The best digital camera

Camera & Photo

While most people today can take pictures and videos on their phones, there’s truly no replicating the crispness of photos and videos captured on a high-quality digital camera.

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Which digital cameras are best?

Finding the best digital camera in an age of high-tech devices may not seem necessary to some, but there’s a reason these tools still exist and remain popular. Even though many people have cameras and video cameras on our phones, the right digital camera is still a worthy investment, offering clearer, better overall pictures and a lot more versatility.

While there are several great cameras at a range of price points, the Sony a7 III Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera is worth considering, especially with its superior sensor, video recording abilities and future-proof tech hardware that will last for years to come.

What to know before you buy a digital camera

Digital camera types

A number of different digital camera types exist, and while the best digital cameras simply depend on the user’s needs, it’s important to consider the types of cameras that may fit into your budget while suiting your needs. Digital cameras may come in various configurations, most commonly including point-and-shoot, mirrorless and DSLR cameras. While a point-and-shoot camera may be a good option for travel and budgetary needs, mirrorless and DSLR cameras are today’s best digital camera offerings, mostly because of their expanded sensors, resolutions and added features. Whether you need a digital camera with Wi-Fi, a disposable digital camera, a 4K digital camera or something else entirely, you’ll want to decide what type and features you need before you make your purchase.

Sensor size

A camera’s sensor size will determine how much light it can let in, as well as things like the overall depth of field and levels of detail. While smaller sensors make the image look closer in the viewfinder, larger sensors offer the user access to more fine details in each picture. The most common sensor sizes from small to large are one-inch sensors, APS-C sensors and full-frame, 35mm sensors.

Digital camera resolution

Resolution refers to how many pixels there are in a camera’s sensor. It isn’t quite as important to overall image crispness as a camera’s sensor, but a digital camera’s resolution can also help determine how pictures look in varying lighting. Measured in megapixels, most digital cameras feature a resolution between 10 to 50 megapixels.

What to look for in a quality digital camera

High dynamic range

One feature worth considering for the serious photographer is whether a camera includes high dynamic range. Photos taken with cameras that have a strong high dynamic range will appear cleaner with crisper lines and will generally offer a starker contrast than those without.

Digital camera with video recording

Many digital camera buyers elect to get a product that includes video recording since it adds a level of visual versatility to the experience. While not every digital camera includes video recording, many of them do, offering a variety of qualities including 720p, 1080p, 1260p and 4K.

Features

Another benefit of digital cameras is that they can include a wider range of features than analog cameras, including things like wireless photo sharing, onboard editing, adjustable modes and a range of other features. While they aren’t as important as the camera’s natural ability to shoot photos or videos, some photographers prefer specific features to be included with their cameras, which may determine which model they end up with.

How much you can expect to spend on digital cameras

Digital cameras may span a wide range of prices, depending on what kind of camera you’re looking for. A cheap digital camera may cost between $100-$1,000, while mid-tier models will usually fall in between $1,000-$3,000. Still, other professional-level and specialty digital cameras may cost as much as $5,000 and sometimes much, much more.

Digital camera FAQ

Do digital cameras use batteries?

A. In general, most digital cameras do use some kind of battery, usually depending on the brand of camera you have. Most digital cameras also allow users to recharge their batteries with a wall charger, so you may not have to purchase new batteries every time the unit dies.

Do I need a specific digital camera for certain types of media?

A. No, not necessarily. While certain digital cameras may be preferable for high-level production value mediums, others can usually get a base level DSLR and recreate most styles with different lighting conditions, settings and subjects once you learn how to wield your camera.

What’s the best digital camera to buy?

Top digital camera

Sony a7 III Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera with Interchangeable Lens 3-Inch LCD

Sony a7 III Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera with Interchangeable Lens 3-Inch LCD

What you need to know: This professional-level digital camera from Sony also comes in a bundle with a 28-70mm lens and a 64 GB memory card for advanced photo and video shooting.

What you’ll love: The Sony a7 features a full-frame photo sensor for shooting 35mm and 24.2 megapixels of optical resolution. It features a 3-inch display, and this model comes with a 28-70mm lens. With up to 2160p of video capturing resolution, it also makes for a good video camera.

What you should consider: A few buyers mentioned disliking the menu’s interface.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top digital camera for the money

Kodak Printomatic 2x3 Instant Print Full Color Digital Camera For Sticky-Backed Paper

Kodak Printomatic 2×3 Instant Print Full Color Digital Camera For Sticky-Backed Paper

What you need to know: If you’re looking for something affordable and unique rather than a high-level digital camera, this instant-print camera from Kodak is great for creating tangible memories in a moment.

What you’ll love: Bringing back the classic point-and-shoot camera with an instant-print film, Kodak’s Printomatic offers users quick, easy photo printing onto sticky-back paper, with the ability to store photos on an SD card. This unit also comes in several colors like blue, pink, green and others.

What you should consider: This camera doesn’t have any additional features that one might expect to find on most digital cameras.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kodak PIXPRO AZ421-WH 16MP Astro Zoom Digital Camera with 42X Optical Zoom

Kodak PIXPRO AZ421-WH 16MP Astro Zoom Digital Camera with 42X Optical Zoom

What you need to know: For those wanting a mid-tier digital camera with a wide range of features, the Kodak PIXPRO features a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor and a built-in wide-angle lens.

What you’ll love: This camera’s optical zoom lets users zoom in as far as 42x, and it also features detection, facial touch-up and panorama modes, among a slew of others. It also features image stabilization for helping the user take crisp, clear photos no matter what.

What you should consider: Some buyers noted that the screen isn’t particularly bright and can be difficult to see when in direct sunlight.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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