Suppose you’re the kind of person who reads movie spoilers online, or unwraps all of your presents on Christmas Eve. Does that make you a monster? Sure, but we’re not here to judge. You’d probably also like to know which are the very best cameras on the market right now without reading our meticulously prepared and exhaustively researched buying guides. That’s fine. You can cut right to the chase and find out which cameras we picked as category winners right here, you utter fiend.
Canon EOS M6
It’s light, offers a healthy dose of direct controls and includes Canon’s excellent Dual Pixel autofocus technology. It’s our pick for parents, but it’s a great option for someone who wants DSLR-like capabilities and controls in a compact package.
Canon EOS M100
It’s an incarnation of the M6 with less direct control, but it’s also several hundred dollars cheaper. We think it’s an ideal lightweight point-and-shoot and it’s our top pick if you’re looking to spend around $500 on a new camera.
Canon EOS Rebel SL2
Beginners looking for an unfussy DSLR to get started will feel right at home with the SL2. We think its Feature Assistant is useful, and it offers all of the same guts of the M6 in a more approachable form.
You love it. We love it. Everyone loves the X100F. It’s truly the photography press’s darling, and it’s our pick in the fixed prime lens category thanks to its excellent JPEG processing and dreamy form factor. To a large chunk of the photo-taking population it’s an impractical novelty, but it sure is nice if you just want to enjoy the heck out of making photos.
The D5600 is our pick for both photography students and anyone looking to spend less than $1000. It’s not sexy, but it’s reliable, versatile, and offers modern refinements like a touchscreen and Wi-Fi with Bluetooth.
We recommend the D7500 in the sub-$1500 category for many of the reasons we picked the D5600 in the category below it: it’s just an extremely well-rounded camera. Impressive subject tracking, good AF, and a proven 20.9MP sensor all contribute to making this the best buy in its price category.
Speaking of cameras that just don’t quit, the D750 is over three years old but it’s still competitive – and is attractively priced lately. Despite its age we think it’s the best you can do for under $2000 thanks to reliable autofocus and excellent image quality.
The D850 shares a spot with the Sony a7R III as a top pick for landscape photographersand cameras over $2000. ISO 64 gives it a slight edge for photographers who need the ultimate in dynamic range, and it inherits a highly capable autofocus system from the D5. It comes up a little short in terms of pro video capabilities, but outside of that it’s simply one of the best all-around performers you can buy now.
For sports, the D5 is hands-down the most capable camera out there. It’s ultra-tough and couples 14 fps shooting with the best phase-detection AF on the market. Plenty of shooters would find its smaller sibling, the D500 to be more than enough to suit their needs, but for the pro who needs the absolute best, there’s nothing to top it at the moment.
Panasonic Lumix GH5
If you’re serious about video and you want the best hybrid camera money can buy, get the GH5. It’s outfitted with pro-level tools and boasts excellent stabilization for handheld shots. Oh, and it’s a pretty darn good stills camera too.
Sony a7R III
The a7R III ranks as one of the very best cameras we tested this year, tying the equally impressive Nikon D850 as winner in the best for landscape photography and $2000 and up category. It’s also our top pick for event photography, thanks to incredibly fast and accurate Eye-AF.
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 III
Our top pick for travelers is the previous-generation RX10, which saves you several hundred dollars off the price of the Mark IV if you can live without a touchscreen and state-of-the-art autofocus. You’ll still get that generous 24-600mm equiv. zoom range and top notch 4K video capture for all of those vacation memories.
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV
If we’re going to talk about the very best cameras available now, we do need to mention the latest and greatest in the RX10 series. If there’s a superzoom that can convince us we’re shooting with a pro sports camera, this is it. It’s incredibly pricey but its hybrid AF, 24 fps shooting and oversampled 4K are unparalleled in its class.
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V
Ten years ago, if you’d told us that a camera that fits in your pocket can record incredible 4K video, shoot 24 fps, and offer 315 point phase detection AF we’d have laughed in your face. Yet here we are in the year 2017, and the RX100 V has made fools of us all. Do you pay handsomely for all of that cutting edge technology? Of course. But if you’re looking for the best of the best, look no further.