Which is the absolute best digital camera on the market?
That's kind of like asking which is the best vehicle on the road, isn't it? What do you want the vehicle to do?
Same question for a compact digital camera... what do you want it to do?
"Take pictures, of course," you respond.
I know that, but there are too many people with different requirements to nail down one camera as the best for everyone.
So, I began thinking about the reasons for folks buy a digital camera. Then I sought out the best possible digital camera a person with those requirements could purchase.
My method of research was to find the cameras that are recommended by the most respected digital camera reviewers on the Internet. I looked at sites like www.dpreview.com, www.steves-digicams.com, and www.imaging-resource.com.
Then, armed with that information, I went to the places that sell the cameras and looked at the user reviews on those sites. Users are usually very honest about whether they think they get value for their money. Sometimes is a review mixed in where the buyer either did not get a good camera (it happens), or the buyer's expectations for the camera were not realistic, but for the most part, the users' reviews are quite helpful. These reviews can be found at Amazon.com, dpreview, and B&H photo.
These sources were pretty consistent with each camera I reviewed.
OK, so here are the results (drum roll, please):
- Best Budget Compact Digital Camera: Panasonic DMC LZ8
- Best Mid-Range Camera: Canon SX110 IS and Panasonic DMC FZ5
- Best Pocket Compact Camera: Canon SD 790 IS and Panasonic DMC FX37
- Best Over-All Digital Camera: Panasonic DMC TX3