some powerful and action cameras to buy
One of the best camera for a pro photographer is a million miles from the best camera for an adventure sports nut or a novice shooter. But if you want to know what we think are the top ten best cameras, you can buy right now–regardless of user level or price point–then keep on reading.
What we’ve done then is to pick out what we think are the standout cameras in their fields. This may be because they have the most amazing features and specifications because they’re amazing value for what they offer or because they are just brilliant at the job they’ve been designed for.
All these are cameras have been extensively tried and tested by ourselves, so if you want to know any more about any of them and check out sample images, just click the link to the full review.
Along the way we’ll explain jargon and the differences between cameras, though if you need more help to decide 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?
You may already have a clear idea of the camera you want, in which case you could go straight to one of our more specific camera buying guides at the bottom of the page. Otherwise read on to find out our picks of the best cameras available right now…
Best cameras to buy in 2018
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Type: Travel compact | Sensor: 1-inch type CMOS | Resolution: 20.1MP | Lens: 24-100mm, f/1.8-2.8 | Viewfinder: N/A | Screen type: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,040K dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 8fps | Movies: Full HD | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
1. Nikon Z6
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor size: Full-frame CMOS | Resolution: 24.5MP | Lens: Nikon Z mount | Viewfinder: EVF | Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,100,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 12fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
Our top mirrorless camera until recently was the brilliant Alpha A7 III from Sony, but Nikon’s new Z6 means it now just misses out, though it’s close. Nikon has been late to the full-frame mirrorless party, but the wait’s been worth it. Launching alongside the 45.7MP Z7, the Z6 is hard to beat for the price and offers a stunning blend of features and performance that makes it’s a brilliant choice for the enthusiast photographer or pro looking for a second body. The 24.5MP full-frame sensor is excellent, while the 273-point AF system (while not as sophisticated as the 693-point AF in the A7 III) and 12fps burst shooting should mean you’ll never miss another shot. Handling is polished too while the large and bright electronic viewfinder is a joy to use. Excellent.
Type: DSLR | Sensor size: Full-frame CMOS | Resolution: 45.4MP | Lens: Nikon F mount | Viewfinder: Optical | Screen type: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen, 2,359,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
Type: High-end compact | Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Resolution: 24.3MP | Lens: 23mm f/2 | Screen type: 3-inch, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Hybrid | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 8fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Expert
Olympus Tough TG-5
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3-inch | Resolution: 12MP | Lens: 25-100mm f/2-4.9 | Viewfinder: N/A | Monitor: 3.0-inch screen, 460,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 20fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner
They builds the Tough TG-5 from Olympus to survive pretty much anything you could throw at it, literally. Waterproof down to depths of 15m, don’t mistake it for being merely an underwater camera; being waterproof is also useful for hikers, bikers, kayakers, and skiers. In fact, any outdoor pursuit is the game for the TG-5, which is crush proof to 100kg and drop-proof from 2.1m. I can even use it in temperatures as low as -10°C. Olympus has taken the unusual step of dropping the pixel count from 16MP on the TG-4 to 12MP on the TG-5. Add in the raw file support and this makes image quality that bit better than its predecessor while it can shoot 4K video at 30p or high speed footage at 120p in Full HD. Our pick of the waterproof bunch.
Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
The bridge camera for the photographer who wants quality too
Type: Bridge camera | Sensor: 1.0-inch type CMOS | Resolution: 20.1MP | Lens: 24-480mm, f/2.8-4.5 | Screen type: 3-inch vari-angle screen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 12fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
We don’t normally like bridge camera 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 don’t get the image quality. But the Panasonic Lumix FZ2000 (known as the FZ2500 in the US) 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 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.
GoPro Hero7 Black
Type: Action camera | Sensor: 1/2.3-inch type CMOS | Resolution: 12MP | Lens: wide-angle f/2.8 lens | Screen type: 2-inch touchscreen | Viewfinder: N/A | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/intermediate
The GoPro Hero7 Black is without question 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 HyperSmooth image stabilization system is brilliant, as well as footage offering a wider dynamic range and better low-light performance compared to the Hero6 Black. That’s not forgetting it’s waterproof down to 10m, has a useful 2-inch touchscreen, while the updated user interface makes it a much more polished piece of kit. If you want the best action camera, you’re not going to go wrong with the Hero7 Black.
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