Product Reviews

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Best Cameras in Every Category

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

A colorful illustration showing different camera types

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.

More on Cameras

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.

Best Point-and-Shoot Camera

The Fujifilm XF10 combines an interesting set of features in a stylish package.

It's built around a 28mm fixed focal length wide-angle lens with a fast f-2.8 maximum aperture. That makes it great for photographing landscapes and group shots in low light—think of it as a souped-up version of the default camera function on many smartphones. But the lack of a telephoto zoom function makes it less useful for portraits and sports action.

The camera is a bit large by point-and-shoot standards, but our testers found it comfortable to handle and easy to use. However, we don't have enough data on Fuji point-and-shoot camera purchases to provide reliability and satisfaction marks for the brand.

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