The great megapixel race is over. But now what the hell are you supposed to do? These are the best cameras of the post-megapixel world.
Best Budget DSLR
With its slick simplicity and HD videoCanon T2iwas a revolution in budget DSLRs. It's successor,the Canon T3i, adds a tiltable screen and a studier build. (May, 2012)
Best Midrange dSLR
The Nikon D300s andCanon 7Ddeliver for the money, but the 7D delivers more, since it's packed full of newer technology and for the people who want it, the video component is truly killer (Nov 10, 2009)
Best Mid-Range-Pro DSLR
TheCanon EOS 5D Mark III inherited the venerable legacy of the Mark IIby improving its already excellent HD video and its low-light performance. But what really blows this camera—and the photographer—to stratospheric feelings of image-taking euphoria is Canon's new 61-point auto-focus system that makes getting sharp pictures in harried situation a breeze.
Best 'Spensive dSLR
Here's the thing about the Nikon D4:There basically nothing it can't do. Need to take it into ultra-dark conditions and walk away with usable shots? You're covered. Need speedy continuous shutter performance to capture quick journalistic photography at a protest? It's got you covered. And now that Nikon's top-end cameras have caught up with Canon's video capabilities, it's hard to argue you'd want any other camera (April 2012).
The Best Video DSLR
TheCanon 5D Mark III'sautofocus system alone is enough to justify choosing the Mark III over the Mark II. But it's all of the refinements-the sum of the Mark III's parts-that make it the best camera you can spend $3,500 on. (March 2012)
Best High-End DSLR Alternative
Micro Four-Thirds cameras have long promised to bridge the quality of DSLRs with the size of point and shoots. TheOlympus PEN EP-3is the fullest realization of the Micro Four-Thirds dream so far.
Best Affordable DSLR Alternative
Simply stated, theNEX-C3 performs much betterthan the other cameras in its class in nearly every situation. It's better, and, yup, bigger and heavier. The 18-55mm kit lens isn't collapsable, so this camera is never going to fit in your pocket, and while taking a quick shot in auto is easy enough, you're going to want to spend some time learning the menus, and programming the camera's customizable buttons to get the most out of it. In terms of image quality, the 16.2 megapixel, 23. 4mm x 15.6mm sensor blows the rest of the cameras in its price range away. It's not even close.
Best Point-and-Shoot Camera
Canon's S95 was our favorite pocket camera. Um, it's probably not anymore. Meetthe S100. What's new? Oh, Canon's first Digic V processor. A wider 24mm zoom lens. A 12-megapixel CMOS sensor (up from a 10MP CCD). 1080p video. And GPS built-in. (September, 2011)
Best Pocket Camcorder
TheKodak Playfullis a very capable shooter with several great features and one major shortcoming-a too-small display-but the fact that we found it selling at multiple online retailers for less than $100 goes a long way to make up for that deficiency.
The Best Inexpensive Point-and-Shoot Camera with Wi-Fi
TheCanon 320 HSis a little more complicated to configure, but once it got going, the Wi-Fi features were faster and the design was a notch better than the Samsung WB150f, its main competitor.
Best Phone Camera
The iPhone 4S camera is lightning fast and really gorgeous. It's not as super in-your-face saturated as the iPhone 4 was, which gives it truer-to-life colors. It's also got excellent auto-focus.
Best Rugged Waterproof Camera
In our tests, thePanasonic Lumix DMC-TS4took the clearest, most vivid outdoor and underwater stills. It generally found very nice balance in light levels its competitors would blow out, and it really makes colors pop (especially greens). Panoramic shots are excellent, at up to 360 degrees. It's generally able to attain focus faster than the others, and it's the fastest and cleanest at nighttime shooting with a flash. And it feels rock solid. If you hit someone on this head with this thing, it would hurt. A lot.More »(July 2012)
Best Helmet/Sports Camera
The imagesthe GoPro Hero 2takes are great. It's not just HD-sized, it actually looks HD. We like the Contour ROAM a lot, but the Hero 2 has more options and the image quality simply wins. (August 2011)
Best Camera Lenses
We're adding our roundup ofwell-priced, excellently-performing lensesto the list, for those of you looking for an upgrade. (Dec 6, 2010)
Best Photo Printing Service
Despite its outdated website,Wizard Prints can realize almost any scenario you can dream up-adhesives you can walk on, super-sized canvases, beautiful matte prints, and textured fabrics that turn into wall murals. (Jan 20, 2011)