Best Cameras in Every Category

Consumer Reports' camera ratings now include reliability data based on consumer feedback

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If you're going to invest in a digital camera—instead of simply using the one on your smartphone—you want a model you can count on to capture the shot.

When your daughter takes the stage to accept her high school diploma or glides down the aisle in her wedding dress, you don't want to be worried about the quality of the lens or the lighting.

You want to record the memory.

With that in mind, we recently updated the Overall Scores in our digital camera ratings to include not just the results from our testing but also predicted reliability and owner satisfaction data collected in our member surveys.

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The findings apply to brands within a category (think Canon point-and-shoots), not individual models, and they're based on 44,210 digital cameras owned by Consumer Reports members who purchased a new camera between 2010 and 2018.

So what did we learn? Well, modern cameras are notably reliable when compared with most appliances and other home electronics.

None of the brands in our analysis received unfavorable reliability marks due to high problem rates—which means no model was precluded from earning Recommended or Best Buy status in our ratings, as was the case with certain printers and televisions.

Our laboratory technicians continue to test cameras on criteria such as image quality, video quality, flash quality, and the quality of LCD displays, not to mention overall ease of use.

We currently have more than 160 models in our ratings. Here are the top-ranked cameras in each of our six product categories.

Become a member to read the full article and get access to digital ratings.

We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.