Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about ourreview process here.We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.The RundownBest Canon DSLR:Canon EOS Rebel SL2 at Amazon"Various gestures for zooming, picture navigation, and a feature assistant to guide you through all the stuff you can't find yourself."Best Compact:Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II at Amazon"An impressive addition to Canon's already substantial family of high-end point-and-shoots."Best Nikon DSLR:Nikon D5600 at Amazon"A bit more expensive, but it offers a bit more power and versatility at the same time."Best Value:Panasonic FZ2500 at Amazon"The bang for the buck is pretty much unbeatable."
Best Canon DSLR:Canon EOS Rebel SL2Buy on AmazonBuy on WalmartBuy on Canon.com
The best Canon DSLR comes in as the second generation of the SL series. This one employs a 24.2 megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor and a DIGIC 7 Image Processor for ultra-sharp pictures. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF—with phase detection technology—will keep both the videos and the photos ultra-stable (say goodbye to blurry results for fast-moving subjects). But the touchscreen on this thing is the whole reason it's on this list right?
Installed on the SL2 is a Vari-angle touchscreen LCD that helps you view (and ultimately capture) the perfect shot at a variety of angles. The screen also offers various touch gestures for zooming, picture navigation, and a feature assistant to guide you through all the stuff you can't find yourself. Rounded out with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and a true optical viewfinder (you know, if you can peel your eyes away from that gorgeous touchscreen) for more traditional shooting.
Best Compact:Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II4.2 Buy on AmazonBuy on WalmartBuy on B&H Photo Video
If you're looking to spend about as much as the Panasonic FZ300K, but prefer something a bit more compact, you may want to look into the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II. The G7 X Mark II is in many ways a step up for the compact point-and-shoot category. It features a high-sensitivity, 1-inch, 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor with Canon's DIGIC 7 image processor.
The 24-100mm (35mm equivalent) features an optical zoom range of up to 4.2, which isn't much, but this is a camera designed for hand-held close-up shooting. It also features a 3.0-inch tilting touchscreen LCD with a high-speed autofocus (AF) system with an impressive 31 focus points. It records Full HD (1080p) video, has a modifiable control ring for enhanced optimization, and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for quick and easy photo sharing. This is an impressive addition to Canon's already substantial family of high-end point-and-shoots.Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Review
Best Nikon DSLR:Nikon D56004.3 Buy on AmazonBuy on Best BuyBuy on Walmart
Ever the competitor with Canon, Nikon's D5600 is a slightly beefier version of the EOS Rebel SL1. It's a bit more expensive, but it offers a bit more power and versatility at the same time. For example, the 24.2-megapixel DX-format CMOS is a full 6.2 megapixels larger than the SL1 (but sensor size is not a perfect indicator of quality).
The D5600 also has a more robust 39-point autofocus (AF) system, a larger ISO range (100 - 25,600), 5fps (frames per second) continuous shooting, Full HD (1080p) video recording and built-in Wi-Fi for quick and easy photo sharing. The touch LCD swivels and articulates left, right, up and down, and can also face the camera's subject for video monitoring.
Best Value:Panasonic FZ2500Buy on AmazonBuy on Walmart
Without the eye-catching brand of a Cannon or a Nikon, the Panasonic might be a pass by most consumers, but that's exactly why it makes our"best value"pick ... the bang for the buck is pretty much unbeatable. Deep breath before this spec rundown:
It captures full QFHD video at 30fps, a one-inch, 20.1-megapixel sensor that runs at 4K high sensitivity, a proprietary LUMIX FZ250 chipset that allows for that 4K recording and super-fast processing, a super high end 20x Leica DC Vario-Elmarit Lens allowing an aperture of F/2.8-4.5, macro capability as close as 3cm, ultra high speed DFD focusing, focus adjusting after shooting, microphone and headphone terminals, and a unique zoom feature that enlarges backgrounds while keeping the subject the same size.
Of course, the touchscreen and viewfinders are nothing to sneeze at as the former provides super precise touch controls; the latter is optical, with 0.74x zoom OLED technology.