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What's behind our digital camera Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 118 models in digital cameras to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Note: We've recently changed the way we test cameras. Some models may have different scores than what was previously shown. Overall score is based mainly on image quality, ease of use, versatility, LCD-panel quality, and flash and video quality.
  • Megapixels
    Megapixels is the number of pixels, in millions, on the sensor.
  • Weight
    Weight is with battery, memory card, and strap.
  • Image quality
    Combines several tests, including regular photos, low-light photos, and flash photos as well as color tests, among others.
  • Flash photos
    Flash photos tests the quality of the built-in flash's light output and evenness of illumination.
  • Video quality
    Video quality mostly reflects footage shot in regular and low light, with audio quality and macro (close-up) capability also considered.
  • Ease of use
    Ease of use is our evaluation of the camera's controls, manual, response time and focusing.
  • LCD quality
    LCD quality is a judgment of images viewed under a number of lighting conditions.
  • Widest angle
    The lower the number for widest angle, the broader the vista the camera can capture.
  • Battery life
    Battery life is as the manufacturer states.


Digital camera user reviews

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Recommended digital cameras

Recommended digital cameras are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
As the digital-camera market matures, consumers are benefiting from more and better choices in camera size and capability. Before you make your buying decision, you should consider whether you need a small, lightweight digital camera for family snapshots or one that takes more ambitious photos suitable for enlarging and framing. If you're looking for information about digital cameras, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ digital camera reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our digital camera buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and digital camera reviews to help you choose the best digital camera for your needs. Note: We've recently changed the way we test cameras. Some models may have different scores than what was previously shown.

Recently reviewed digital cameras


Nikon D500

A 21-megapixel camera from Nikon with a 3.1-inch LCD, 5x optical zoom, and manual controls.

Digital camera buying guide

Buying a digital camera can be disorienting. There are hundreds of cameras available at many different types of retail outlets (online and in traditional stores), with prices ranging from $75 to several thousand dollars. Some cameras are small enough to fit in a shirt pocket. Others are large and can weigh up to two pounds. Some are easy to use. Others look like you need an engineering degree to operate them. And almost all are advertised with abbreviations that can be cryptic and confusing for the novice. In this digital camera guide, we aim to help you overcome some of this confusion.

Electronics & Computers News

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