. It’s more advanced than the A5000 and performs well in low light.
• Panasonic Lumix GX7 – Who’s it for? Enthusiasts who want an advanced mirrorless camera in a portable body, the GX7 has in-body image stabilisation, a useful focus peaking system and good handling.
• Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II – Who’s it for? Mirrorless fans who value great handling and built-in stabilisation – it’s one of the best micro four thirds cameras around.
• Fujifilm X-T1 – Who’s it for? Serious photographers who want an APS-C sensor and great image quality. The X-T1 takes stunning photos and Fujifilm has a great lens line-up.
• Samsung NX30 – Who’s it for? Action photographers who want high-speed performance with less bulk – it has 15fps continuous shooting mode and is weather sealed.